Heating our homes – Why do we need to change from oil?

Some people have asked why we need to move from using oil to heat our homes to a different form of energy?

Keith Case, resident of Chipping and member of the Chipping Community Energy Working Group, sets out his three main reasons for change.

Reason 1: Burning Oil isn’t Great for the Environment

It’s now established beyond doubt that adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere is changing our climate and we’re seeing more extreme weather events around the globe. Whilst it’s difficult to translate this into how our climate in Chipping might change it’s pretty clear that reducing our carbon footprint is a good idea. In our homes we use about one third* of the total energy consumed in the UK and each home switching from oil to a ground source system could reduce CO2 emissions by around 500kg** every year.

Reason 2:  Heating Oil is Very Expensive

If you have oil-fired heating, you don’t need me to tell you that oil prices have gone up from around 30p to over 100p per litre over the last two years, and it’s really hard to predict future prices. Moving to renewable energy such as ground source heating powered by cleaner electricity has the potential to be cheaper, with more predictable and regulated prices.

Reason 3:  Our Government Wants to Phase Out Oil-Fired Heating

Earlier this year the government ran a consultation on phasing out new oil-fired domestic heating installations from 2026. That means that it might not be possible to buy a new oil-fired boiler after 2025 so an alternative is needed for when existing oil systems get so old they have to be replaced. We can’t be certain of the dates or extent of the phase-out but it seems highly likely that it will be introduced in the near future.

So, taking all these factors together, and regardless of your thinking on global warming, it’s clear that people using heating oil will have to think seriously about how to keep their houses warm in the future. We started the Working Group to look into the alternatives on behalf of the whole community because we think that acting together, Chipping could develop solutions which might not be possible for individual households acting independently, and might well be cheaper because of the economies of scale.

– Keith Case



* Energy Consumption in the UK (ECUK) 1970 to 2020 Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy 30 September 2021

** Based on annual consumption of 10,000 kWhr, carbon intensity of oil heating 240g/kWhr, grid electricity average carbon intensity 180g/kWhr. Sources: National Grid ESO, UK Gov data from DBEIS.

Posted 8th July 2022