Winter Driving Tips

 

At Rix, we believe that following a few useful winter driving tips is the best way to minimise the risk posed by driving in inclement conditions. Ultimately, the best advice when driving in winter is to be prepared, be alert to forecasted low temperatures and don't leave everything until there is snow on your vehicle.

 

We've compiled some of our best winter driving tips, as well as some ways to care for your diesel engine in winter and the things we do at Rix to make sure we can get to our customers in all weathers.

 

Winter driving tips to keep you safe

 

Driving in Winter:

  • Battery and electrics

Check your battery.

A battery usually only lasts around five years, and replacing it at the end of its life before it dies can save you standing, freezing, on the side of the road when it does. If the car stands idle most of the weekend, a regular overnight trickle charge is a good idea to give the battery a chance to revive.

 

Avoid running electrical systems any longer than needed.

Turn the heater fan down and switch the heated rear window off once windows are clear when driving in winter. It can also help not to have the stereo when starting the car up on especially cold mornings.

  • Antifreeze:

Check your Antifreeze levels.

Antifreeze only costs a few pounds, but a frozen and cracked engine block costs hundreds of pounds to repair. Most modern cars use long-life antifreeze - it's important to use the right type and avoid mixing different kinds. Check the handbook or ask a dealer for advice.

  • Wipers:

Switch off your wipers.

Ensure that wipers are switched off when leaving your car after a journey when there's a risk of freezing temperatures. If you don't, and the blades freeze to the screen, you could damage the blades or wiper motor when you turn the ignition on.

  • Visibility

Check your bulbs.

Make sure that all bulbs are working and that lenses are clean. When roads are dirty, you might need to clean your lights after every journey. Keep the number plates clean, too, as you can be fined if they are dirty and illegible.

 

Use your headlights.

Driving in winter often means reduced visibility, so it's vital that you have your headlights on. You can also use front or rear fog lights, but these must be switched off when visibility improves as they can dazzle other road users and obscure your brake lights.

  • Driving in snow and ice

Clear all snow off your vehicle.

If you have to clear snow from the car, it's important to clear it from all the lights - front and back - as well as from the glass and roof. Falling snow from a moving vehicle can cause a serious hazard to you and other road users.

 

Be extra careful.

Wear comfortable, dry shoes for driving in winter. Gentle manoeuvres are the key to safe driving - stopping distances are ten times longer in ice and snow. Pull away in second gear, easing your foot off the clutch gently to avoid wheel-spin.

 

Driving uphill.

Avoid having to stop part-way up by waiting until it is clear of other cars or by leaving plenty of room between you and the car in front. Keep a constant speed, choosing the most suitable gear well in advance to avoid having to change down on the hill.

 

Driving downhill.

Reduce your speed before the hill, use a low gear and try to avoid using the brakes. Leave as much room as possible between you and the car in front.

  • Avoid it if possible

When the conditions are really poor, stay at home or use public transport if you can (and if you need heating oil or diesel, you can order it online or over the phone). This not only minimises your risk of injury and car damage but also decreases the number of people driving in winter, and fewer road users means more space for each vehicle.

 

Helping you stay safe when driving in winter

 

Maintaining and Starting Diesel Engines in Cold Weather

 

• Keep your tank full. Maintaining a full fuel tank reduces the amount of condensation inside the tank, leading to water in the fuel. As such, there can be difficulty starting a diesel engine in cold weather unless the tank is full.

 

• You can buy many different additives to add to your diesel engine in winter – these are specifically designed to stop the wax in cetane (which contributes to combustion in most types of diesel) from hardening and slowing the flow of fuel.

 

• Be aware of the fuel filter. The fuel filter holds a smaller amount of fuel than the tank itself and therefore is more liable to freezing. It can be helpful to keep a spare one in your vehicle just in case.

 

• Keep the vehicle warm. Diesel has a high freezing point, so if it's possible, you should try to park it somewhere sheltered from the wind, ideally a garage.

 

How we stay on the road in winter:

 

As well as our winter driving tips for the average road user, we have to make sure we at Rix can still travel to ensure no-one is without our products. We have invested thousands of pounds in equipping our fleet of tankers with winter tyres designed to offer maximum grip and safety when driving in winter. The tyres are made from a compound that has been specifically engineered to work at temperatures below seven degrees centigrade and have a special tread pattern to perform well in icy conditions. Rix has also invested in new steel wheel rims to quickly swap over to the bad weather kit as and when it's required.

