Below are some common questions that Home Heating Oil customers often ask when purchasing fuel. Click on a question below and the answer will then display beneath:
Why would the use of Kerosene in aircraft make the cost of my Home Heating Oil more expensive?
In the event of war or high military tension world supplies of Jet Kerosene are in great demand by the military. This puts pressure on refineries to supply the military rather than the home Heating Oil market for reasons of national security. It is at these times the price of Kerosene will spike causing an increase in the price of Home Heating Oil.
If I don’t pay Government Duty on my Kerosene when used as Home Heating Oil will I be charged Duty on Gas Oil if I use it as Home Heating Oil?
I am sorry to say you do. All supplies of Gas Oil are charged duty at the rate of 9.69 pence per litre. There is no waiver for those using Gas Oil as Home Heating Oil
Do I pay Government Duty on my Home Heating Oil?
Amazingly NO, this is one area of our lives that the Government has not yet put any duty on, so at the moment there is no duty on Kerosene used as Home Heating Oil.
If I don’t know which Home Heating Oil to order and if I check my tank how can I tell the difference between Kerosene and Gas Oil.
If you can see the oil in your tank through a sight glass or by taking a sample then the colour is your best guide. Gas Oil is coloured red and Kerosene is a light yellow almost straw like colour. If you can only smell the contents because the tank is empty or has no sight glass then Gas Oil has a deeper smell than Kerosene and smells the same as the Diesel you would fill up with on a petrol forecourt. Kerosene however is a lighter smell and is similar to that of Paraffin. If you have any doubts try visiting a filling station and smelling the diesel pump. Failing that call Top Up Fuels and we will help you identify the type of Home heating Oil you require.
If we were to see a return to normal military flying surely this will help to increase supply of kerosene into the Home Heating Oil market?
This will help supply and could bring prices of Home Heating Oil down, however (and I know there is always a however) the military are developing vehicles and tanks that will also run on Kerosene. This is because kerosene works so much better in very cold conditions far better than Gas Oil and Diesel which can freeze in winter. In addidion by having only one fuel required for all vehicles and aircraft in a war zone helps logistics. Even in times of low conflict the military will exercise putting demand on the supply of Kerosene and pushing up the price of Home Heating Oil.
If Kerosene is added to Gas Oil and Diesel in the refining process does this mean I can run my Diesel Car or Gas Oil tractor and plant using Kerosene?
The simple answer is NO, Kerosene is added in the refining or blending process under controlled conditions and at the correct mix and balance. To do this without expert knowledge could wreck your Gas Oil or Diesel engine. In addition both Gas Oil and Diesel carry Government Duty charges which are imposed once the Gas Oil and Diesel come out of the refinery. To add Kerosene after this is breaking the Law and defrauding HMRC. I probably don’t need to tell you this is not seen by HMRC in a favourable light, they will prosecute anyone caught doing this and impound vehicles found to be running on non-duty charged fuels including Kerosene and Home Heating Oil.
It is very easy to say the price of Home Heating Oil is subject to supply and demand which of course it is , but what causes this situation to occur?
Kerosene is the product most commonly used in the UK Home Heating Oil Market. The Kerosene used in Home Heating Oil tanks is the same Kerosene used to fly commercial aircraft and military jets. The only difference between Jet Kerosene and Home Heating Oil Kerosene is the way it is stored. Once Jet kerosene is downgraded to normal storage tanks from aviation tanks it can never be used to fly an aircraft and can therefore only be used in Home Heating Oil or to assist in the refining of Gas Oil and Diesel.
There are so many types of Heating Oil. How do I know what it is I should be ordering?
There are only two kinds of Home Heating Oil Gas Oil and Kerosene. As stated above Kerosene is the most common type of Home Heating Oil in the UK but if you went to France or Germany it tends to be Gas Oil. The confusion comes when you start to look at the number of different names or phrases used to describe Home Heating Oils. Let’s start with Kerosene:
Kerosene is the most common form of Home Heating Oil in the UK, also known as: Domestic Heating Oil, Kerosene, Kero, Boiler Juice, 28 Sec Kerosene, 28 Sec Kero, 28 Sec Heating Oil, Heating Oil Gas Oil is less common in Home Heating Oil systems but is used in some larger properties. Gas Oil is also known as: Gas Oil, Red Diesel, Ultra Low Gas Oil, Gas Oil 35 Sec, Industrial Heating Oil, in some cases Gas Oil will be refered to as Home heating Oil or Domestic Heating Oil but these two descriptions tend to always be for Kerosene.
Why does the refining process cause the price of Home Heating Oil to increase.
Kerosene which is the main source of Home Heating Oil in the UK is of a higher quality than Gas Oil and Diesel. This in itself makes Kerosene more expensive which pushes up the price of Home Heating Oil. In addition Gas Oil and Diesel wax (freeze) below a certain temperature and therefore as winter approaches Kerosene is added to Gas Oil and Diesel in the refining process to reduce the temperature at which Gas Oil and Diesel freeze. This puts demand on supplies of Kerosene increasing further the cost of Home Heating Oil.
If I use Gas Oil as my Home heating Oil do I have to also pay the full rate of VAT?
I am pleased to say the same rules apply as for Kerosene. If you use Gas Oil as Home heating Oil you can take deliveries of up to 2,300 litres at the rate of 5% VAT. Any deliveries of Gas Oil above 2,300 litres will be charged at the full rate of VAT currently 20%. Like kerosene used as Home Heating Oil it is possible to get an exemption from this rule and only pay 5%. This needs to be applied for and Top Up Fuels is very happy to assist in obtaining exemption on your behalf.
If I don’t pay duty on Kerosene used as Home Heating Oil then do I have to pay VAT?
I am afraid to say the answer to that question is YES & NO. Yes you do pay VAT on Kerosene used as Home Heating Oil but you don’t pay at the full rate but a reduced rate of 5%. This however is only for deliveries up to 2,300 litres. If you take more than this in any delivery then to obtain the Home Heating Oil reduced VAT rate you need to apply for an exemption. Should you find yourself in this situation then ask Top Up Fuels to look into this for you. We will be delighted to help you maintain your lower Home Heating Oil VAT rate.
If Kerosene used as Home Heating Oil doesn’t attract duty and Gas Oil does why would I use Gas Oil as my source of home heating Oil?
Gas Oil is used by those wanting more heat from a larger boiler. Generally these users are Industrial Heating Oil Users and not those buying Home Heating Oil. There are however some large users of Home Heating Oil where they have a large house or are heating a swimming pool and other facilities. In these cases they tend to use Gas Oil and not Kerosene as their source of Home Heating Oil.