Fuel Oil Tanks have been a hot topic for Ontario residents recently and we thought it would be worthwhile sharing what our customers are reporting and also the recent announcements about Ontario regulation changes.

According to Statscan Fuel Oil Prices the average price of fuel oil has increased by 21% over the last 4 years.

Heating oil prices Ottawa

As if that isn’t enough to contend with, changes in regulations in Ontario, rising insurance costs and, according to many local residents, receiving letters from insurance companies requesting the replacement of their fuel oil tanks or equipment.

Ontario issued an amendment to the safety standards for Fuel Oil Storage tanks on take effect January 1st 2013. The full document can be accessed here….Fuel Oil Code Amendment and contains significantly tougher requirements for above ground steel tanks and fittings.

Plumbing and HVAC magazine ran an article in their October issue concerning the impact of oil spills. Read the full article here…Oil spills from residential oil tanks. The article references the IBC, Insurance Board of Canada urging homeowners to upgrade tanks to more expensive models and also install drip trays.

Now is not a great time to heat your home with Fuel Oil.

Faced with large bills many homeowners have inquired about the alternatives to heating their homes with fuel oil. Of course the most obvious choice is replacing the fuel oil furnace with a high efficiency natural gas furnace. Natural gas prices in Ontario have been coming down significantly, According to Ontario Energy board a 78% reduction in consumer natural gas prices since 2006 see Gas price table

Also with high efficency gas furnaces fitted with ECM motors both gas AND electricity running costs are significantly lower.

Since natural gas is not always available to rural Ontario homeowners the next best alternative would be to install a high efficiency propane gas furnace. While the cost of the new furnace installation is likely to be around double the cost of installing a new oil tank, the reduction in running costs would typically payback the cost in just 2-3 years and of course the energy cost savings continue for the lifetime of the property. Looking at the trend in fuel oil costs, not to mention the increase in value of your home, makes this option even more attractive.

If you plan to stay in your home for a considerable time, then you may want to consider installing geothermal heating and cooling. Although the cost of installing the system is quite a bit higher, the efficiencies gained by getting 4 units of free energy from the ground for every one unit of electricity is unmatched.

Consider your options before making an oil tank replacement.

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