 

We ask that residents allow a couple of extra days for delivery in poor weather conditions. High demand, combined with slow-moving traffic, makes getting out to more isolated parts of the country a challenge. Homeowners who rely on heating oil for power can help themselves by ensuring they order early to avoid panic buying should the weather turn bad. It is also good practice to keep a close eye on how much oil they have left.

 

We know just how vital our services are to our customers, especially during the difficult winter months. Our winter driving tips will help keep you on the road if you need to be and as safe as you possibly can be. For more information, please find your nearest depot or give us a call on 0800 542 4207.

How to Stay Warm in Cold Weather

White Blue and Red Rix Oil Lorry Driving Down A Winter Road

Keeping warm in winter can sometimes feel difficult, but ensuring you stay at a comfortable temperature throughout the colder months should always be a priority. It’s important to remember that looking after yourself in the cold weather means more than just bringing out the winter wardrobe.

Here, we take you through our top tips on how to stay warm and the best ways to make sure your boiler and heating oil tank is ready for the winter temperatures.

 

How to Stay Warm in Cold Weather

 

1. Keep your heating at a constant temperature

 

There’s nothing worse than running out of heating oil in your home or business when the weather is at its coldest. You would be surprised at how much more oil you use when the cold weather kicks in and you increase the temperature level in your home to compensate; but keeping your heating at a constant temperature burns less oil overall and will help you to stay warm.

 

Have you set your heating to the best temperature? The NHS advises your living room should be between 18-21OC and the rest of the house should be a minimum of 16OC. If keeping the heating on in all rooms in your home is out of the question, set your heating to come on at intervals throughout the day in the rooms you use the most frequently; such as your living room and bedroom.

 

Woman Adjusting Thermostat In Her Home

2. Stop any draughts

 

A constant draught throughout your home can be very irritating and bring the temperature of your home down. To stop the heat escaping, ensure your windows and letterbox are closed, and any large external keyholes are covered to prevent any draughts.

 

It’s recommended to keep your internal doors closed whilst you have the heating on to keep each room at an optimal temperature. If you still find there’s still a cold draught, a draught excluder works wonders and can add a decorative element to your room.

 

Yellow Door with Open Letterbox

 

3. Warm up your bed

 

To keep warm in winter, there’s nothing better than getting into a cosy and comfortable bed. An affordable way to warm up your bed is to place a hot water bottle underneath your duvet about half an hour before you plan on getting into bed. Not only will this make your bed warm, but it will also mean you feel much more relaxed for a well-rested night’s sleep.  

 

Bed With Blue HeadBoard And White Bedding

 

4. Wrap up warm

 

Whether you’re trying to keep warm indoors or want to go on a walk in the cold, remember to wear extra layers. Although most people believe that wearing one thick layer will make all the difference when they are cold, wearing multiple thin layers is much more effective to stay warm.

 

When trying to stay warm indoors, it’s a good option to wear an extra pair of socks with slippers. If you’re venturing outdoors, remember to wear warm shoes with good grip to make sure you stay on your feet on those snowy and icy days.

 

Woman In A Black Coat Catching Snow In Her Hands

 

5. Stay active

 

In the colder months, it’s easy to feel lethargic and want to avoid exercise. But, keeping active in the cold weather helps to keep you warm by getting your blood pumping. You may not wish to exercise outside at this time of year, especially if it is raining or snowing. But, there are plenty of ways to stay active indoors, from walking around the house to doing the hoovering.  If you’re looking for indoor exercises to do with the family during this national lockdown, there’s plenty of free resources online such as PE with Joe.

 

Close Up Of Someone's Feet In Blue And Orange Trainers Climbing Up Stairs

 

6. Eat well

 

Food is one of the main ways our bodies keep warm. Make sure that you have plenty of hot meals and drinks throughout the day. Don’t forget to keep eating healthily too and include lots of fruits and vegetables in your diet to keep your immune system up. In the colder months, soups taste great and they’re an easy way to consume your five a day.

