Buying Groups – The advantages & disadvantages

What is a buying group?

A heating oil buying group (also known as an oil club, oil syndicate or cooperative) is quite simply a group of people who join together to buy oil at the same time, in an attempt to obtain cost savings and keep warm at a lower cost because they are buying in bulk. The theory is that the supplier can reduce costs by grouping t

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Buying Groups – The advantages & disadvantages

What is a buying group?

A heating oil buying group (also known as an oil club, oil syndicate or cooperative) is quite simply a group of people who join together to buy oil at the same time, in an attempt to obtain cost savings and keep warm at a lower cost because they are buying in bulk. The theory is that the supplier can reduce costs by grouping together deliveries to similar areas.

Staff Photograph Cherry Picker

The buying group will usually have one member who co-ordinates the group’s orders and negotiates with suppliers. All syndicates are different but the group must take care to ensure it conforms to The Data Protection Act, 1998, where applicable.

However, there are both advantages and disadvantages to consider before you join your local buying group.

Advantages!

  • Whilst you may obtain a reduced price by buying in a group, this is not always the case so it is worth comparing prices.  At Northern Energy we offer our Privilege Plus Package* where your VAT will be paid on your behalf on each and every delivery you receive from us.
  • There are certainly benefits to the environment in group buying. Tankers may have reduced journeys if delivering to everyone in a village at the same time, meaning less vehicles going through rural areas and less vehicle carbon emissions. However, Northern Energy’s automatic refilling service means that we are ahead of this game and already group deliveries together to customers in similar locations, saving the environment and fuel costs too.

Disadvantages!

  • You may end up with a different supplier every time you need fuel and lose the personal relationship you may have with your regular supplier, which can sometimes make it difficult to obtain a delivery in times of peak demand.
  • It is likely that you will get a different supplier and delivery driver on every delivery each time you buy through a syndicate, rather than your regular delivery driver that knows how to look after your property and your individual requirements.
  • Fixed buying dates may mean you will not be ready to order your fuel at the time the buying group is making a purchase.
  • Bulk buying power is reduced during busy periods. You may be left without fuel at times of high demand, such as at Christmas or in severe weather conditions, when suppliers will give priority to their loyal, regular customers.
  • Some buying groups charge a membership fee.

Require a quote for your heating oil?

Please contact our team for more information.

* Terms & conditions apply.

What our clients are saying

We had an exceptionally busy period at the pub in summer and ran out of gas from a delivery which would normally have lasted much longer. I rang Northern Energy mid-morning when we discovered our situation and they delivered within 20 minutes! We were all very impressed by the speed and helpfulness of the service which got us out of a potentially very difficult situation. Lunch service went on as normal in our pub.
Thank you, Northern Energy!
Mrs R - Publican
Excellent service , easy to order with polite efficient sales staff. Delivery drivers friendly and reliable, very impressed with all round customer service.  Mrs J
Your telephone is answered quickly and in a friendly manner followed up with call/message of delivery date. Mrs B
My husband and I are very pleased with your overall service and have recommended your service to other people round about. We rate you 10. Many thanks Mrs B
Yes I would recommend you, I score 10. The 'PPP' keeps my tank topped up, no VAT to pay. A very good efficient firm with nice friendly delivery men. Thank you Mr W
Been with you now since 2005 would recommend you to anyone Mr W
Always good service from ring (a day before) to say delivery is on it's way to the tank being filled up, thanks guys! Mr T
Last year I recommended you to my neighbour and he is equally happy with your service. Mrs S
I have just recommended your company to a friend who's just moved into a new home and uses oil. I have given you 10 in ratings. Mr M
We find the whole service really easy & efficient Mrs M
We are new customers, but the one delivery we have had came on time. The driver was very friendly and quick with no mess. Very pleased and no need to go elsewhere! Mrs D
I have always been very happy with the service I've recieved from Northern Energy and in fact have got you 2 more customers in the village. The delivery men are always courteous and I think that goes a long way! Northern Energy get a five star rating from me. Mr C
I am pleased with your automatic top-up system. It saves me worrying about running out and presumably saves you money if you can top up a group of neighbouring customers in one delivery - so win-win. Mr D
We have been very impressed with the service received from Northern Energy. The team are always very friendly and always willing to help in any which way they can. If we are cancelling a delivery there are never any questions asked. Recently we had a new oil tank fitted and the oil was delivered within two days of being ordered (we had allowed up to 5 days). Mr K
As a customer I love the all inclusive package of oil and maintenance that you offer. As a second home owner, we never run out of oil like we do ‘at home’ because you keep us ‘topped up’. Mr C

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