Heating Oil

What is heating oil for the home?

If you’re considering an alternative approach to heating your home, this guide should help to answer all of your burning questions.

Heating oil for the home explained

Heating oil is a liquid fuel that powers oil fired central heating systems. The name commonly refers specifically to petroleum-based oil that is suitable for home heating use.

Oil for heating works by burning in an oil burner to heat up water. That water then heats the pipes and radiators within a home. 

There are over one million households in the UK that rely on heating oil instead of the national gas grid. Using oil fired central heating is known as “off-grid living”. The key difference between living on and off-grid is that off-grid homes have manual deliveries of heating oil which they keep in a storage tank. If you’re new to oil-fueled heating, understanding what home heating oil is and its uses could help you to save money in the long run.

What are the different types of heating oil?

You may be wondering ‘which heating oil do I need?’ There are only a handful of heating oil types available for domestic use. The two main examples of heating oil include:


Standard Kerosene

Also known as home heating oil or 28-second oil. This is a lighter type of oil which is used in a domestic setting in many homes in the UK.


Premium Kerosene

This is a more efficient, cleaner burning home fuel compared with standard kerosene.


What is premium heating oil?

At Certas Energy, we also provide an exclusive premium heating oil: Glowmax

Premium kerosene is a cleaner burning fuel and can help a boiler to burn more efficiently than standard kerosene. 

Our premium heating oil offers a number of benefits:

  • Potential to lower boiler maintenance costs 
  • Reduced sludge formation which can prolong a boiler’s life
  • More efficient fuel performance
  • Lowered risk of a boiler breakdown

For more information about the benefits of premium oil for your home, read our comprehensive guide.

What is kerosene and how is it made?

Kerosene is a type of oil which is commonly used in domestic heating systems in the UK. Also known as heating oil or paraffin, it is a non-corrosive fuel that poses less danger than other fuel types. Kerosene can be stored safely for several years, which makes it ideal for domestic storage.

Kerosene is made from petroleum: a natural oil found beneath the earth’s surface. The process for making kerosene begins with drilling and distillation. Using high temperatures, the petroleum is then broken down into different fuels, including: butane, propane, petrol, diesel, and kerosene.

How do I store heating oil?

Heating oil can be stored in a plastic or steel storage container, such as a tank, drum, intermediate bulk container (IBCs) or a mobile container.

If you use oil to heat your home, it’s important to follow the proper storage regulations set out by the government. The guidance applies to tanks that can store up to 3,500 litres of fuel. Any higher volumes would have to refer to business regulations.

If you don’t yet have a tank, it’s crucial to make sure that your new tank is manufactured to OFTEC standards and that a registered technician instals it. You should also consider the location and positioning of your new tank, as well as maintaining regular checks.

A full list of rules and regulations can be found on gov.uk, as well as industry standards agency OFTEC.

How do I buy heating oil?

You can order heating oil easily from Certas Energy online. You simply need to choose which type of oil you require and the amount of oil you need. You can order between 500 and 5,000 litres of heating oil.

If you’re a new customer, you’ll need to set up an account with us to provide your personal details and delivery address. Within your account, we’ll agree on a domestic heating oil quote and you can proceed to checkout.

We can deliver fuel oil to homes within England, Wales, and Scotland. Our local teams will have the oil with you by the delivery date in your instant quote. If there’s no set date, we guarantee oil delivery within 30 days.

Login or set up an account to buy fuel online. Alternatively, call us at 0345 600 4040 and our knowledgeable advisors will be happy to help place your order.

For more information about buying oil for your home, read through our domestic terms and conditions.

How much does heating oil cost in the uk?

The cost of heating oil in the UK fluctuates almost daily.

There are several factors which affect heating oil prices. These factors range from political conflicts and foreign exchange rates, to logistical issues like weather and delivery costs. 

Heating oil can cost less during summer months and some customers do choose to top up when prices are lower. However, at Certas Energy we pride ourselves in offering competitive prices with no service charge all year round.

Have a look at our helpful guide to heating oil prices for more information.


New to heating? No problem.

Get a warm welcome to off-grid heating with these handy FAQs.

Heating oil is the name commonly used for a petroleum oil that is used to heat homes with more traditional heating systems. Heating oil is burned in an oil burner to heat up water, and then the water is pumped around your home through piping and radiators to heat your house. There are over one million households in the UK that rely on heating oil instead of the national gas grid.

For more information about heating oil, check out out guide on home heating oil.

It’s important to effectively anticipate your heating oil usage to make sure you have enough oil to last the winter season. The minimum order for heating oil is 500 litres and domestic tanks typically range in size from 1,000 litres to 2,700 litres. Every home is different, so check your oil tank gauge to see how much oil your household consumes.

For more information on heating oil order quantities, check out our handy guide on How much heating oil should I order?


It’s best to order heating oil when your oil tank gauge indicates that your tank has less than a quarter of oil left in it. Avoid waiting until your tank is nearly empty to place a new order, as sometimes unpredictable weather can cause delivery delays. Heating oil is cheapest in the warmer months, so try stocking up on oil in the summer and ensure you’re prepared for the winter season.

There are two types of heating oil; kerosene and premium kerosene. Kerosene is a light, petroleum oil that is also known as 28-second oil and is the main type of heating oil that is used to heat homes in the UK. Premium kerosene is a higher quality oil that provides additional benefits to standard oil. At Certas Energy, we’re proud to offer Glowmax, our premium heating oil that is a cleaner burning fuel. Glowmax has been tested by AGA and is proven to improve the efficiency and performance of your boiler and cooker, while lowering the risk of breakdown. Whilst premium oils are more expensive than standard heating oils, the additional benefits that premium oils offer help customers to save money in the long run.

