When you’re in the middle of a summer heatwave it can be a real struggle to think about energy bills and heating your home, but for heating oil users, planning ahead can mean saving hundreds of pounds.
This is because, unlike gas which has a relatively consistent value, the price of heating oil fluctuates throughout the year. Whether it’s the result of crude oil prices, international exchange rates or weather conditions, the current heating oil price is changing constantly. Despite this unpredictability, it is usually true that heating oil prices fall in summer when demand is lower. This may not always be the case, so it’s a good idea to check how the current value stands up historically, but by planning ahead at least you can check whether or not you’re getting a good deal.
Lowering your energy bills is not just about knowing when to buy heating oil, however, it’s also knowing how to buy it. Purchasing in advance gives you time to assess current fuel levels and buy larger quantities, benefiting from economies of scale.
Buying in bulk when prices are low over summer might not be possible for some households due to financial reasons, but there are a few ways around this. Many heating oil supplier group orders with others placed in the same area to help their customers save more on their heating oil, while others offer Payment Plans, which allow you to deposit money into a heating oil savings account each month. You can also check if your local credit union offers oil loans – many do. Overall, there’s plenty of help when it comes to buying in bulk and buying early, so there’s no reason to pay over the odds for your heating oil.
Avoid Getting Left in the Cold This Winter
Buying early can help you save significant amounts on your heating oil, but it’s also about providing peace of mind. Transport can often be disrupted in winter, particularly in remote rural areas, making oil deliveries difficult. Rather than worrying about whether you’re going to spend the night without heating, planning ahead ensures you’ve got a full tank to keep you going once temperatures start to fall. Getting your fuel stores in order over summer is exactly the kind of sensible planning required for households not on the gas network.
If you are looking to fill up your heating oil tank in advance, there are also a few cautionary tips you should be aware of. Thieves often strike during the summer months when tanks are used less often and stolen heating oil is less likely to be noticed. Heating oil users should regularly check their oil levels, even when they’re not seeing much use, so that any thefts can be reported immediately. For this reason if you decide to fill up your tank, it might be a good idea to consider buying security locks or alarms to help protect your investment.
Oil leaks can also be more damaging when tanks are nearing full capacity. Making sure you have insurance that covers both the value of the lost oil and any potential environmental damage is crucial. You should also inform the Environment Agency as soon as possible if you do experience any leaks or spills.
Because heating oil users are responsible for sourcing and storing their own fuel, planning ahead is vitally important. Buying in summer, when demand and prices are low, is the most cost effective way of reducing your heating bills and ensures that you are well prepared for the winter months.