Heating oil prices fluctuate all the time, usually in relation to the price of crude oil. It can be affected by weather conditions, global production and international politics – but that’s not to say you can’t have some control over the price you end up paying to fill your tank.
1 – Shop around
Regularly compare the prices of different suppliers in the UK. Even once you find a supplier you’re happy with, it’s worth occasionally calling up others for an estimate in case they can offer you a better deal. Don’t forget to check customer reviews and testimonials to make sure you’re signing up with a legitimate supplier. If you’d rather not switch from your regular supplier, you can still use the quotes you gather to negotiate a better price.
2 – Buy in bulk
It’s almost always the case that the more oil you can order, the cheaper it will be per litre. Even if you only have a smaller domestic oil storage tank, you may find that your area has a heating oil club, where neighbours bulk-buy oil at the same time for lower costs. If there isn’t one already, maybe you could start one? There are even services online that link nearby regional heating oil clubs to club together for even larger orders, reducing a significant percentage off of your bill.
3 – Don’t leave it until the last minute
If you fall into the habit of ordering a refill when your tank is empty, you’re going to end up paying extra for the express delivery. Install a gauge on your tank to keep track of when your oil level drops to around a quarter of a tank and call your supplier to arrange a future delivery date before you run out.
4 – Buy your oil in summer
Demand for heating oil is much higher in winter, which means that prices are hiked. You can save yourself a fairly healthy sum by topping up your tank when the price is low. Double check prices before you order though, as they’ll still fluctuate in each season.
5 – Protect your tank
After taking all of these steps, make sure you protect your heating oil investment once it’s in your tank. Read our guide to keeping your oil tank secure, and keep a lookout for opportunists that might see your full tank as an appealing target. Keep your tank well maintained and make sure that your insurance covers the oil inside, as having to refill after a theft or leak is going to quickly undo all of your money-saving efforts!