Our reasons for starting the Oil Buying Club were simple; we wanted to help people lower the cost of heating oil and we wanted to support the dozens of Club Managers across the UK who ran community oil buying groups without the support of modern systems to help manage the admin.
I have been an oil user for several decades. Before the days of the internet I used to phone round suppliers whenever I needed a delivery, the price could vary significantly so it was always worth the time and hassle. Along came the internet and the rise of the on-line oil sites. Although they were easier to use I still found that some work on the phones often resulted in a better price.
And the, 5 years ago, I found and joined a local Oil Buying Club, Merton Oil Buying Group. I have never looked back Our club manager, Steve, takes the hard work out of finding the best prices and the combination his research and the buying power a club order generates has meant the club prices are always significantly lower than I could achieve on my own often more than 10% less than the on-line sites.
The concept of Oil Buying Clubs has been highlighted by a number of leading consumer organisations, Citizens Advice and Money Saving Expert both explain the benefits of the club approach.
I think they tend to underestimate the benefits of the clubs. Price is important and the savings made in transport buy working together to improve tanker usage is the most important factor in reducing heating oil costs for club members. But are also environmental and social benefits. Fewer tankers means lower costs but it also give rise to lower CO2 emissions and fewer trucks on narrow rural roads.
Clubs provide those who are on restricted incomes with an opportunity to secure the best price for their oil. Unlike other energy sources Oil users don’t have the protection of a regulated market. I think this is generally a good thing, it encourages competition and most Oil Companies are very service orientated. However, for those on fixed incomes or who find it difficult to go through the process of shopping around then oil clubs provide an excellent option. Steve goes a step further and helps those who need support with managing their oil, he is not alone. All the club managers I have met work hard to support those in their local community who need help.
However, running a club isn’t easy. There’s a lot of admin involved in gathering orders, consolidating them and then sending them to Suppliers.
That’s where the journey for www.Oilbuyingclub.com began; how to make clubs better for managers, members and suppliers.
We now have a system that’s being used by over a thousand consumers with more joining all the time. It’s taken some time to develop but we are proud of the way it makes life better for everyone; ensuring the benefits of club buying can be shared by members. managers and suppliers.