Helping UK homeowners make the right heating choices

Britons Experience Substantial Rise in Cost of Central Heating Oil


Fuel poverty is a term that is becoming more widely used as Britain endures unseasonably wintry weather amid rising fuel costs.

The majority of households in Britain – some 24 million homes – are connected to the mains gas supply, which is why so many people are affected when the leading energy suppliers announce price increases. A further two million or so homes, however, face a similar if not more extreme battle to afford the costs of domestic central heating by virtue of the fact that they use oil and not gas as their main source of fuel. Unfortunately, the price of central heating oil has risen by 70 per cent over recent months.

Properties in Northern Ireland and rural areas of England, Scotland and Wales rely on oil to provide the central heating comforts enjoyed by gas users throughout Britain. Although gas prices were increased by many of the leading energy suppliers at the beginning of December, oil prices have risen far more sharply; in fact, the rate of increase is thought to be around 10 times that of gas. With comparatively few homes dependent on oil in the UK, the concerns of around two million households are likely to go unnoticed as efforts to control the cost of gas continue.

The 70 per cent rise in central heating oil prices is equivalent to an increase of £540 per year for the worst affected homes. Industry experts and charities have accused the oil companies of profiteering – a claim that is difficult to reject following such a sudden rise in prices amid such a sudden dip in temperatures.

Charity director of Age UK, Michelle Mitchell, commented: “It is a huge concern that the cost of heating fuel is on the rise. Many older people have told us they would rather turn the heating off than risk running up a huge bill they can’t afford.”

In illustration of just how sharp the oil price rises have been, Chris Pomfret, who operates a community oil buying project in Oxfordshire, said: “One old lady was buying it at 43p a litre just 10 days ago, now it is 72p in some villages.”

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8 thoughts on “Britons Experience Substantial Rise in Cost of Central Heating Oil

  1. Hi Laura,

    Might you be around for a TV interview tomorrow on the rising cost of heating oil and – as I understand it – the fact that the industry is not regulated.

  2. Hi Laura,

    We live in Dorset and have just been quote 80p per litre! To add insult to injury they cannot deliver until middle of January.

  3. Do what I did – write to your MP and get him/her to raise the issue at the Office of Fair Trading (OFT). Surely, the more requests they get, the more chance of them investigating the heating oil distribution industry and their (on the face of it) scandalous pricing!

  4. I’ve just contacted our MP for West Sussex-Nick Herbert-who apparently is trying to raise the matter with the minister for Energy.
    We have just been quoted 75p+vat a litre(delivery early January!), an increase of 95% since our last delivery when it was only 39p. If we want it within 3 days 99.99p which equates to an increase of approx 150%!!!!!!!!
    Oilpricecheck.co.uk are quoting today’s price for 900 litres at £469.41 inc vat which I work out at 44.39p+vat per litre, only available in Scotland & N.Ireland for some reason?
    Our local depot is in Shoreham, currently unaffected by snow & transport problems, so why are our prices down south so high?
    Over the last 6 months crude oil price has only risen by 28% so how come domestic heating oil is so expensive?
    The sooner this industry is regulated the better.

  5. Hampshire prices quotes between 62.13 p/L ex VAT but no guaranteed delivery date (awaiting stocks…) but saying mid to late January hopefully varying prices and dates with one up to 75p/L for delivery quoted from 4th January (earliest date and highest price). Most domestic heating supply operators saying many people enquiring and no delivery dates for at least a month. Tried nine suppliers. One outfit sells packaged drums and jerry cans at HUGE prices based Southampton for emergencies & doesn’t deliver by tanker at all.

  6. In my previous comments I mistakenly quoted Oilpricecheck.co.uk’s price at 44.39p it should have been 49.68p. I was working on vat @ 17.5% instead of 5%. Still cheaper than our prices down south & according to ‘Oilprice’s’ website still available today.

  7. My husband is confined to a wheelchair so we need to keep the house warm. We have no alternative to oil but I cannot afford to keep the house heated with only ELA and disability allowance and my pension. What are we to do?

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