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flare from the top of an oil rigSome Facts About Oil...

There are over 4 million homes in the UK that rely solely on heating oil either through personal choice or because they are not on the mains gas grid.

The oil is stored in a tank and delivered by road tanker to your home.  If you have an oil boiler then this means that your home runs on heating oil.  There are two types of domestic heating oil:

  • Gas oil (35 second oil or Red Diesel) is a heavier kind of oil that is mainly used in older boilers, often commercially or in agriculture. A very small percentage of home heating boilers still use gas oil.
  • Kerosene (28 second or heating oil) is a lighter and cleaner type of oil that is typically used to heat homes.

The type of oil you need depends on the type of heating system in your house. If you are not sure what kind of heating system you have or if it is not labelled then try and find out from the previous owner or failing this you can get an OFTEC registered technician to check it for you. Kerosene is a more efficient type of heating oil as it works better in colder weather than gas oil. It is also used to help make jet fuel!




oil drillsWhere Does Heating Oil Come From???

In most cases you will find that heating oil comes from an underground oil field, where it is extracted in it’s natural form which is known as crude oil. Drills are used to reach the oil under the surface, which is then extracted through the use of an oil well. Also there are some wells that are used to pump steam, water and different mixtures of gas into the reservoir. This process helps to maintain an economic extraction rate by retaining the reservoir’s pressure. When the pressure in the reservoir is of adequate force, the oil is then shot up toward the surface. Eventually the underground pressure will decrease and the remaining amount of oil will have to be pumped out manually.




petrol pump attached to oil truck in backround

Price Tips!

Larger quantities are cheaper to buy per litre than smaller quantities. This depends on the capacity of your oil storage tank, look for a sticker or plate on your tank that identifies the capacity. This is usually found in the same place as the tank's serial number.

You should check your oil level regularly (once a week is recommended) to make sure that you have an adequate amount to run off before placing your next order.

It is difficult to predict the price of heating oil, as there are so many contributing factors to consider:
Crude oil prices are always fluctuating due to the constant change in rates such as VAT and Currency exchange. These rates depend on the current demand for oil, which also affects such costs as, delivery, distribution and refining. Conflicts in oil producing countries will always influence the amount of oil that is accessible in the world, which then affects the current price of oil on the market. Weather conditions are another huge player in the oil price game. For example, natural disasters such as hurricanes can destroy many offshore oil platforms, which is bound to drive prices up.



What is the price of heating oil?
Pence per Litre in the UK
As of 17:04:50 on 17/11/2019 for orders over 900 litres.

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Heating Oil Price by County

Over the years we’ve built strong relationships with heating oil suppliers in all of the counties throughout the United Kingdom. A lot of people aren’t aware that the price of heating oil can vary from county to county, use our tool below to find the most accurate heating oil price for where you live:

Live Heating Oil Price Comparison Graph

As you can see, the price of kerosene varies quite a bit from day to day, even from hour to hour in some cases, so we have provided this graph to show you the general direction that prices are heading in. Please note the actual price charged when you place your order may be slightly different due to a number of factors; delivery location, quantity, comparison site/broker's fees etc.

Live Graph Comparing Heating Oil Prices
Live Graph of Annual Heating Oil Price
Share our live heating oil price graph

What affects heating oil prices?

As with the price of crude oil there are various reasons why heating oil prices vary each day. Although it’s extremely difficult to predict changes in price we’ve put together some of the key factors that contribute to those changes. Once you know what affects heating oil prices you can make a better informed decision about whether it's a good time for you to top up your tank.

HomeFuelsDirect Oil Tanks

Political Factors

OPEC Agreements

The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is a group of 12 member countries. The organisation meets regularly to co-ordinate policies, in an attempt to stabilise global oil prices whilst maintaining a reliable supply. Agreements made by OPEC can affect Crude Oil Price, which in turn causes changes to the price of domestic fuels.

Foreign Exchange Rates

In the United Kingdom we import a lot of our heating oil from other countries, this means changes in exchange rates can directly affect the amount you pay for your home heating oil.


It’s well known that conflict in oil producing countries affects the price of crude oil. Even if it is still possible to export oil from conflict zones the cost for that oil can increase dramatically. This is down to the need for additional protection and security at oil extraction facilities and refineries.

Economic Factors

Supply & Demand

Throughout the year the demand for heating oil rises and falls depending on the seasons and the weather. As demand rises prices can increase as the higher demand puts a strain on the supply. In recent years periods of oversupply have lead to dramatic decreases in the price of kerosene.

Crude Oil Price

As kerosene is refined from crude oil it’s price is directly linked to the price of crude oil. Another factor to bear in mind is that the cost to refine crude oil to kerosene can also vary, again leading to changes in home heating oil price.

Fuel Duty & VAT

Whilst Fuel Duty and VAT rarely change it’s important to remember that they’re payable and contribute to the amount you pay for your fuel oil. To find the up to date Fuel Duty Rate and VAT rate for domestic heating fuel click here.

Logistical Factors

Delivery Costs

As the price of petrol and diesel fluctuates suppliers change what they charge for kerosene. They do so to cover increased delivery costs or to pass on savings in deliveries, depending on which way fuel prices have shifted.


Although poor weather can lead to changes in demand the weather can also lead to increased delivery costs. Poor weather conditions can mean deliveries take much longer, increasing the amount suppliers have to pay their drivers and also increasing the amount paid for petrol/diesel.

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