Heating oil users are being urged to save money by stocking up early before winter in a joint campaign backed by Community Action Suffolk.
The Buy Oil Early Campaign has been launched by ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England), Citizens Advice and the FPS (Federation of Petroleum Suppliers), with the support of Energy Minister Matt Hancock.
Community Action Suffolk, a member of the national ACRE Network of rural community councils, says stocking up early has a range of benefits. Prices and demand tend to be lower in September and delivery is not disrupted by increased demand and icy weather.
Deputy Chief Executive, Chris Abraham said: “Research shows 36pc of homes in rural areas are off the gas grid, so many households rely on heating oil. In times of high demand, prices can increase rapidly, leaving the most vulnerable unable to afford to adequately heat their homes.
“We are urging households to buy their oil now so that they are prepared when the colder weather arrives and the time comes to switch on the heating.”
Energy Minister Matt Hancock said: “The nights are drawing in and Winter is just around the corner so we are encouraging people to stock up on oil sooner not later.
“It’s better to order early when demand is low and prices are low and to make sure no household is caught out, especially in remote and rural areas, where roads can be disrupted and delivery times only increase as the weather gets worse.
“If you haven’t thought about it, it’s worth looking at establishing or joining a community buying group which makes oil prices cheaper for individual households.”
“Please do also be sure to check that you are receiving all the help that you are entitled to with your local Citizens’ Advice Bureau.”
Twenty-five members of the ACRE Network have set up oil-buying groups. Last year, they bought more than 13 million litres of oil between them, saving almost £650,000 on behalf of rural customers. For details of oil-buying groups and top ten tips for heating oil users, visit www.acre.org.uk
If you are interested in saving money on your heating oil, visit Community Action Suffolk’s Community Buying website.