Importance of Energy Efficiency with Rising Heating Oil Costs

Currently we are in a cost of living crisis, among other things, Heating Oil Costs are increasing which is making it harder for people to heat their homes. The Northern Ireland Consumer Council said heating oil currently costs more than £520 for 500 litres, compared with about £220 for the same amount a year ago. It is estimated that around 45% of Northern Ireland homes could now be in fuel poverty. If people are unable to heat their homes it could result in some serious health issues especially for those who are elderly or vulnerable. 


It is estimated that the average boiler energy efficiency rating in Northern Ireland is just 65%, meaning that for every £100 of oil consumed £35 is wasted. For those who consume £1500 per year would be wasting a total of £525 per year. If you have an older non-condensing oil boiler, the energy efficiency levels may be as low as 50-60%. For new condensing oil boilers they have an average energy efficiency of around 93%. Therefore you may be able to pay off a new boiler in just a few years on wasted heating oil. 


It is important to maximise the potential of your heating oil boiler. An OFTEC Registered Engineer is able to tell you the energy efficiency of your boiler through a flue gas analysis and possibly take measures to improve this rating. Annual servicing will help to keep the boiler running at its optimum energy efficiency and also ensures safety including dangerous gas emissions. It will also help prevent costly breakdowns and can extend the lifespan of your oil heating boiler.


Here are some signs that you need an urgent boiler inspection: 


– There is water leaking from oil boiler

– There is signs of oil being released from the oil boiler

– The boiler is emitting strange odours 

– The boiler is making strange noises

– There has been an unusual increase in fuel usage

– There is a delay in heating or your boiler is not heating rooms as efficiently as it one did


If you have concerns about your oil heating system this winter, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us for help. We also inspect systems for homebuyers and landlords to ensure that they are not left with an inefficient or unsafe system.  Check out our Oil Heating Risk Surveys at


Here are some other sources of support in Northern Ireland: