By Kevin Dawson
'Oil Baron' is a buying group to combat ever fluctuating prices for users of 28 sec Kerosene in Audlem and the surrounding area. This is a not for profit community project.
The price of oil has escalated dramatically over the last few years and this has had a significant effect on the cost of domestic heating oil (kerosene) and consequently less money in our pockets.
Many of us have accounts with local heating suppliers and, indeed, we should support these suppliers. The delivery of domestic heating oil, however, is a spasmodic business and is at best not always efficient as it relies heavily on weather patterns and is customer driven, often because of panic re-ordering.
The fuel oil supplier is at his most efficient when supplying fuller but fewer loads to a smaller drop area. Domestic fuel oil tanks are generally in the size range of 900 — 2500 litres.
The smallest of rural road tankers can carry 20,000 litres with bigger tankers holding up to 36,000 litres so one typical domestic property drop represents less than 10% of a tanker's load capacity. It is plainly ideal, therefore, to be able to fill the tanker to maximum capacity and do a milk run of say 20 domestic properties.
However to locate 20 properties that will require a delivery at the same time is not easy unless there are a multitude of contact addresses. So we need to build up a large membership which is on email. The process works as follows:-
In the winter months we have a top up order once per month and in the summer every two months. I will email all members when the next purchase is planned and will co-ordinate the responses culminating in a bulk order for the month concerned.
Currently we have over 130 menbers but this is insufficient because it has proven most unlikely that 20 out of 130 people requires oil at the same time, whereas if I had 200 names on the list then we stand a much better chance of being able to order a significant bulk amount from the best price local supplier who in turn would benefit from a predetermined milk run, more efficient use of his fleet and thus lower cost of operation to him, some of which we is passed onto our buying group by negotiation.
We have been able to save significant amounts over a single individual order and members have informed me that typical savings have ranged from £20.00 for a 500 litre top up to £60 for a 2000 litre top up. Currently 11 householders in Audlem have joined our group and more are welcome.
I have to declare that I have no connection with any fuel oil supplier and that my one aim in this project is to be able to save us all some money at this time of uncertainty in fuel oil pricing. You are welcome to contact me should you require any further information.
Field Farm, Green Lane