 

A Bowl Of Tomato Soup

 

Why is it Important to Keep Warm In Winter?

 

It’s no surprise that the winter months and harsher weather comes hand in hand with illnesses like colds and flus; particularly in current times. To prevent these illnesses, it’s important to focus on staying warm in the cold weather; especially if you are over 65 as naturally, our immune systems begin to weaken with age. For anyone who also has a serious health condition, keeping warm in winter is one of the best ways to prevent any other unwanted illnesses which may impact your health.

 

Ways to Look After Yourself in Cold Weather

 

As well as staying warm in the cold weather, it’s vital that you look after yourself and your well-being during the winter months.

 

1. Get your boiler serviced

 

As the cold weather arrives, it is important to check that your oil boiler operates as efficiently and safely as possible. If you didn’t manage to get your heating oil boiler serviced through the summer, we strongly recommend that you do so before the sub-zero temperatures kick in. You can then rest assure that your oil boiler will be running as effectively as possible.

 

It is recommended that you have your oil-fired boilers and heating oil tanks serviced by an OFTEC qualified engineer every 12 months. This will ensure they are running at maximum performance levels to keep the bitter nights at bay.

 

A Hand Turning The Dials On A Boiler

 

2. Get your flu jab

 

In current times, the flu jab is more important than ever. Flu can spread quickly in the winter so take all the steps you can to protect yourself. The flu jab is free on the NHS if you are pregnant, over 65, live in a residential home, care for an older or disabled person or have certain medical conditions.

 

 

3. Practice good hygiene

 

Because flu is more of a risk in winter, it’s now more important than ever to practice good hygiene to stop the spread of the Covid-19 virus. After the year we’ve had, no one is a stranger to the benefits of hand sanitiser, washing your hands regularly and disinfecting any surfaces.

 

If you do unfortunately get ill, don’t share towels or face cloths with other people in your home, cover your mouth when coughing and sneezing, and try to avoid contact with those who are vulnerable.

 

A Woman Applying Hand Sanitiser

 

4. Learn some basic first aid

 

Snowy and icy winter conditions increase the likeliness of any trips and falls, which can result in strains, sprains and broken bones. Prepare yourself to be able to help someone out if they fall by knowing some basic first aid. The NHS has some advice here.

 

5. Remember to check on your neighbours

 

As well as looking after yourself, it’s now more important than ever to check on your neighbours in the local community. The recent national lockdowns have been difficult for all ages, but if you have an elderly neighbour be sure to check in with how they are doing. Or, if they are shielding from the virus, you could offer to go to the supermarket for them. With elderly and vulnerable neighbours, be sure to take extra precautions to keep to a safe social distance from them during the current pandemic.

 

Elderly Neighbour Receiving A Package

 

Heating Oil Provisions For Keeping Warm In Winter  

 

It’s time to check your heating oil tank to make sure it’s in tip-top condition for the cold weather. Duncan Lambert, Director of Rix Petroleum’s Yorkshire depot, talks you through a handful of essential checks you can do on your oil tank to get prepared for winter in our YouTube video.

 

1. Have you checked your oil tank for signs of wear and tear?

 

Be sure to check your tank for signs of wear and tear that might have occurred throughout the current year or that might have been missed at the end of last winter. Look out for rusting, bulging, leaks or general damage. If there are any leaks, you will be able to smell the kerosene on the ground, in this case, contact an OFTEC engineer as soon as possible.

 

2. Have you tidied around the oil tank?

 

If there are plenty of leaves around your oil tank, these can turn icy in the colder months. Be sure to keep an eye out for slippery footpaths around the tank. Not only could these be a danger to you whilst you’re checking the tank, but they could also camouflage any leaks or cracks on the base of your tank.

 

Male Engineer Refilling Oil Tank
 

3. Have you checked your fuel tank is secure?

 

The majority of heating oil thefts occur during winter when you’re more likely to have a full tank. Check that any locks are still working correctly and that any theft prevention measures you’ve set up are still keeping your oil tank safe such as outside lights, cages or even plants used for disguise. For more precautionary measures against heating oil theft, read our blog on the importance of oil tank security.

