Community Oil Buying Scheme Frequently Asked Questions

How can I join the scheme?  You can download a membership form, please complete it and either email it or post it back to us with your membership payment.  Or you could telephone us on 01275 333701 to request a form to be sent to you by post.  The address for you to send your form to is at the bottom of this page and on the form itself.  Membership costs £20 per year for domestic premises, £30 for community buildings including schools, churches and village halls, and £100 for businesses.  Thanks to a grant from Quartet Community Foundation, we also have a limited number of FREE memberships for anyone over 70 who struggles to pay their heating bills, just tick the appropriate box on our membership form.

What area does the scheme cover?  South Gloucestershire, Bath & North East Somerset, North Somerset & Bristol.

Does the price include VAT? No, the price quoted is exclusive of VAT which is currently 5%.

How do you negotiate such a good price?  Our negotiations take account of the international price of a barrel of oil as well as other factors such as bad weather, Christmas and the gross volume being ordered so ensuring the price you pay is the best possible price at the time.

Can I wait and see what the oil price is before I place an order? The best oil price obtained partially depends on the size of the order, so if more households order that month, the better the price is.  Therefore we don’t know what the price will be until we have collated all the orders and negotiated the best price for that month.  When you complete and submit your order form it becomes a firm order and not just an expression of interest. The price obtained is based on everyone’s orders, so unless there are exceptional circumstances the order is definite as soon as it’s placed.

What is the minimum volume of heating oil per order? The minimum quantity that can be ordered is 500 litres.

How often do you order oil? We place an order at the beginning of every month.  The deadline for members placing orders is normally the first Monday of every month.  We send a reminder to all our members by email before every deadline.  If you are not on email, we write to you every year with a list of each month’s deadline.

When is the next deadline for ordering oil?  Ordering deadlines for summer/autumn 2018 are:

Monday 6th August, Monday 3rd September, Monday 1st October, Monday 5th November, Monday 26th November

All orders should be received by midday on the deadline day.

How soon will I receive my oil after I have placed an order?  Your oil will normally be delivered within three weeks of the member order deadline.

Will you give me a firm delivery date?  West of England Rural Network can only give an approximate delivery date to your village because the oil supplier will be attempting to meet the needs of all their customers.  If you need to be on the premises for your delivery the supplier will contact you directly to give you a firm date.

How do I pay for my oil delivery?  All payments for oil go directly from the customer to the supplier in the normal way as per the suppliers terms or otherwise agreed by the customer.

I need a baby tanker (7.5 tonne, carries 5000 litres) to access my oil tank, will I pay the same price?  Baby tankers can’t make as many deliveries as a standard tanker, and not all suppliers can provide them.  We usually have to place a special order for members who need a baby tanker.  We will get the best price available for members who need baby tankers, but we can’t guarantee you will pay the same price as those whose delivery can be made by a standard or small tanker.

Does my tank need to meet minimum standards? Some suppliers will expect your tank to meet certain standards before they will deliver oil.  This is to reduce their risk of litigation should the tank fail and cause a leak.  Leaking tanks can lead to costly remedial works.  South Gloucestershire Council have published a leaflet on domestic oil storage and preventing oil spills.

What’s the best way to contact the scheme?  You can call us on 01275 333701, email or write to us at West of England Rural Network, Unit 2, The Barn, Lady Farm, Chelwood, Bristol, BS39 4NN

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