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  • Writer's pictureBusy Energy Ade

Not such a Happy New Year for y'Oil

Following a recent site survey for renewable technology  solutions for a community building currently supplied by oil for heat, in a quiet and peaceful off grid village in North Yorkshire. I was shocked, but sadly not overly surprised to see that despite a fairly substantial amount of security, metal fencing, and heavy duty locks surrounding a fairly new 2010 ish... double bunded oil tank, that some mystery visitor had seemingly over the festive period, when the building wasn’t in use, managed to stretch a Mr Tickle like arm, right through the very narrow fencing gaps, and then somehow 'hack saw blade' a hole through the first skin of the tank nearly a foot away from the fence!

The attacking individual/s i guess were hoping that a Las Vegas Jackpot amount of black gold would follow…… after what must have been hours of painful skin tearing nibbling away at arm’s length with a hack saw blade!

Whilst this wasn't the ultimate driver for a survey for renewable tech to replace the oil fired heating, i do wonder that it must have impacted on the thought process to a degree...... as i understand this wasn't the first time!

This left me thinking of two points;

a) Firstly, what on earth is wrong with some folk trying to pinch a bucket full of heating oil worth next to nothing, and causing hundreds of pounds of damage and moreover disruption to people booked to use the community centre in the process.

I guess however that also go's to prove that despite all the obvious currently commonly available security measures such as alarms, and tank lid/fill point/connection point locks, and even an 8 foot tall spiked security fence, the determined will seemingly find a way....

But then a question arose...

b) Is there in 'certain circumstances' a need and as such a product to counter the tampering/theft from oil vessels in this way? Or is this a one in a million occurrence?

There are still 'circa' 2 million properties mainly in rural or 'off gas grid' zones using liquid stored fuels, so they all can't be suitably upgraded and neither could they be overnight, should the funds be available for all to do so....

Therefore, and in particular as funding via ECO2t is providing support for off grid presently, i would be very interested to know/learn if oil tank manufactures/BEIS/OFTEC etc... are looking at this, or indeed have solutions already built into/in between the the skins by way of an anti cut/drill coating/layer?

If so, i haven't seen these as yet in the mainstream, nor the costs for this. 

Theft from an oil tank alone could put someone into fuel poverty..... attempted theft and subsequent damage can cause disruption, upset, and again extra cost.

I assume that if oil prices rise again to at or above where it was in 2010, then subject to price point, it could be a worthwhile investment if in an at risk area...

*Example Source below 'The Telegraph' 

*By Harry Wallop, Consumer Affairs Editor

5:47PM GMT 10 Dec 2010

While most of Britain's 26 million homes are linked up to the central gas mains, around two million properties – most in rural areas – use either oil or liquefied petroleum gas to fire up their boilers or cookers, such as Agas.

The average price of this oil has gone up by more than 70 per cent in the last three months, ten times the rate of increase endured by normal gas customers.

It is a jump in price that could add as much as £540 to some families' annual heating bills.

Some experts believe that oil companies are "profiteering" by taking advantage of the rush in demand as a result of the cold weather.

Boilerjuice, a website which tracks the average price of central heating oil across the country said it had gone from 41p a litre at start of September to 71p a litre now.

That equates to a 73 per cent increase in just over 3 months.

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