Warning: Late repayment can cause you serious money problems. For help, go to moneyadviceservice.org.uk

Heating oil can be a useful alternative to using gas and electricity to heat your home and with the price falling in recent years, it can sometimes work out cheaper too. For some UK households that don’t have access to gas, heating oil is a necessity meaning it’s more important to keep an eye on changing prices and how much you’ve got left in the tank. According to Value Oils, figures from 2012 showed that up to 50% of households in some UK regions are reliant on oil for their heating. These include North Scotland, North Wales, East Anglia and the South West. Meanwhile up to 20% of homes rely on heating oil in areas such as the West Midlands and the South East, so more people than you might think will be familiar with that feeling of coming across an empty tank.

With winter well underway and temperatures bound to drop further into the beginning of next year it’s likely you’ll be edging the thermostat up a few degrees to keep cosy during the long winter nights. With that in mind, if you are one of the 1.5 million UK households relying on heating oil to warm your house, then it’s time to keep checking the tank on a more regular basis to make sure you don’t run out.

Running on empty

With the steady decline in the costs per litre of heating oil over recent years, it can be a very cost effective way of heating your home, but it does come with its downsides. It’s not usually advised to let your fuel levels drop below a certain point, usually ¼ of a tank, but when there’s plenty else to think about it can sometimes slip your mind. Letting your tank run till its empty will not only leave the house without heating during the winter months, but it can also result in a higher overall cost if you’re looking to return to normality quickly. With most heating oil companies, this comes in the form of a premium charge for quick delivery to your home – usually around 10% of your total order amount. But if you have left it a little late and need to order more oil quickly there are ways to get your heating up and running with a little help.

Being aware of the cost of heating oil can help you plan ahead. Websites such as BoilerJuice can provide plenty of information including up to date prices and quotes based on the volume you need. Although according to BoilerJuice many suppliers have a minimum order of 500 litres which will have to be paid up in full up front.

How long does heating oil last?

There are various factors affecting how long your heating oil will last. These include the size of your home and how well it keeps the heat in, which can depend on things like double glazing and good insulation. Most users have a general idea of how long they can expect a full tank to last. But this will vary a lot depending on how much you are using your heating, which is why the risk of running out sooner than expected becomes much higher in the winter months. When you’re trying to keep warm around the clock you often are likely to run out of oil faster than usual and could be faced with a considerable bill to fill your tank faster than expected. Knowing how long your order will last is a useful step towards avoiding another empty fuel tank next time around.

Spread the costs of your heating oil with a Satsuma Loan

Running out of heating oil is certainly not uncommon, but when it does happen you’re likely to end up with a big bill as a result. If you’re left without heating and need to re-stock as soon as possible, Satsuma Loans can help you get things back up and running quickly without having to worry about the immediate costs of your bill. You can choose to borrow between £100 and £1000 over a period of 3-12 months and you can spread the cost of your borrowing with manageable monthly or weekly instalments. What’s more, you apply online using our straight forward application form and if approved, you could have the money in your account within an hour. Spread the costs of your heating oil bill and make the price of keeping warm in the winter a little more manageable this year.

Representative example: £400 loan repayable over 6 months. 6 monthly payments of £126.40. Rate of interest 179% p.a. fixed. Representative 991% APR. Total amount payable is £758.40.