Homes that have oil central heating aren’t connected to the main gas grid. Did you know that there are 4 million households in the UK that are not on the mains gas network? If you’re looking to move to a more rural location and are not familiar with heating oil central heating systems, here’s a bit about how they work.
Heating oil is normally used in a ‘wet’ heating system, where an oil-fired boiler heats water, then provides central heating via radiators and hot water through the taps in your home. The main difference between mains gas and heating oil is that it is delivered by road and stored in a tank, which you may have to buy or rent from your supplier. You can find out more in our full guide to heating oil. Heat-only and combination condensing oil-fired boiler types are both available. Most oil-fired combination boilers have an internal hot water store to supply domestic hot water, rather than the instantaneous heating more common in gas boilers.
Annual cost of heating oil
The average annual cost is £830* for both heating and hot water using heating oil in the UK, when consuming around 17,000 kWh’s worth per year. £830 is the average annual cost of heating and hot water using heating oil* However, this cost is just a rough guide, as there are a number of factors that affect energy bills. These include the size and age of your home, what insulation you have installed, the efficiency of your hot water and heating system, and where you live in the UK.
Also, heating oil prices can change. For example, the cost per litre of kerosene heating oil was: 43p in January 2017, 48p in January 2018, 52p in January 2019, 51p in January 2020 .
*(Calculated using the average price of kerosene across the UK in January 2020. Note that oil prices tend to be a higher in winter months. Sourced from Sutherland Tables, which collects domestic fuel price data. The cost per kWh in pence (4.88) was multiplied by the kWh a high user consumes on average in a year [17,000 kWh] for hot water and heating, as calculated by Ofgem.)
Read more: Which?