The Marr Community Planning Group (MCPG) has monitored three oil clubs in Marr for a year to see if they are a cheaper way to order oil. The results have shown that members of the three oil clubs (Ballater – Pannanich Oil Club, Braemar Oil Club and Rhynie, Lumsden and Clatt Oil Club) have obtained significant benefits, saving on average between £20 – £30 each time they order oil. Members are not obliged to order oil via the oil club, membership is free, the minimum oil order is 500 litres and most oil clubs deliver approx. every two months. The North East of Scotland Credit Union (NESCU) can help those unable to pay for a first fill with a low interest loan and budgeting advice. Oil clubs have been found on average to offer price reductions to members because by delivering to lots of people in one area on the same day, their trucking costs will be reduced.
There are currently ten oil clubs in Marr, located in Aboyne, Alford, Ballater (Pannanich), Banchory, Braemar, Finzean, Lumphanan, Monymusk, Rhynie (plus Lumsden and Clatt) and Tarland. In addition, there are some online group buying services which can also offer savings (eg. oilclub.co.uk) although results from these are more mixed.
After seeing the results of the monitoring, the MCPG is encouraging residents to consider joining the oil clubs, and local communities to look into setting one up if it does not already exist. Of the oil clubs monitored, one is run independently by a local community member and the other two are run by the oil companies who have a staff member available for organising the oil club; the two companies operating in Marr who run such a scheme are Johnston Oils and Highland Fuels. Johnston Oils has also established a community payback scheme, whereby 1p/litre of the oil club order goes to a local community organisation to benefit community projects. If anyone would like further information, please contact the Marr Area Office on Tel: 019755 64801.