Heating Oil: What you need to know

Heating Oil

What’s in this guide?


Did you know that around 4 million households in the UK aren’t connected to the National Gas Grid?

If you live in one of these homes, you probably have an oil boiler.

To check, take a look at the tank that is usually fixed outside of your home, it should be clearly labelled with what it is and the type of oil you require.

Let’s take a closer look at heating oil.

What is heating oil?

Heating oil is usually used in a ‘wet’ system that heats water with your fried oil.

The main difference between being connected to the National Gas Grid and having an oil boiler is that your oil will be delivered to you and stored in a tank.

When it comes to the actual boiler, there are heat combination oil-fired boiler types.

Most oil-fired combination boilers have hot water storage, rather than direct heating in gas boilers.

There are usually two different kinds of oils available for you to use; kerosene heating oil and gas oil.

Note: If you have recently moved into a property with an oil boiler, you should see if it’s possible for you to choose which oil you use.

Let’s take a closer look at these two types and see which would be best for you.

Kerosene heating oil

Kerosene heating oil is also known as ‘28-second’ or heating oil. This oil is regarded as being a cleaner and lighter option to traditional gas oil, and it is the most common type for homes in the UK.

The premium version of kerosene that contains additives usually costs £20 to £30 more than the average type, however when it burns, it does this in a much cleaner way which makes it more efficient.

Gas oil

Gas oil, on the other hand, is said to be a heavier oil that is usually used in the agricultural industry or older boilers.

It is recommended that if you can choose your oil type, you should opt for kerosene oil.


According to reports, kerosene oil is much less likely to ‘wax’ in cold temperatures, which is where it forms crystals that stop the flow until it reaches below -39°C, but you should always check with your supplier.

How much does it cost?

When it comes to costs, it is likely that having an oil boiler will cost you more than getting your gas from the National Gas Grid.

Some suppliers estimate that your yearly gas costs will be around £572, while a heating oil boiler might cost you £785.

Meaning that your yearly costs could be around £200 extra for using that form of central heating.

However, these are just averages, so in your specific scenario, it may be more cost-effective to use an oil boiler.

Heating oil pros

✔ Oil is an efficient fuel
✔ Having an oil boiler might be more cost-effective for you
✔ Upgrading an existing oil boiler may be straight-forward

Heating oil cons

✗ Oil is more expensive due to rising prices
✗ Heating your home with oil may not be as cost-effective
✗ Oil will be sent to you via the roads near your home so that you may run out before your delivery
✗ Installing an oil boiler from scratch may be expensive and disruptive
✗ A heating tank can be an eyesore unless you get it installed underground
✗ Your heating tank would need servicing yearly
✗ A fossil fuel that can’t be considered clean energy
✗ Your flow rate would be lower than with a condensing boiler
✗ The temperature would decrease the longer it’s on

Note: There are alternatives to heating oil, such as thermal solar panels or a heat pump.

Which suppliers provide home heating oil


BoilerJuice is the UK’s #1 independent domestic heating oil supplier and benefits from an excellent 5-star rating on Trustpilot out of a massive 38,000 reviews.

Positive BoilerJuice Review

D. Sullivan on Trustpilot: The service by both Boiler Juice and the supplier were impeccable and could not be faulted.

Negative BoilerJuice Review

Kathleen on Trustpilot: We always ask for an email or text or phone call before delivery. The delivery arrived without any prior notification even though the driver said it was on his paperwork.

Can I compare?

BoilerJuice allows its customers to see which independent suppliers are in their area and how much it will cost, making it a great comparison website for heating oil.


Did you know that you could be saving £200 a year on your energy bills?

Take a look at the EnergySeek guides to find out more about your energy, or see reviews of the top 7 energy switching sites to compare gas & electricity.