Households on oil heating could be missing out on savings of almost £200 a year by not upgrading the old, inefficient boilers installed in their homes, according to the latest industry data*.
An estimated two thirds of rural homes could reduce their annual fuel bills by around 20%, particularly over the next few months when the cold weather kicks in, by upgrading to a modern condensing boiler. The move would particularly help the higher than average proportion of the UK’s 2.3million fuel poor who live in rural areas and are struggling to pay their fuel bills.
To further support these households OFTEC, the UK trade body for oil heating, is calling on the government to introduce a boiler scrappage scheme to enable more people to upgrade to a modern, condensing boiler and reduce their fuel bills as well as cut CO2 emissions.
Households are already benefiting from a significant fall in oil prices with figures showing the annual cost of heating a typical three bedroom home with a condensing oil boiler is now only £886.
This is significantly cheaper than the main off gas grid alternatives of LPG and electricity which are currently £701 and £714 more expensive respectively than oil per annum. Oil users with condensing boilers are also now paying £201 less a year to heat their homes than urban counterparts on mains gas.
Malcolm Farrow, from OFTEC, said: “The huge fall in the price of oil, which has more than halved in the last two years and is expected to remain low, is fantastic news for people who rely on oil heating. However, two thirds of these homes are missing out on further significant savings as they are using old, inefficient boilers.
“The government could be doing far more to support rural households who have so far been left out of energy policies by helping homeowners upgrade their boiler via a simple scrappage scheme. This would offer one of the quickest and most efficient ways of cutting fuel bills and reducing co2 emissions.”
OFTEC suggests the following tips to help rural households make further savings:
• Ensure your boiler is regularly serviced by a qualified OFTEC technician
• Turn off individual radiators in rooms you are not using
• Invest in insulation over the summer months when you are using your heating less
For further information and advice visit www.oilsave.org.uk.
*Sutherland Comparative Domestic Heating Costs Tables, July 2015