Oil prices leave coastal and rural residents in the cold
Is community oil buying the answer?
Census figures released on 5th January reveal that 25.1% of homes in King’s Lynn and West Norfolk are reliant on oil to heat their homes. However this figure gives an overall picture and in rural and coastal parts of the borough the figures vary widely.
While fewer than 2% of homes are heated by oil in the centre of King’s Lynn, the figure rises to 21.7% in Dersingham, 49% in Brancaster and Docking, 50.9% in Grimston and Gayton and 60.6% in Terrington and Clenchwarton.
Soaring energy prices have affected everyone, but unlike mains gas and electricity there is no regulation or price control for oil, and comparing prices for oil is difficult for the householder as the price fluctuates with the amount ordered, when it is ordered, and when its delivered.
This graph from the Office of National Statistics shows the price of oil from July 2011 to December 2022.
So what help is available for householders using oil from heating?
Community oil buying through Community Action Norfolk’s ThinkingFuel scheme has already attracted about 550 members across Norfolk. The charity has expert buyers who negotiate pricing that applies to all the members regardless of the amount ordered.
A spokesperson for the Borough Council said: “The more members they have, the more members can save when buying oil and we understand that people signed up for Thinking Fuel are currently saving around 20p per litre on oil purchases compared to some other commercial providers.
“It’s free to join and there is no obligation to buy.
“As the borough council we don’t recommend one supplier over another but we are sharing this information to give borough residents the opportunity to think about the options available to them.”