With house prices and sales on the up, there was more good news for householders in Northern Ireland this week as OFTEC, the organisation which represents the domestic oil heating and cooking industry across the UK, announced a continuing fall in the price of home heating oil.
The latest quarterly data from independent energy consultants Sutherland, has revealed that oil is the only primary heating fuel that has come down in price over the past three months. Bills have reduced from £1,550 to £1,450pa from January 2014 to April 2014 for a standard boiler and from £1,268 to £1,187pa for a condensing boiler. In real terms this is a reduction in 3 months of 6.5% and gives consumers an annual saving of £100 for a standard boiler or £81 for a condensing boiler heating a typical 3 bed house.
David Blevings, OFTEC’s Manger in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland says, “This is very welcome news for the estimated five hundred thousand households that use oil to heat their homes in Northern Ireland. As the data shows, we are currently experiencing a small decrease in prices. With the global oil markets stabilising and the supply of oil improving, we expect local home heating prices to continue to fair well for oil users. Currently space heating and hot water costs for a typical 3 bed house using a condensing boiler in Northern Ireland are now as low as £23 per week.”
Additionally, Northern Ireland heating oil users purchase their annual home heating requirement at a cost 3% below the UK average price for oil. This is despite the additional costs incurred in shipping the oil into Northern Ireland and reflects the competitive nature of the local oil sector.
David adds, “Oil users also have the advantage of choosing when to buy their oil, and with their own independent storage can buy oil now when prices are moving lower in preparation for the winter months”
OFTEC’s broader energy saving tips for heating oil users include:
- Consider switching to a condensing boiler – this will improve energy efficiency by up to 18% and can lead to a saving of up to £300 on your oil bill every year thereafter. In Northern Ireland, grants are also currently available to householders who are considering replacing an inefficient boiler for a more energy efficient condensing boiler;
- Service your heating appliance regularly – annual servicing of an appliance will improve efficiency, offer potential cost savings on energy bills and could extend the life of the product. Chose an OFTEC technician who can check for spills and ensure your boiler is operating as efficiently as possible and also issue you with a clear record to show potential homebuyers.
- Turn your thermostat down-reducing your room temperature by 1°C could cut your heating bills by up to 10 percent and typically saves around £65 per year. If you have a programmer, set your heating and hot water to come on only when required rather than all the time.