Heating Oil Prices | UK Domestic Market
"What is the current price of heating oil and when exactly is the right time to buy"? This is the most common question we are asked by customers.
There are a number of factors which impact oil prices at International, National and Regional levels which will influence the price that you will pay to heat your home.
The graph below provides an illustration of heating oil price movements throughout the UK in 2013 and may provide an indication of when you should buy heating oil.
UK Heating Oil Price Chart 2013
What affects the price of heating oil?
- Time of Year - Winter months are typically more expensive than the summer given the rise in demand across Europe & North America. In contrast, the summer months of June and July will usually provide the lowest rates, but not necessarily. To find the current price in your area for home heating oil, simply use the Quick Quote on the RHS of this page.
- Weather - As the temperature drops and weather conditions worsen, the demand for oil will increase as customers will turn their heating on for longer periods, Extreme weather or unseasonal or freak weather can also significantly influence the logistical costs of distribution for oil companies. All these factor can lead to oil price rises or spikes in price.
- Global - The global supply of kerosene and the price of crude oil will impact on the price of heating oil. If there is a global production decrease or shortage in supply and the level of demand remains consistent, the price in the UK is likely to increase. Geopolitical factors or civil unrest in OPEC countries or neighbouring countries often lead to concerns over supply and result in price increases. Decreases also follow when political circumstances settle down and production resumes. Recent examples include Lybia and previously the war in Iraq which both witnessed price spikes and drops.
- National - The national supply and demand for kerosene will impact the price. If there is a regional issue hindering supply e.g. weather conditions, the price can temporarily rise. At a local level, the price can vary depending upon the number of suppliers concentrated in the area and their access to wholesale stock or indeed how effectively they purchase their fuel oil on contract. In addition, kerosene which is used widely in the UK for heating oil, is also virtually the same product used to fuel aircraft. Therefore if the air travel industry is buoyant, demand for kerosene remains high. Similarly, kerosene is used in producing ultra low sulphur diesel and again when demand for ULSD is high, this impacts on kerosene demand.
- Local - Local supply prices will generally vary depending on where a distributor is located in relation to a refinery or major storage facilities. The cost of product collection either ex-rack from the terminal or in haulage to the distributors depot for storage and then the cost of delivery to your home will impact upon the price paid. Rural areas can often be slightly more expensive for fuel than urban areas, but not always. The current high cost of road diesel is impacting on the delivered price of product in 2013 and looks set to continue well into the winter of 2014. Local supplier competition is always fiercest during the summer months when local demand collapses due to warm weather. This can be an advantage time to buy and to stock up for winter. Indeed, some more inaccessible places such as the Highland of Scotland can only receive deliveries during non-winter months and must buy fuel during summer.
- Currency Exchange Rates - As oil is traded in US Dollars, the exchange rate between US$ and UK£ can have a huge bearing on the final price that we pay locally in the UK. If the UK£ strengthens against the US$, generally oil becomes cheaper and the reverse is also true. As currencies are impacted by world economic and political events, data and news around the world quickly feeds into exchange rates and immediately impacts the price of oil and other commodities.
- Distributor Stock Levels - As the market prices fluctuate throughout each day, the price which a distributor is charging may change due to their purchasing contracts. Current stocks in tank, the price change on a given day and outstanding order committments all impact the selling price that a local distributor can offer to customers.
- Order Quantity - The quantity of fuel that you order for your oil tank will influence the pence per litre rate which you will pay. If a distributor is able to deliver a larger volume to your tank, typically the cost of delivery will be less.
Heating oil users across the UK find our regional price trend guide convenient for gauging the average price trends of heating oil throughout 2013. We continue to monitor the average cost of 1000 litres each month and hopefully this will assist you in determining the right time to buy your fuel. You can also check out our blog and see the factors to consider when purchasing your oil in greater detail. Don't forget, having your boiler regularly serviced or using a fuel additive to ensure more efficient combustion in your boiler can also save you money on your fuel bills.
*The above graph is for indicative use only and is intended to demonstrate price movement up or down in the regions shown. (Prices displayed include VAT). ValueOills.com Ltd accepts no liability as to the accuracy of the above information, it is intended for illustrative puposes only. For an accurate quote for your address, please use the quick quote form on the RHS of the screen