Slick customers saving fuel cash

Redidents are invited to join the savvy savers of Wiltshire who between them have clawed back almost £22,000 in the past 10 months on fuel bills.

Community First Wiltshire has developed CF Oil, a scheme to negotiate and buy oil collectively for the best price and help local communities save money on their heating fuel.

Members of the scheme in each area can have their oil delivered every month at the same time, saving on fuel miles for the lorries as well as on cash for themselves. Once it receives all the orders, Community First organises bulk purchase and delivery of the oil from different suppliers at the best prices, achieving collective savings for all the members in the group.

One community benefiting from the scheme is Dauntsey, which has been signed up since last year.

Mike Blacker, who co-ordinates the Dauntsey deliveries, said: “We are seeing good benefits. We can see the financial benefit and an advantage is it’s better for the environment. It’s well worth doing.

“I knew it was going on and offered to co-ordinate our area. It seemed like the obvious thing to do. It’s a good local scheme.

“Another good thing is we don’t have to continually search for the best price, which saves a lot of time.”

Co-ordinators volunteer for an hour or two each month and save on the annual membership fee for the scheme.

Alan Truscott, program manager for Community First, said: “We are currently working with 15 rural counties, which gives us greater buying power. We pool together all the orders, which has sometimes been more than a million litres of oil, meaning we have more advantage over prices which directly benefits the customer. It’s all about the affordable fuel and warmth policy.”

Philippa Read, chief executive of Community First, said: “This is a great scheme which benefits everyone. If deliveries are organised so that one tanker delivers to several customers in a village at one time instead of making lots of individual deliveries, the fuel consumption is reduced and so is traffic in the village.”

Community First says the advantage of its scheme, as opposed to ones organised within local communities, is that they have the time and the resources to pursue all the options and get the best deals. To join the scheme or find out more about being a local co-ordinator contact CF Oil on (01380) 732809 or email oil@communityfirst.org.uk

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