Filling Tank

How Much Heating Oil Should I Purchase?

When purchasing home heating oil, often the most important question customers have is ‘how much oil do I need?’. The amount of heating oil you order primarily depends on how much you use. Calculating your heating oil usage can help make sure you order the right amount. Placing an accurate order with an oil supplier keeps costs down whilst having enough heating oil to meet your requirements.

The price of crude oil is often higher during the coldest months, so if you underestimate your usage it could mean an expensive top up. The good news is that with just a few easy steps, you could estimate how much heating oil you need to purchase and how to make it last even longer. 

Read on to discover how Certas Energy can help you manage your heating costs and keep track of just how much heating oil you need to buy.

How much heating oil do I need?

The average UK oil heated household uses around 26,999 kWh of energy per year. As heating oil kWh per litre roughly equals to 10.35 kWh, this amount translates to around 1,700 – 1,800 litres of heating oil – or between two and three tanks.

If you choose regular deliveries of heating oil, for instance 500 litres every quarter, then you can monitor how long 500 litres lasts and change your next delivery accordingly. The amount of oil you use can depend on a number of factors. These include:

  • The size of your home
  • The amount of time you use your heating
  • The condition of your boiler

How do you calculate heating oil usage?

If you want complete control over your fuel consumption, Certas Energy offers a heating oil monitor called FoxRadar. Our oil monitor sends out regular alerts to your phone and can be easily DIY installed. 

Read more about our FoxRadar domestic heating oil level monitor.

How long does heating oil last?

On average, heating oil should last between 18 and 24 months before it goes to waste. Certain additives can be added to the oil on delivery to ensure it lasts longer, but there are also other simple things you can do to prolong its shelf life. For example:

  • Tank condition – A well cared for tank will help your heating oil last longer. You should check your tank regularly for cracks or damage. It’s important to give your tank some TLC to make sure it’s in full working order in time for your next heating oil delivery. Ensure there’s no rust and that all the gauges and alarms are working, as well as keeping vents and gauges protected from rainwater.
  • Temperature – The colder weather can coagulate the heating oil when the temperatures plummet. As a result, oil can develop a gel-like consistency which can clog your filters and lines. This shouldn’t be an issue once the temperatures rise, as the oil returns to its original state, but it’s something to keep in mind in the cooler months.
  • Insulation – Making sure your home is optimised for cold weather conditions can mean you use less heating oil overall. Invest in good insulation on windows, doors and floors to reduce heating oil use

If you’re looking to get more out of your energy costs, read our handy guide on how to make your heating oil last longer.

How long should 100, 200 or 500 litres of oil last?

As mentioned, heating oil usage depends on a number of factors, so we can’t exactly say how long a specific amount of heating oil might last.

How to make the most of your oil usage

Heating oil tanks should only be filled to around 80-90% capacity, to prevent overflow. If you think you may have ordered too much heating oil, don’t panic. Our teams will make sure to avoid overfilling your tank. However, you can let our team know about potential errors before delivery by leaving your details with our customer relations team.

To get a clearer idea of how much heating oil you need, regularly check your oil gauge. Your heating oil tank should come fitted with a gauge which measures oil levels. By  recording how much oil has been used, you can get a better understanding of your usage month to month.

For an even easier way to keep track of your oil usage, try FoxRadar. Our clever digital oil gauges let you ditch the dipstick and check your fuel levels from anywhere – the office, the shops or even the beach. So, it couldn’t be easier to control what you’re spending and how much oil is in your tank.

How much will my heating oil cost?

The price of heating oil changes often, so the cost of filling a home oil tank in the UK will fluctuate throughout the year. Sign up and get a free quote to find out how much your heating oil order would cost.

To keep a close eye on your heating oil usage and estimate future oil delivery costs, enquire about our FoxRadar oil monitor.

How do I store heating oil?

Heating oil can be stored in plastic or steel storage containers, such as a tank, a drum, or an intermediate bulk container (IBC). If you’re using heating oil in your home, it’s important that you follow the proper storage regulations as set out by the government. A full list of rules and regulations can be found on, as well as industry standards agency OFTEC.

Having an adequate storage tank may mean you can take advantage of lower summer prices to top up your heating oil. This means you can store your heating oil safely and prepare for the winter months when your usage increases.

If you don’t yet have a tank but are thinking about getting one installed, you must ensure the tank is manufactured to OFTEC standards. In addition, a registered technician must be there to install it.

Find out more information about heating oil tanks.

What is the average capacity of a heating oil tank?

Both domestic and commercial heating oil tanks can vary in size and style, but in general, they can hold between 1,000 litres and 2,700 litres of kerosene. 

How do I buy heating oil?

You can order heating oil easily with Certas Energy.

To do this, simply choose the type of oil you require then select how many litres you need – the minimum order is 500 litres. If you’re a new customer, you need to set up an account and add your personal details and address, which we’ll use for deliveries. Once that’s sorted, we’ll then agree on a quote and you can proceed to checkout.

Thanks to our Easy Payment Plan, you can pay a monthly fee for your fuel to help you better manage your costs. In addition, we will monitor your use of the fuels as part of our Planned Delivery Service. We will alert you if you are using too much / less than you are paying for.

Get a quote online or call us on 0345 600 4040 to speak to our knowledgeable team.

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