Cost of oil or LPG heating

(44 Posts)
LyndaCaerau Tue 01-Jan-13 22:11:37

Hi this is my first post and wondered if anyone could help me. We are hoping to move house further into the countryside but I have noticed that most of the houses are either heated using LPG or Oil, I have been told that this is very expensive. I just wondered what people's experience of this is, what the costs are in comparison to mains gas, many thanks

goodmum123 Tue 01-Jan-13 22:45:07

we live quite remotely in a detached 3 bed house with lots of insulation, modern underfloor heating downstairs and radiators upstairs. we are in derbyshire and use oil.
on average we spend £700 a time to fill a 1000 litre tank (which is probably what you'd have) and do that 3 times a year. £2100 in total for heat and we're never cold.
we try to put by 200 month into an account to be comfortable. hope that helps

LyndaCaerau Tue 01-Jan-13 22:54:11

Wow that seems like a lot, I was hoping it would be less.I wonder if solar panels or ground heating would help.
Thanks for replying

Dromedary Tue 01-Jan-13 23:03:38

We live in a 4 bed detached. I think we spend about £600 a year on oil (heating and hot water) - that would be 2 deliveries a year of 500 litres each. Obviously it depends a lot on how much you're in and using heat and hot water. We tend to wait until it gets fairly cold before starting to use the radiators, and don't use hot water every day.

Fluffycloudland77 Wed 02-Jan-13 08:14:33

We lived in the country on all electric, the house was always cold. The storage rads were useless.

Our ndn had LPG, her monthly bill for a 5 bed detach was £300 in the winter.

Look at wood burners and free solar panels, sometimes I read articles about ground source pumps costing more to run, something to do with electric being needed to start them up?

The energy saving trust website is very good for things like this.

LyndaCaerau Wed 02-Jan-13 08:36:03

Thanks all for your replies, I will look into other sources of heating or may need to rethink location,you see this will be our forever house, so when we are pensioners I don't really want to be worried about how to pay for heating

Virgil Wed 02-Jan-13 09:11:49

We have oil heating (for water and radiators) and it is incredibly expensive. We have a couple of tanks a year and whilst the price of oil fluctuates it always seems to be at about 75p whenever we fill up.

We only manage to keep it to a couple of tanks because we also have a log burner and a free log supply.

babooshkadoll Wed 02-Jan-13 09:14:51

Large well insulated house in country.
Put away 200 a month for oil.
Usually fill tank in summer when fuel cheaper
Large older style tank means can take advantage of when prices drop.
Never cold DH will not have a cold house!

Dromedary Wed 02-Jan-13 10:48:38

Really surprised at how much some of you are spending? Does this mean that you are in during the day (eg SAHMs)? Personally I have found oil cheaper than gas. Surprised at how cheap it has been this year. And you seem to be spending almost 50% more per litre than we are. We have a village purchasing group, which keeps costs down a bit.

Fluffycloudland77 Wed 02-Jan-13 10:56:10

I think the insulation levels, flooring choice and position make a difference, our house was in a spot so windy they want to put a wind farm down the road.

The floors were all laminate barring stairs.

They was only a thin layer of loft insulation.

The radiators were old.

Now if it had been a properly insulated house with proper dg and nice thick carpets and new storage rads I think it would have been a totally different experiene. I still wonder if the people who bought it off the LL have ever known cold like it.

Virgil Wed 02-Jan-13 10:57:40

Boiler juice price is 60p per litre in our area today.

We are not at home during the day but the house is large. Cavity wall insulation has made a difference this year and we have made a conscious effort to have the fire lit constantly since the autumn.

Dromedary Wed 02-Jan-13 11:07:44

Our house is cob, which means it is very warm. I never put the radiators on in the morning, even in midwinter, as it's never so cold that you need them on just to get dressed. This probably explains part of the difference in cost.

LyndaCaerau Wed 02-Jan-13 23:15:11

Well thanks everyone for your replies, there is quite a difference in some replies, I suppose it's due to a number of factors,size,insulation,terraced,detached etc. I have as suggested taken a look at renewable energy, ground source, biofuels wondered if anyone has any of these installed and what your comments are?
Thanks again Lynda

PigletJohn Thu 03-Jan-13 00:52:19

nobody should have poor loft insulation

it is very cheap to DIY, and there are usually subsidised offers from BG, the electricity companies, council, even Tesco and B&Q. It makes a huge difference to comfort and economy.

That said, a large, old or draughty house will always be less comfortable in winter, and more expensive to heat.

