Seven Things to Do to
Save Heating Oil
Last year, heating oil prices dropped to their lowest in five years but have reached a three year high, at just over £59 a barrel as of the 5th October. The price of heating oil goes up and down mainly due to how much crude oil costs, but also in relation to demand as well as other market factors such as conflict in oil producing countries and, interestingly, even the weather. For more on the factors that affect heating oil prices check out our previous blog post.
As with all forms of heating, prices fluctuate and heating oil is no different. However, there are several things you can do to help save on heating oil costs and we’re going to share our top seven ideas with you.
Plan ahead when buying
It might be common sense, but it doesn’t always happen. When you plan ahead and order your heating oil in advance, you will be paying a standard price for your delivery. If you go down the route of ordering your heating oil at the last minute and need an urgent or express delivery, you will end up paying your provider’s premium price.
Buying your oil in the summer in preparation for winter can often be cheaper as demand is reduced, and there is less possibility of any problems with delivery due to bad weather. However, this isn’t always the case, so check before you buy. Generally, people buy oil two to three times a year so buying at either end of the summer could work well for you.
Bulk buy your oil
According to the Citizens Advice Bureau, you could save as much as 10% on your heating bill if you buy your oil in bulk. However, this does depend on the size of your oil tank. Most domestic oil tanks hold 1,000 to 3,500 litres but they should only be filled to a maximum of 90% capacity to avoid spillages.
If you don’t have a large oil tank, it may be worth teaming up with other households to reap the benefits of buying in bulk, just one of the many advantages of BoilerJuice Connected. Your oil order will be joined with other customers orders and the oil provider will deliver to all of you in the same area, saving money for both parties. At BoilerJuice, we offer customers the option to receive email notifications when someone in your area has ordered oil.
On average, a lorry is able to deliver between 18,000 and 20,000 litres of oil so, if you know a number of local people that use oil for their heating, it is worth considering. One of you will need to contact the oil companies to negotiate a best price and collate all the orders, or you can just sign up for BoilerJuice Connected and we’ll do the leg work for you. After all, we’re all about bringing communities together at BoilerJuice.
Negotiate heating pricesAs a comparison tool, BoilerJuice is able to identify the most competitive prices for you, plus we offer completely impartial and practical advice so we’re here to help you get the best deal. Not everyone is comfortable negotiating a deal, so you can turn to BoilerJuice to do the awkward work for you! It doesn’t matter if you are buying for yourself, for a club or in bulk, get a handful of quotes from all the oil providers who deliver to your area and then talk to your usual supplier to see if they are prepared to match the best quote. Of course, you may find that your current supplier is the most cost-effective, but it’s still worth finding out if they will give you a better price.
Monthly payment plansHow you pay for your oil could have an impact on the price you pay. Some oil suppliers may charge extra if you pay with a credit card or by direct debit. In addition, paying by direct debit could lock you into a long-term contract which means you will not have the flexibility to look for a better price for your heating oil. However, a contract may not necessarily be a bad thing; some suppliers offer a discount for agreeing to a contract. They will also monitor how much oil you are using and deliver when your oil tank needs topping up. At BoilerJuice, we offer a range of payment plans to make it easier for you to split the cost of your oil.
Oil tank maintenance
Oil tanks don’t last forever, and they are open to the weather elements all-year round. The last thing you want to happen is your oil tank leaking; not only may you find that you run out of oil before your next order date, but this may also cost you money.
Opt for an OFTEC-registered engineer to service your heating oil tank – they can service your boiler at the same time; this is money well spent and protects your oil tank from damage.
Protect your oil from theftOne action to consider is theft; sadly, there are people who will steal oil from oil tanks but there are things you can do to protect your oil from being stolen, which is why we stock a range of products in our shop to help protect your oil from theft. Plus, here’s a few more handy hints on how to keep your oil safe and secure:
- Put your tank in a secure place; while you must comply with OFTEC’s regulations otherwise you may be refused delivery by your supplier, you could place your tank behind trees, indoors or underground.
- Add an oil tank cage, particularly if the tank is located outside which encloses the tank completely.
- Get security lighting that is activated by movement if your oil tank is visible from the road. CCTV cameras are also a good option and will deter thieves, but you must always put up the relevant signage.
- Install a wireless tank alarm which can be linked to some of the latest electronic oil level gauges. If the oil level drops suddenly, an alarm will sound. Again, the relevant signage is a must.
Make sure your boiler is running efficiently
Lastly, make sure your oil-fired boiler is running efficiently; if not, not only could it cost you more than the price to install a new one, but it could cost you your health.
Old boilers can emit harmful gases, which can be extremely dangerous so make sure you get your boiler checked by a qualified engineer. Upgrading an old boiler to a new, more modern condensing oil boiler could save you as much as £200 per year.
Today’s modern boilers run at around 97% efficiency compared to models that are just six years old. While the cost to buy and install a new boiler could cost up to £6,000, it will pay you back over future years. Use our boiler service comparison tool to find out where you stand when it comes to costs.
What’s more, if a new boiler isn’t an option, there are a number of ways you can help your boiler be as efficient as possible.
How can BoilerJuice help you to save money?
BoilerJuice is the UK’s first heating oil comparison price platform. We aim to help you find the best heating oil prices in your area, quickly and easily. We work independently from heating oil companies and ensure our service is totally impartial at all times and provides consistently competitive prices, saving you money and time.
Get your personalised home heating oil quote in just 30 seconds today.