January 2019 Newsletter

All good wishes to you  for 2019.  I hope that you will find some of the pointers below helpful and that you will forward the note to any friends , acquaintances or relatives in the Salisbury and Shaftesbury areas who may not know about the savings which NOBC can make on the cost of home heating oil.   We now have just over 800 members with 900 tanks and that is after deducting the 100 or so members who have moved out of the area or converted to other forms of heating.  The more members we have, the more important we become to our suppliers, so do please circulate this note.  In 2017 we ordered 1.2M litres on behalf of members and in 2018, subject to final delivery confirmations, that will have risen to around 1.3M litres.

How it Works – A Reminder

Twice a month you receive an email inviting you to order heating Oil for delivery either during the first or second fortnight of the month.  At this point you can opt to make your order urgent or leave it as standard.  You can also specify additives, if you use an Aga or similar type of cooker.

You EITHER place an order, by clicking on the part of the email which says ‘to order click here’ OR you click on ‘opt out’ in which case you will not get reminders until the next round of orders is launched.

NOBC then approaches its suppliers with the total orders for the fortnight, currently around 60,000 litres and bids are then received.

NOBC then chooses the most competitive bid and appoints the supplier, after which  you are sent an email, specifying which supplier has won the tender and giving you their contact details.

Deliveries then arrive in the following two weeks and you pay the supplier direct.

Communication.  With over 800 members, it is only possible to run the club using software and communicating by email.  Some of you have asked if it’s possible to phone, but I am sure that you appreciate, that if that were to happen, it would lead to me making mistakes!  If you know of people who would like to be members but are not IT savvy, then the best thing is for them to become a second tank on a neighbour’s membership. 

If you do not receive the fortnightly invitations to order, you may find that emails are ending up in your junk mail.  If that is not the case, drop me a line and we will see if the fault is in the system.  Once you receive confirmation of the supplier and price, please feel free to communicate directly with them about delivery details.

Prices.  We are normally competitive with, or cheaper than, the internet suppliers.  I collect orders twice a month for delivery in the first or second fortnights of each month.  If you find yourself short of oil, it is always worth dropping me an email, to see if I can get you an emergency delivery.  It may not be as cheap as the bulk price, but it will certainly be cheaper than getting it direct from the supplier.  However,  the consolidated fortnightly orders are much more economical for the suppliers and reduce the number of tankers on our roads. 

The wholesale price of oil has been dropping since the middle of the autumn and this has resulted in a 10p per litre reduction in the price of heating oil.  Fingers crossed that this continues.

Monitoring oil levels  The most convenient way to monitor your oil level is by fitting a Watchman or similar https://www.kingspan.com/gb/en-gb/products/service

This transmits the oil level to an easy to read meter in the kitchen.  My strong advice is to run your tank from full to full, so keeping it topped up, rather than letting the level drop and then ordering a larger amount.  It is surprising how quickly oil levels reduce when temperatures drop.  You will still be able to take advantage of  the bulk price.

Payment  In return for very low prices, our suppliers expect prompt payment.  Please remember to settle up with the supplier within seven days of receiving an invoice.  Sometimes the delivery note doubles as the invoice.  If you do not have an account with the supplier, it may be necessary to pay in advance initially. 

NOBC also runs a monthly budgeting system for those who prefer to pay by monthly standing order.  If you would like details of how this works, either drop me a line or email Gerry Johnson at info@oilbuyingclub.com

Vehicle sizes  The majority of tankers are four or six wheelers.  These have 150ft hoses which enable the majority of deliveries to be made at no extra cost.  However, if you have a particularly awkward tank location, then you can specify a mini tanker, but this will incur a surcharge as it may well have to be procured from another depot and then make a one off trip.  If at all possible, specify the use of a standard tanker on your membership tank details.

Very many thanks to you all for being part of this increasingly successful club.

Richard Willan