Oftec

Big Energy Saving Week: Households given fuel bill saving advice

Households across the United Kingdom are being encouraged to take steps to reduce their energy usage and save money on their fuel bills as part of a nationwide campaign.

Big Energy Saving Week (21st - 27th January), organised each year by Citizens Advice, aims to raise awareness of the simple steps we can all take to lower our energy bills through being more energy efficient.

OFTEC, which represents the oil heating industry, and the Federation of Petroleum Suppliers (FPS), the trade association for oil distributers, are official partners of Big Energy Saving Week and are encouraging oil households in the UK to think about their current energy consumption as well as offering money saving advice. 

Despite recent small increases in price, oil heated households in the UK continue to enjoy the cheapest fuel bills of all the main off-grid heating systems and are paying on average nearly £500 less than homes using LPG and over £800 less than those with electric storage heaters.

However, in the cold winter months, there are still ways households can reduce their spending costs even further, without having to turn down the heating.

As part of Big Energy Saving Week, OFTEC and FPS are urging households to consider:

  1. When was the last time I bled my radiator?

    • Bleeding your radiators will help to increase heating efficiency during cold weather.

  2. How old is my thermostat?

    • Many homes have a simple thermostat which sets one temperature for the whole house. Installing a more advanced system will enable you to set different temperatures for each room throughout the day and even control your heating remotely, saving money by only heating those you use.

  3. When was the last time I had my boiler serviced?

    • It is important that you service your boiler at least once a year, in particular during colder months and use an OFTEC (for oil and solid fuel) or GasSafe (for mains gas) registered technician. This will ensure it is working efficiently and help you avoid potential costly breakdowns.

  4. How much oil is left in the tank?

    • Make sure you check the level of oil in your tank on a regular basis as you may be using more in winter. We recommend that you plan in advance and tell your local FPS accredited heating oil supplier when you are running low; this will ensure you are prioritised by your supplier and that your tank is topped up in good time. If you are considering joining an oil buying group the FPS has a pros and cons guide which can be found at www.oilsave.org.uk

  5. Is my boiler the most efficient?

    • One out of three households still rely on an old, less efficient boiler. By purchasing a modern, condensing model you could potentially reduce your fuel bills by over 20%.

Malcolm Farrow, from OFTEC commented: "Households in the UK who use heating oil to keep warm have been making huge savings on their fuel bills over the past year due to the low price of oil. Despite recent increases, we expect this trend to continue throughout 2019.

"However, many households, particularly in more rural parts of the UK live in older homes which are often less energy efficient. Whilst not everybody can afford upgrading to the latest boiler technology, we hope that by encouraging consumers to think about their heating efficiency and take a few simple steps, they can enjoy further savings on their heating bills this winter."

FPS Technical Manager Tony Brown adds: "The cost of energy is a worry for many households and this week-long campaign points out all the many positive steps people can take to better manage their energy and reduce costs, as well as receive all the help they’re entitled to when it comes to grants and benefits such as Winter Fuel Allowance.

"Alongside general advice for consumers, such as comparing the prices of various energy suppliers and turning the thermostat down by just one degree to make a big 10 percent saving, there is a wealth of support specifically for the 1.5million UK off-grid energy users."

Is your heating system ready for round two with the ‘Beast from the East’?

Is your heating system ready for round two with the ‘Beast from the East’?

With what it is meant to be the coldest winter in a decade, OFTEC are issuing advice on how to make sure you and your family stay warm this winter, especially in oil heated homes.

Oftec Encourages Youths to Start a Career in the Heating Industry.

Recent studies show there has been a 27% decrease in the number of new apprenticeships started between August and October 2017 in comparison to the same period last year. Only 0.2% were in the heating industry. 

This drop in apprenticeships is in spite of the new government scheme to promote on the job training and a large number of jobs available in the sector for qualified engineers due to the lack of skilled technicians. 

With the rising costs of University and the increasing cost of living, apprenticeships are ever becoming a more viable option for further education and an easier transition into future employment. People are becoming aware of the benefits of hands-on training and experience in their chosen field. 

This year, as part of National Apprenticeship Week, local training centres were highlighting the opportunities an apprenticeship and then a consequent career in the heating industry can bring. The initiative aimed to help young people start various careers through apprenticeships. 

Malcolm Farrow, from OFTEC, said: “The heating sector is a fantastic industry to be involved with, offering good career prospects in a variety of different roles. Apprenticeships provide real hands on experience and they are a great starting place for anyone looking to become a heating technician.

“OFTEC approved training centres work with many young people coming into the heating profession who have already completed an apprenticeship and provide additional industry-recognised qualifications for technicians to demonstrate their professionalism and competence.

“Although building standards and technology are always advancing, people will always need heating and hot water. There is no shortage of work out there – just not enough professionals to do it. Trusted and reliable OFTEC registered heating technicians are always in demand.”

If you are a qualified heating engineer and are looking to work for a busy and respectable heating firm them please get in touch with Abbey Boilers. Click here for contact details. 

Households could be missing out on significant fuel bill savings

Households could be missing out on significant fuel bill savings

Apr 4 2018 3:15 PM

With the warm weather hopefully on its way, households are being urged to ‘spring clean’ their heating system to avoid missing out on significant savings.

The recent ‘Beast from the East’ double storm emphasised the importance of keeping your heating system in tip top shape. Now the weather has started to settle down, it’s a good time to check everything is working efficiently to ensure you make the most of the savings on your fuel bills during the warmer months.

In response OFTEC, which represents the oil heating industry, has issued a spring cleaning checklist to help people cut energy costs over the warmer months:

  1. Adjust your heating timers. Check the heating is coming on at the correct time, especially if you changed the ‘On/Off’ times to heat your home for longer during the cold weather.
     
  2. Turn off individual radiators. Ensure you aren’t wasting money heating rooms you aren’t using. Also check the radiator temperatures in your main rooms if these were set higher during the cold weather.
     
  3. Make sure you have enough heating oil. You may have used more oil than usual during the prolonged cold snap. Check how much you have left and top up early to avoid any emergency deliveries. We recommend you use an FPS fuel supplier.
     
  4. Have your boiler serviced. The sub-zero temperatures this winter mean that your boiler and heating system will have been working very hard. Have the system checked over by a GasSafe (for mains gas) or OFTEC (for oil) registered technician who will ensure it is working correctly and to maximum efficiency. Abbey Boilers do LPG, Gas and Oil annual services


Malcolm Farrow from OFTEC, said: “During the unusually cold weather many households will have ramped up the use of their heating systems and made significant adjustments to the controls to keep warm, especially if they spent more time at home due to the snow.

“It’s easy to forget about these changes and you might not even notice issues such as your heating coming on whilst you are asleep or out of the house. However, this oversight could be costing you quite a bit of money which is why we are reminding households of the benefits of making a few quick checks as part of a usual spring clean. 

“Boilers should also be serviced annually by a registered GasSafe or OFTEC technician to ensure maximum efficiency and realise cost savings. This is more important than ever following the extreme cold spell we have recently seen, where many of our registered technicians were called out to fix broken down boilers that hadn’t received a recent service. Having your boiler checked by a professional can identify potential issues before they happen and help avoid facing the same difficulties next winter.”

For more information and advice, visit www.oilsave.org.uk.



Malcolm Farrow