Oil v. Gas – Latest Data on the Cost of Home Heating
Heating Oil costs fall, but Gas & Electricity increase significantly.
The latest independent industry data has revealed a dramatic drop in heating oil prices. Between January 2011 – January 2014 the cost of heating a 3 bedroom home with oil has reduced by 2.18% whereas gas has increased by a massive 37.3%.
Heating oil is the only heating fuel that has reduced in price over the past three years.
The current average annual cost of heating a three bedroom home in Great Britain using oil is now 5% lower than the average cost reported over the last three years, whereas figures for homes using gas and electricity show an increase in heating costs of 14% and 16.5% respectively.
More importantly the figures show that the price difference between gas and oil has narrowed significantly. Three years ago oil was nearly 60% more expensive than mains gas but now the difference has fallen to just over 12%, based on using a condensing boiler.
The average cost of heating a three bedroom per annum with oil is £1,275, gas is £1,136. LPG used by some 170,000 off-grid households, remains one of the most expensive at £1,923.
Directly comparing the price of heating a three bedroom home in January 2011 to January 2014 shows a substantial increase in electricity prices (38.89%). This could have a detrimental effect for renewable technologies such as air source (ASHP) and ground source (GSHP) heat pumps as both are run on electricity making them a much more expensive option to heat a typical home in Britain.
Jeremy Hawksley, Director General of OFTEC, said: “This is very welcome news for the estimated one million households that use oil to heat their homes which, as the data shows, have benefited from relatively consistent heating costs over the past three years and are currently experiencing a small decrease in prices.
“With the global oil markets stabilising and the supply of oil improving, we expect prices between heating oil and gas to continue to narrow – however, only time will tell on this.”
Oil users also have the advantage of choosing when to buy their oil, such as during summer months when prices are often lower, as well as purchasing through oil buying syndicates to secure more competitive prices. The figures also show that a modern condensing boiler can reduce annual running costs by an average of £284.
So if you are considering switching from oil to gas – maybe you should think again?