Buy Oil Now Before Winter Sets In Says Trade Association


Forecasters are warning of a cold winter so heating oil trade association, FPS (Federation of Petroleum Suppliers) is urging the 1.5m households, who use oil, across the UK to buy their heating oil now before the weather affects deliveries and price by launching the 2015 ‘Buy Oil Early’ campaign together with Minister of State for Energy Andrea Leadsom.

In the week when Sutherland Tables, provider of comparative home heating costs for the most common fuels in the UK and Republic of Ireland, has announced its latest figures showing heating oil is 45% cheaper than this time last year Chief Executive of the FPS Mark Askew comments: “The price of heating oil is currently cheaper than gas heating for the fifth quarter in a row so the FPS say it is a great time to buy, particularly if we are in for a bad winter. When snow hits us deliveries of heating oil to mainly rural areas take longer and costs rise as oil heating distributors are forced to pay staff for longer hours to cope with the increase in demand and pay more for fuel to collect heating oil from refineries so we are advising homeowners to purchase their heating oil now while prices are low and oil distributors can get to them.”

Home heating costs using oil continue to dip well below the 4 year average with costs now sitting at approximately 50 - 53% lower than the 4 year average, for both existing and newer build dwellings in the UK & NI and householders are spending on average up to 45% less this winter than last year.

Minister of State for Energy Andrea Leadsom said, “My priority is keeping bills low for hardworking families and businesses, and with winter on its way it makes sense to plan ahead. If you use oil to heat your home, buying it sooner rather than later will help you avoid longer delivery times as demand increases...”

Mark Askew adds “Our members understand that times are hard and people may want to wait before ordering fuel but many oil distributors run payment schemes to encourage customers to have bigger, less frequent deliveries but then spread the payments out over the whole year, helping both financially and ensuring homeowners don’t run out of fuel when winter hits. Every year we have a few customers who run out of heating oil and I think a lot of people are often taken by surprise when it starts snowing and have to wait longer than usual to get their delivery.

FPS members pride themselves on their service, and their drivers have been fantastic in some really tricky driving conditions, but they can be slowed down by the road conditions and occasionally just about brought to a standstill; at times roads can be blocked and they simply can’t get through the snow to some rural areas for a few days, but we and our members always liaise with local authorities and follow the gritters into the worst affected areas. In some of the worst conditions like the winter of 2010 we heard from quite a few people whose regular supplier wasn't able to deliver to them for as long as three weeks. Our advice is always to plan ahead and fill your tank up sooner rather than later.”

Ends

The Minister of State for Energy is encouraging off gas grid households to stock up early on winter supplies when suppliers have spare delivery capacity to delivery quickly. In previous prolonged severe winter weather many of the oil distribution companies had an increase in orders and backlogs in delivering oil particularly in remote and rural households where roads were disrupted by snow and ice or by flooding.

OFGEM Data

 

England[1]

Scotland[2]

Wales[3]

GB

 

000’s

%

000’s

%

000’s

%

000’s

%

Mains Gas

18,620

85

1,870

78

996

79

21,486

84%

Communal heating

373

2

25

1

5

0

403

2%

LPG

132

1

21

1

25

2

178

1%

Heating oil

818

4

140

6

143

11

1,101

4%

Solid fuel

157

1

26

1

37

3

220

1%

Electricity

1,835

8

316

13

63

5

2,214

9%

Other / unknown

0

0

4

0

0

0

4

0%

 Total

21,935

100

2,402

100

1,269

100

25,606

100%

                 

Non gas heating (Including communal)

3,315

15%

532

22%

273

22%

4,120

16%

Non gas heating (excl communal)

2,942

13%

507

21%

268

21%

3,717

15%

 

[1] Source: English Housing Survey 2012 (covering the years 2011/12 and 2012/13)

[2] Source: Scottish Household Survey 2013

[3] Source: Living in Wales Survey 2008 as reported in Consumer Focus, 2011, “Off-gas consumers – Information on households without mains gas heating” (http://www.consumerfocus.org.uk/publications/off-gas-consumers-information-on-households-without-mains-gas-heating). No survey that covers physical inspections has been carried out in Wales since then.

Further Information

Look after your oil tank

Buying group guidance