How to find the cheapest home heating oil

If you use oil to heat your home, here’s how to find the cheapest heating oil and save money.

What affects the price of home heating oil?

Over the last two years, the price of home heating oil has fluctuated dramatically, and Irish households have seen oil prices soar in response to global prices and demand.

The price of home heating oil changes frequently and is affected by things like:

  • Weather conditions
  • Seasons
  • Demand
  • Stock market oil prices
  • Exchange rates
  • Conflict where the oil is produced

woman warm radiator

How much kerosene do you use in a year?

An average 3 bedroom household uses around 1,300 to 2,000 litres of kerosene a year. Most households need to buy oil two or three times a year, depending on their tank size.

The amount of home heating oil you use depends on things like:

  • The size of your home/household
  • How often the heating is on
  • Whether you use kerosene to cook food

Heating your home with kerosene is more expensive than natural gas, so here are our top tips for the biggest savings.

1. Avoid seasonal hot spots

Whilst you can’t control the price of heating oil, you should avoid topping it up between October and February. Usually, December is the priciest month because demand is at its peak.

For this reason, opt to stock up in the spring or summer months instead. A big order around late August or September can last you right through the winter.

2. Buy in bulk and reduce your orders

The more oil you buy in one go, the cheaper the price per litre will be. Avoid ordering less than 500 litres if you can, and opt for 1,000 litres or more for the best rates.

The fewer orders you make, the less you’ll spend on delivery charges too.

3. Buy online and check extra charges

It’s nearly always cheaper to order online than over the phone or in-store.

As well as checking the oil price per litre and buying online, there are other costs to look out for, including:

  • Delivery charges: These depend on the supplier and how rural your location is.
  • Credit card fees: Expect around 2% of the total or a flat rate charge per order.
  • Paying in instalments: Paying upfront is usually the cheapest option, so do this if you can.

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4. Join a community oil club

Consider bulk ordering oil with others in your area for cheaper rates. You’ll get a better rate per litre of oil if you place a larger order, and you’ll spend less on delivery charges.

How do you find a local community oil club?

If a Google search doesn’t help, ask neighbours or community groups in your area if they know of one. Use social media, like local Facebook pages too.

If there isn’t an oil club in your locality, you could gauge how much interest there is and consider asking neighbours if they’d be interested in setting one up.

5. Shop around and compare oil prices

By comparing suppliers that deliver to your area, you can find the best rate available. allows you to compare prices from different companies. Simply select your location and get a list of local suppliers you can sort by price.

There’s also a link to each supplier’s website, so you can use their quick quote tool to get an exact amount.

What about your electricity bill?

If you haven’t switched your electricity provider in over a year, you’re probably on a standard tariff and paying more than you need to.

Here’s how to find and compare the cheapest energy deals to cut household bills.

Once you’re ready to switch providers, use our guide How to switch gas and electricity which takes you through the process, step by step.

Home Heating Oil FAQs

How much oil does a domestic tank hold?

The capacity of an oil tank varies greatly but an average size tank can hold around 1,000 to 2,500 litres.

If you’re not sure how much your oil tank holds, there should be a product label on the side or back of the tank confirming its maximum capacity.

Otherwise, you can take some measurements yourself using a tank size calculator.

What else is gas oil known as?

Gas oil is dyed green so that it’s not mistaken for regular diesel. It’s also known as:

  • Marked Gas Oil (MGO)
  • Green diesel
  • 35 second oil

It’s used in older outdoor burners only.

What else is kerosene known as?

Kerosene, which is orange in colour, is also known as:

  • Jet A1 kero
  • Standard kero
  • 28 second oil

It’s used in modern burners and is suitable for inside use, e.g. in cookers and ranges.

What happens if I order too much oil for my tank?

If you’ve overestimated how much oil will fit in your tank, most suppliers will top it up to a safe level and only charge for the amount you take.

The less oil you order, the higher the rate per litre.

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