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Home heating oil help. We cannot wait for the 'detail'. Can help come retrospectively? Need oil NOW

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Francis63
Francis63 Posts: 217 Forumite
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Can someone please convey to Martin Lewis the unintended cosequences of not having an announcement urgently that help will be back-dated for those of us that need to buy our oil for the year NOW so that he can lobby for retrospective help.

We don't need the detail,
 just please announce that we won't miss out if we buy the oil NOW and that help with that huge lump that buying oil is (you cannot just buy a small amount - minimum is 500 litres!) can be claimed retrospectively.

My MP replied to my initial letter with advice to go to the CAB for help with grants and benefits, which totally missed the point  :s 


Here is my response to her:-

Thank you for your prompt reply.

I haven't 'experienced any difficulties' topping up my heating oil. It's easy to do. I'm delaying as financially I can not afford to miss the promised government help of 400 pounds. 

I am not entitled to any benefits. This is not about getting means tested help. I have a redundancy payment which is meant to help me over the redundancy and to live off. It is not intended to go on subsidising the heating help that others are getting. It was only 12,000 pounds (after 35 years of loyal service), and it is running out fast. I have no income. I live alone. I am a very low electricity user, but my heating bill is enormous.


The problem is one of expediency in announcing help.


If Liz Truss does not announce as a matter of urgency that the heating oil help can be paid retrospectively, then people like me will hold off from buying our oil until we know what's happening. That in itself will create several problems, not just being cold.

The price of heating oil fluctuates daily, so you have to be careful when you buy it. Much of that fluctuation is based on supply and demand. Therefore in the winter the price per unit is much higher than in the summer for example.

If we all hold off whilst waiting for Miss Truss to make a simple decision 'will it be back-dated and paid retrospectively for those that need heating oil now? (at more than double the usual average price) Or not?'
If it's back-dateable no problems.

If not, we will have to wait.

If everyone waits until later when an announcement of help comes then there will be an influx of people wanting oil, thus pushing the price up yet further by the supply and demand principle and rendering any help less effective and possibly pointless. We will have scraped by without heating during the wait, all for nothing.

Furthermore the backlog and sudden influx of demand will cause long waits and possible unavailability at the worst of times. 

Are we to suffer all this? 

Some have the perception that those on heating oil are the wealthy living in big remote country houses. This is far from the truth. My whole village has no gas. I live in an ex-  housing association 2-bed maisonette. It's very modest. I have a mortgage. All the flats have an oil tank.

I don't ask that Liz Truss formulate a lengthy plan. Just that she state urgently that it will be paid retrospectively so that we can buy our oil whilst we wait for the detail of the plan to come later.

Or many of us will suffer the unintended consequences.

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Comments

  • Francis63
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    Section62 said:
    Francis63 said:

    My electricity bill is very small...


    You have a mains electric supply?  You'll get the £400.  As simple as that.

    You'll either get the money refunded to your bank account, or your supplier will reduce your direct debit.

    No I won't. I am such a low electricity user. My expense is oil, not electricity. It won't work out that way.
  • GrumpyDil
    GrumpyDil Posts: 1,686 Forumite
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    edited 17 September 2022 at 10:12PM
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    Every person who has an electricity account will receive the 400.00 from the government. 

    If that ends up with you being in credit your electricity provider may be able to refund some money to your bank account.

    Just to add I'm in a similar position where I am on a fix and my electric is around 40.00 a month. But my heating and hot water is from oil and I expect that to be a lot higher over the winter months. 
  • wolvoman
    wolvoman Posts: 1,173 Forumite
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    How low can your electric bill be? Even if you only use 3KWh per day (which is unbelievably low), you’ll have charges of approx £350 per year PLUS £150+ of standing charges. So the £400 credit will go against your electricity bill.
  • dunstonh
    dunstonh Posts: 117,046 Forumite
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    Oil has dropped in price over the last few days and is back to the level around March time and whilst it is about 30% higher than the average over the last 5 years, it is not that bad.  Plus, we got away with dirt cheap oil in 2020.  So, you take the rough with the smooth.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). The comments I make are just my opinion and are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice and you should not treat them as such. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
  • Spoonie_Turtle
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    Francis63 said: 

    I am not entitled to any benefits. This is not about getting means tested help. I have a redundancy payment which is meant to help me over the redundancy and to live off. It is not intended to go on subsidising the heating help that others are getting. It was only 12,000 pounds (after 35 years of loyal service), and it is running out fast. I have no income. I live alone. I am a very low electricity user, but my heating bill is enormous.

