The group was formed in August 2011 and operates as TOPS.  (Triangle Oil Purchasing Syndicate).  Unlike many groups who change an annual or order fee membership of TOPS is completely free and open to all residents of villages situated in the natural triangle loosely contained within the 3 large towns of Ipswich – Woodbridge – Felixstowe.  Many villages in the triangle situated between the rivers Deben and Orwell have no mains gas and are therefore restricted in a choice of fuel. The syndicate operates for the benefit of members in trying to secure cheaper fuel costs by bulk buying and hopefully engendering community spirit.

The group’s membership continues to grow and is now in excess of 125. We have been associated with and received a great deal of assistance from those who organise and administer the HOOPS oil group.  This is a similar group which covers the Holbrook / Shotley peninsula and has been operating for a number of years and therefore has a much larger membership it also operates a web site which contains some very useful information.

  They have now expanded their web site to cater for TOPS members, further information about this group and access for TOPS members can be obtained by using the following link

 http://www.hoops-oil.co.uk/

This site provides TOPS members with the ability to join the group, place an order for heating oil or contact the appropriate organiser.  Simply access the site and then select either ‘Join’; ‘Order Oil’ or ‘Contact Us; The box marked Syndicate show HOOPS but has a pull down tab which if selected will change to TOPS and you can then proceed, hopefully making the process much easier for those with internet options.  For those who need to continue using the order form, please do so, as your membership is more than welcome.

Both groups have a common monthly order date and the TOPS group order is added to the HOOPS order. Members benefit, as the combined membership of both groups is in the region of 500, thereby providing a large bulk order each month which assists in achieving a better price from suppliers for the advantage of both groups’ members.

The supplier who provides the best price at that time will then be supplied with the two separate group orders with details of member’s requirements. The supplier will then contact individual members to confirm how many litres they ordered, the price agreed by the syndicate and to arrange payment and delivery with each member.

There is no group order the month of December so members plan ahead for their heating oil requirement over the Xmas period by either ordering in November or having sufficient fuel to be able to wait until January. This will not prevent any member who needs oil between the November and January group orders from privately sourcing an order outside the group.

TOPS monthly order cut-off date is now 9.am.on the first Wednesday of each month these can be found on the website once you go beyond the home page at the top of the column on the right.

When ordering please request a specific amount or your best guess. The oil suppliers need to be provided with a total amount of litres for the group order to be able to provide a quote. If members need ‘topping up’ with a little more than ordered mention this when completing the order process and discuss this with the supplier when arranging payment / delivery most will be happy to assist.  Unlike when ordering as an individual you do not have to place a large order, the minimum order for any member is 500 litres. This gives members greater flexibility on when and how much to order as all members pay the supplier the same for that months agreed price per litre.

The group was established for the benefit of residents in our rural area to purchase heating oil at a reasonable price and without the pressure for individuals in the ordering process. If you know of others in your neighbourhood who use oil to heat either their homes or water then please make them aware of the TOPS group.

New members are always welcome and I will be pleased to assist members and can be contacted by any of the following:-

Lionel Scott   52, Woodbridge Road, Newbourne, WOODBRIDGE. IP12 4PA

e-mail: lionel.scott@btinternet.com    Tele: 01473 736758       Mobile: 07732 700020