The YORswitch Cheaper Heating Oil Together scheme across the East Riding is attracting new members all the time – and the savings are growing.
The scheme sees East Riding of Yorkshire Council working in partnership with Humber and Wolds Rural Community Council (HWRCC) to deliver a bulk buying scheme for heating oil in communities across the area.
New scheme member Carol Wells said she saved nearly £100 on her first delivery alone since she joined Oil Together. “This is a really good scheme, and I hope that more and more people will get to know about it and then sign up and save money.”
Launched in December 2013, Cheaper Heating Oil Together is open to households, community buildings and businesses across the East Riding that use heating oil. Anyone interested can sign up to the scheme by completing a membership form, returning it by email or in the post, and then their local scheme co-ordinator will contact them each month to ask if they wish to place an order for oil.
The annual membership fee for the scheme is £20 per household (£30 for a community building or £30 to £100 for a business dependent on the number of employees) but membership is free for the first 200 households who sign up. Already 167 people have joined, so residents are advised to sign up quickly to take advantage of the free membership offer.
Each month, the scheme co-ordinator at HWRCC negotiates the best price from a range of local suppliers, and informs customers in the scheme - via their local co-ordinators - who the supplier is, the price per litre and the payment terms of the supplier. Oil is delivered within ten working days after the order being placed, but so far deliveries have been well within this timescale. The minimum order is 500 litres.
YORswitch Cheaper Heating Oil Together is promoted locally by village co-ordinators across the area, especially useful in a region where over 100 of the East Riding’s 168 parishes do not receive mains gas. The scheme has members in over 60% of parishes which do not receive mains gas, and is proving particularly popular with households in Bubwith, Skerne Wansford, Tibthorpe, Middleton on the Wolds, North Dalton, Fridaythorpe, Sledmere, Swinefleet and Millington, but new members like Carol are joining all the time. Already a church in Driffield is a scheme member, and a business in North Dalton.
Carol added: “It’s great to see the council – and the rural community council – running a scheme like this to help ordinary people. I like the fact that I can top up with oil when I want, not just when I run out.”
Peter Hirschfield, who co-ordinates the scheme at the Humber and Wolds Rural Community Council, said: “We are achieving real savings for our members, and the numbers joining up have exceeded our targets. It’s easy to join the scheme, and also very easy to order if you wish to do so. The more people who join, the greater our buying power, so I really hope that we can get lots more people to join the scheme.”