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Help if you heat your home using heating oil or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)

Many people are worrying about the rising cost of household energy, but if your home isn’t connected to mains gas your heating bills are likely to be growing faster than average

There are 4 million UK households relying on fuel sources like liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), heating oil or solid fuel like wood or coal. Unlike mains gas and electricity, there’s no price cap to help control the cost of these types of fuel. There aren’t many options to help you save money on energy at the moment, but this page shows you a few ways you can limit the impact of price rises. 

Ways to cut costs if you use heating oil

The cost of heating oil depends on a few factors, including:

  • the price of crude oil 

  • how much you’re buying

  • which suppliers cover your area, and 

  • when you buy it.

Although some of these might be out of your control, there are still a few ways you can save money on heating oil.  

Checklist for saving on heating oil

Compare prices and don’t be afraid to haggle

When it’s time to refill your tank, ask a few suppliers for a quote, and see if there are savings to be made. You can enter your postcode at UKIFDAOpens in a new window or Liquid Gas UK to find the suppliers that cover your areaOpens in a new window

You can also go to BoilerJuice.comOpens in a new window or fueltool.co.ukOpens in a new window to get a price. They use the UKIFDA or Liquid Gas UK to see if you can find a local supplier that’s cheaper.

Consider joining or setting up an oil club to get further discounts

Community buying schemesOpens in a new window are where several households group together to bulk buy energy for a discount.  If there are other houses in your local area who use heating oil, find out if there’s already a community or group buying scheme available for you to join. Find out by asking your neighbours or posting a question in local Facebook groups or on Nextdoor the neighbourhood networking website and appOpens in a new window Buying your heating oil in larger quantities can mean lower prices for members, however it might be more difficult to start your own club at the moment. 

Buy in the warmer months

If you can, try and bulk buy your heating oil during the summer. There’s more demand for it when the weather is colder so prices can go up.

Keep your tank well-maintained

Heating oil tanks can fill with sludge that can make them unreliable. If your tank is leaking, it’s bad for the environment and it’s a waste of money too. Book in a service for your tank to try and fix any issues to avoid the expense of needing a new tank. It’s recommended that you get your heating oil tank serviced once a year and do visual checks for any problems regularly. The Heating Hub has a list of preventative maintenance checks you can make yourselfOpens in a new window

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Install an efficient boiler

Although there’s a significant upfront cost to getting a new boiler, it should mean long term savings on repairs and lower energy use.   

Boilers that use heating oil are usually more expensive than conventional gas boilers. However, if your boiler isn’t working properly, it could be using more fuel than necessary so it may still be worth switching. 

There are government-funded interest free loans available to help you pay for a new boiler and other energy saving measures. – find out if you qualify and other ways to fund a new boiler in our guide How to pay for home improvements.

Find more information about how to save money on heating oil at Which?Opens in a new window 

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Ways to save money if you use liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)

LPG supply has been affected by the same wholesale price rises as mains natural gas. However, there are some steps you can take to cut costs. 

Checklist for saving on heating oil

Compare prices if you can

If you buy LPG in bulk for a tank, compare prices from different suppliers that are available in your area if you’re out of contract and able to switch. 

If you’re tied into your current contract and can’t switch now, set yourself a reminder to shop around just before your contract ends.

Keep your tank well-maintained

If your tank is leaking, it’s not only dangerous, it’s also money down the drain. If you’re worried get in touch with a gas engineer who’s qualified to work on LPG tanks. Check if the maintenance of your tank is the responsibility of your supplier, because it might save you money on servicing and repairs. 

Other help and support

Although you’re not covered by the price cap or some of the discounts available to people on mains gas you can find schemes, grants and benefits that will help with both the cost of bills and installing energy saving measures on the Ofgem websiteOpens in a new window

If you live in Scotland, find out what extra financial support you might get from Home Energy ScotlandOpens in a new window

If you live in Wales, find out what extra financial support you could get from Discretionary Assistance FundOpens in a new window

For energy saving tips and home improvement grants, go to nest.gov.walesOpens in a new window

If you live in Northern Ireland, find out more about the emergency fuel payment scheme on the Byrson Charitable Group websiteOpens in a new window

For energy saving tips, go to the nidirect websiteOpens in a new window

Claim all the benefits you’re entitled to (especially Pension Credit or Universal Credit) because these will passport you to further help, including Warm Home Discount worth £150 a year

If you are struggling to paying your bills, our Managing money in uncertain times section gives you lots more information about extra support available and what to do if you’re worried about keeping up with bills and payments.

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