Thinking of switching? Oil is the Way to Stay!

If you are unsure your oilheat system is the right long-term choice for your family's needs we encourage you to learn all you can. It's important to separate fact from fiction so you can understand whether it really makes sense to switch fuels. Economic sense AND "comfort" sense.

The non-profit Consumer Energy Council of America (CECA) says, "In 95 out of 100 cases, it is financially unwise to convert from oil heat to natural gas."  And in all cases, when considering a switch, "a careful assessment of conversion costs must be made."

Conversion costs you need to know

Many people discover the total cost of conversion to natural gas, or electricity, propane or wood is significantly more than they initially think. So be sure to assess all the costs involved and compare these to a new high-efficiency Energy Star® rated oilheat system. When you weigh the economics, and the "comfort" sense, we're confident you'll see oil is the way to stay.

  • Know the cost of tank removal and disposal
  • Know the costs of comparable new heating equipment for the fuels you're considering. Be sure to talk to your oiheat dealer to be aware of special savings that may be available.
  • Compare the efficiency ratings of the equipment, and compare the heat output
  • Ask about installation costs
  • Research fuel prices – is there absolute assurance of a meaningful long-term price advantage of one fuel over others?
  • Know the whole price -- natural gas and electricity bills have extra charges for distribution, storage, delivery, debt-reduction, etc. Oilheat does not.
  • Research municipal permit costs, plus the cost of a gas line to you home.
  • Ask around – do the other fuel providers live up to their promises? Are neighbours who converted from oil happy with the service and have they actually achieved the energy savings and home comfort they expected?

Conservation is the right answer for most people

Something else to know is all the conservation measures that can be equally successful at achieving your goal of saving energy dollars. These are the cost effective ways to upgrade and improve the efficiency of your existing oilheat system … plus ways to simply use less fuel and electricity … ways to prevent warm and cool air from escaping your home … and ways to reduce water consumption.  Many of these are described in this website.

CECA considers this to be the right answer for the large majority of consumers. "95% of consumers see no long-term savings by switching their heating systems from oil to natural gas," states the independent organization's landmark report, Smart Choices for Consumers. "For the majority of consumers, efficiency measures [upgrades and conservation techniques] represent the potential for the greatest gains in energy savings, as well as the highest returns on investment."

Fuel Prices alone are not the answer

Without absolute assurance and the long-term promise of a large price advantage of one fuel over another, switching fuel sources is, simply put, an expensive gamble.

According to several Consumer Energy Council of America reports, "Over the past 25 years, oil and natural gas prices have tracked each other." CECA's long-term projections through to 2025 lead this independent research organization to conclude, "There is no compelling evidence to suggest switching will make economic sense for the consumer. Investing in energy efficiency measures is the best option for most consumers, now and in the future."

What does it all mean? If you thought there might be a meaningful price advantage of one fuel over another, now or in the long term, clearly according to CECA there is not. So, fuel prices are not a good reason to consider switching, and switching fuels will not help you reduce home energy bills.

Though other fuel providers may use the media's focus on oil prices to entice you to switch, be a smart consumer and get all the facts.

Don't forget Comfort Sense

With the technological advances in modern oilheat equipment, oil furnaces and boilers achieve unsurpassed high efficiency – ratings as high as 97%. And modern oilheat equipment creates the hottest flame in the home heating industry, burning the air/fuel mixture in a clean, controlled manner that provides several exclusive home comfort benefits. Would you sacrifice your family's comfort unnecessarily?

  • With modern oilheat, the air exiting the registers is up to 30% warmer than with other fuels.
  • Oilheat replenishes hot water much faster. An oil-fired water heater can heat water up to twice as fast as natural gas and up to 5 times faster than electricity.
  • Today's oilheat is exceptionally clean. Fuel oil refinements now mean 99.9% of the fuel is used to create heat, with less than 0.1% discharged as particulates. That's great news for the environment.
  • Heating oil is clean and safe – a clear, rose-tinted, non-explosive liquid that will extinguish a lit match as if it was water. It's also non-toxic, non-carcinogenic and presents the least risk from carbon monoxide of all home heating fuels.


Local heating oil dealers may not be able to control the ups and downs of world energy prices, but they can help you assess your home heating choices and satisfy your family's comfort needs. Economic sense and comfort sense. Call your oiheat provider for help. Like most people, you'll find upgrades and whole-home energy conservation are the reliable ways to reduce bills, not switching fuels.