As winter approaches, Henley Citizens Advice Bureau is urging heating oil users to buy early to help reduce the cost of heating their homes.
By stocking up on heating oil now, people can make the most of lower costs before high demand over the winter months pushes up the price. Fuel is generally more expensive from December to February.
People who buy oil now could also benefit from faster delivery times, as suppliers often have spare capacity before demand picks up.
It is also important to shop around for the best price. One of the challenges for heating oil customers is the large upfront cost so, if you have difficulty paying for your fuel on delivery, ask your supplier about flexible payment options.
Joining a heating oil club can help cut the cost of oil significantly. An oil club is a buying group that purchases oil in bulk on behalf of its members. The club is able to negotiate a lower price per unit of oil because it has more bargaining power. Many oil clubs also order from a number of different suppliers in order to get the lowest price.
Buying with others reduces the number of journeys suppliers need to make, which can mean lower delivery costs.
Many oil clubs already exist in Oxfordshire. The Oxfordshire Rural Community Council runs a bulk oil-buying scheme which you can join via its website at www.oxonrcc.org.uk
To find out more about oil clubs, go to www.citizensadvice.org.uk/oilclubs The website also has advice on how to start your own oil-buying group.
If you are struggling with your household bills, the CAB can help you to draw up a budget and make sure that you’re getting all the help to which you’re entitled.
For further help, call Adviceline on 08444 111 444 or drop in to your nearest Citizens Advice Bureau, which is located at 32 Market Place, Henley-on-Thames RG9 2AH. For opening hours, see www.caox.org.uk