5 Ways to help heating oil users get through winter

27th October 2022

Helping UK homes prepare for winter this year, the UK and Ireland Fuel Distributors Association (UKIFDA) has compiled a checklist of five ways people who use heating oil can get ready for the colder weather, stay warm and buy efficiently.

UKIFDA CEO Ken Cronin explains: “As the clocks change, signalling the start of winter, we are urging off-grid customers, who rely on heating oil to keep their homes warm and working, to ensure they’re as ready as possible for this winter. Here are some recommendations designed to be helpful reminders and useful advice to assist in the winter preparation.”


ONE: Get ready for winter with simple maintenance and efficiency checks

Over time, boilers become less efficient and tanks can become damaged. By checking both regularly you can be confident that the heating oil you buy is not wasted.

Check your tank and clear the area around it to make sure it’s accessible for a smooth and safe delivery. For optimum efficiency, it’s worth booking a boiler service with your local OFTEC engineer.

You can find your nearest here .

OFTEC Chief Executive Paul Rose explains why: “Booking an OFTEC registered technician to service your liquid fuel-fired heating and cooking appliances regularly helps to keep them operating efficiently. This reduces fuel bills and saves money on costly call-out fees for unexpected breakdowns.”


TWO: Order in plenty of time

Check the level of oil in your tank. Whilst the UK has seen three heatwaves this summer, don’t leave it too late to check and risk running out.

Emergency deliveries can be costly and not always immediately possible.


THREE: If you’re over 75, sign up for the FREE Cold Weather Priority scheme

 

If you are 75+ or live with someone who is, please sign up for the free Cold Weather Priority (CWP) scheme set up by UKIFDA.

The CWP scheme helps to identify customers who are 75+ so UK and Ireland Fuel Distributors Association (UKIFDA) member heating oil suppliers know who may be at risk. The UKIFDA distributors can then take proactive steps to prioritise fuel deliveries to these customers, particularly during times of fuel shortages or extreme cold weather.

This potentially life-saving initiative costs heating oil customers absolutely nothing and you only need to ask your local UKIFDA member to be included in CWP.

Contact your regular distributor to sign-up, or click here to find the UKIFDA member distributors near to you.


FOUR: If you are struggling to pay, check the government’s advice

For those heating oil users that may be vulnerable or are struggling to pay for their oil, there are a number of guides which are packed with useful information and provide helpful guidance on how to access support where needed.

Click below to find out more:

Help for Households

Home Energy Scotland

Fuel Support Wales

Other organisations that can help are:

Citizens Advice

Fuel Bank Foundation

Age UK

Advice Direct Scotland

National Energy Action

The Consumer Council Northern Ireland


FIVE: Contact your regular (and local) distributor

Contact your local UKIFDA heating oil distributor to check the oil price and find out about their payment and service options.

UKIFDA recommends you contact the distributor you use most regularly to discuss the price options available at the time of your order.

If you don’t have a regular distributor, you’ll find at least four UKIFDA distributors in your area and several online options.

Click here to find the UKIFDA distributors that operate in your area.


Right now, across the UK and Northern Ireland, UKIFDA distributors are working hard, individually and collaboratively, to ensure customers are supported and serviced effectively this winter.

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