James Brook gives his top tips to pass on to customers on how to save money when buying heating oil.

The cost of heating your home can creep up on you, particularly in the winter months, due to the increasing price of non-renewable energy. While the majority of UK homes are heated using gas, over 1.5 million homes rely on heating oil, which is delivered to them and stored in tanks.

Price Comparison

Comparing the prices of heating oil across several different suppliers is always a worthwhile exercise, especially as prices can deviate from one day to the next. When you find the cheapest supplier, you could then compare that figure with the government’s quarterly energy price reports for peace of mind.

The advantage here is that while regular energy supply such as gas is not a negotiable price, the price of heating oil can fluctuate a lot and, the more you order, typically the lower the price per litre you will pay.

Using Local Suppliers

Like most businesses dealing with goods, heating oil suppliers have things to consider such as transportation costs. Using a local supplier could significantly reduce the price if it will also save that supplier money on transport costs. Striking up a good relationship with a local supplier could also improve your standing for deals going forward.

Seasonal Buying

Heating oil is very much a demand-driven industry and, as such, the prices deviate throughout the year. There is less demand for heating oil during the summer months, so it is recommended to purchase heating oil during this period in anticipation of cold winter months. You can save a lot of money by purchasing at the right point in the year, and can keep track of exactly how much money you spend annually on energy by budgeting it down to the penny.

Bulk Buying

The more heating oil that you purchase at once, the better pence per litre you will be offered. Some villages, or communities form a group of people who regularly buy heating oil, typically known as a ‘Buying Group’, more information about the benefits and disadvantages of buying groups can be found here.

Ordering your oil together can lead to savings for each member of the group due to bulk discounts. Ordering your oil in this way could help you to establish a small internal market, as well as a fruitful community spirit. However, buying groups aren’t suited to everyone, so please make sure you do your homework before you join one.

Due to the current drop in global oil prices, using heating oil to heat your home is a very cost effective energy source and if you have the time; shopping around for the best price can save you even more money. Remember though, the best price doesn’t always guarantee you the best level of service, so if you switch to a new supplier, make sure you read up on their history or read any online customer reviews to give you peace of mind.

James Brook is marketing manager at Rix Petroleum