The oil heating sector has reported a significant improvement in sales this year.

Sales of oil boilers in the first quarter of 2013 increased by 22% compared with the first three months of last year. Sales at the end of 2012 also showed an improvement on the previous year.

"The sales figures for the first quarter of 2013 have been excellent and follow good results for the final quarter of 2012," said OFTEC director general Jeremy Hawksley.

"Most boiler sales are distress purchases and the healthy results are due partly to the cold weather the UK has experienced this winter. However, it also underlines the public's continued enthusiasm for oil heating and the fact that upgrading to a modern oil condensing boiler will bring an immediate saving in heating costs. This is by far the simplest and most cost-effective change that existing oil heating users can make".

OFTEC is promoting the benefits of oil heating to rural households with Oilsave leaflets and flyers.

The Oilsave campaign has been developed by OFTEC and FPS to support the oil heating industry and encourage homeowners to improve their heating systems and make other energy efficiency improvements.

The flyer offers homeowners a booklet about energy efficiency, which is available for free from OFTEC, and encourages them to visit the new Oilsave website It also recommends they use an OFTEC-registered technician for all installation and servicing work.