If you are one of over 46,000 households in Suffolk which is off the mains gas network, you could be saving money on your oil heating bill thanks to a local social enterprise.
Community Action Suffolk (CAS) runs a community buying scheme which has purchased over 2.1 million litres of oil in the last year. In this time, households saved an average of £60, higher volume users such as community groups have saved £100 and rural businesses have saved £321.
Despite recent record falls in oil prices, the scheme’s members have still made a collective saving of over £70,000 in the past year, as heating oil is purchased in bulk.
Oil deliveries are then planned to provide an environmental benefit, with one oil tanker making a single trip to several members, rather than numerous single trips to the same area. Not only is the tanker’s fuel consumption is reduced, but so is the heavy traffic through rural villages.
Natalie Lomas, Resources Officer at CAS, said:
“Our members simply like the low prices that we get for them. Since the scheme started, our prices have been consistently lower than the average prices our members would have paid independently.
“Members also appreciate the ease of the scheme, as they do not have the hassle of phoning around suppliers for quotes.
“We take orders from our members across Essex, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire and place bulk orders twice a month. We can also organise individual orders for members who miss a deadline, or find that they are running short.”
Members are not required to place orders online in order to benefit from savings, as is often the way with similar schemes. This is one way in which the scheme prides itself with customer service. One regular customer recently commented:
“Once again I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and your colleagues for organising and providing this service, which continues to offer significant savings on heating oil purchases as well as proving to be very efficient in its operation and delivery, thank you.”
As well as heating oil, the scheme also supplies members with Fuel Additive, Red Diesel, Gas Oil and LPG. Membership starts from just £20 per year and members have the option of placing orders via the website, by email, post or telephone.
To become a member or for more information visit www.communitybuying.org.uk or call 01473 345355 for a membership pack to be sent to you.