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How much heating oil costs and how you can save energy

The economic efficiency of an oil heating system depends largely on how much the fuel (heating oil) costs. This is because the fuel prices can drive up the operating costs over time, and you end up paying more in total than for the heating system itself. It is therefore important that you keep an eye on the heating oil price and compare it with other options. With our tips, you can reduce your consumption and lower heating oil costs.

The way to modern, efficient oil heating

Older oil heating systems and low-temperature boilers utilise only the NCV (net calorific value) of the oil and release the combustion gases directly into the air. In contrast, modern oil heating systems with condensing technology use the calorific value of the fuel almost completely and gain additional energy from the combustion process.

The energy content of the fuel can be utilised most effectively by retaining the combustion energy in the system in a highly efficient manner.

How does it work?

Flue gases generated during the combustion process transport a large part of the heat of combustion to the outside via the flue stack. The energy contained in the hot exhaust gases and in the water vapour can be recovered with a modern condensing boiler and fed back to the heating system via a heat exchanger.

In contrast to old oil heating systems, the temperatures of the exhaust gases with condensing technology are over 100 °C lower. The result is fewer losses occur when converting energy. Ultimately, the technology also determines how high the price of heating oil is.

The table lists the efficiencies of the different oil heating technologies.
 

Oil heating technologyEnergy efficiency (gross calorific value)
Old oil heater68%
Low temperature oil heart87%
Condensing oil heater98 %

 

What determines the price of heating oil

When it comes to the question of how much heating oil costs, the fuel itself naturally plays a major role. This is offered in this country in a standardized way (DIN 51603-1) and made available as low-sulphur heating oil EL and under various trade names.

 

In addition to this standard, there are also premium variants on the oil market. These are enriched with additives. The additives not only optimise the flow properties of the heating oil and the combustion process but also the lifespan of the heating system and the odour pollution caused by the heating oil.

In contrast to conventional heating oil, which comes from fossil sources, bio heating oil is obtained from renewable resources. Bioethanol is produced, for example, from the fermentation of vegetable starch and sugar.

 

In terms of price, this heating oil costs a little more than the standard due to its quality, but it is also more environmentally friendly.

Fuel suppliers calculate their heating oil prices based on the following factors:

 

  • Energy tax
  • Price to purchase the oil
  • Value added tax
  • Gross profit margin
     

The costs covered by the supplier's gross profit margin include warehousing, transport, administration, sales and the net profit margin. The graph shows the composition of the oil price in 2020 according to the statistics of the Mineral Oil Industry Association.

A comparison of heating oil prices is worthwhile

Fluctuations in the price of heating oil are attributable to variations in the purchase price, for example due to economic fluctuations. Crude oil is traded on the stock exchange, which means that the price of heating oil is also dependent on world events.

The relationship between supply and demand is also crucial. If the output of crude oil is increased, for example through political decisions, the heating oil prices fall.

If you take the current situation of the heating oil price into account when purchasing and purchase larger quantities of heating oil, you can significantly reduce the costs of heating oil overall. The ordering process therefore ideally starts early in order to supply the heating oil tank with fuel at low cost.

Current daily and regional price differences are crucial indicators that you should observe with price comparisons. In addition to the heating oil price, additional cost components can also fluctuate depending on the provider. These include:

Minimum quantity surcharge

Road delivery flatrate

Charge for different unloading points

Quantity discount

Payment fee

Rapid delivery fee

Interest on instalment payments

Heating with renewable energy

The more efficient the heating technology, the less it costs to burn heating oil overall. Alternative heating systems that use renewable energies such as sunlight or geothermal energy help to protect the environment and reduce heating costs.

Modern, efficient heating systems are an investment in the future that the government supports with various funding options. You can expect funding of up to 45%.

 

The combination of different energy sources in one heating system offers the advantage of being able to face price developments on the commodity market with more detachment and, in case of doubt, to wait and see.

As a result, you are no longer so dependent on heating oil prices and can compare them in peace. Thanks to the variety of currently available technologies, you can adapt the heating to your needs and the structural conditions.

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