As we start to exit summer and enter autumn/winter, here’s a reminder of ACRE’s (Action with Communities in Rural England) Top 10 Heating Oil Tips; they’re a welcome reminder of what we should be doing when using domestic heating oil!
- 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 de distributor who adheres to the FPS Code of Practice, use the ‘Find Your Local Distributor’ facility on the FPS
(Federation of Petroleum Suppliers) website www.oilsave.org.uk where you will also nd advice about ordering oil and switching supplier.
- Consider joining a local oil-buying group. Buying together makes for more e cient oil deliveries and therefore lower prices. To nd your nearest local oil buying group and for more information on oil clubs see the information on the ACRE website or the Citizens Advice website.
- If you have di culty in paying for your whole order in advance, look into cost-e ective 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.
- 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 o if fuel drains away quickly, CCTV and security lights. Further advice is available at www.oilsave.org.uk
- 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 quali ed oil- red heating engineer. For more information, see the Oftec website.
- A key way to reduce your heating bills is to make sure that your home is highly energy e cient. A Green Deal Assessment will identify the best steps to take, such as replacing your boiler or installing loft or wall insulation. Green Deal nancing is also available to help cover the costs of the improvements.