Oxfordshire bulk oil buying scheme
The cost of heating houses is one of the major concerns for rural residents. But Oxfordshire Rural Community Council (ORCC) has teamed up with communities to create a countrywide oil buying syndicate.
The aim of the syndicate is to reduce the cost of oil heating by combining orders into one community purchase and negotiating the best possible price. The scheme, administered by ORCC Trading Ltd, a not-for-profit enterprise, also aims to coordinate oil deliveries across the whole county to minimise the carbon footprint and reduce congestion on rural roads.
There are currently more than 100 members of this oil buying scheme and 18 community coordinators. The volunteer coordinators gather orders from members to send to ORCC Trading Ltd, which in turn negotiates with oil suppliers to get the best price for a bulk order. Members save an average of £50 on a 1,000-litre delivery.
To become a member, residents fill out a membership form and pay an annual domestic fee of £20 (£30 for community buildings and £100 for businesses). Members can then order oil as many times as they need during the year by contacting their community coordinator with their heating oil order.
Once a month, the community coordinator informs ORCC Trading Ltd of the total amount of oil needed in their area and ORCC Trading Ltd tells the community coordinator when to expect a delivery and the cost. Once confirmed, the oil supplier contacts the member directly with a delivery date and the member pays the oil supplier direct for their delivery.