Published: Fri, 26 Jul 2019
When your home isn’t connected to mains gas, you need to find an alternative that is efficient, cost-effective and energy-saving. Here in the UK, some 1.5 million homes opt for heating oil as this alternative, and whilst an oil-powered central heating system may seem like an antiquated option, new oil tank models are proving to be an excellent choice, providing homeowners with a reliable source of energy to heat their home.
If your home heating system is oil-powered, you need to make sure you understand the industry and make sense of how to manage your heating oil delivery. Whilst oil power is an efficient option, you need to be proactive about purchasing oil and getting it delivered; if you leave it until the last minute, you could be left without a source of energy in your home. Heating oil prices fluctuate constantly, so you can’t always rely on the price remaining reasonable all year round. Equally, the cost of delivery depends on a number of factors, such as where you live and the capabilities of the supplier you choose.
In order to overcome these obstacles, you simply need to get clued up on the world of heating oil. By following advice from reputable heating oil companies like ourselves here at Western Fuel, you’ll find that arranging heating oil delivery becomes an effortless task that won’t break the bank. To help you get the best price for your heating oil and to ensure your delivery runs smoothly, we’ve put together this handy guide, which we guarantee will make heating your home a breeze.
Arrange your oil delivery ahead of time
Firstly, as we’ve already mentioned, it pays to be prepared when organising oil delivery to your home. Leaving it until the last minute could leave you paying over the odds for your home heating source and potentially leave you at risk of not being able to heat your home when you need to. It’s good practice to get into the habit of regularly checking your oil level so that you don’t run out and are forced to fall back on emergency heating oil delivery.
Emergency delivery can be as much as 10% more expensive than a pre-arranged deal, simply because you’re paying for the convenience. Further to this, heating oil prices vary throughout the year, so whilst an emergency delivery in summer might not set you back too much, a last-minute order in the middle of winter (when demand is much higher) could truly bust your budget.
Be sure to keep your eye on the weather and be aware of any cold snaps coming up; when temperatures drop suddenly there is often a rush for heating oil, which invariably pushes prices up and could even leave you with no source of home heating. A last-minute approach is not only stressful but could even put you and your family’s health at risk.
Purchase heating oil in the summer
Just like the cost of petrol, oil prices fluctuate throughout the year, and although heating oil is much cheaper than petrol and other similar oils, it still pays to stay on top of the game and make sure you’re getting the best deal possible. There are a number of reasons for the changeable prices, including crude oil price fluctuations, changes in the economy and changes in the weather. However, the most contributing factor is supply and demand, which is why heating oil is generally cheaper during the summer months.
Winter is the most expensive time to buy heating oil, with December being the most costly period. Whilst you’ll be making use of your tank the most during winter, you can’t simply forget about it during the summer, both in terms of maintenance and with regards to arranging delivery. Stay one step ahead and organise your oil delivery for the summer; not only will you be prepared for any sudden drops in temperature, but you’re also far more likely to pay less for the oil itself.
In the colder parts of the year, heating oil companies may also struggle to deliver oil due to adverse weather conditions. In extreme weather such as heavy snow, thunderstorms and even high winds, it can be difficult for the large lorries that transport oil to travel on the roads. Again, if there are only a small number of trucks that can get out, the demand goes up yet again and the price will increase once more.
All in all, it pays to be mindful of heating oil price trends so that you can track down the best deals throughout the year. Stock up during the cheapest periods and use your common sense; keep a fair amount of oil in your tank at all times and ensure you have plenty of back-up.
Get oil delivered in bulk or buy with other homeowners
It’s a good idea to buy your home heating oil in bulk. As a general rule, buying anything in bulk is often more economical and convenient. You’re more likely to be offered discounts and deals on an order with a larger quantity of oil, saving you money and also giving you peace of mind that you won’t run out of fuel unexpectedly.
If your tank isn’t big enough and doesn’t give you the capacity to bulk buy, you could join a local heating oil buying group. This allows you to team up with other households in your area and negotiate a bulk price with a local supplier. Not only will you still gain from a lower price, but the delivery is more environmentally-friendly too, as the oil can be delivered in one fell swoop, rather than multiple lorries going out at once within the same location. If you’re not aware of an oil buying group in your area, why not set one up yourself?
Research the home heating oil prices in your local area
As with any trade service, doing your research, shopping around and getting to know the local market is the best way to ensure you get a quality service at the best price. Just because a company is geographically closer to you, you shouldn’t assume that oil delivery is going to be the cheapest in your area. Start by getting quotes from a few different fuel delivery companies, either using price comparison sites or contacting them directly and comparing the costs yourself.
Remember that with heating oil, you can also haggle using a set of quotes you’ve collected, so once you’ve got a few under your belt, go back to your local suppliers and find out if they’d be willing to offer a better deal- the worst they can say is no!
Apart from simply getting the best deal, another reason it’s so important to research the home heating oil prices in your area is because local competition can also affect oil prices. It’s often the case that, because more rural homes are oil-powered, heating oil companies based in countryside areas see higher demand and higher oil prices as a result. Homes in urban areas have less competition, meaning that it’s easier to find a cheaper deal. Be willing to branch out and consider arranging delivery from a company that’s based further afield- although they may have to travel further, you may find that the price of the oil makes up for this additional cost.
However, remember that the delivery itself can come with its own costs and the distance a company has to travel will impact the final price you pay. When shopping around for quotes, you should ask your suppliers for a pricing breakdown so that you can see the cost of delivery separate from the price of the oil itself and make comparisons between companies based on which is the most cost-effective solution.
Organise a routine delivery
The final and most important piece of advice we can offer is to organise routine heating oil delivery. Whilst it’s important to keep your eyes on oil price trends, a routine delivery will ensure that you never run out of oil and can keep on top of your finances. After all, you can always amend it if you notice a sudden drop in prices. With a regular oil delivery, your home will always be warm and you’ll always be able to heat your water, meaning that you and your family are never left out in the cold through the winter.
Organising a routine delivery allows your supplier to prepare for your order in good time, meaning that both parties avoid the expensive and tense process of an emergency delivery. Just remember, before you set up a regular delivery, be sure to speak at length with your chosen supplier about the payment options; credit card payments sometimes come with charges, meanwhile, direct debits might be tricky to cancel if you wish to swap suppliers in the future. Overall, just ensure that you arrange oil delivery on your terms so that you don’t encounter any nasty surprises in future.
Western Fuel: A fuel delivery service that you can rely on
Here at Western Fuel, we provide a reliable fuel delivery service to customers across the South West. We’re proud to be a leading supplier to both commercial and domestic customers and are passionate about keeping expenses down where possible.
If you run a business that relies on commercial fuel, we understand how important it is to not only source quality fuel, but also to have an oil delivery service that you can rely on. Equally, if you use oil power as an alternative to mains gas at home, we know that you need to trust that your oil supplier will be affordable and punctual. This is why we work to ensure our customers are always satisfied, offering a reliable delivery service and oil prices that align with fluctuations within the industry.
To arrange fuel delivery that you can rely on, look no further than us. We’ll be more than happy to arrange a routine delivery that suits your schedule and ensures you always get the best prices. To speak to a member of our team, get in touch with us today.
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