Latest industry figures show oil prices have fallen a further 10.5% with consumers reaping the benefits because the drop in wholesale costs are being passed directly on – unlike the picture for households on mains gas and electricity.
According to the Sutherland Tables, a recognised independent source of data on comparative UK domestic heating prices, oil continues to trump competitor fuels on price.
The cost of heating an average three bedroom home in Great Britain with oil is now just £793 per year, coming in at 24% less expensive than mains gas, the second cheapest option at £1038 per annum. Oil is also currently 48.7% cheaper than LPG and 50% cheaper than electric storage heaters to heat the same average home.
Importantly, FPS (the Federation of Petroleum Suppliers) says the huge price difference between oil and the other main heating fuels is partly down to the current low cost of crude oil being passed straight on to consumers. This contrasts with the experience of many consumers on mains gas and electricity with energy secretary Amber Rudd recently stating it was “frustrating that the falls in wholesale gas prices have not been passed on to most households”.
OFTEC director general Jeremy Hawksley comments: “It’s pleasing to see industry is acting responsibly and playing its part in ensuring a fair deal on price for the UK’s 1.4 million oil using households.
“Oil consumers have seen the cost of heating their homes fall consistently for the past two years and with prices predicted to remain low for some time to come, the case for sticking with oil, or even switching to oil, is strong.”
With this in mind, OFTEC continues to urge government to completely rethink the UK’s low carbon heat strategy. Instead of incentivising 100% renewable solutions which aren’t practical or affordable for the majority of people, the focus should be on solutions that are simple, affordable to install and run, and impose limited disruption on the homeowner.
Jeremy Hawksley concludes: “We are concerned to see DECC is continuing to back the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) which has fallen way short of expectations in terms of delivering renewable installations. Unless radical changes are made to the scheme, it will continue to only benefit the wealthy few.
“A far more effective way of reducing the UK’s carbon footprint would be to introduce a simple boiler scrappage scheme, incentivising the replacement of the 600,000 standard efficiency oil boilers still in use in GB with modern condensing versions.
“This approach would appeal to the masses so, instead of a handful of consumers making larger CO2 savings through schemes like the RHI, many more people would take smaller steps with a far more beneficial net result.”