In an ideal world, every home would be heated by renewable resources such as solar panels or a ground source heat pump, however it’s unfeasible for many properties to make the switch. So what can you do if oil is the only option?
You are wasting fuel and money if your boiler is inefficient. Old boilers should be checked and if necessary, replaced. Even a new boiler should have an annual service. This investment could pay for itself in a couple of years, as ‘A’ rated condenser boilers can save a typical household as much as £300 a year, plus they’re far more reliable.
It’s a good idea to have a control system fitted that allows multiple on/off programs, to give you more flexibility. And one thermostat for an entire property is not a good idea. Some rooms will require more heat than others, so at the very least, use radiator thermostats. Some control systems will allow you to remotely operate your heating and hot water from smartphone apps, which is useful when you forget to turn the heating off.
Check the Storage Tank
Every year, spillages from oil tanks and pipework cause pollution to rivers, streams and groundwater (according to OFTEC). This has a very negative impact on the eco-systems. Get your tank and pipes regularly checked to ensure they’re sound, which will help to prevent leaks. But don’t wait for a leak to occur before you replace it; As soon as it’s looking past its best, install a bunded tank, such as those supplied by Commercial Fuel Solutions. Bunded tanks have a secondary containment to minimise the risk of oil spillage and is often a requirement from your insurance company, as the cost of clean-up can be very expensive.
You can consider the use of oil well surveillance to monitor the oil storage tank.
According to Moneysavingexpert.com, oil suppliers should get about 4p/litre profit from sales in the domestic market. Unfortunately, the domestic oil industry isn’t as regulated as electricity and gas, so you need to be on top of your game. To ensure you’re not being overcharged, you need to check the wholesale price every time you’re due to reorder. If your supplier’s price is more than wholesale 4p, then it’s time to shop around.
Until everyone using oil for domestic heating and hot water can afford to change to a more eco-friendly alternative, they can at least take steps to minimise the impact on the environment.