 

4. Is your home winter ready?

 

It’s essential to check your own home for any issues that could result in unnecessary heating loss to keep your heating oil bills down. Check for any gaps in your windows or doors, and be sure to bleed your radiators.

 

When asked ‘how to stay warm in cold weather?’, we always advise insulating your oil tank to prevent the oil tank pipes from freezing. You can purchase additives that lower the freezing temperature of heating oil, or purchase pre-treated oil such as K+ Heating Oil to keep your oil tank healthy.

 

Rix Engineer Serving An Oil Tank

 

5. Have you considered the price of heating oil?

 

Historically, the best time to buy heating oil is when demand is low in the summer months, and typically ordering your oil in the summer will also bring the price down. If you have the room to store heating oil, top up your oil tank before the temperatures plummet. Usually, if you bulk buy a reasonable amount of home heating oil, you will likely get a better deal with more oil for less money in the long run.

 

And there you have our top tips on how to stay warm. We hope you now understand the importance of servicing your oil tank and boiler to keep warm in winter. If you are worried about the price of heating oil, take a read of our blog on how to save money on your heating oil. Or to get your home heating oil at a competitive price, why not get a quick heating oil quote?

Our Tried and Tested Recipes to Keep you Warm Through Winter

A couple cooking a winter recipe together

Do you find throughout the winter months cooking homely warming meals become a little repetitive? That you often find yourself cooking the same recipes each week? We’re hoping to break that trend and inspire you with a selection of quick and easy, recipes to keep you warm in colder months. We’ve even included one of our favourite Aga recipes. 

Chicken Pasta Bake

Perfect for families

 

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves , crushed
  • ¼ tsp chilli flakes
  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 6 tbsp mascarpone
  • 4 skinless chicken breasts, sliced into strips
  • 300g penne pasta
  • 70g mature cheddar , grated
  • 50g grated mozzarella
  • ½ small bunch of parsley, finely chopped

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas 7.
  2. In a pan over a medium heat, heat 2 tbsp of the oil and fry the onion gently for 10-12 minutes. Add the garlic and chilli flakes and cook for 1 min. Tip in the tomatoes and sugar and season to taste. Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes or until thickened. Stir through the mascarpone once thickened.
  3. In a non-stick frying pan heat 1 tbsp of oil. Season the chicken and fry until it is cooked through.
  4. Cook the penne pasta following pack instructions. Drain and toss with the remaining oil.
  5. Add the pasta into a medium sized ovenproof dish, stir in the chicken and pour over the sauce. Top with cheddar cheese, mozzarella and parsley.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling.

Source

Meatballs & Black Bean Chilli

Perfect one-pot recipe

Ingredients

  • 12 beef meatballs
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 2 peppers, sliced
  • ½ large bunch coriander, leaves and stalks chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp hot smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 heaped tbsp light brown soft sugar
  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 2 x 400g cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Cooked rice, to serve
Delicious Meatballs with Black Beans Served

Method

  1. In a large flameproof casserole dish heat the oil over a medium heat. Add the meatballs and fry for 5 minutes until browned, then transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon.
  2. Add the onion and peppers to the now empty casserole dish with a pinch of salt and fry for 7 minutes. Add the coriander stalks, garlic, paprika and cumin to the dish and keep frying for an extra minute. Tip in the sugar, tomatoes and black beans, and allow these to begin to simmer. Return the meatballs to the pan, season as required and cover. Leave to cook for 15 minutes.
  3. Serve the chilli with the rice and the coriander leaves scattered over.

Top tip: Leave any leftovers to cool completely and transfer to large freezer proof bags or containers

Source

Roasted Vegetable and Tomato Soup

Perfect for lunch or dinner

Ingredients

  • 4 red peppers
  • 2 red onions
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 vegetable stock cubes 
  • 2tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
Tomato soup ready to eat on a wooden table

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 240°C/220°C (fan)/gas 9
  2. Remove the pepper stems and seeds. Peel the onions. Chop both the onions and peppers into large chunks around 5cm.
  3. Peel and crush the garlic and combine with the onion and pepper in a mixing bowl. Add 2-4 tbsp of olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the cayenne pepper to suit the amount of heat you prefer.
  4. Add all the vegetables to an oven tray and roast for 20-25 minutes or until soft and charred.
  5. Make your stock using the cubes and boiling water and add into a blender with the chopped tomatoes and the tray of cooked vegetables. Add the balsamic vinegar and sugar to the soup and blend until smooth.

