How Much Does Oil Cost in Scotland? 6 Factors that Impact Heating Oil Price

February 21, 2020
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It’s that time again, the indicator on your oil tank is heading southwards and you can’t put your oil delivery off any longer.

With electricity and gas utilities the supply feels invisible; there is no delivery truck, no signing for goods and no warning sign when the oil tank is getting low – It’s always there. Well it unless you don’t pay your bills or top up your card! 

With heating oil it’s a little different, there is an actual physical delivery to your property and you can decide who is going to deliver that oil from a number of local and national providers. In this blog we look at the 6 key factors that can impact the price you pay for your oil delivery . 

6 Factors that can impact the price you pay for oil in Scotland 

#1 Your location 

Scotland is a stunning country to live in from coast to glens and from cityscape to rural living – whatever takes your fancy, I’m sure you’ll find something you like here! 

If you’ve got oil heating for your home, it is far more likely that you live in a slightly rural location. That doesn’t necessarily mean out in the sticks, but somewhere off the main gas line. This sometimes means that your delivery of oil is going to cost a little bit more depending on where you live. 

To get a good price make sure the supplier delivers regularly in your area!  

If you live in a more remote location, it might be a good idea to get together with a few of your neighbours and enquire whether ordering oil as a batch delivery would help you save costs on the delivery. It pays to talk!

#2 How much oil you order 

Just like nappies, toilet paper, pasta, cereal and no doubt alcohol – economies of scale apply for heating oil. If it’s going to get used anyway and you can afford it upfront, take advantage of buying in bulk rather than lots of small deliveries where you are doubling up on unnecessary costs. 

#3 How quickly you need it

If you are to hold on a few days for your heating oil you’ll likely get a slightly cheaper price if you wait until there are other deliveries in your area, as you’ll make a saving on delivery costs.

If you are someone who likes to play roulette with your car fuel tank perhaps it’s the same edge of life thrill you play with your heating oil too?!  

Although i’m sure gambling the risk of getting to the next fuel station is exciting, the costs of having to call the recovery boys out is a little frustrating! 

Heating oil isn’t that dissimilar. It’s inconvenient and potentially dangerous when you run out (especially for elderly relatives, newborn children or those suffering from illness); not only that it means a bespoke delivery route for a fuel tanker coming to save you – costs and risks that you do not have to deal with if you plan ahead. 

This is one of the reasons we encourage everyone to install a Watchman sensor to your oil tank – with one of these devices you can easily see when you are getting close to running out.

#4 Whether you are on a payment plan or not. 

Many fuel suppliers now offer payment plans for heating oil as it makes it more affordable. Rather than a lump sum just before or after the fuel delivery you can contribute routinely towards a saving fund or pay by monthly direct debit. Most oil suppliers will reward these clients with their best prices as it incentivises loyalty. 

It is worth noting that these prices are not usually taken into consideration on fuel comparison sites. We may sound biased, but it’s in comparison sites’ interest to keep you as the customer from switching suppliers as this will mean they lose out on commissions.

Got questions about payment plans? Get in touch.

#5 What supplier you choose (all are much of the same) 

Well you would think this would be a major influencer but the reality is, it doesn’t make a huge amount of difference. As oil is a commodity the price is very much driven by the market and in an industry where price is everything companies have to be competitive at all times. 

Outside of extreme weather conditions it is likely only to be a couple of pence per litre between suppliers, though of course this will add up to a few pounds when you’re talking about 500.

Price isn’t always everything – would you want dubious looking delivery drivers lurking around your home searching for your oil tank when you are not home? 

Related Blog: 10 reasons to buy your heating oil from Carnegie Fuels. 

#6 Whether the crude oil price is high or low

OPEC logo

The biggest impact on heating oil price is out of the oil suppliers’ hands. This is determined by OPEC, a consortium of 14 countries who control 40% of the world’s crude oil.

Meeting twice a year these countries decide collectively when to increase or decrease oil production in order to maintain stable prices and supply.

As of February 2020, crude oil price is currently forcing heating oil prices back up. It is hard to know when this will stabilise or change direction but it looks likely that buying oil sooner rather later will save you money at the moment. 

In Summary: How much does oil cost in Scotland? 6 Factors that Impact Heating Oil Price

Whether you are talking about electricity, gas, phone, insurance, or oil prices all home owners are looking for the best value deal on their utilities. 

Taking all factors all into consideration, most oil suppliers typically look to add anywhere between 5–10p per litre onto the wholesale price you pay. Looking at the domestic market with a minimum delivery of 500 litres this can vary the price by roughly £25 while this often a great saving, it can mean sacrificing in other areas of customer delivery. 

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