finance

Homes that use heating oil will face the biggest bills this winter – how to keep costs down


HOMES that use heating oil will face the biggest bills this winter.

As many as six million people in the UK use the heat source for warm water and central heating in their homes, according to Nationwide Fuels.

If you use heating oil you could face the biggest costs this winter

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If you use heating oil you could face the biggest costs this winterCredit: Alamy

Heating oil provider, Boiler Juice, said on October 17 the average price per litre was 60.99p but that figure is sure to rise as energy prices soar.

Brits have already had to fork out up to a quarter more than usual on their energy bills in recent weeks, as the current price crisis hits everyone.

Those paying for heating oil have already seen their own prices hiked by roughly 20p within the space of a month. And there are fears this could rise further.

On October 7, the average price was 61.39p, the highest rate seen this year, and a massive leap from prices recorded the month before.

Back in September, prices went from 44.40p before rocketing almost 17p, or 36%, to the figures seen this month.

It’s not necessarily surprising to see prices jump up at the same time we’re reaching for sweaters and blankets though.

Heating oil prices will fluctuate through the seasons, but the pattern of rising costs is usually due to a spike in demand over the colder winter months.

That means prices are lower in the summer because fewer people need the oil, and costs escalate when winter rolls around.

It’s the same for most households, even those with gas suppliers, and recent weeks have seen energy firms slammed for ramping up household bills by as much as 80% amid rising gas prices too.

But for heating oil users, prices will be directly from suppliers at the reflected wholesale costs, rather than how gas suppliers purchase in advance and are even restricted by things like the enforced price cap.

However, there is no officially recognised regulator for heating oil prices, which could mean spiralling costs.

But there are a number of things you can do to keep on top of costs.

How do I keep costs down?

Your oil tank will probably be able to hold between 1,000 and 1,500 litres of home heating oil and it’s likely you’ll get through around 2,500 litres of heating oil every year. 

That means you’ll likely need up to three deliveries a year, so it’s a good idea to be smart about when you order these.

Martin Lewis’ MoneySavingExpert has explained before that higher demand in winter means December is often the priciest time to order, so avoid this time if you want to avoid hiked costs.

But if you aren’t already stocked up, that means you don’t have long left before that inevitable surge, so the advice is to get in as soon as you can.

You can sometimes get bigger discounts when you purchase larger amounts in one go, but this will obviously result in larger upfront costs, so keep this is mind.

Try haggling with your provider as you may be able to negotiate a lower price.

The MoneySavingExpert team even says you can group together with neighbours to bring down the price.

You could bulk buy as a village or community to negotiate a better deal as the supplier would only have to visit the area to deliver once.

Have a look around to see if you can join a pre-existing club, otherwise you’ll need around 20 of you to get together for a good discount according to the financial pros.

You can also try to be savvy with your heat usage, so you don’t burn through your oil so quickly.

You can save more money by buying less frequently or eking out what you do have until a more cost effective time – like in the summer.

Try things like turning the thermostat down by just one degree – according to Hubbub that can cut your bills by over £50 a year. 

You could also use heating controls to set a timer so you’re only warming up when you need it.  

Families face choice between ‘eating and heating’ this winter, Business Sec warns amid threat of rising bills

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