The government is backing a campaign by industry and consumer groups urging householders to stock up on heating oil now.
Buying oil as soon as possible before the onset of severe weather can mean a cost saving when demand is low and also means householders are guaranteed fuel during the coldest months.
Householders are also being advised to shop around for the best deal by the Buy Oil Early campaign, which is being run by Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE), Citizens Advice Bureau, Consumer Focus and the Federation of Petroleum Suppliers (FPS).
A cold snap in November and December 2010 meant many householders, particularly in rural areas, found it difficult to get supplies as distributors were inundated with orders and deliveries were hampered by snow and ice on the roads.
Energy minister John Hayes said: “Ordering oil later risks longer delivery times, especially if cold weather increases demand and disrupts deliveries.
“I would also encourage all consumers to save money on heating their homes by ensuring their homes are fully insulated.”