Rural communities throughout Staffordshire are being urged to join a bulk buying scheme to take advantage of a discounted price for heating oil. The scheme is organized by the Community Council of Staffordshire, a well-respected local charity, in conjunction with a subsidiary of Anglia Farmers Ltd called Affinity. It aims to benefit households, community buildings and businesses that rely on oil-fired heating. By harnessing the collective purchasing power of scheme members, the Community Council can negotiate the best possible deal on oil, and on a range of other items. Moreover, the scheme benefits the environment by coordinating oil deliveries so that tankers make several deliveries to a locality for each trip, thereby saving on fuel and reducing traffic.
All you have to do to join is fill in a membership form and pay an annual subscription; this currently stands at £24 for a domestic household, £36 for a community building, such as a village hall, and £120 for a business. Each month the local scheme coordinator will email you to ask if you want to place an order (minimum is 500 litres). Once an order is received it is binding. A the end of each month, the best price is negotiated on the strength of the number of orders received, and details are posted on the Community Council website. The oil is normally delivered within 10 working days of receipt of the collective order, and the customer pays the supplier direct.
Example of discount
As an example of the potential discount, over the winter months for 2013-14, the members' price was consistently about 5 pence per litre below the market average. So on a delivery of 500 litres, this would mean a saving of £25 on the market average. Obviously, the more members in the scheme, the greater the bargaining power. For more about the scheme contact the Community Council on (01785) 242525, or see their website page.