The 1.5 million UK households who rely on heating oil are being urged to buy their heating oil now, before bad weather affects deliveries and price.


The Federation of Petroleum Suppliers (FPS) is launching its 2015 'Buy Oil Early' campaign, with Minister of State for Energy, Andrea Leadsom, as weather forecasters predict a cold winter.

The latest Sutherland Tables figures, which compare home heating costs for the most common fuels used in the UK and Republic of Ireland, indicate that heating oil is 45% cheaper than it was this time last year.

FPS chief executive, Mark Askew, said: "The price of heating oil is currently cheaper than gas heating for the fifth quarter in a row, so the FPS says it is a great time to buy, particularly if we are in for a bad winter.

"When snow hits us, deliveries of heating oil to mainly rural areas take longer and costs rise as oil heating distributors are forced to pay staff for longer hours to cope with the increase in demand and pay more for fuel to collect heating oil from refineries. We are advising homeowners to purchase their heating oil now while prices are low and oil distributors can get to them."

Home heating costs using oil continue to dip well below the four-year average, with costs now sitting at approximately 50 to 53% lower for both existing and newer build dwellings in the UK and Northern Ireland. On average, householders are spending up to 45% less this winter than last year.

Ms Leadsom said: "If you use oil to heat your home, buying it sooner rather than later will help you avoid longer delivery times as demand increases."

Mr Askew added: "Our members understand that times are hard and people may want to wait before ordering fuel, but many oil distributors run payment schemes to encourage customers to have bigger, less frequent deliveries but then spread the payments out over the whole year. Every year we have a few customers who run out of heating oil and I think a lot of people are often taken by surprise when it starts snowing and they have to wait longer than usual to get their delivery.

"Our members pride themselves on their service, and their drivers have been fantastic in some really tricky driving conditions, but they can be slowed down by the road conditions and occasionally just about brought to a standstill. In some of the worst conditions, like the winter of 2010, we heard from quite a few people whose regular supplier wasn't able to deliver to them for as long as three weeks. Our advice is always to plan ahead and fill your tank up sooner rather than later."