Heating Oil Suppliers

My elderly parents had an oil company on a keep-me-topped-up arrangement. When I found out I knew it needed checking and sure enough they are hiking the price up by about 30% and taking it by direct debit. This was Certas but I know the other oil companies do the same. I have used boilerjuice for some years now and they are great because you always get a keen price but I can't get them to supply my parents because you have to order the oil each time, pay up front and you have to be able to say what quantity you want.
So how do I find an oil company that will supply oil without fuss, just to keep the tank part full and without robbing my dear old parents? A modern day problem.
TW
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writes

Presumably your parents use oil because there is no gas locally, in which case others in the area are in the same position? May be worth finding out if there is an 'oil club' in the area. Our local club has grown significantly over the last couple of years, and the monthly bulk order is sufficient to ensure a discount. Whether there is an option to request a monthly top up I don't know, but worth asking.
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Graeme

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Remember tho that they can't deliver less than 500 lt at a time.
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Whilst true, I have ordered 500l but only received <400 without complaint or surcharge.
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Graeme

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On 24/05/2018 21:34, Vir Campestris wrote:

It isn't economically viable. Remember there may be a 15-30 minute optimum journey between customers since oil customers are by their very nature rural and isolated down narrow roads. That is why you can get a much better price (or used to be able to) with an "oil club". One journey to the village and something like 30000L dispensed saves the oil company a lot of travel time compared to 30x1000L or even worse 60x500L.

If your tank is too full to take the specified load the automatic cutoff should stop it before it overflows. But TBH I can't see that the 500L minimum order is ever a burden - most rural oil tanks are >1000L.
I saw one place where it had failed when house hunting. Oil tank in the cellar with the boiler running and 1" layer of kerosene on the floor. Very scary indeed even though the flash point isn't all that high.
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On 25/05/2018 09:14, Martin Brown wrote:

That's why they won't. Not can't... our oil club isn't really any cheaper than 'phoning around.

We wanted to get a small amount as the oil tank is currently sitting on some slabs while the new man-cave is built (it gets its own room (1)) and didn't fancy the weight on a temporary support. It's OK though. If the weather had been better we wouldn't have needed any.

Current regs require you to have a bunded tank if it is going to be anywhere near water, or inside a building. I bet that was expensive!
Andy
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On 24/05/18 08:54, Tim Streater wrote:

Seems like for a new tank installation, getting on *much* bigger than you really need would be a good idea. If you could run for a year on 1/2 an X-litre tank where X>00l you can essentially run it down to half, then you have all year to fill it up at the best price (which presumably is summer?)
How big is a typical tank to run a house?
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I realise this was not directed at me, but a few thoughts anyway. A larger tank is a good idea in theory, but of course takes up more garden space and would almost certainly require a new, larger base, not to mention bunding.
Our tank holds 1300l, and our use is +/- 7000l per annum, so a tank to hold a full year's supply would be massive, and, taking into account initial outlay vs buying once a year at summer prices, I doubt I would live long enough to break even.
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On 24/05/18 11:20, Graeme wrote:

7000l / year - that's very interesting - I had no idea...
We had oil CH when I was small, but I don't remember how often it was filled.
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I buy two 900 litre loads a year. 3 bed detached built in the 1980s.
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Tim Watts wrote:

Looking at boiler juice prices that seems to be about £3,500-4,000 depending on time of year :-o and here's me humming and hawing about moving supplier again as they want to shunt me up to £444/year for gas when my fix runs out in a couple of months ...
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I have been paying 250/month for several years now, and that seems to be on target for this year. There are two major variables, the weather and the price of oil, which was 16ppl when we first moved here, has been as high as 75ppl, but currently around 50ppl.
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On 25/05/18 08:33, Graeme wrote:

Now I know you are somewhere in the far frozen North but that seems excessive. Here in SW, two bed semi, I use maybe 1500 lt per year (CE in winter, HW only in summer), fill the 1,000 lt tank in summer, to up with 500 lt in DecJan/Feb when there is (a) room in the tank and (b) Boilerjuice email to say they have a good price today.
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On 25/05/18 21:13, DJC wrote:

An awful lot depends on house layout and insulation.
A long thin house has a lot of external wall per unit floor area whereas roof is the same as floor area.
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Aberdeenshire. As I said to Dave, this is a big, old granite house, and heating it is not easy. Having said that, my wife feels the cold big time, and I reckon without her, I could easily reduce consumption by 1/4 or even 1/3, but getting rid of her does seem a little excessive :-)
We normally have a delivery 9 or 10 months out of 12, and can easily use a tankful in January. Being old farts now, we're at home all day, so heating is on all day but again, as Dave said, letting a house like this get cold is never a good idea. To be fair, it is not just the house - we have our ex shop attached, and that is heated too (my hobby rooms).
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On 26/05/2018 09:42, Graeme wrote:

If you are burning that much fuel it might be worth investigating internal wall insulation by dry lining since a couple of inches of Celotex on the external walls would make a big difference to losses.
Likewise for full depth loft insulation if you don't already have it.
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Whilst what you say is true, the walls are all the original intricate lath and plaster, including all the original coving [1] etc., and I would be loath to risk destroying it.

Yes, done.
[1] I don't think coving is the correct word, but cannot remember exactly what I mean. The angle between wall and ceiling.
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Graeme

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On 24/05/18 18:53, Tim Watts wrote:

I have noted in the past with a full household including 3 teenagers and the oil running HW, CH and Aga that we used as much as 10l/day. That would be mid winter in a 4 bed cottage type building, and much, much less in summer. Still a fraction of your 7000l/yr
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On Thu, 24 May 2018 11:20:11 +0100, Graeme wrote:

2,500 l here

7,000 l/year flippin' heck! I thought it was bad when we moved here at about 4,800l/year. Reducing drafts and adding insulation has knocked that back to 3,800l/year.
Bear in mind this is a big random stone walled house house, at 1400' and exposed. When the wind picks up in the winter the 38 kW boiler can barely keep up.
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Do you not find it varies with the weather, though? Our highest use was 8262, and lowest 5514, with an average of 6696 over 15 years.

This is a big granite built house at 700', foot of the Cairngorms. In many ways it is wonderful, full of what estate agents are fond of calling original fixtures and fittings, but that includes Victorian single glazed sash windows etc. Walls are solid, 30+ inches thick, and cold.
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Graeme

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