Dromedary Thu 03-Jan-13 13:04:16

Bear in mind that loft insulation usually consists of glass fibres. In the US this is classfied as a carcinogen - it is very similar to asbestos fibres. I would therefore avoid DIYing it.

specialsubject Thu 03-Jan-13 13:27:02

oil is roughly a penny per kwh more expensive than mains gas - LPG is more expensive than that. HOWEVER older oil boilers are less efficient (mine is only about 75%)
so you lose on that, and that's why people think it is much more expensive. You can also see the level dropping rather than having an apparently infinite supply of gas.

if the property isn't on mains gas now, it is never going to be unless a big estate is built near by.

I paid 60p a litre for oil in early December, you need to shop around (Boilerjuice etc not always cheaper) and never buy in the depths of winter. Also don't sign up to standing order arrangements, shop around for each tank.

LPG can't be stolen (this is an issue with oil in some areas) but you are locked in to one supplier, and it is more expensive in the first place.

when looking at a property off the gas, look at insulation, windows etc etc , and also ask about the age and efficiency of the boiler. Job for new year is to replace ours; they go on for ever with an annual service but we do need to cost up a newer one.

PigletJohn Thu 03-Jan-13 13:30:30

"In the US this is classfied as a carcinogen"
Is there some evidence sto support this allegation?

"it is very similar to asbestos fibres"
No it isn't

PigletJohn Thu 03-Jan-13 13:45:14

"The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) changed its classification in November 2001:

Fibreglass is now not classifiable as carcinogenic to humans and is no longer considered “possibly carcinogenic to humans”.
The reasons for the change are:

Studies of occupational exposure during manufacture of fiberglass show no evidence of increased risk of cancer; and
There is an increased use of “biosoluble” fiberglass, which has been tested and found to be non-carcinogenic. "

see also

Dromedary Thu 03-Jan-13 15:07:51

Apologies Piglet, I think that in the US it is in fact classified as likely to be or possibly carcinogenic, and I understand (but haven't been there to check) that glass fibre loft insulation is marked with that type of warning there.

The IARC classification is the one quoted by many of the people marketing glass fibre, but it is not the only body to classify, and other bodies disagree.

NB only some fibreglass products are biosulable.

There has been some research, with increases in cancer shown in animal research, and also in surveys of workers in firbreglass factories (in particular in women). As I understand it there has not been research on the risk to those installing glass fibre insulation. From what I have read installers can be exposed to 100 times as many fibres as factory workers.

That is all I have to say on the matter - anyone who is interested can research the issue themselves. There is a lot of information on the internet, including detailed explanations of the research carried out. But I think that it would be unwise to place reliance on the publicitity put out by glass fibre companies themselves, however tempting it is to rely on such reassurances.

LillethTheCat Thu 03-Jan-13 15:28:58

I am on oil heating. 3 bed semi with a dining room extension downstairs. We moved here in March and have just ordered 500 litres which arrived xmas eve. This was our 4th order of 500 litres (just over £300 a time). We dont have £200 to put away a month just yet so have to get it when we need it/can afford it.

Though our house is colder than it should be as we are saving up for a carpet ATM.

The main thing I find annoying is that you can't order less than 500 litres. We did underestimate how quick it would go down over winter and probably had the heating on more than we should. We have since learned and are limiting the heating to 3 hours a day. Once it warms up it warms up quick and stays warm for a while.

Im hoping next year we wont need quite as much as we carpet our front room and we can learn to limit it more than we do.

Startail Thu 03-Jan-13 15:42:35

3 bed, but with study and dinning room and heating on all day as I'm home.

£1200 last year, probably 14000 the two years before that were peak oil price and really cold.

We get through aprox 2000 litres of oil in 11-13 months.

I have a 2000 l tank so get it a touch cheaper if I play brinkmanship and buy that much at once.

Startail Thu 03-Jan-13 15:44:02

House isn't especially well insulated, mostly double glazed.

But it is south facing and even in winter the front rooms pick up heat.

PigletJohn Thu 03-Jan-13 17:20:01


I believe in 1990, it was defined as "possibly carciogenic" in the absence of evidence, as a guess precaution.

After actual research studies, it was reclassified in 2001 as "not carciogenic"

(see also

There is of course an "I hate fibreglass" pressure group in the same way as there are "I hate vaccination" groups and "I hate seatbelts" groups. These groupls like to quote the 1990 definition and ignore the 2001 definition and research papers.

The studies were not very difficult, as there are plenty of workers in factories making and packaging the stuff, as well as many many millions of homes where it has been installed by contractors who do it every day.

