Don’t ignore your heating system this winter, households urged

As a new survey reveals the majority of Brits have turned their heating back on over the past month, households in the UK are being urged not to forget to check their systems are working correctly in the busy pre-Christmas period to help avoid a winter breakdown.

In response OFTEC, which represents the oil heating industry, has produced a winter checklist for households with advice on how to help avoid potential winter problems, as well as top heating tips and how to save money on fuel costs.

The advice includes:

  • Book your boiler in for a service by an OFTEC (for oil) or GasSafe (for mains gas) registered technician before winter sets in. They will check everything is working correctly, identify any potential problems and improve efficiency. These technicians have been certified as fully competent so you can be sure all servicing will be completed safely. The oil tank and pipework should also be checked during a service and we recommend that the owner monitors their condition throughout the rest of the year.
  • Adjust the timers on your heating controls to ensure the house warms up only when you need it to. The recommended minimum temperature for your main living area is 21C. Also, remember to turn down individual radiators in rooms you are not using.
  • Bleed your radiators to ensure they are working as efficiently as possible. This is when you let out any trapped air inside which can leave ‘cold spots’. You can do this yourself by turning off the heating and using a radiator key.
  • Ensure you have enough fuel in your tank to last through winter if you are one of the oil heated households in the UK. If not, place an order as soon as possible to avoid the last-minute rush. We recommend using a firm which is a member of the UK Independent Fuel Distribution Association (UKIFDA) and follows strict safety guidelines.
  • Consider upgrading to a modern condensing boiler if yours is over 15 years old. This can reduce your fuel consumption and carbon emissions by up to 20%, helping you make significant savings. These models also tend to be smaller, run more quietly and can be readily adapted to a new low carbon liquid fuel alternative to heating oil, once this becomes available.

Malcolm Farrow, from OFTEC, said: “It’s that time of year when most of us have already switched the heating back on and the focus shifts to getting ready for Christmas. When everything is seemingly working as it should, it’s easy to forget about the boiler but if you suffer a breakdown, it quickly becomes a real concern.

“The best remedy is prevention which is why we recommend taking a few simple steps now before the cold weather really starts to bite. Having your system serviced by a qualified technician will help identify and potentially resolve any problems before they become more costly to fix further down the line.”

Source: OFTEC

A few simple tips to help prevent your Oil Boiler from breaking down this winter.

Oil Fired Boilers don’t deal well with water and dirt. Below is a photo I took when I removed some dirty water from a customer’s oil tank in January 2020.

When the oil being supplied to the burner becomes contaminated with dirty, sludgy water, your boiler will let you know very quickly that it isn’t happy and will most likely just refuse to work. Your first defence against dirt making its way to your boiler is your oil filter. You will usually have 2 filters on the oil supply line to your boiler. They are of different types. The first in line, usually built into your oil tank’s isolation valve, is a little plastic element which will catch the larger particles in the kerosene, before it makes it to your burner. The second filter, which I rarely find on the systems I service, should have a filter element made of paper, much like your vehicle’s oil filter. Both these filters will be inspected on your annual boiler service. The plastic filter element usually only needs to be rinsed out, but the paper element will get replaced. If you can only find one filter on your supply line, it is always a good idea to have a paper element filter installed just before the fire valve.

During your annual service, your service engineer will inspect your tank and do a water detection test by applying a bit of water detecting paste to a cane to see to what degree your oil is contaminated with water. When it gets a bit high for comfort, they should advise you so that it can be pumped out to prevent it from entering your oil supply line. You can also do this test yourself as the paste isn’t expensive, or you may just play it even safer by getting your engineer to install a water separation filter as a last defence.

CB7 Oil and Gas can carry out the above checks and installations for you during your annual boiler service.

Grant is the only oil boiler manufacturer to achieve Which? Best Buys for three years running

If you have picked up a copy of the latest Which? Boiler Survey Report, dated October 2019, you will have seen that Grant has received a Which? Best Buy for all of its Vortex and VortexBlue oil boilers for another year. This is the third year running that Grant boilers have achieved this accolade making them the only oil boiler brand to be awarded Which? Best Buys in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
The only oil boiler brand to win Which? Best Buys for three years running
The results of the 2019 Boiler Survey carried out by consumer group Which? have been published and are available to view in the Which? magazine and via their website to subscribing members.

In the latest survey, once again all 63 models of Vortex and VortexBlue oil fired boilers have received a Which? Best Buy. With Grant boilers achieving Which? Best Buys in 2017, 2018 and 2019, Grant Engineering is the only oil boiler manufacturer to receive these awards for three consecutive years.

At the core of Grant’s product development is the homeowner and their heating engineer so Grant Engineering is pleased to have the qualities of their products recognised with another award. 
Tried and Trusted
The familiar features of boilers such as the Vortex Pro Utility have helped establish the Vortex and VortexBlue brands as firm favourites for both heating engineers and their customers.

From their patented heat exchangerfamiliar parts and components, and front access for ease of servicing through to their high efficienciesslimline casings and extended guarantees, Grant boilers can offer benefits to both engineers and homeowners alike.

And, with so much choice across their oil boiler and EZ Flue ranges, there is a solution for almost any installation from Grant. 
Don’t just take our word for it!
Grant products have not only been reviewed in the latest Which? survey. Over 900 reviews have been left by customers, installers and service engineers on Trustpilot, many of which are 5 stars reviews. So, installers and their customers should not just take our word for it that Grant boilers are great.

Visit the Grant Site for their article.

Is this the end of Kerosene as a heating oil?

Households who use heating oil should be preparing to transition to biofuel, says industry body.

The East Anglian Daily Times have interviewed Malcolm Farrow, head of communications at OFTEC who said that householders could possibly start using a bio fuel blend at first and then later on switch over the a full bio fuel and replace kerosene completely.

OFTEC has also put out an article themselves regarding this.

Scam Alert issued as part of national campaign

Read the original article as posted on the official OFTEC Website.

During the British summer is when the majority of households look for technicians to service ur upgrade their heating systems, due to using it less.

OFTEC advises that you check to make sure that the technician you are letting into your house holds a valid certification for working on your heating system and urges homeowners to contact the certifying body OFTEC (for Oil Heating) or GasSafe (for mains gas) to check that the ID card offered to you, are indeed valid.

CB7 Oil and Gas Business Card

Top heating myths busted as households prepare for winter weather

As the cold weather sets in in the UK, Oftec has gone a bit myth-busters on us. It is however interesting and there is one myth on there which i believed was true. Here is a direct link to their myth-busting article.

“Poor energy use, in particular leaving heating and lights on by mistake for just four hours a week, is estimated to cost on average £250 per home every year*.”

*Energy use statistics, British Gas 2017

Carbon Monoxide Awareness

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless, tasteless, poisonous gas produced by the incomplete burning of carbon-based fuels, including gas, oil, wood and coal. Carbon based fuels are usually safe to use, however, when the fuel does not burn properly, excess CO is produced, which is poisonous. When CO enters the body, it prevents the blood from bringing oxygen to cells, tissues, the brain and organs.

The Silent Killer

You cannot see it, taste it or smell it but CO can kill quickly with little warning. Around 50 people die every year from CO poisoning caused by gas, oil and solid fuel appliances and flues that have not been properly installed, maintained or that are poorly ventilated. Lower CO levels that do not kill immediately can cause serious harm to health if breathed in over a long period. In extreme cases paralysis and brain damage can be caused as a result of prolonged exposure to CO. Increasing public understanding of the risks of CO poisoning and taking sensible precautions could dramatically reduce this risk.

What preventative measures can I take?

  • Ensure that any work carried out in relation to gas appliances in domestic or commercial premises is to be undertaken by a Gas Safe Registered engineer, competent in that area of work
  • For Oil Fired appliances, visit OFTEC to find a list of your nearest OFTEC registered tecnicians.
  • The HSE strongly advises that gas appliances and / or flues are installed and serviced regularly for safety by a Gas Safe Registered engineer. If you live in tenanted accommodation, your landlord has a legal duty to carry out an annual gas safety check and maintain gas appliances. They must provide you with a copy of the completed gas safety check certificate
  • If you have a wood or coal burning stove fitted, make sure it is fitted by a HETAS approved installer. Make sure your chimneys are swept twice a year
  • Always make sure there is enough fresh air in the room containing your gas, oil or solid fuel appliance. If you have a chimney or a flue, ensure it is not blocked up and also ensure that vents are not covered
  • Do not use appliances like paraffin heaters and cabinet heaters in your house
  • Never take a BBQ into a building or tent when it is still warm. When the embers have nearly died down, the BBQ will produce very large amounts of carbon monoxide!

Does the HSE recommend the use of carbon monoxide alarms?

Fire Angel CO Detector

The HSE strongly recommends the use of audible carbon monoxide (CO) alarms as an important precaution but they must not be regarded as a substitute for proper installation and maintenance of gas appliances by a Gas Safe Registered engineer. Before purchasing a CO alarm, always ensure it complies with British Standard EN 50291 and carries a British or European approval mark, such as a Kitemark. CO alarms should be installed, checked and serviced in line with the manufacturer’s instructions.

Please note: You can be particularly at risk from CO poisoning when you are asleep, because you may not be aware of early CO symptoms until it is too late. Having an audible CO alarm could wake you and save your life.

What are the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?

Early symptoms of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning can mimic many common ailments and may easily be confused with food poisoning, viral infections, flu or simple tiredness. Symptoms to look out for include:

  • Headaches
  • Breathlessness
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Collapse
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Tiredness
  • Drowsiness
  • Vomiting
  • Pains in the chest
  • Stomach pains
  • Erratic behaviour
  • Visual problems.

For more information visit the NHS or telephone NHS Direct on 0845 4647.

If you or your family experience any of the above symptoms and you believe CO may be involved, you must seek urgent medical advice from either your GP or an accident and emergency department. You should ask for a blood or breath test to confirm the presence of CO. Be aware, CO quickly leaves the blood and tests may be inaccurate if taken more than four hours after exposure has ceased.

How do I know if I am at risk from carbon monoxide?

Although carbon monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless and tasteless gas, signs that indicate incomplete combustion is occurring, resulting in the production of CO, include:

  • Yellow or orange rather than blue flames
  • Soot or yellow / brown staining around or on appliances
  • Pilot lights that frequently blow out
  • Increased condensation inside windows.

What should I do if I think my appliance is spilling carbon monoxide?

  • Switch off the appliance and do not re-use until remedial action has been taken
  • Gas appliances: Call Gas Emergency Freephone Number 0800 111 999
  • Oil burning appliances: Call Oftec 0845 658 5080
  • Solid fuel burning appliances: Call HETAS 0845 634 5626
  • Open all doors and windows to ventilate the room – do not sleep in it
  • Visit your GP urgently and tell him / her that you believe your symptoms may be related to carbon monoxide poisoning and request either a blood and / or breath sample.

Purchasing CO Alarms

Fire Angel 9D Digital CO Detector

Most CO alarms currently last between 5 and 7 years. Quite a lot of CO alarms also do not warn you when they reach the end of their life, which means that they could be entirely useless while giving the impression of protection. Safelincs offers a FireAngel CO alarm that has a sensor life of ten years, a battery life of ten years and a ten year guarantee! The alarm also gives a warning when it reaches the end of its useful life.

If you wish to not only receive a warning in case of excessive carbon monoxide but an actual readout, even at low CO levels, choose a digital CO alarm such as the Fire Angel 9D pictured here.

Combatting Heating Oil Theft

General Crime Prevention Advice – Heating Oil Theft

Read more about the Watchman Alarm. The Watchman Alarm is a revolutionary electronic measuring gauge which sets off an alarm in your home in the event of a sudden drop of oil levels.

Heating oil theft is most prevalent in the first three months of the year when tanks are likely to be full and the days are short. However, thefts occur year-round, so it pays to be vigilant at all times.

If a thief successfully steals from your heating oil tank, it’s important that you implement extra security measures to reduce the risk of being targeted again, please see the following suggestions:-

Monitor your tank: Check the tank gauges regularly to alert you to any sudden drop in oil level, which might indicate a theft. This action might also help the police in any subsequent investigation by narrowing down the times of the offence.

Where possible, keep your tank out of sight: If installing a new tank, you should consider the placement very carefully. Ideally, your tank should not be visible from the road and should not be placed near any external gates or doors. If possible, install your tank out of sight.

Tank security: Fit a sturdy lock to the fill cap of your tank (and also the vent cap, if possible), and consider installing a security cage or protective casing to your tank and any exposed pipes. Ideally, any casing should be locked with a closed shackle padlock, which can’t be easily broken with bolt croppers.

Install security lighting: Install a motion sensor security light to alert you to any late-night visitors.

CCTV: The cost of CCTV systems has dropped over the past few years, making basic packages more affordable. If you decide to install a system, you should also place a ‘CCTV’ sign on your gate to let any potential thieves know that you are taking measures to protect your property. Make sure to save any relevant CCTV recordings and pass on any other pertinent information to the police. Once you have a crime number, you should get in touch with your insurance provider.

Signage – this is called rule setting: A cheaper alternative to CCTV is to place a ‘Beware of the Dog’ sign on your garden gate. Thieves tend to avoid houses that have dogs, as they may bark and attract attention during a theft.

Boundary fencing: Restricting access to the tank in the first instance is very important, so make sure your boundary walls and fences are up to the job and lock driveway access gates, doors and garages at night and when you are away

Neighbourhood Watch: If you are going on holiday, ask a neighbour to keep an eye on your oil tank and report any suspicious activity.

Turn it off: When your tank is not in use (i.e. during summer or when you are away) turn off your boiler and secure any control switches, as this will make it harder for thieves to get oil out of the tank.

Add Insurance: As with any valuable item, you should check that your heating oil supply and tank are covered by your home insurance.

If you discover that a heating oil theft has already occurred, you should call the non-emergency 101 police number and report the crime immediately.

This message was from eCops:- Cambridgeshire Constabulary



Kerosene Heating oil Price Update 2018 02 03

With the forecast for another cold week ahead and snow in some areas, just a quick reminder to see if you have checked your oil level this week? A visual check is often worthwhile. During the winter months, I recommend ordering when you have around 6 to 7 weeks supply left in the tank. Deliveries are subject to weather and supply conditions so I urge you to order early and allow plenty of time for delivery to avoid any problems.

We have secured a rate and our clubs group oil order price for this weekend are as follows: £0.4545 (pence per litre excluding vat [5% for Domestic use])

The above price is exlusive for Wicken, Soham, Fordham & Isleham.

To check what your oil club price is visit

Old Kerosene Heating Oil Fuel Pump

Old Kerosene Heating Oil Fuel Pump

Bourn, Eversden, Hemingford, Hemingford Grey, Hilton, Kingston, Outwell, Stradsett, Wyton, Elsworth, Hemingford Abbots, Ickburgh, March, Rushbrooke, Toft, Upwell, West Tofts, Brockley, Conington, Downham Market, Euston, Great Barton, Livermere, Needham Market, Northwold, Old Hurst, Saint Ives, Stoke Ferry, Red Lodge, Chevington, Cowlinge, Lode, Reach, Chittering, Upware, Cottenham, Longstanton, Wilburton, Oakington, Earith, Aldreth, Prickwillow, Beck Row, Worlington, Elveden, Horringer, Thetford, Warboys, West Dereham, Woodhurst, Boxworth, Bury Saint Edmunds, Comberton, Cranwich, Denver, Hardwick, Hardwicke, Haslingfield, Hauxton, Lolworth, Nordelph, Rede, Timworth, Barnham, Denston, Doddington, Fornham All Saints, Holywell, Barrow, Brandon Creek, Brinkley, Chesterton, Denham, Fulbourn, Histon, Hockwold, Lackford, Willingham, Great Wilbraham, Higham, Kirtling, Lakenheath, Mepal, Milton, Teversham, Wilbraham, Cottenham, Dalham, Six Mile Bottom, Witcham, Bottisham, Cheveley, Coveney, Dullingham, Gazeley, Haddenham, Landbeach, Stetchworth, Tuddenham, Downham, Eriswell, Kentford, Littleport, Moulton, Waterbeach, Wilburton, Chettisham, Kennett, Swaffham Bulbeck, Witchford, Ely, Newmarket, Prickwillow, Stretham, Swaffham Prior, Burwell, Exning, Barway, Freckenham, Snailwell, Stuntney, West Row, Fordham, Isleham

