Winter is not over yet and temperatures remain low. Many households are now considering when to order heating oil or firewood. Either to be prepared for the rest of the winter or to prepare for the next winter. FOCUS online says what those affected need to know.
In the winter months, the prices for heating oil, pellets and firewood are usually higher than in spring, summer or early autumn. This is due to the higher demand. But this year everything seems different. Prices have been in free fall since the end of December – with one exception.
Especially households that heat with wood pellets need not worry. At the end of January, the national average price per ton fell below the 450 euro mark for the first time and was just over 425 euros at the beginning of February 2023, reports the comparison portal HeizPellets24. In addition, customers in southern Germany can count themselves lucky.
There, timber companies call for prices of less than 390 euros per ton. This means that wood pellets will continue to be a cheap source of energy in Germany. A trend reversal is currently not discernible. Households who want to reorder now should watch the prices closely and react to the first price increases.
When it comes to firewood, the situation is tense. The market is still empty. Retailers are still not taking on any new customers. The prices had recently risen by 50 to 100 percent at the Rhineland-Palatinate forestry companies. In the case of end consumers, prices rose even more sharply in some cases.
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Consumers should first observe the market. It is difficult to get cheap firewood for the current heating season. Anyone who wants to stock up for next winter should watch the prices from May 2023. If inflation remains high and the prices for heating oil, gas and electricity rise, there could be a shortage of firewood again in winter 2023.
The development of heating oil is quite different. Here prices have been in free fall since October 2022. As the industry service “Tecson” reports, the price of heating oil fell from an average of 1.72 euros per liter (October 2022) to currently 1.08 euros (beginning of February 2023).
And households can hope for further price reductions.
The industry service “Esyoil” does not expect further price increases. “Presumably, the traders have stocked up with such large inventories in recent months that they now have to give in in price,” writes energy expert Steffen Bukold in his market observation.
Nevertheless, the development is dynamic. From February 5, the European Union plans to impose further oil sanctions on Russia. The member states agreed not to purchase any more refinery products such as diesel, petrol or lubricants from Russia.
FOCUS online advises: Consumers should continue to monitor prices. In February 2022, the pre-crisis price for heating oil peaked at 99 cents per liter. After Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, the price shot up to 2.04 euros per liter.
You can get a feeling for the applicable price differences of the providers via the many heating oil comparison portals on the Internet. Here you can find out about the current market prices. In an analysis of eight heating oil portals by the consumer portal “Finanztip” in 2020, “Heizoel24.de” and “Esyoil.com” usually showed the cheapest offers.
In principle, the sales price on the day of the order applies, even if the delivery is weeks later. “It would be frivolous to want to raise the price just before filling up – consumers should never agree to that,” says Louis-F. Steel from the Association of Energy Consumers.
Always hire regional providers so that they have to travel short distances. Otherwise you will have to pay higher prices for the delivery.
FOCUS Online also advises: After ordering, you should insist on confirmation by email or post. It must contain the price including all costs, which must be paid after delivery.
If you only fill up a small amount of heating oil, you may have to pay a surcharge.
“In that case, it can be worthwhile to jointly order with neighbors if they also need oil,” says Brandis. Attention, however: Only order together with people you know and trust. Because if one doesn’t pay, the others are liable.
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