Photograph: Colin Brough.
The Best Advice You Could Ever Get About Heating Oil
As Winter approaches, domestic heating oil prices are set to spiral. Specialist price comparison site, Boilerjuice, provides advice for buyers seeking a better deal.
Buy Heating Oil Early
Since its launch in September, the Buy Oil Early campaign (an initiative from Action with Communities in Rural England [ACRE], Citizens Advice and the Federation of Petroleum Suppliers [FPS]), has been extolling the benefits of stockpiling domestic heating oil in anticipation of Winter.
With the backing of Matthew Hancock, Minister of State for Energy, the campaign has focused on the simple message that ordering heating oil early is cheaper and spares households from unnecessary delays in delivery.
Whilst heating oil prices have always been higher over the cold winter months; a corollary of the dynamics of market supply and demand, they also follow rises in the retail price index. Indeed, the most recent edition of Quarterly Energy Prices (a statistical compilation by the Department of Energy & Climate Change and National Statistics) forecasts domestic fuel inflation of 3.4 per cent during 2014.
Neither can households take solace from events in the Middle East where a volatile political situation is already influencing global crude oil and prices, and by extension, domestic heating oil prices which mirror them. For heating oil is but a particular grade of Kerosene, the simplest of all crude oil distillates.
With the above in mind, households might be wise to review current arrangements with heating oil suppliers and the prices they are paying.
How to Obtain the Best Price
There will always be variations between the prices different suppliers charge for domestic heating oil delivery, regardless of the time of year.
Although most people understand how shopping around for a better quote will reduce the amount they pay for their heating oil, in practice we are often too busy to worry about saving a few pounds. Yet these lost pounds can add significantly to our heating bills over months and years.
With the arrival of dedicated offline and online heating industry resources, there can be few excuses today for not making at least a token effort to see whether savings can be achieved.
Indeed, for an easy solution, heating oil buyers need only visit sites like www.boilerjuice.com that tailors to the needs of domestic buyers and include tools, interactive price charts and other resources (including a price comparison facility that includes feeds from around 1,000 local and national suppliers).
Industry associations can also be a good source of pricing information.
Benefiting from bulk buying
Storage tank size has a direct impact on heating oil storage volumes and cost savings that can be achieved by buying in bulk.
As a guide, households should budget for larger tanks - storage tank volumes in the UK typically range between 1,000 litres and 3,500 litres, with larger volumes typically used in industrial applications.
To protect against overflow and spillages and ensure safe fuel storage, tanks will typically be filled to 90 per cent of total capacity, and potential purchasers of tanks will need to take account of this.
Benefit from collective purchasing volumes
BoilerJuice allows purchasers of domestic heating oil to benefit from volume discounts by pooling together orders placed on the same day for delivery to the same locale.
Our solution is ideal for anyone who wants all the benefits associated with traditional buying clubs, without the hassle associated with locating or running a club and collecting payments from fellow members.
Moreover, it creates even greater opportunities for cost-savings and discounts on heating oil delivery!