Up until the mid-1970s, oil fired heating systems accounted for 95% of all central heating systems in the UK. (NB not a huge proportion of homes had central heating at that time, most were coal fired back boilers serving a few radiators.) From the mid-seventies onwards the country began to move to gas.
Today around 1.1millon homes run on oil in the UK, which is still a sizable market. Oil is reliable off-grid fuel, but a finite resource with low efficiencies if not maintained correctly.
OFTEC (Oil Firing Technical Association) was formed in 1991 with the aim of improving standards in the oil sector via the provision of information and training to facilitate compliance. Their remit includes achieving the highest possible levels of fuel efficiency to combat climate change, i.e. extracting the most amount of energy from the fuel we are burning to heat our homes.
As part of this commitment, OFTEC developed OFCERT; a voluntary scheme that tests and licences oil boilers and related products to standards that exceed those of British and European standards of manufacture. Only when oil boilers burn cleanly and heating systems are set up efficiently can we reduce the environmental impact of fossil fuels.