Oil-fired boiler users are urged to seek better prices
The Worcester, Bosch Group, is advising oil boiler users to shop around for the best deals and to explore other heating technologies.
The advice, from Worcester, one of the UK's leading boiler manufacturers, comes in the wake of the record oil prices reported by the media.
Martyn Bridges, director of marketing and technical support, at Worcester, Bosch Group, said: "Consumers need to shop around to get the best oil price for their domestic heating systems, not just rely on their usual supplier or a supposed price comparison website.
"It is becoming clear that there are some sharp practices being employed, not least the charging of up to £200 for delivery, which is normally bundled into the cost of the oil."
The market for oil boilers has decreased dramatically in recent years from approximately 100,000 units sold in 2000 down to approximately 60,000 in 2010.
Mr Bridges continued: "My own view is that the market for oil boilers has reached its natural floor now.
"We expect there to be a market for the replacement of oil boilers for many years to come as the technology tends to have a long operational life and there are more than one million households in the UK which still rely on oil for central heating."
It also possible that a revival of bio-oil could be on its way if it is made eligible within the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), meaning customers will be paid for using this fuel.
Mr Bridges added: "Installers also need to be advising anyone off the mains gas grid to investigate the potential for renewable technologies, such as solar thermal and solar pv, or perhaps heat pumps in conjunction with an oil boiler, in order to give households an element of energy security and a hedge against rising commodity prices."