Nigel Morrison discusses why oil heating is still a viable option for rural properties and how the future looks bright for the industry

Oil customers are constantly bombarded with negative news. They are either told that oil is a finite resource that only has a few years of supply left, it costs the earth to run a domestic oil heating system, or they should be thinking about alternative fuels.
However, according to the Oil Firing Technical Association, there was a 13% increase in oil boiler sales in 2013 compared to the previous year, and early indications for this year indicate that this trend is likely to continue. Of course, when considering the options available to rural households, this is hardly surprising.

Having established that oil heating systems are here to stay, where does the future lie for the technology and what are the best options for installers to recommend for rural properties?

The introduction of the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) has certainly opened the flood gates to a raft of sustainable heating products. But, rather than convert fully to renewable heating, which can incur a great deal of upheaval for a homeowner, one of the best options is to integrate it with an existing oil system.

Whether it is a heat pump, solar thermal or a biomass burner, the combination of a condensing oil boiler and the latest renewables can prove to be a highly efficient setup.

But why should homeowners stop there? For rural households that have the space and the desire for excellent cooking capabilities, central heating range cookers are a compelling choice.

Models such as the new 700 series from Rayburn have an integral 92% efficient condensing oil boiler, which can be the perfect foundation for a sustainable and cost effective heating system.

Not only will these products provide efficient heating and hot water all year round, but with renewable technology – such as a wood burning stove – connected to the system, the heating load can be supplemented to reduce overall oil usage.

Despite the often negative comments that surround domestic oil systems, there are potentially a number of options for installers to offer.

There is no doubt that, over the next decade, integration of renewable energy onto existing systems will be more prolific.
By having an up to date, all-round knowledge of the options available, installers can be in a position to secure rural business for years to come.

Nigel Morrison is marketing manager at Rayburn