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How to prepare for winter for oil consumers

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 www.oftec.co.uk/consumers/find-an-oftec-registered-technician

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.

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:

https://helpforhouseholds.campaign.gov.uk/help-with-your-bills/

https://www.homeenergyscotland.org/financial-support-scottish-households/

https://gov.wales/wales-fuel-support-scheme-2022-2023

Other organisations can help – these are listed at the end of this release.

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. Visit the UKIFDA website to find the distributors that operate in your area.  https://ukifda.org/find-a-distributor/

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.

 

4 November 2022

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