How does it work?


What is the purpose of an oil syndicate and why will it get a discount?

The oil syndicate was set up by a local resident 2011 to order heating oil in bulk, for individual home delivery on a single date, to achieve a discounted rate.  The supplier will offer the discount because it only needs to send one vehicle to the area and it’s almost certainly guaranteed to empty it.  This saves the supplier on manpower and vehicle usage so will offer a discount for these reasons.   Orders over 5,000 litres are likely to attract a significant discount.  Given most of us do not have many other choices than oil heating in this area, we are likely to be buying anyway so this syndicate will offer savings for us all in the long term.  Gilly will keep detailed records of prices/savings achieved which will be sent to the members for their reference each month.  Gilly will also compile annual statistics showing averages throughout the year.

When will the syndicate place orders?

The bulk order is placed on the 1st of each month (or nearest working day).

How does the syndicate work?

Every month Gilly will contact you to see if you would like to place an order.  The minimum order is 500 litres each.  If you wish to order, your order will be consolidated with everyone else who wishes to order at that time.  Gilly will then contact several suppliers for price and delivery quotations.  She will select the most competitive price and delivery option available on that day and agree a date for delivery, then advise those placing orders of the final price, delivery date and payment method.   The supplier will deliver directly to you.  NB: If we use a supplier who is new to you, they may request payment before delivery and/or by debit card initially.  Gilly is effectively an order co-ordinator and negotiator.

How much does it cost to join?

There is a nominal membership fee of £10.00 per year to enable Gilly to administer the syndicate and which you will recoup with your 1st order. 

Please notethe membership year runs from March - February.

How do I pay my membership fee?

You can either send a cheque made payable to ‘Rodings Oil Syndicate’ or pay directly by bank transfer.  The transfer details you will need are:

Sort code – 40-17-08

A/c  no. – 42217732

A/c  name – Rodings Oil Syndicate

IMPORTANT – If you choose to make a bank transfer, please ensure you mark the payment with your surname and indicate this method of payment on your membership form.

Do I have to buy oil every month?

Members are under no obligation purchase any oil.


Who will be supplying the oil?

Anyone of a number of suppliers.  Gilly canvassed the following suppliers regarding the syndicate: Advance Fuels, Blackwater Fuels, Total Butler, GOFF, Team Flitwick, Shelford Energy, Linton, Eurofuel, Action Fuels, Billericay Fuel Services, AD Fuels, Spur, Barton, ATP, Home Fuels Direct and Castle Liquid, some of whom are interested in quoting and some not.  She will also consult online comparison websites for quotations.   If you can suggest other companies you feel might offer a good price please let Gilly know and she will contact them.   In the interest of the syndicate, it is imperative to establish a good relationship with local suppliers to gain the best discounts.

Can I choose the delivery date?

No, the discount is achieved because the deliveries all happen on the same day or days as the supplier may choose to deliver over two days if it suits them.

How do I pay for my oil?

Generally speaking, the supplier will either:

  • request payment in advance if you are a new customer for the company;
  • accept debit or credit card payment (NB: charges may apply); or
  • provide an individual invoice for you and you will be expected to pay them promptly.  Typically the invoice will show the discounted price for prompt payment and a significantly higher price for later payment.  Paying late is likely to result in a much higher price that may eliminate any saving from using the syndicate and also damage the integrity of the syndicate.

Can I choose the delivery time?

No, the discount is achieved by allowing the supplier to operate in a way which is cost effective for them.

Do I have to be in when the oil is delivered?

Not if:

  • the delivery driver can gain easy access to the tank to fill it and you are prepared to accept their delivery note as proof of what they delivered; or
  • you have already paid for the fuel or are a regular customer of the supplier.

Do I have to purchase all my oil from the syndicate?

No, obviously it is good for the syndicate if you do as it allows us to order a larger quantity.  This in turn is more convenient to all members as ordering larger quantities will get everyone better prices and helps us to build stronger relationships with local suppliers.

Will I know exactly what I will pay?

Not until the order is placed.  Gilly will call a number of suppliers and check the internet before securing the best discount, a record of which will be supplied to members.  The suppliers want the business and if it’s a good size order for them, it’s attractive to them too.  It is extremely unlikely that you would achieve as good a price by yourself.

Once submitted, can I change my order?

Unfortunately not as this will affect everyone and increase Gilly’s workload as she would have to renegotiate the price again.


How much notice will I have of a delivery?

It’s likely to take up to 2 weeks to organise and take delivery of an order. 

  • Day 1 – Email/phone members asking if they wish to place an order, including deadline for placing order
  • Day 6/7 – Call suppliers to negotiate price/delivery date then notify members of the agreed price/discount, delivery date and payment method
  • Day 8 - 14 – Delivery - all being well, longer delivery dates may produce even bigger savings but on average our delivery usually takes place within 3 days of placing the order but this will vary between suppliers.