    Not what you were asking, but: if you have no income and only £12,000 in savings are you sure you don't qualify for benefits?  If you haven't checked entitlement recently, these are decent calculators if you fill everything in accurately:
    https://www.entitledto.co.uk/
    https://benefits-calculator.turn2us.org.uk/
  • Francis63
    Francis63 Posts: 217 Forumite
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    edited 17 September 2022 at 10:57PM
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    dunstonh said:
    Oil has dropped in price over the last few days and is back to the level around March time and whilst it is about 30% higher than the average over the last 5 years, it is not that bad.  Plus, we got away with dirt cheap oil in 2020.  So, you take the rough with the smooth.
    Mine was 41p p/l last November.
    Now is 91p (plus VAT)
  • QrizB
    QrizB Posts: 13,822 Forumite
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    edited 17 September 2022 at 11:02PM
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    Francis63 said:
    Can someone please convey to Martin Lewis the unintended cosequences of not having an announcement urgently that help will be back-dated for those of us that need to buy our oil for the year NOW so that he can lobby for retrospective help.
    We don't need the detail,
     just please announce that we won't miss out if we buy the oil NOW and that help with that huge lump that buying oil is (you cannot just buy a small amount - minimum is 500 litres!) can be claimed retrospectively.
    If you don't need the detail, you can make an educated guess.
    The support price for gas is 10.3p/kWh, which is equivalent to about 107p/litre for oil. Current oil prices are 80-90p/litre so you are unlikely to get any help unless prices rise further.
    This is being discussed in more detail on your other thread (although it's recently been sidetracked to talking about immersion heaters):
    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/6385995/prime-minister-truss-announces-help-for-heating-oil/p1
    N. Hampshire, he/him. Octopus Go elec & Tracker gas / Shell BB / Lyca mobi. Ripple Kirk Hill member.
    2.72kWp PV facing SSW installed Jan 2012. 11 x 247w panels, 3.6kw inverter. 30MWh generated, long-term average 2.6 Os.
    Taking a break, hope to be back eventually.
    Ofgem cap table, Ofgem cap explainer. Economy 7 cap explainer. Gas vs E7 vs peak elec heating costs.
  • Francis63
    Francis63 Posts: 217 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited 17 September 2022 at 11:02PM
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    Francis63 said: 

    I am not entitled to any benefits. This is not about getting means tested help. I have a redundancy payment which is meant to help me over the redundancy and to live off. It is not intended to go on subsidising the heating help that others are getting. It was only 12,000 pounds (after 35 years of loyal service), and it is running out fast. I have no income. I live alone. I am a very low electricity user, but my heating bill is enormous.

    Not what you were asking, but: if you have no income and only £12,000 in savings are you sure you don't qualify for benefits?  If you haven't checked entitlement recently, these are decent calculators if you fill everything in accurately:
    https://www.entitledto.co.uk/
    https://benefits-calculator.turn2us.org.uk/
    I have more than the 12,000 redundancy payment in savings.
    So in total a bit more than 16,000. 
    However I have a large interest only mortgage that will have to be fully paid back in a few years time, so overall in debt.
    However, this doesn't count as far as means testing goes you can't offset your mortgage. 

  • QrizB
    QrizB Posts: 13,822 Forumite
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    edited 17 September 2022 at 11:14PM
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    lindatoo said:
    Each month from Oct I will pay them my direct debit which they will then refund to me and they will keep the remainder from my £67/66 as a credit. So over the winter I will be building more credit.
    That's not how it's meant to work either. Each month they will take your regular DD and each month they will reund you £66 or £67.
    Francis63 said:
    dunstonh said:
    Oil has dropped in price over the last few days and is back to the level around March time and whilst it is about 30% higher than the average over the last 5 years, it is not that bad.  Plus, we got away with dirt cheap oil in 2020.  So, you take the rough with the smooth.
    Mine was 41p p/l last November.
    Now is 91p (plus VAT)
    91p/litre plus VAT is still cheaper than mains gas. You are unlikely to get any help towards your oil cost. If you need oil now, buy it.
    N. Hampshire, he/him. Octopus Go elec & Tracker gas / Shell BB / Lyca mobi. Ripple Kirk Hill member.
    2.72kWp PV facing SSW installed Jan 2012. 11 x 247w panels, 3.6kw inverter. 30MWh generated, long-term average 2.6 Os.
    Taking a break, hope to be back eventually.
    Ofgem cap table, Ofgem cap explainer. Economy 7 cap explainer. Gas vs E7 vs peak elec heating costs.
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