Be wise about your Heating Oil

Suffolk Trading Standards is responsible for ensuring the Heating Oil purchased, and the methods of delivery within Suffolk comply with the relevant regulations.

Below we give steps you can take to protect yourself in the purchase of Heating Oil, and protecting it against theft.

  • Try and arrange the delivery for a suitable date and time, ideally when you can be present at the delivery.
  • Do not let your tank run dry
  • How much room is there in your tank? – The minimum amount that can normally be delivered by a supplier is 500 litres. This is a legal requirement.
  • The supplier must inform you of the cost including VAT, at the time of ordering unless the cost is specifically quoted as excluding VAT.
  • Generally speaking the more oil you buy the less you will pay per litre – community purchasing may be beneficial.
  • We recommend you switch off the boiler during the delivery to prevent sludge entering your heating system.
  • After the delivery has been completed check the indication on the meter as this is what has been delivered in litres. The driver will give you your copy of the delivery ticket. Check that the quantity on the delivery ticket is the same as on the meter.

If you are concerned over the amount delivered, credit terms or charges, overcharging, incorrect fuel type, fuel quality, or a delivery that you didn’t order. Keep the delivery ticket and any other related paperwork and contact Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506 as soon as possible.

Suffolk Police are reminding residents to consider their oil tank security to avoid having valuable heating oil stolen after three thefts have happened in the west of the county.

The following advise is being given to remind people of a few simple steps that can help to make your tank and fuel more difficult for thieves to target:

  • Screen your tank with fencing or hedges
  • Close and secure any gates leading to the tank
  • Conceal or cover any external pipes and fuel lines
  • Install dusk to dawn security lighting. CCTV is also a good deterrent
  • Install lockable caps supported by a closed shackle padlock
  • Consider installing a tank alarm
  • Join a Neighbourhood Watch scheme

It should be noted that some oil storage containers are plastic and some are metal, so any security measures which directly affect the tank or pipe work should always be installed in consultation with the tank supplier.

Regularly check the level of your fuel tanks. During cold weather your consumption of oil may be higher than you think, which could lead you to think that someone has been draining your tank.

Keep an eye on neighbourhood properties. Large quantities of oil are often stolen, which means the thieves will need sizable containers to collect oil in and a van or larger vehicle to take it away.

If you see any suspicious person or vehicle in your road or a neighbour’s driveway, contact the police immediately by dialling 999.

Further information on oil tank security can be found on our website by clicking the link above or by calling your local Crime Reduction Officer on 101.

About suffolktradingstandards
Suffolk Trading Standards is working towards creating and fair and safe trading environment. By creating empowered consumers, that are armed with the knowledge to stop 'rogue traders'.

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