Across Great Britain and Northern Ireland, nearly 1.5 million households rely on domestic heating oil with the majority of those unlikely to become attached to the gas grid in the near future.

As the government works towards introducing initiatives that will lower fuel bills and help contribute towards the UK’s renewable heat targets before 2020, these numbers will decrease, but for now heating oil and the associated costs remain a major consideration for millions of people across the isles.

This map shows the percentage of domestic properties by region reliant on heating oil:

uk heating oil usage map Which regions of the UK are most reliant on heating oil?

* data from

The distribution of these homes isn’t just limited to the out of town areas you might expect. Whilst it’s true that approximately 37% of rural properties rely on heating oil, in towns with a population over 10,000 approximately 5.5% of residences use oil to heat their homes.

The most striking statistic is in Northern Ireland where 495,560 (around 70% of households) are unattached to the main gas heating network. Fuel poverty (when you pay more than ten per cent of your income to maintain an acceptable level of temperature in the home) is said to affect over a third of dwellings in the region.

With so many people potential purchasers of heating oil, community oil buying schemes are becoming a great solution to help keep on top of heating oil price fluctuations. If you live in an area that isn’t yet connected to a gas supply, do what you can to gather others together and improve your buying power.