Heating oil theft up by 51% since 2011

27th November 2017 | Rural Energy

Heating oil theft is on the rise – having increased by 51% in just six years according to new research. Independent research into reported thefts of heating oil in the UK between 2011 and 2016 found that the data showed that more than £4m of oil was stolen in 2016 alone.

On average, an oil theft victim will lose £280’s worth of heating oil, potentially pushing householders towards fuel poverty.

It is believed that the increase in the price of oil from 25p per litre (in January 2016) to 42p per litre (in November 2017), plus the isolated nature of many of their homes, has made heating oil an easy target for thieves.

The research asked 45 police forces for heating oil theft data – split by month, year and postcode. 38 of the police forces were able to provide usable data, showing which postcode areas have higher rates of reported oil thefts.

Heating Oil

There are around 1.6million UK households which are not connected to mains gas, and therefore rely on heating oil such as Kerosene 28 to heat their homes. Domestic oil tanks, which typically cost up to £1000 to fill up, are based outside the home, making it an easy target for thieves, who will often sell it on, and use it for diesel cars. The highest frequency of heating oil thefts between 2014 and 2017 took place in the following areas:

  • Hereford
  • Cardiff
  • Swansea
  • Cornwall
  • Norfolk
  • Suffolk
  • Pembrokeshire
  • Kent
  • East Yorkshire

The analysis also found that 1 in every 3 thefts took place in the winter months.

Here are some hints to help prevent criminals from stealing oil from tanks:

  • Ensure you have a tank lock
  • Keep your tank well hidden
  • Install sensor lights
  • Use a fuel alarm
  • Sign up to oil theft alerts

More information available on the website below