Oil vs LPG: Pros, Cons & Costs

Oil vs LPG: Pros, Cons & Costs

For many years, homeowners who were not connected to the gas grid often chose the heat their homes with an oil boiler. However, today there is an alternative to oil in the form of LPG, and it offers some great benefits for homes without a natural gas supply.

Both oil fired and LPG boilers are very similar to a gas boiler in that they burn fuel to produce energy to heat water for your central heating and hot water supply. The key difference is that the fuel is not automatically fed to the boiler, it needs to be physically delivered by a lorry and stored in a tank. While oil has been the go-to choice for off-grid homes for some time, an increasing awareness of climate change and the need to change our home heating habits has increased the popularity of LPG.

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Advantages of LPG Heating

  • LPG is a more environmentally friendly fuel when compared to oil as it produces less carbon emissions when burned. If you’re concerned about your home’s impact on the environment as so many more of us are today, this is a big tick in LPG’s favour, but there are even greener home heating system to consider such as air source heat pumps. Both LPG and oil are cleaner energy sources than solid fuels like coal.
  • LPG is a cleaner fuel to burn than oil which means it won’t produce byproducts like soot and therefore may need less maintenance.
  • LPG is a more versatile fuel as it can also be used to fuel an oven or a hob, while oil can only be used by your boiler.
  • An LPG boiler needs to be installed, repaired and serviced by a Gas Safe registered engineer while an oil boiler needs an OFTEC engineer. There are significantly more Gas Safe engineers than OFTEC engineers, so you may find it more difficult to get an oil engineer in an emergency.

You can read more about the pros and cons of LPG boilers here.

Advantages of Oil Heating

The main advantage of choosing an oil boiler over LPG for central heating is that heating oil is generally a bit cheaper than LPG, so if keeping running costs to a minimum is a priority for you, this may just tip the balance.

LPG vs Oil Heating Costs

Installation Costs

The cost of installing an oil boiler is likely to be higher than installing an LPG boiler. On average, you are looking at between £1,500 – £3,000 for a new oil boiler, while LPG boilers can be purchased for as little as £400 – £600 (excluding installation).

If you also require an oil or LPG tank this will add to the cost. Of course, this will vary depending on the brand, type and size of boiler you choose. Find out more about oil boiler installation here.

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Running Costs

The more expensive of the two fuels in terms of energy costs is heating oil. How much does heating oil cost? The exact price of heating oil and LPG will vary depending on where you are in the UK, which fuel supplier you use, when you buy and how much you buy, i.e. you can often get cheaper deals by buying fuel in bulk. On average heating oil prices are around 55p per litre at the time of writing (April 2019) while LPG is around 65p per litre. This equates to about oil costs of approximately 6p/kW and 6.5-7p/kW for LPG.

Maintenance Costs

Whether you install an oil or an LPG boiler, it will need servicing by a professional heating engineer every year to keep it working safely, efficiently and to ensure your manufacturer’s warranty remains valid. LPG boilers need to be installed, repaired and serviced by a Gas Safe registered engineer, while oil boilers need to be installed, repaired and serviced by an OFTEC registered engineer. The fuel storage tanks in both cases will also need to be maintained and there may be a charge for this from your oil or LPG supplier.

Best Oil Boiler Manufacturers

Manufacturer Popular Combi Boiler
Grant Vortex Blue Internal
Firebird Enviromax Low NOx Combi HE
Viessmann Vitorondens 200-T
Worcester Bosch Greenstar Heatslave II

Best LPG Boiler Manufacturers

Manufacturer Popular Combi Boiler
Vaillant EcoTEC Pro LPG
Worcester Bosch Greenstar i LPG
Ideal Vogue GEN2 LPG
Viessmann Vitodens 200-W LPG

While, on average, LPG boilers are usually cheaper to install than oil, to get accurate prices for a new oil or LPG boiler fully installed in your home, you’ll need to find and compare multiple quotes from qualified heating engineers.

Whatever your central heating and hot water needs, a Gas Safe (for LPG boilers) or OFTEC (oil boilers) registered engineer is the best person to help and – if you send us an enquiry today – we’ll find up to 3 in your area to provide free, no-obligation quotes.

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