FPS highlights low margins in response to claims of profiteering on heating oil

FPS chief executive, Mark Askew
FPS chief executive, Mark Askew
The Federation of Petroleum Suppliers (FPS) has responded to claims of profiteering on heating oil, explaining that community buying groups should be realistic about the savings that can be gained in these times of low margins.
Chris Pomfret, founder of Community Buying unLimited, has sent letters to the FPS and prime minister, David Cameron, arguing “there is something very wrong with the price of heating oil”, and that domestic heating oil suppliers haveallowed themselves to be influenced by very short term greed”.
The statement from the FPS read: “Consumers get a pretty good deal and, with low margins, there is very little leeway to give them price reductions and still remain viable! Many claims of huge savings are actually comparing the highest quotes – possibly artificially high from a distributor who doesn’t want the business – with the lowest quote, because some of these high prices are just not feasible.
“The FPS always recommend that if buying group customers wish to receive an indication of the true saving for the fuel they should contact the distribution company who delivered their fuel and ask for a spot price for the volume which they have had delivered. The difference between this price and the price they have paid represents the true saving obtained.”
The organisation has continually urged distributors to be honest if they cannot, or do not wish to supply a community buying group with fuel, in response to news of artificially high prices being quoted to deter potential customers.
The response also highlights the benefits for consumers of buying oil individually, and building a relationship with a regular supplier, to ensure priority treatment during times of short supply.