Getting the Best Deals on Your Home Heating Oil
Living in a rural area of Ireland can be idyllic, but it does come with a few (only a few, mind) downsides. One of the more noticeable ones is the relative lack of mains gas. Many households in rural Ireland use home heating oil to fuel their central heating and their ranges and while it’s already a surprisingly cheap and green (yes, really) way to heat a home, you can make it cheaper still.
Buying in bulk means discounts
Individually, you’re restricted by the size of your tank, but clubbing together with your neighbours means you can place some really big orders with suppliers like Emo Oil and drive the unit price down. Ideally, you need at least 20 households and at least two super-organised mums…sorry, members… to co-ordinate the buying and the payments.
Take time to shop around
There are lots of heating oil suppliers out there, so take your time to find one that offers good prices and seems friendly. One thing to watch out for is the quotes – don’t accept estimates or guides – and once you find a quote or two that fits you nicely, see if you can bring it down a bit further.
Stock up on oil in summer
Traditionally, heating oil prices fall in the summer as there’s less demand so if you buy your autumn and winter supply in July you’ll see a big difference. You’ll also be more certain of a timely delivery as there’ll be no snow for drivers to contend with. Sometimes this summer rule doesn’t apply – in 2016 oil was a touch pricier in July than it was in spring – but this is unusual. Keep a sharp eye on prices though as a sudden cheaper half-tank top-up could serve you well.
Plan well ahead
Maintaining a household is just one long series of reminders, to-do lists and chivvying but planning ahead for your heating oil should always be near the top of the list. If you order at the last minute, you’ll find you’re paying more for the delivery than if you sorted it earlier. That’s just the way it works! Installing a tank gauge is a really good way to monitor your usage and to give yourself plenty of notice so you don’t suddenly find out you’re down to just 10% of your tank’s capacity.
Look after your oil tank
This is not so much about saving money on your orders as protecting what you’ve already bought so you don’t have to buy any more for a while. Heating oil theft is rife in many areas, especially during times when prices are higher than normal. You need to fit an alarm to your tank so that you’re alerted to sudden level drops and can take immediate action.
You also need to look after the tank itself as cracks and similar damage can create leaks which are costly and damaging to the environment; if you spring a leak, you’ll need to tell the EPA immediately. Cracks can also let water into the tank, which leads to sludge. If sludge is drawn into the boiler itself, you’ll be faced with an expensive call-out, repairs and a very cold household – and of course, it’ll happen in December, right?