Now that winter is here, we see the inevitable pick up in heating oil orders which, as we move towards Christmas, becomes more of a stampede. Every year, we try to encourage our customers to order their heating oil early to avoid this last minute rush but, more importantly, to save money as prices inevitably rise as demand increases. However, it’s not just about saving money – it’s also about making sure you have enough oil for the coldest months of the year and you don’t run out. Here are some good reasons why you should order in good time and keep your tank topped up in the winter:
- As we have already mentioned, as we head into winter and people start to use more oil, demand increases, particularly around Christmas when everyone wants to make sure their house is cosy and warm for the festivities. The inevitable consequence of higher demand is higher prices and longer delivery times as our participating suppliers become very busy. If suppliers are really busy they may not be able to deliver to you before your supply runs out or you may have to pay a premium for an express delivery. Planning ahead can prevent this and save you money.
- Leaving your tank to run very low or even run out can result in sludge at the bottom of your tank being disturbed when you fill it up again. This can cause blockages or filters or nozzles and you may have to call out an engineer. An expensive and avoidable exercise.
- You can’t predict the weather, particularly in the UK and, when we get snow, it is highly likely deliveries of heating oil will be affected. Every winter our participating suppliers are at the mercy of the weather and even a light snowfall can prevent them taking the tankers out for safety reasons. So, whilst it may seem like a good idea to wait until your tank is almost empty, it won’t be very funny if it starts snowing and they can’t get to you before your heating oil runs out.
- Distribution problems can also affect heating oil deliveries. This could be anything from strikes or incidents at a local refinery or depot and could mean there are several days when heating oil is either not available or is severely restricted. Again, a lot of the time these are unpredictable and can result in delays in being able to deliver your heating oil.
- Supplier tanker problems can also affect the delivery of your heating oil. It only takes for a tanker to break down/have an accident and this may delay your delivery.
The moral of the story is not to leave topping up your tank until the last minute. There are many factors that can affect the delivery and, whilst you may think you have time before you run out, it may not actually work out that way. Ordering your oil outside of peak periods can not only save you a great deal of money but could also save you from being cold this winter.