Heating oil can be stored in a plastic or steel storage container, such as a tank, drum, intermediate bulk container (IBCs) or a mobile container. If you need to install or replace an oil storage container at your property, make sure you use an OFTEC-registered engineer to ensure your installation is safe and compliant. There are strict fuel storage tank regulations in place to protect the environment.

Yes, we do. As well as supplying heating oil, we’re also experts in oil tanks and offer a range of oil storage solutions to suit your needs. Whether that’s giving your current storage container some TLC or helping you choose the right tank for your home from our range of top quality Kingspan oil tanks. Our friendly OFTEC-registered engineers can even fit and fill your new tank for you. All it takes is one call to sort it all.

Yes, we do. FoxRadar helps you to take control of your heating oil usage and monitor your oil levels without having to manually check your tank. Simply log in to the FoxRadar app to check your oil levels. For added peace of mind, we’ll also arrange automatic fuel deliveries when you’re running low, so you’ll never have to worry about your heating oil levels again.

In order to have a safe and efficient heating oil delivery, please make sure that our drivers have easy access to your oil storage tank. Leave gates unlocked or ensure the driver knows how to access your tank and that there are no obstacles blocking access to the roads or pathways leading to your tank.

For more information about how to prepare for the arrival of your order, check out our guide to heating oil delivery

The cost of heating oil in the UK fluctuates almost daily. There are several factors involved when determining the current price of heating oil. These range from political conflicts and foreign exchange rates to logistical issues such as weather and delivery costs. Heating oil can cost less during summer months and some customers do choose to top up when prices are lower. For more information on getting the best price for your heating oil, have a look at our guide to heating oil prices.

You can pay for your heating oil in monthly instalments or choose to pay upfront as and when you need additional heating oil. Certas offers two payment options to suit your budget and help you manage your heating oil deliveries and fuel costs.

You can choose to only pay for your heating oil as and when you need it. Our two payment options offer the choice of paying in monthly instalments or only paying for the amount of heating oil you need at the time you need it. You can order online or call us when you need your next fuel delivery and only pay for what you use.

Heating oil can be a cost effective way to heat your home. In rural areas where there is little or no gas supply, heating oil is an efficient and reliable fuel source. Electric incurs additional government charges and can be an expensive option whereas oil is well known for its efficiency.

The cost of heating oil can vary slightly in different areas. This can be due to local competition and companies undercutting one another. The most important factor when considering where to buy your home heating oil is the quality of fuel and level of customer service. Whilst your heating oil may cost slightly less from another provider, it may not last as long as a high quality heating oil.  

Heating oil prices regularly increase and decrease according to many factors. The demand for heating oil in colder months puts a strain on supply thus causing prices to rise. Conversely, summer months generally see prices fall and this can be a good time to stock up if you have the capacity. Planning ahead can help cut fuel costs, as can paying in regular fixed monthly instalments. Our team can help you decide the best way to manage your heating oil payments.

As the price of heating oil can be so changeable, there is no set discount for bulk deliveries. It is advisable to regularly assess how much heating oil you have to ensure you don't run out, and to consider topping up during times when prices are lower. If you can gauge your usage and plan accordingly you will be able to make discounts when the price of heating oil is at its lowest

With 94 depots and 900 tankers, Certas Energy provides reliable heating oil delivery to our customers nationwide. Our extensive delivery network covers the whole of the UK including all of these locations:

There a few ways you can make your heating oil go the extra mile. Having your tank serviced regularly can improve its efficiency and keeping an eye on your thermostat can help you use less oil. Purchasing your oil when it's cheaper is a great way to stock up and we advise using a premium heating oil like Glowmax, which is known to increase the life cycle of your boiler and be more efficient.

Our guide has more tips on how to make your heating oil last longer.

There are two main reasons that we ask specific questions every time you call about an order.

The first reason is to comply with GDPR Information Security and protect customers’ personal data. 

We have a legal obligation to protect our customers’ personal data from misuse, exploitation, loss or theft. One of the ways we do this is by always asking you to answer two security questions each time you call about an order, a delivery, or anything else that involves sharing your personal information.

The second reason is that we sell controlled oils which are given a rebated rate of duty. That is why we are part of the Registered Dealer in Controlled Oils (RDCO) scheme with the HMRC, which aims to tackle fuel fraud.

 As part of that scheme, when you place an order with us we are legally obliged to ask certain questions to ensure legitimate usage. This includes asking what you will use the kerosene for, or checking details of any non-domestic accounts you hold, as well as verifying standard contact and address details. 

We have a legal obligation to protect our customers’ personal data from misuse, exploitation, loss or theft. We ask a number of security questions to help safeguard your information and to comply with GDPR Information Security. 

When calling about an order, a delivery, or anything else that involves sharing your personal information, we always ask you to answer two security questions. These security questions are based on the personal data that you provide when you set up your account.

We comply with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) to reduce the risk of misuse, loss or theft of customer payment details – and to help ensure that all transactions are secure. 

We’ve recently raised our standards to provide an extra level of security to the way we process and store customer card data to help reduce the risk from ‘handling’ data. 

You will now be required to manually enter your card details rather than quoting them over the phone. This is to protect both our customers, employees and the business from card fraud.

*Efficiency and performance of Glowmax based on evidence of tests carried out comparing Glowmax to our standard kerosene.
**Terms apply for both our Pay Monthly Direct Debit and our planned delivery service. You can view our full terms and conditions here.

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