I do of course agree that the fibres and dust are an irritant, especially the old itchy yellow products. I now only use the Ecose treated stuff made by Knauf but sold under various brand names, which has a silky feel and does not seem to shed fibres or dust due to its coating.

RoadsTwo Thu 03-Jan-13 17:36:34

4 bed detached, dining room, small study, and we spend about £950 in total each year I think. No oil buying group - just tend to use local depot or something like We're mostly out during the day so it's just evenings and weekends.

I'm militant about our boiler servicing and use every insulation/energy saving thing you can think of though! Had the loft redone a few years ago but didn't dare DIY it because we're both just too busy!

poshme Thu 03-Jan-13 17:45:50

OP my parents have installed a ground source heat pump. Very expensive to install, and then you have to pay electricity running costs (unless you install solar panels at the same time like they did).
They used to use oil (rural very big very old house) and costs were just going sky high. Their house was always cold.
Their house is now much warmer and they no longer use any oil- it's all from ground source.
(They also have a wood burner)
Installation costs and hassle were high, but they will not be moving ever from the house, and when they die it willbe inherited (not sold) so advantage of cheap energy is kept in the family. IYSWIM

poshme Thu 03-Jan-13 17:47:09

And there is somewhere a website that directly compares the different costs per kWh of different fuels- can't find it now cos on my phone but I originally found it through googling. (we heat our house entirely from wood)

Dromedary Thu 03-Jan-13 19:19:10

Sorry Piglet, but you are incorrect. Inhalable glass fibres are CURRENTLY classified as "reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen" by the US Department of Health - I have just checked this definition on their website.

The animal studies showed a substantial increase in cancer (eg lung and leukemia) in exposed animals. The studies of factory workers showed an increased risk, varying with gender, length of exposure and period from first exposure.
The reason why there has been no study of insulation installers (who are exposed to far higher levels) is apparently because it is the kind of work where workers don't tend to stay with the same employer for long, which complicates this kind of research.
Needless to say there is a lot of lobbying and publicity from the glass fibre industry to convince the public that there is no risk. Many of these manufacturers were apparently previously in the asbestos fibre industry. As you probably know, asbestos was widely used for many decades, despite the industry knowing that it caused cancer. It is still mined in Canada and other places and sold to the developing world. It is anticipated that millions of workers in the developing world will die in consequence of this.
I found out about this because I had an asbestos survey done on my property. 2 asbestos consultants from separate specialist companies warned me, without my asking the question (I had no idea) that glass fibres are considered to be very high risk. One of them recommended that if and when I had a new roof put on I get all the insulation removed from the roof.

If you want to run this kind of risk that's up to you, but you should not encourage others to do so.

I am not interested in discussing this issue further with you - I don't have the time to find the links for someone who can't be bothered to look them up for him or herself.

LyndaCaerau Thu 03-Jan-13 20:38:21

Thanks Poshme when you say it was hassle can you tell me what and warmer does that mean you don't need a jumper? Just trying to work out just how warm they are, and thanks everyone for all your comments and coatings for oil it does vary quite a bit

PigletJohn Thu 03-Jan-13 20:38:42

I looked up what links I could, but am not in the US so the US Department of Health is not one I easily see. I can however see the IARC which is part of WHO.

When I just searched US Department of Health website I couldn't see the document you mention.

I don't know why, if that is indeed the case, the US Department of Health is still working on 1990 assumptions rather than 2001 evidence.

As youi don't wish to discuss it I suppose I will never know.

poshme Thu 03-Jan-13 21:17:45

Hi OP. Their ground source is from pipes dug under the ground in a field. If you want ground source you either need a large area to put pipes in, or the ability to drill down very deep (I think). Either way, lots of digging/big machines. Then you have to install the pumps into your house (theirs looks like a giant freezer). Apparently it works more efficiently with undergloor heating, but they don't have that.
Their house is warm, sometimes warm enough for no jumper even in winter but usually there i'd now wear top & thin jumper. However, their house is VERY big and draughty (no double glazing, stone Walls) so I think in a normal house it'd be definitely warm enough.
It is very expensive to install.

poshme Thu 03-Jan-13 21:22:11

Oh, and they had to change their electricity to 3-phase (no idea what that means)!
You can also get air source heat pumps that take warmth from the air. I think they make a noise though.

