While it may have been a turbulent few years for the oil industry, Martyn Bridges, director of marketing and technical support at Worcester, believes that changes in the market will make a positive impact to off-grid homes throughout the UK.
He says: “The fall in oil prices – by around 50% since June 2014 – is a significant one, and one which has been welcomed from all aspects of our day-to-day business. Today, the price of oil sits at around 30-33p per litre, whereas 18 months ago the cost of a litre could be as high as 55p. This saving has been instrumental in helping the market increase year-to-date oil boiler sales by 8-10%.”
Martyn continues: “As the fuel continues to be an attractive choice for those located off-grid, the status of oil boilers is also steady at the moment. The latest Sutherland Associates table, comparing the cost of the most common fuels across a range of standard house types throughout the UK, puts oil as the cheapest heating fuel available – more cost effective than natural gas.
“Similarly for homeowners, it is still significantly cheaper to replace an old oil boiler with a new one than with any other solution, which can also offer up to 15% efficiency gains. So if ever the owners of older oil-fired boilers needed a reason to upgrade their heating systems, then they have a pretty compelling one at present.
“Oil certainly offers a considerable opportunity to installers which extends beyond servicing current systems and fitting new boilers, as when oil systems are changed it is not unusual to see a new tank put in as well – all of which contributes to the buoyancy of the market.”