Oil water heaters are generally slightly less efficient than natural gas models, but more expensive units can offer comparable efficiency. They are generally more efficient than electric water heaters.
The cost of oil tends to fluctuate more than the price of natural gas and electricity, so estimating long-term costs can be difficult. However, oil-based heating is generally in between natural gas and electrical heating in terms of operational expenses. Those in remote regions might prefer oil over natural gas as the cost of transporting bottled natural gas and propane can be high. Oil tanks can also hold a significant amount of oil safely, making them a dependable option for long winters.