Dromedary Thu 03-Jan-13 21:23:16

Piglet - it's all on the internet. It took me about 1 minute to find the Department of Health site with the relevant reference - just type in the obvious terms. They have recently reviewed the decision to classify the risk that way, and changed the wording slightly, while deciding that the risk continued to justify the classification. I have read a document explaining this decision dated 2011.
By the way, it has been in the news recently that lung cancer rates have gone up hugely - this includes the rates in people who have never smoked, in particular women. The research on glass fibres indicated that women are at far higher risk (apparently it is similar for the risk of lung cancer caused by smoking - women are more susceptible).
I agree that more research is needed. What is not needed is someone who encourages others to install glass fibre insulation on a DIY basis without mentioning the issue of risk, and poo-pooing of people who consider that there is or may be a risk.
Go and poo-poo at the US Department of Health if you want to.

SizzleSazz Thu 03-Jan-13 21:27:08

We have a 4 bed, not particularly well insulated house.

We usually fill our oil tank (1000 litres) twice a year - use 1 tank in 4 months over winter and the other lasts 8 months. Costs about £600-£650 to fill so £1,200 p.a or £100 per month which seems ok to me.

Loshad Thu 03-Jan-13 22:17:31

LPG is a pain in the bum, tied into one supplier, unexploded bomb in garden shock
During the winter our lpg bills range from £400-270 per month, we have the heating on for a couple of hours per day, though plenty of baths.
We cook on electric.
(large 5/6 bed detached)

Loshad Thu 03-Jan-13 22:18:45

poshme, yes one day will move to ground source heat (eyes up unbought lottery tickets)

PigletJohn Fri 04-Jan-13 01:09:16


I've shown you the links I've found, and you haven't disproved what they say.

If you've been able to find some alternative evidence, especially supporting the allegation that glassfibre is like asbestos, let's see it.

For the moment all I see is unsupported claims. I love facts and evidence.

I lived in a draughty old, poorly insulated house with high ceilings and a large cellar and wooden/laminate floors. We were never warm, tried to use the oil as little as possible too. It was very expensive for us, but we were renting. If it had been our own house we could have sorted insulation, had wood burners installed (money permitting), but with the high ceilings most of the hot air was above head height.

LyndaCaerau Fri 04-Jan-13 19:51:30

Thanks Poshme that's really helpful, it gives us some hope that we could always change over to ground source when we save some money. Also thanks again to all who have posted really really useful, cheers

Lozislovely Fri 04-Jan-13 22:58:01

You could always call National Grid tel:0845 835 1111 and they can tell you if there are any plans to put mains gas into that area in the future, may help sway your decision????

JessAst Tue 29-Jan-13 11:19:41

Does anyone have any good experience of any other suppliers? Is any good?! Just moved into first oil heated house like you Lynda and very clueless!

specialsubject Tue 29-Jan-13 11:42:37

Last fill up I phoned round all the local suppliers, plus got boilerjuice and heatingoil quotes - and the depot down the road were the cheapest. But it varies greatly with area and there is no other way than by shopping round each time. You can't normally buy less than 500 litres, sometimes (not always) buying more is cheaper. Standing orders lock you to one supplier and don't allow you to shop around, best bet if you need to budget is to put away a certain amount each month for the oil in an interest-paying account. Every little helps, as they say.

boilerjuice has a price chart so you can see what the price is doing. Don't buy in a snowy spell or just before Christmas.

one thing that catches out new oil users; the gauge on the side does not drop as fast as the tank level! Pull out the valve on the bottom and the 'float' will then show you the actual level - plenty of people have been caught by this and run out, although you only do it once. :-)

Merrylegs Tue 29-Jan-13 11:50:18

Have you got an oil club in your area, JessAst?

It's a way of buying oil a little cheaper because you order at the same time as your neighbours. (Although ime whenever you order they will deliver!)

Also they don't charge for using a credit card.

If not you could get a quote from them and then call your local depot and if they are more expensive give them your cheaper quote and they will almost always match it or undercut it.

(Current oil price in my area, fyi is about 64p a litre)

JessAst Tue 29-Jan-13 14:46:14

I think there might be a few oil clubs around me but haven't had much of a chance to have a look around yet. Will have to get researching!

Thanks for the info smile

Moredofbumsnet Tue 29-Jan-13 14:52:33

We have a 3 bed semi and use approx 1000l of lpg per year. We have a woodburner too and cook on electric. So our lpg cots about £600 per year.We have the heating on about 5 hours a day except in very cold weather.Lpg is a pain as you have to pay up front,can run out and never can be sure you are getting a good price. Our neighbours are really happy with their new electric boiler.

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