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Confused About Energy is a free impartial service to help you reduce energy consumption and save on your energy costs. Much of the available information regarding energy efficiency savings is confusing and misleading. At Confused About Energy we aim to cut through the jargon and provide practical, impartial advice on all aspects of energy use and ways in which you can save money, this includes:-

Household Energy Costs: Heating, insulation, water, harnessing energy and more.

house hold energy costs

Car Energy Costs: The real MPG, using less fuel, green cars efficient cars and more

car energy costs

Energy Storage: also new to Confused About Energy, starting with batteries, again much more will be added throughout the year.


Current Fuel Prices

Calculations throughout this site provide an estimate of the costs of energy used (and saved) in various domestic applications. For instance, how much money you could save by installing loft insulation.

Energy and fuel prices will vary depending on the supplier, location and any particular deals on offer. We calculate an average price for each type of fuel and this is updated quarterly. When fuel prices are updated, the calculations on all the tables throughout the site will also update automatically.

The average fuel prices provide an excellent guide to energy costs and savings, however the price you are actually paying may vary from the average figure. We are now updating the site to enable you to enter your own fuel prices to compare energy and money costs/savings.

energy prices kWh gas electricity kerosene fuel oil wood biomass LPG coal smokeless propane butane

Read more about domestic fuels...

Prices were last updated

The Prices for electricity and gas are taken from BERR (Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform) and are updated annually, All prices include VAT and delivery where appropriate


Carbon Dioxide Tipping Point


Environmental warriors took me to task 10 years ago when I started this website.

The reason?

I made a heinous comment that “in spite of increased renewable energy capacity in the world, fossil fuel use will continue unabated and will actually increase over the next 40 years”. The first ten years indicate this view point to be correct, take a look here:-

World Energy Consumption

So why is this?

  • The population of the world keeps going up, more countries are industrialising and the lowest cost source of energy is fossil based.
  • The rate of installed renewable energy capacity is lower than the increasing demand for energy.

I am writing this article with climate scientists observing that in September of this year 2016 we have reached the Carbon Dioxide tipping point of 400 ppm in the atmosphere where climate change effects become apparently "irreversible".

Too often the CO2 problem is one dimensionally defined as "we must stop burning fossil fuels", well we should but we won't, so first off:-

What really is the problem?

Simply put the levels of CO2 are too high, absorbing too much sunlight, warming the planet.

So what is the solution?

Remember we have established that no matter how much we bang on about the use of fossil fuels, their use will continue until we fry, or think differently. No matter how much the worlds various green parties rant about the use of fossil fuels simple economics and the immediate needs of people will always force the use of low cost energy. This will continue until it runs out. When it does run out I hope there will be a viable alternative like nuclear fusion.

Don’t misunderstand me by the way, we need renewable energy solutions as part of the mix, but in my view we are at least decades away from supplying the energy requirements of the increasing world population with renewable energy. So in the meantime we need a stopgap solution.

Come on then so what is the stopgap solution?

Reduce the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere of course.


  • Abate CO2 from source, all power generation should remove CO2 from their effluent gasses.
  • Develop technologies to remove CO2 from the atmosphere.

Both are expensive, but the cost of doing nothing will be much higher. In 2007 Richard Branson from Virgin launched the Virgin Earth Challenge with the aim of removing CO2 from the atmosphere, take a look at their website and some of the technologies being suggested and indeed used.

Another solution

There is another stopgap solution but even more so than CO2 removal, it is a treatment of symptoms rather than a solution, it is to effectively reduce the sunlight getting through the atmosphere and interacting with greenhouse gases. This naturally happens when a large volcano erupts spewing sulphur (US sulfur) dioxide into the upper atmosphere. There are numerous ideas just do a quick google!


Heating Oil Prices and Buying Guide


To calculate our average price of heating oil in the UK we collect a sample of quotes for delivery of 1000 litres of standard kerosene delivered in a standard tanker on normal delivery timescales (usually 1 week – 10 days). We do this once every quarter.

Like the price of petrol or diesel for your car, the price of heating oil is hugely influenced by the global price of crude oil and will change over time. Recent years has seen a big fall in the price of heating oil as the crude oil price collapsed.

In December 2013 the average price for heating oil was 56 pence per litre. In April 2016 the average price was 28 pence per litre!

Getting the best price for heating oil

There are a number of things you can do to ensure you get the best price for your heating oil:-

1. Shop around for your heating oil

As with petrol, where prices can vary quite a lot between retailers, so can the price of heating oil. There are several nationwide heating oil price comparison sites and heating oil brokers that you can use. The brokers will have a network of suppliers and they will search to get you the best price in your area. Below are some links to a few sites: -

However it is also well worth looking locally to get a supplier, you could get a very competitive price plus you have the added benefit of building a relationship with the supplier. For instance some local suppliers offer credit terms to loyal customers, with up to 30 days to pay. Imagine filling your car with petrol and paying 30 days later!

