Oil prices are higher than ever. And in the fall, an oil embargo is also looming. Many consumers are at a loss and want to know: Should I fill up the heating oil tank quickly or hope for a price relaxation?
Fill up the tank of the oil heating system in spring or summer. That advice no longer applies. The war in Ukraine has thrown all expected price developments upside down – and now there is also an oil embargo for Russia. The EU is planning an import stop for Russian oil for the next heating season of all times.
Uncertainty as to how things will continue is causing prices to rise again. And she asks homeowners with oil heating when they should order from the fuel dealer.
But even experts cannot give clear advice, because depending on how the situation develops, the price swing can swing in both directions.
Don’t let the tank run empty
“Personally, I would see that there is enough in the tank, but I wouldn’t fill it up,” says Louis-F. Steel from the board of the Federation of Energy Consumers. However, if you have a high need for security and maybe have some money on the high edge, you might fill up the oil tank now to be on the safe side.
“You can only give advice if you make a price prediction – and that’s not possible at the moment,” says Martin Brandis from the energy advice team at the Federal Consumer Association. However, he warns against letting the tank run empty. “Consumers should always bear in mind that there are also delivery deadlines if they suddenly have to heat up.”
Compare prices – including travel costs
So what if you have to fill up despite the high prices? You can get a feeling for the price differences between the providers via the many heating oil comparison portals on the Internet. Here you can find out about the current market prices. In an analysis of eight heating oil portals by the consumer portal “Finanztip” in 2020, “Heizoel24.de” and “Esyoil.com” usually showed the cheapest offers.
In principle, the sales price on the day of the order applies, even if the delivery is weeks later. “It would be frivolous to want to raise the price just before filling up – consumers should never agree to that,” says Louis-F. Steel from the Association of Energy Consumers.
And he advises to commission regional providers in any case – because of the short distances. Otherwise there may be costs for the journey.
Request order confirmation
Both experts advise that it is important to insist on a confirmation by e-mail or post after ordering. It must contain the price including all costs, which must be paid after delivery.
Also important to know: If you only fill up a small amount of heating oil, you may have to pay a surcharge. “In that case, it can be worthwhile to jointly order with neighbors if they also need oil,” says Brandis. Attention, however: Only order together with people you know and trust. Because if one doesn’t pay, the others are liable.