How do I know how much has been delivered?

All oil tankers are fitted with Trading Standard Approved Meters.  A meter reading will be printed/stamped on the delivery ticket.   This will be left at your property after the delivery is completed.

My tank is in the back garden, will the tanker be able to reach it?

Delivery hoses are generally approximately 120' (40m) in length, this ensures most deliveries can be discharged with ease.   If you don’t think this will be sufficient, please let Gilly know and provide specific delivery requirements.

How will the driver find my house?

The oil tanker drivers operate from local depots and should know our area well.  However, if you have any landmarks near your property or have a specific delivery instructions, please advise Gilly when you order.

I have an Aga and need to add Topanol to my oil to help avoid deposit and sludge problems, is this possible?

Yes, Topanol can be added to your order but you must specify this when placing your order with Gilly.  The cost is approx. 1p per litre +VAT but this may vary depending on supplier.

What is the current VAT rate on kerosene?

The current VAT rate is 5% on kerosene.

I am not sure of the capacity of my oil tank?

Most modern plastic tanks will state what size they are, there is often a clue in their name with the number being the tank capacity in litres.  For the old fashioned rectangular metal tanks, use the following equation:

(L’ x W’ x H’ x 6.25) = Tank Capacity in Gallons
e.g.  A 6'x 4'x 4' tank is (6 x 4 x 4 x 6.25) = 600 Gallons / approx. 2,700 litres

From this you can calculate that every foot (12 inches) is 150 gallons / approx. 675 litres

How much fuel do I need to order?

All suppliers will require a minimum of 500 litres.

What is the difference between litres and gallons?

The oil industry uses litres as its unit of measurement.  There are 4.546 litres in a gallon.


What type of fuel is the oil syndicate consolidating?

There are 2 types of heating oil available.  This syndicate is for the most commonly used heating oil – kerosene / 28 sec / domestic oil.

How will it work, as we may not need oil at the same time?

By being part of the syndicate does not mean you have to have oil every month, you only order if you need to but for us to achieve the most competitive price, the more we order, the bigger the saving.

Does Gilly disclaim all liability?

Yes, absolutely.  Gilly will only act as the members’ co-ordinator in submitting and negotiating their order.  Gilly's role is to provide a useful service to local residents.  She does not accept liability for any loss or damage you may suffer through being a member of the syndicate.

Can anyone join?

The syndicate only works if the members are local i.e. residents of High Roding and the surrounding villages so that the supplier can send one tanker to the area and empty it.  The suppliers are dealing with the members and if a member makes life hard for the supplier, they may choose to decline future business. 

Which surrounding villages are considered local?

Basically anyone with a CM1 – CM6 postcode plus a few other areas: The Rodings, The Easters, The Walthams, Pleshey, Roxwell, Ford End, Gt & Lt Dunmow, Gt & Lt Canfield, Bacon End, Bishops Green, Roundbush/Keers Green, Felsted, Barnston, Takeley, Great/Little Leighs, Matching, Hatfield Broad Oak/Heath and Fyfield.  If you are not from one of these villages, please contact Gilly anyway and she will speak to the suppliers to see if they will deliver to you.

Does the syndicate offer a budget plan?

Unfortunately not, Gilly is in no way involved in any monetary transactions.  If budgeting is a concern, Gilly would suggest you open a separate a/c with your current a/c provider and then set up a monthly payment from your current a/c to the new a/c so that it accrues the money you need to pay for your oil.  This is effectively the same as a budget plan except you get to keep the interest on your money instead of the supplier!

How much discount will I get?

That will depend on how big the syndicate gets, how large each order is and how easy we are to deal with.  Other oil syndicate groups and the oil suppliers suggest that we can expect to save between 2p – 10p per litre.  This equates to a saving of £20 – £100 on a 1000 litre delivery.

When is the best time to order?

July is generally the cheapest month to place an order and the winter period (Nov – Jan) the most expensive due to increased demand.   The more we order, the more significant the saving.  Although the summer months will usually return smaller savings as there is less profit in the prices the suppliers get during this period and therefore they cannot offer as much discount.

Can I get the discount price if I don’t order though the syndicate?

No but you are free to negotiate with any supplier you find.


What should I do if I am running short?

Given the syndicate is orders every month, there should not be a problem getting oil.  However if you feel you are going to run out, let Gilly know and she will make some enquiries to see if she can help in any way.   If you do not think that will be in time, you will have to make your own arrangements on this occasion.

Can I get an urgent delivery?

No, if you don’t plan ahead the syndicate may not work well for you.

How will I know the price and delivery date?

A notification will be sent by email once the order is placed, however if you don’t have email, Gilly will let you know by phone.

How will I know an order is being scheduled?

Again Gilly will send an email or contact you by phone.

How will I submit my order?

Directly through Gilly via email or phone.