OIL fuel prices have dropped for the third year benefitting those households not using gas or electricity to keep warm this winter.

An estimated 31,000 rural homes in Herefordshire and Worcestershire have seen the drop in price with a typical three-bedroom house seeing a five per cent reduction throughout the past three years whereas bills equivalent homes using gas have gone up 14 per cent and those using electricity have gone up 17 per cent.

Malcolm Farrow, from OFTEC, the oil heating trade body, said the figures released by the company shows the prices for this type of fuel were more steady than those of its competitors.

He said: "This is welcome news for those using oil heating, particularly as household budgets have been stretched to the limits over recent years, and shows that oil prices have been much more stable.

“Oil users also have the advantage of choosing when to buy their oil, such as during summer months when prices are often lower, as well as purchasing through oil buying syndicates to secure more competitive prices."

The price difference between gas, traditionally the cheaper option, and oil has narrowed as now oil is just over 12 per cent more expensive, based on using a condensing boiler, which can reduce running costs.

Further information and advice on how to save money on oil, the benefits of upgrading to a condensing boiler and finding a local OFTEC registered technician is available at oilsave.org.uk.