With just over a month to go until Christmas, rural energy users are being advised to make sure they have sufficient fuel to see them through the holiday period.
With the past week having seen temperatures plunge in many parts of the UK, heating oil distributors have experienced a significant increase in orders. With some forecasters predicting an especially cold December, demand for heating oil in the run up to Christmas could increase still further. If previous cold winters are anything to go by, heating oil deliveries could be in short supply – as temperatures drop and delivery personnel battle against the elements, working time restrictions and treacherous driving conditions.
Steven Johnston from Chiffchaff Outdoor, a leading UK supplier of heating oil monitors, says, “As temperatures have plummeted during the past week, we’ve noticed an increase in demand for Apollo Ultrasonic wireless oil tank gauges and Apollo Smart heating oil monitors. Many heating oil users who perhaps were caught out during previous winters are determined that they will not get caught out again.
“Modern heating oil tank monitors can be fitted to most oil tanks in minutes with no wiring or specialist tools required. And because they’re wireless with an operating range of up to 200 metres, they allow heating oil users to monitor the level of fuel inside their tank outside, from the warmth and convenience of being inside. Next generation models such as the Apollo Smart even have a unique ‘days to empty’ function which predicts a run-out date, based upon recent consumption patterns… great for those with smaller heating oil tanks, which sometimes can struggle to accept a regular delivery.”
But aside from monitoring their tanks, what else can heating oil users do to ensure they stay warm and toastie all Christmas long?
Steven says, “There are only 2 reasons why any heating oil user should experience the cold this winter. The first is because they run out of oil; the second is because of a breakdown or equipment failure. We’d recommend that all heating oil users ensure their central heating system is serviced at least once a year, by an independently accredited, heating oil technician. Always check to make sure they’re registered with a recognised organisation such as the Association of Plumbing & Heating Contractors (APHC). If they’re not independently accredited… find a technician that is.
“Also, if your boiler is more than 10 years old – it may make sense to consider upgrading it to a modern, high-efficiency, condensing model. Modern boilers are significantly more fuel efficient than models from yesteryear and typically more reliable too.
“And when ordering oil, it makes sense to shop around – remembering the first quote you receive may not always be the cheapest. There are several hundred fuel distributors the length and breadth of the British Isles all competing for your business, so it makes sense to get a quote from as many as possible in your local area. Whilst savings will not necessarily be huge, it is frequently possible to save as much as 2 pence per litre, which on a 900 litres delivery tots up to £18. That £18 is of course better in your pocket, rather than somebody else’s. Local buying groups can also be worth checking out, especially if your order volume is relatively small.”
Source: Chiffchaff Outdoor