Cheap Heating Oil – 5 Steps to ensure the best deal

Step 1 – Compare Oil Prices Online

The first step is to ensure you know the price you are looking to beat. Industry insiders claim that the suppliers add a minimum of 4p per litre to ensure that they make a profit. You can have a look at the current wholesale prices and see who gives you the closest price. You can find the quarterly published price report here.

We suggest using a Heating Oil comparison site like Fuel Tool. They provide a hassle free search tool which doesn’t require you to register as a customer to see prices. Other options are: BoilerJuice, CheapestOil, HeatingOilShop or HomefuelsDirect.

If you are so inclined, you can also opt for a 12 month fixed term price from someone like Craggs Energy.

Step 2 – Haggle down Prices

After you have done all your research and written down some of the best prices, you then have the option of ringing your local suppliers and attempting to haggle them down a bit.

Ask them if they can beat the quote you have, if they do, fantastic. If you don’t quite get the result you are after, just be polite and say that you are going to keep looking and might give them a call back. Continue the process with more suppliers, quoting the best price you’ve had and see who can beat it. You can knock a little off the actual best price you had, but this might not always be the best strategy, as you could miss out on a deal if you just gave them an honest price.

Step 3 – Time Your Purchase Right

The price you pay for your oil will fluctuate on a daily basis due to being directly influenced by the wholesale price of oil.

Timing is everything here. Summer time is often the best time to buy fuel as low demand drives prices down, with December often being the priciest.

1 year

Prices between July 2016 And July 2017 – Source:

Never leave it too late. Emergency orders can often cost you quite a bit more. Get into a routine of checking your oil level regularly so that you can judge when to order your fuel. Some tanks come with remote digital displays, like the Watchman Sonic, other tanks will just rely on you using a dipstick and some will have a gauge on the outside.

BoilerJuice puts together a nice chart to show you the UK average home heating oil prices so you can plan when to order your fuel.

Step 4 – Buy In Bulk For Discounts

This step will take a bit of leg work, but is well worth the trouble if you can find a few neighbours to work with and group together to find the best deals for bulk orders.

Bulk buying as neighbours, or even as a whole village, will ensure a great deal with suppliers, as this is also in the interest of the supplier. They will save on vehicle fuel due to not making smaller deliveries to multiple sites.

You can set up an Oil Heating Club yourself or join one of the many which already exist. Oil-Club is one such club which covers many around the country.

Setting up is fairly straight forward, but it will require someone who is willing to chase quotes and organising members. 20 Members ordering around 10,000 litres is a good starting point to ensure a great deal. Simply, ask members in your club to commit to an amount and find the best quotes using the steps above.

Even if you just team up with one neighbour you can save a decent amount. Most suppliers are happy to do this as long as you live relatively close to each other.

Step 5 – Pay The Right Way

Paying by Direct Debit can be less troublesome in certain situations, but you won’t be rewarded for your loyalty.

Putting some cash aside each month is definitely the option we would suggest. It’s all about budgeting for the fuel you know you will have to purchase and sticking to that budget. Just work out how much you usually use per year and put the money away for when you need to place your next order.

Paying for your fuel with a credit card is foolish and some suppliers will charge you extra. Avoid this option at all cost.