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Millions Facing Fuel Rationing Over Christmas As Heating Oil Runs Low

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/conservative/8199110/Millions-facing-fuel-rationing-over-Christmas-as-heating-oil-runs-low.html

An estimated two million homes, schools and hospitals face fuel rationing over Christmas after MPs warned that supplies of heating oil would hit ‘crisis’ point during the cold snap.

As snow began falling again across the country, the Government confirmed that the situation could become “very serious,” with some households already facing waits of up to four weeks before they can receive supplies.

The Office of Fair Trading announced that it was monitoring allegations of price fixing among suppliers, as the average cost of a litre of oil leapt to more than 70p from just over 40p a month ago.

Around six per cent of households rely on heating oil, many in remote areas away from mains supplies. Six out 10 families in Northern Ireland, 505,000 homes, are dependent on oil deliveries.

There are another 828,000 users in England and 155,000 in Scotland. Figures are unavailable for Wales, but are likely to be significant due to the high levels of households outside of towns and cities.

Across the United Kingdom, a number of public bodies, including rural schools and hospitals, also depend on oil for heat.

Nice to see the UK fully prepared for a cold snap.

Still I'm sure we won't see actual rationing.

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I've been impressed so far at how Brits have not altered their behaviour to higher oil prices. The price rise coming from the increase in the cost per barrel, but also what seems aggressive tax increases.

For example you might expect to see less traffic on the road, or more of a push towards small fuel efficient vehicles. And possible less unneccessar trips. But instead you nearly get ran off the road by heavy traffic at all hours and big vehicles.. with people driving to do pointless errands far away. And still heating huge living spaces flat out, with expensive oil.

At some point there must come a price level where behaviour changes. For example we have seen as the cost to insure young drivers exploded up, to £3000 a year, pushed by greedy boomers.. it has meant far fewer young people getting cars. They walk, ride their bikes, take public tranportation, stay within a smaller geographic area for their day to day errands and travels, etc..

Edited by aa3

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I've been impressed so far at how Brits have not altered their behaviour to higher oil prices. The price rise coming from the increase in the cost per barrel, but also what seems aggressive tax increases.

For example you might expect to see less traffic on the road, or more of a push towards small fuel efficient vehicles. And possible less unneccessar trips. But instead you nearly get ran off the road by heavy traffic at all hours and big vehicles.. with people driving to do pointless errands far away. And still heating huge living spaces flat out, with expensive oil.

At some point there must come a price level where behaviour changes. For example we have seen as the cost to insure young drivers exploded up, to £3000 a year, pushed by greedy boomers.. it has meant far fewer young people getting cars. They walk, ride their bikes, take public tranportation, stay within a smaller geographic area for their day to day errands and travels, etc..

Very good points. Like you I have been surprised by the lack of change in behaviour. The last time petrol peaked I did detect a slight change in volume of cars and driving patterns, but it was only slight at best. This time around though its maximum throttle all the way.

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The coverage of this problem isn't making clear to what extent the cause is a shortage of actual heating oil stocks in the country (i.e. we're burning it faster but not importing it faster to compensate) and to what extent it's a distribution problem.

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Very good points. Like you I have been surprised by the lack of change in behaviour. The last time petrol peaked I did detect a slight change in volume of cars and driving patterns, but it was only slight at best. This time around though its maximum throttle all the way.

It seems driving around on pointless, long distance errands in big vehicles at high speed is one of the last things people give up. Where the big noticeable change would come is if the cost was high enough that the big median demographic couldn't keep the throttle going all the way.

What I think people are doing so far is choosing to spend less elsewhere. Like it seems far less people are going on vacations. Look at all those travel firms going bankrupt. Well one big trip of £8,000 for the whole family.. can pay for a hell of a lot of incremental price increases in petrol.

Another one I've seen is restaurants really going downhill. For a time people were still packing into the restaurants, but talking to some owners of the restaraunts they say people are buying less alcohol. Whereas they would throw down £200 pounds with some wien and such before, now they order food and sodas, and the cost is £70 for the meal. So you have the strange phenomenon in parts of restaraunts dying, even while packed.

There are probably dozens of other significant areas people are cutting back on. Another is house upgrading. A part of the precipitous fall in house transactions has to be people choosing not to upgrade right now. - and all the transactional costs that go with that.

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It was on the local news last night. A local distributor said there was plenty of oil - it's just that they can't get it out to people fast enough and so they've put the prices up. :blink:

Nice, we are such a caring bunch in this country :rolleyes:

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For example we have seen as the cost to insure young drivers exploded up, to £3000 a year, pushed by greedy boomers..

Here you go again, slagging of a different generation from your own. Who are you, David Willets? Please explain how boomers have escalated the cost of insurance for young people.

...but I agree with the rest of your sentiment. Particularly at fault are women who feel they must have a 2-tonne cross-country behemoth to "protect their children" on what should be a short walk to school, and won't even pull onto the verge to allow others in more modest cars to pass on a single-track road (my personal gripe of the day).

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Here you go again, slagging of a different generation from your own. Who are you, David Willets? Please explain how boomers have escalated the cost of insurance for young people.

Selfish boomers not even having their fair share of accidents.

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Can't blame them for putting prices up, that's just supply and demand surely?

Whether you ever buy from that company again is another matter.

There's allegations of a price-fixing cartel.

The Office of Fair Trading announced that it was monitoring allegations of price fixing among suppliers, as the average cost of a litre of oil leapt to more than 70p from just over 40p a month ago.

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The coverage of this problem isn't making clear to what extent the cause is a shortage of actual heating oil stocks in the country (i.e. we're burning it faster but not importing it faster to compensate) and to what extent it's a distribution problem.

TBH, I would have thought that anybody who waits until December before realising that their heating fuel tank needs filling up, is an idiot

tim

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*if* I had oil central heating I'd have at least one log burning stove in my house.

