127% more expensive than heating oil

“Consumers need cost effective solutions to start reducing carbon emissions from heating now,” says OFTEC chief executive Paul Rose  Photo by ©Andrew Higgins 2017

With more than three million consumers facing a 12.5% rise in electricity prices, the average cost of heating a home on oil continues to fall, reigniting OFTEC’s call for government to urgently review its current heat policy.

According to the latest quarterly data from the Sutherland Tables, oil remains by far the cheapest of all major home heating fuels, with average annual costs in Great Britain falling 10% in the last quarter to just £840.

By comparison, the average annual heating cost for the same three-bedroom home with electric storage heaters rose by 9% to £1910 – 127% more expensive than heating oil – with further electricity price rises on the horizon this September for many households.

Oil is also currently 13% cheaper than mains gas (£967 per annum), 44% less expensive than LPG (£1524 per annum), 34% cheaper than biomass (£1283 per annum) and 50% less expensive than air source heat pumps using radiators (£1681).

“With further increases in electricity costs expected from September and widely agreed predictions that oil prices will remain low for some time to come, it’s unlikely this position will change in the near future,” commented OFTEC chief executive Paul Rose.

“Electrically powered heat pumps, along with biomass boilers, are two of the government’s preferred low carbon heating options promoted through schemes such as the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). But it isn’t hard to see why enthusiasm for these technologies remains low given that both installation and running costs remain far higher than those for high efficiency oil boilers.

“It is shocking that in 2017, there are still some 2.5 million households classified as fuel poor. On average, these families experience a shortfall of around £350 between the cost of their fuel bills and what they can actually afford to pay.

“For this reason we are urging government to be realistic and work with the situation we currently have rather than pursuing impractical ideals. Consumers need cost effective solutions to start reducing carbon emissions from heating now.”

OFTEC’s proposals for the future of off-grid heating are outlined in its vision document officially launched to government earlier this year.

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