Heating Oil - Summer Top Tips
In conjunction with consumer groups and DECC (Dept of Energy and Climate Change) we have produced the following summer top tips.
- Check your stock of oil - have you got any room for a summer top up? However, do not fill your fuel tank completely full during hot weather. Fuel must have room to expand.
- Consider your future oil requirements now, and look to buy as much as possible during the summer months when prices are nearly always lower than in winter.
- If you want to check that you are dealing with a bona fide distributor who adheres to the FPS Code of Practice, then ring the FPS (Federation of Petroleum Suppliers) on 01565 631313 or use the ‘Find Your Local Distributor’ facility on this website. This website will also give you advice about ordering oil and switching supplier.
- Consider joining a local oil-buying group. Buying together can make for more efficient oil deliveries and therefore lower prices. To find your nearest local oil buying group and for more information on the pros and cons of oil clubs see: www.oilsave.org.uk/buying-groups and www.citizensadvice.org.uk/index/campaigns/current_campaigns/recent_campaigns/oilclubs.htm
- If you have difficulty in paying for your whole order in advance, look into cost-effective ways to help you to do this. Your local credit union may be able to help, and some oil buying schemes have a Pay-As-You-Go option. Most good oil distribution companies also offer monthly payment schemes, and summer is the best time to start one off. Speak to your local distributor for advice.
- If you are struggling to pay for fuel, check that you are receiving all the help that you are entitled to. Your local Citizens’ Advice centre can help you with this.
- Check that your oil tank is as secure as possible against oil theft. Measures you can take include installing a tank lock, an alarm that goes off if fuel drains away quickly, CCTV and security lights. Further advice is available on: www.oilsave.org.uk/oil-tank-security
- Make sure that your insurance policy covers your oil tank – most home insurance policies do not include this in the standard cover. You need to be covered for loss of fuel through theft and oil spills, and the environmental clean-up of your property and any adjacent land in the event of a leak.
- Inspect your tank regularly and have it serviced annually by a qualified oil-fired heating engineer. For more information on the OFTEC website see: www.oftec.org/technicians/oil-technicians-home and www.oftec.org/consumers/consumer-home-guides
For those living in England
10A. A key way to reduce your heating bills is to make sure that your home is highly energy efficient. A Green Deal Assessment will identify the best steps to take, such as replacing your boiler or installing loft or wall insulation. Green Deal financing is also available to help cover the costs of the improvements. To find a list of Assessors see: http://gdorb.decc.gov.uk/assessors
For those living in Scotland
10B. The Scottish Government is committed to assisting those most vulnerable to fuel poverty. We would encourage anyone who is struggling to pay their fuel bills and keep their homes warm to call the Home Energy Scotland Hotline free on 0808 808 2282. Home Energy Scotland offers information on all Scottish Government home energy initiatives, along with help and expert advice on how to save energy and money in the home.
For those living in Wales
10C. The Welsh Government’s Nest scheme provides householders in Wales with access to a range of free, impartial advice and support to help them reduce their energy bills. Householders on the lowest incomes and living in the most energy inefficient homes could receive a package of home energy improvements at no cost to the householder. If you are struggling to pay your energy bills or keep your home warm you can contact Nest free on 0808 808 2244. More information on the Nest scheme is available at: www.nestwales.org.uk