You should even if you had ANY form of electrical driven central heating. What happens when the supply lines ice up and collapse and the power goes off for days?

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On a related note, does anyone know how UK natural gas storage is looking? Given the early onset of serious winter weather, it can't be looking too pretty..

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I've been impressed so far at how Brits have not altered their behaviour to higher oil prices. The price rise coming from the increase in the cost per barrel, but also what seems aggressive tax increases.

For example you might expect to see less traffic on the road, or more of a push towards small fuel efficient vehicles. And possible less unneccessar trips. But instead you nearly get ran off the road by heavy traffic at all hours and big vehicles.. with people driving to do pointless errands far away. And still heating huge living spaces flat out, with expensive oil.

At some point there must come a price level where behaviour changes. For example we have seen as the cost to insure young drivers exploded up, to £3000 a year, pushed by greedy boomers.. it has meant far fewer young people getting cars. They walk, ride their bikes, take public tranportation, stay within a smaller geographic area for their day to day errands and travels, etc..

Back in mid 2008 when there was a sudden surge in oil prices to an all time peak and petrol shot up quickly to about 125ppl, there definitely was a change. People making less journeys and they were driving more slowly on the motorways. Plus, the cost of s/h SUVs dropped as people sold them off and no-one wanted to buy them.

However, after prices receded a bit into 2009 that was all forgotten. In the meantime petrol has crept back up slowly to those peak prices but no-one has altered their motoring behaviour at all. I guess it's a prima facie example of the 'boiling a frog' effect.

People STILL haven't caught on to the fact that they are in general living well beyond their means - like Wile E Coyote running off the edge of a cliff. I suspect that this sort of generalised stupidity and fecklessness will continue until the markets force a crisis on us.

As regards heating oil, I made sure I got a load in yesterday just before the snow hit. I now have enough to easily last me the rest of the winter now and have no hesitation in burning as much as I need to stay toasty in the ever colder weather since it's frankly amazing that you can swap useless bits of paper like Sterling for something useful. I think it's pretty inevitable that very quickly we will be having to swap lots more of those bits of paper for the same amount of things like oil and food.

My big mistake was not making a really big order back in September when prices were about 20% lower and then I wouldn't have had the hassle of a second delivery either. Lesson learned - swap as much fiat currency as you can for useful assets as soon as you can.....

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Heating oil always goes up in Winter due to increased demand, so people shouldn't be surprised at the high prices now. Some dealers are taking advantage of the increased demand and loading their prices now (70p per litre as opposed to 40p when I filled up). All you need to do is make sure you have enough oil to see you through the Winter - it isn't rocket science! If your oil tank is correctly sized for the house, a full tank will store around 1 year of heating oil. My tank stores just over 1000 litres and I find I do use around 1000l of fuel per year. I always try to fill my tank in May, when there is reduced demand. Because of the reduced demand, heating oil is normally a bit cheaper then.

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*if* I had oil central heating I'd have at least one log burning stove in my house.

We have oil heating and a coal fire. However the fire does not heat the water so although we could heat one room with the fire we would have no hot water.

I ordered oil in November and paid just under £500 for 1000 litres of Kerosene 28. Got a quote today and the price was just over £900 for a 1000 litres and they couldn't deliver until the 15th January, almost a month away. Most of my neighbors are old and all have oil fired heating.

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You should even if you had ANY form of electrical driven central heating. What happens when the supply lines ice up and collapse and the power goes off for days?

And you can do marshmellow toasting on them... :)

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Somebody started rubbing their hands together at the end of November saying "Let's get these suckers, the government will help us bleed them dry".

I thought it was common sense to fill the tank when you didn't need it desperately..

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You should even if you had ANY form of electrical driven central heating. What happens when the supply lines ice up and collapse and the power goes off for days?

multifuel stoves are the business. I have 2 stoves in my house that complement my OFCH. One is a massive 20kw burn anything lump of iron connected up to its own pumped circuit. I only use Oil in the mornings and to heat water. Deffo recommend it. Go for multifuel not wood burning, so you can burn what you like. Its cheaper and more comfortable heat, but more hassle.

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Back in mid 2008 when there was a sudden surge in oil prices to an all time peak and petrol shot up quickly to about 125ppl, there definitely was a change. People making less journeys and they were driving more slowly on the motorways. Plus, the cost of s/h SUVs dropped as people sold them off and no-one wanted to buy them.

However, after prices receded a bit into 2009 that was all forgotten. In the meantime petrol has crept back up slowly to those peak prices but no-one has altered their motoring behaviour at all. I guess it's a prima facie example of the 'boiling a frog' effect.

People STILL haven't caught on to the fact that they are in general living well beyond their means - like Wile E Coyote running off the edge of a cliff. I suspect that this sort of generalised stupidity and fecklessness will continue until the markets force a crisis on us.

As regards heating oil, I made sure I got a load in yesterday just before the snow hit. I now have enough to easily last me the rest of the winter now and have no hesitation in burning as much as I need to stay toasty in the ever colder weather since it's frankly amazing that you can swap useless bits of paper like Sterling for something useful. I think it's pretty inevitable that very quickly we will be having to swap lots more of those bits of paper for the same amount of things like oil and food.

My big mistake was not making a really big order back in September when prices were about 20% lower and then I wouldn't have had the hassle of a second delivery either. Lesson learned - swap as much fiat currency as you can for useful assets as soon as you can.....

The reason why they are still around is that over the last decade the middle-upper management/director classes have been awarded/paid themselves well above inflation wages + hidden 'incentives' + bonuses.

This means austerity and the hidden inflation of everything [never mentioned by Govt.] is barely noticeable to them!

Edited by erranta

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  • 309 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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