Heating Oil Groups are made up of people who want to buy oil in a thrifty fashion. People can come together and order oil in bulk amounts for several homes. Generally speaking, the more oil you order, the lower the price per litre will be. There are other benefits, though there are also some common problems, which you should be aware of. Listed below is the key information regarding Oil Buying Groups:
Fill your Tank for Less: As you purchase larger volumes of oil the price per litre should fall. If a group of people decide to share a large delivery of oil between them; they would expect to pay less than filling their own tank individually. Delivery costs may also be cheaper. If a delivery driver only has to visit one area or street, to complete several orders, diesel costs will be lower and time will be saved. Small word of caution on the headline grabbing savings, they may not turn as great as promised.
Be Part of Something: Joining an Oil Group may help make you a visible member of your community. Community cohesion is important to lots of people and this could be a way of helping to maintain or improve that. You may make new friends or strengthen existing ties in your neighbourhood.
It’s Good to be Green: Lowering carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the Earth’s atmosphere has long been on scientists’ agenda. However it is a relatively recent trend for people to take matters into their own hands and, no matter how small, contribute to the health of the world. Joining an oil club means there will be fewer vehicles on the roads delivering small amounts to individuals. Fewer vehicles on the roads will result in less CO2 being released.
Difficulties may arise when it comes to the running of the oil group. It is important to have a competent administrator in the group for key decisions. Problems will appear if the wrong decisions are made. Below are some of the key problem issues:
- Ordering Oil at the Right Time: Oil prices vary sharply at different times in the year. When ordering a bulk amount it would not be advisable to order when the prices are at a premium.
- Communication: For the group to run smoothly, they will have to communicate, even more so if it is a large group. It is important to know if anybody wants to cancel, change their order, move house, go on holiday etc. Problems and arguments are likely to develop if decisions are being made without the proper consultation.
- Group Size: It is important to make sure your oil group does not expand out of control. Limits on the amount of members you can expect to handle should be in place. It is easier to manage a smaller group of like minded people; easier to keep them focused on wanting the same thing. If there is a large membership it is likely to affect the unity of your group. However if you have the time and resources to deal with this then it shouldn’t be a problem.
- Oil Distributors: During periods of peak demand, many oil distributors will give priority to their individual loyal customers who buy regularly at normal prices. Many distributors will not even quote buying groups at certain times of the year or will actually surcharge them as they are only being used if any when it suits the buying group.
- Buying Group Leader: This person should be chosen carefully. They should be upright and of independent mind. There have been examples of the leader getting a “special or preferential rate” for their own property if and when a bulk buying group order is placed with a distributor. There are also examples of leaders actually charging members of the group for their services to the buying group.
- Regionalisation: The success of buying groups also depends upon the area of the UK in which they operate. The most successful buying groups operate in Southern England where prices seem to be higher than UK averages. The least successful buying groups try to operate in Northern Ireland where heating oil prices are most competitive in the UK.
- Boiler Efficiency: We strongly recommend servicing your boiler annually as many boilers in Northern Ireland operate at 55% efficiency. No matter what the savings from group buying are you could still be wasting money.
Heating Oil Groups are becoming more and more popular. In a tough economic climate all savings are important. Having read this information, if you are thinking of joining a buying group or are part of one already, feel free to contact us.