Why Do Heating Oil Prices Fluctuate?

Why do heating oil prices fluctuate and when are the best times to purchase.

just as paying for most utility bills the ever- changing prices can be confusing and unpredictable, naturally we want to buy our heating oil at the cheapest time possible, there are many factors which influence the price of kerosene so when is the best time to buy it?

Tanker Snow.jpg

1. Extreme weathers

Traditionally, buying your heating oil in the summer time will give you the cheapest price, this is when demand is lower meaning quotes you are given will usually be cheaper. This is because households aren’t heating their homes or at a lower levels when temperatures are generally higher meaning demand is lower.

When checking the price for your domestic heating oil in the winter, prices will be higher compared to the summer months this is also a result of there being a higher demand in winter when the temperature is colder and more people are switching on their heating at higher levels. Therefore if we have bad weather (For e.g 2018s beast from the east) the demand for heating oil will increase, driving down available stock so the price is then increased.

2. Politics

Governments from oil producing countries have a big impact on oil reserves and production meaning that political influences will cause heating oil prices to increase or decrease during the year. Threats on oil production can mean that production may be compromised, this in turn increases the price of the oil as the supply is at risk. Energy policies being changed also affects price, for example the government might ban certain activities that affects the production lowering the price or the government may approve of an area for oil exploration which will increase supply and lower the price.


OPEC ( Organisation of the petroleum exporting countries) currently supplies over 40 percent of the worlds crude oil consisting of 14 of the worlds major oil exporting countries. The purpose for OPEC members is to decide collectively when to increase or increase oil production to secure an efficient, economic and regular supply of petroleum to consumers, maintain a steady income to the producer and a fair return on capital for the investor. Therefore the decisions that OPEC Make directly affect the price of your home heating oil.

When Is the best time to buy your heating oil ?

We cannot control the price of heating oil and it can be very unpredictable, however by obtaining our prices daily we can make sure our price is a true reflection of the market. Here are some tips on when you should purchase your heating oil:

  • During summer months when temperatures are higher to avoid higher prices in winter (Buying in advance is always encouraged)

  • When Experts suggest that the price of oil may drop however OPEC will often intercept to control the rush of customers and demand on producing, same for when prices are predicted to increase.

  • When there is a greater global supply of oil available with little or no risk to supply.

    At James D Bilsland you can contact our live chat or phone us on 01360 660264 and one of our friendly staff will assist you with our daily price.