Up until a year ago, heating oil orders could be revoked if they were ordered by telephone, in writing or online. Keyword distance contract. In this way, it was possible to react to falling prices within 14 days in a worthwhile manner. Is it still like that?

In May, 210 euros had to be shelled out for 100 liters of heating oil. At the end of September it was a good 153 euros and the fuel is currently available for a good 122 euros. In March 2020, however, only around 50 euros were due. With such fluctuations, which are analogous to crude oil prices and an apparently intact downward trend for heating oil, some may be annoyed that they filled the tank at significantly higher prices. And is now considering canceling his heating oil order. Because up until a year ago, this was still possible within 14 days.

In the middle of 2015, the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) confirmed with a judgment that consumers have a 14-day right of withdrawal when ordering heating oil at a distance. Although the text of paragraph 312 g paragraph 2 number 8 of the German Civil Code (BGB) on which this is based has remained unchanged, consumers have no longer had the right since the beginning of September 2021 when purchasing heating oil by telephone, in writing or online (distance sales contract). ) has come about, to revoke it within 14 days. Heating oil contracts have been fixed and unchangeable since last year, as the Baden-Württemberg consumer advice center informs. In principle, the sales price on the day of the order applies, even if the delivery is weeks later.

The background to this is a European legislative process that actually wanted to strengthen consumer rights, but which, when implemented by the federal legislature, has meant that the decision of the Federal Court of Justice from 2015 can no longer be applied. Since 2021, there has no longer been a statutory right of withdrawal for consumers when ordering heating oil at a distance

EU Directive 2019/2161, Paragraph 43: “The exception to the right of withdrawal under Article 16 Paragraph 1 Letter b of Directive 2011/83/EU should also apply to contracts for individual deliveries of non-grid energy, since their price is subject to fluctuations on the raw material – or energy markets, which the entrepreneur has no influence on and which can occur within the withdrawal period.”

Apart from that, there are the following to consider when buying heating oil:

Compare the prices: Different suppliers offer heating oil at different prices. The easiest way to compare the price on a daily basis is online.

Agree on a fixed price: Homeowners should agree on this when ordering and have the supplier confirm it in writing. Then this price also applies if the heating oil becomes more expensive by the time of delivery. Unfortunately, however, also vice versa – if it becomes cheaper.

Think about a collective order with the neighbors: this can save money, since the logistics costs of the supplier will decrease. Disadvantage: If you order for everyone, you may be liable with your money if the others don’t pay.

Counter set to zero: Make sure that the counter is set to zero when the pumps are switched on at delivery. In this way, you can check the amount you have filled up.

Fill up without foam: while the counter is running, only fuel oil needs to be visible in the sight glass. If foam appears or if the heating oil disappears completely from the sight glass, the measurement must be interrupted automatically. If the meter continues to run, air is measured instead of liquid during this time.

(This article was first published on Wednesday, November 30, 2022.)