To find a local supplier you can use the Federation of Petroleum Suppliers (FPS) Directory. Its member companies work to a code of conduct. Of course you can also use Yellow Pages, Yell or Google Maps to find local heating oil suppliers. If you are new to an area ask around to see which heating suppliers people use.

2. Buy your heating oil in bulk

Generally speaking the more heating oil you buy the cheaper the price. The smallest quantity is usually 500 litres.

3. Club together to buy heating oil

If you have neighbours that use heating oil then it might be possible to bulk order together and get the benefit of a cheaper price. This doesn’t have to be a formal arrangement, you can just ask about when you are ordering to see if anyone else needs heating oil. Most suppliers will be happy to bill people individually.

4. Don’t leave it until the last minute!

It is tempting to let your oil supply drop low before ordering, so you can buy a bigger volume and get a cheaper price. However be careful not to leave to too late, as most suppliers charge a premium for quick deliveries.

Linked to this it is best to buy oil before the cold weather comes, prices can rise in winter when demand is high. So filling up in summer, even if you are not using much oil, can mean you get a better price. However your ability to time your purchases of heating oil will depend on the size of your tank and the rate at which you use the oil.


Switching Energy Provider


I switched energy provider it was easy and the savings are considerable.

I switched using uSwitch on the 23rd JAN 2014 from nPower to OVO. The table below shows the savings I will make, they are considerable and the process of switching was so simple, please read on by clicking "more" below the table. I will now be switching each year to maintain these prices.


Global Energy and Carbon Dioxide


We started this site in 2008. At that time our younger brains wrote a few articles that provoked a measure of vitriol from the good willed and so-called green community. I say, “so-called” because their non-solutions can so often be counter productive. In the years of examining why this is, it has become my view that there is simply a lack of awareness of scale. Simply put, there is a lack of comprehension of how much bang for you buck you get with fossil fuels compared to a renewable energy source like a windmill or a heat pump. To be clear I have no issue with renewable energy sources, they are great, but thinking that we will ever meet the world’s energy needs with renewables is fanciful.

With fusion energy in place we should reserve fossil fuels for aviation and my trips to the Mediterranean; it is a medical need!

The articles in 2008 were based on a simple premise and that is as long as there are economically recoverable fossil fuels someone around the world will be recovering them and ultimately burning them. We showed that in spite of the plethora of “renewable schemes” that fossil fuel consumption would increase and that it would continue to increase until at least 2050, with the consequent increase in CO2 emissions and the problems these will cause the planet. This has proven to be the case. There was one caveat to this premise, once a true alternative to fossil fuels becomes available, then this paradigm will immediately shift. The only likely alternative on the 30-year horizon is fusion energy.


Teaching Global Warming


Our Children can’t be expected to understand the Global Warming debate until they have an understanding of “The Facts”

I recently picked up my teenaged son’s school science revision guide, at the same time asking him if he needed any help. “I'm fine” he said and maybe I should have respected this but I was bored and felt a familiar urge to irritate him without motive because unfortunately that’s the kind of Dad I am (in return I have made an implied promise to leave him half a house when I die and to be fair both he and his brother seem relaxed about this arrangement). So anyway, I resolved to test him on the material in the guide with a view to ensuring that he gets enough qualifications to get him a job that will allow him to escape my tormenting at the earliest opportunity? The subject of the open page of the booklet was “The Environment” and since I didn’t feel inclined to wade through the whole document I decided to play the cards as they fell. “The Environment” it was.


Top 10 tips for improving your car fuel economy

0fficial mpg

With the current high fuel prices, even a relatively small improvement in your MPG can save you money. Most drivers will be able to make savings by changing their driving habits and techniques.


Confused About Batteries


We are! We have decided to try to find out how much energy there actually is in your average battery. There are so many brands, names, categories and types it is very unclear what you actually get for your money. Should you buy an expensive alkaline battery or would a cheaper brand suffice. Batteries use descriptive words like, superpower, power plus or extra energy to describe what you get, but there is no data on the side of batteries to quantify what you are buying. So we have decided to find out.

There are complications in calculating the energy in a battery, since the energy of the output varies with the change in voltage as a battery is discharged at a given rate (mAh specified). An absolute number for the capacity of the battery (the number of mAh) can however be evaluated easily by setting the discharge current of the test apparatus to a fixed value. If you are then willing to accept an approximation of energy by averaging the discharge voltage over the discharge time then the energy in each battery can be estimated.