Oil Buying Co-operative for Chippenham Village

There is an oil purchasing co-operative in the Village. The annual charge for this service is £5 to cover ICT costs. Any profit after this, is donated to the Church roof fund each year. It has been running since July 2011 and has saved an average of £8 per order per person. The co-operative has around 40 members in Chippenham and neighbouring village Snailwell.


  • Households pool their requirements by sending an email to jamesghurst@outlook.com, or dropping a card off at 47, High Street.
  • There is a trading standards minimum delivery of 500 litres per delivery.
  • If you are not sure how much you need, just estimate the amount and ask for a fill up.
  • A deadline is announced in the newsletter and requirements are consolidated to generate a large order of about 10,000 litres or more of heating oil.
  • This requirement is then offered to potential oil suppliers with the order going to the lowest price supplier.
  • The oil is delivered soon afterwards (usually within 7 days of the deadline) and paid for by the householder directly to the oil company, but at the agreed group price.


  • The heating oil supply company can save lorry fuel and time by delivering a full load to one village on one day.
  • They also save a little internal admin time as they do not have to negotiate with each customer. They can pass on some of this saving to the customers in the Oil Co-operative.
  • It is also a “greener” way of supplying oil.

SOME PROBLEMS and solutions

  • Unclear orders. Please send emails and cards only. If you receive no response, assume that James has not got your order, and send it again.
  • Not everyone needing oil at the same time-this scheme works well if people use top ups, of the minimum 500 litres. This also spreads the pain of rising prices, as no one knows which way the prices will go next!
  • Special requirements (e.g. locks on gates) – these arerecorded on a spread sheet and sent to the oil supplier with their order. If you request it,they will call you before delivering.


If you live in either Chippenham or Snailwell, and would like to join please send James your:

  1. Name
  2. Phone number for the oil company to call you for payment
  3. Address including postcode
  4. Any special instructions like:
    1. Aga additive required
    2. Oil tank through the gate at left of house
  5. And of course, how many litres you want and whether you want just that quantity, or a fill up if possible.