Source

Italian Veggie Cottage Pie

Perfect for vegetarians

 

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 aubergines, cut into chunks
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 16 sundried tomatoes, roughly chopped, plus 1 tbsp of their oil
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 400g spinach, washed
  • 50g plain flour
  • 400ml milk
  • 125g cheddar, grated, plus extra to top
  • 800g mashed potato
Delicious and hot vegetable cottage pie

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas 7.
  2. In a large, lidded frying pan or flameproof casserole dish heat 1 tbsp of the oil. Cook the aubergine, in two batches, over a high heat for 4-5 minutes until golden, adding extra oil as you need to. Return all the aubergine to the pan with the garlic, tomatoes and 1 1/2 tsp oregano and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Stir in the spinach, add the lid to the pan and leave for a few minutes to wilt.
  4. Once wilted, add the flour and stir through until combined. Pour in the milk, stir gently and bring to the boil. Bubble for a few minutes, then stir in the cheese and season. Cook until the cheese has melted and the sauce has thickened.
  5. Mix the mash with the remaining oregano and spread over the filling. Scatter over a little more grated cheese.
  6. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden.

Source

Sausage and Leek with Mash Pie

Perfect for cold winter evenings

 

Ingredients

  • 4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 3cm chunks
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 6 pork sausages
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 450ml chicken gravy
  • 150g kale, shredded
  • 3 leeks, finely sliced
  • ½ tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 2-3 tbsp whole milk
  • 50g smoked or ordinary cheddar, grated
Ready to eat sausage and mash pie

Method

  1. Boil the potatoes for 12 minutes or until tender. Drain and leave to steam-dry.
  2. In a shallow casserole dish  or deep skillet heat 1 tbsp oil. Remove the sausages from their skins into large pieces, directly into the pan, and fry over a medium heat for 7-8 minutes or until golden brown. Add the flour and stir everything together, cooking for 1 min.
  3. Pour in the gravy and 100-200ml water (depending on how thick you like your gravy), bring to a simmer.
  4. Add the kale and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  5. In a separate pan, add the remaining 1 tbsp oil, then the leeks and fry for 5-10 minutes until tender, to help them cook, add a small splash of water.
  6. Heat your grill to its highest setting.
  7. Mash the potatoes until smooth. Stir though the leeks, mustard and milk, and season. Spoon and swirl the mash on top of the sausage mixture, then scatter over the grated cheese and grill for 3-5 minutes or until golden and bubbling.

Source

Simmering Pork Stew

Perfect for Aga’s

 

Ingredients

  • 25g (1 oz) dripping or lard
  • 2 large onions, peeled and chopped
  • 700g (1½ lb) potatoes, diced
  • 225g (8 oz) turnips, diced
  • 4 sticks of celery, chopped
  • 8 pork chops
  • 25g (1 oz) seasoned flour (salt and pepper)
  • 600ml (1 pint) chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 bay leaf
Pork stew served with crusty bread

Method

  1. Melt the dripping in a frying pan and fry the onions, turnips, potatoes and celery until they have softened and the onions are slightly golden. Drain away the fat and transfer to an Aga proof casserole dish.
  2. Dip the chops in the seasoned flour and brown in a very hot frying pan. Lay the chops on the top of the vegetables in the casserole dish.
  3. Place the stock to the pan bring to the boil, pour over the meat and add the bay leaf. Cover the casserole and bring to the boil on the hob.
  4. Transfer to the simmering oven for 1-1 ½ hours.
  5. Remove the dish from the Aga and check there is still enough gravy. Lightly stir the stew then replace the lid and put the casserole on the shelf on the floor of the roasting oven for 20-30 minutes.
  6. Remove and serve.

Apple Crumble

Perfect for cosy nights in

Ingredients

  • 6 apples
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 200g plain flour
  • 120g butter
  • 1 clove or cinnamon stick (to flavour)
Apple crumble served with a slice cut out

Method

  1. Peel, core and dice your apples and place into a pan with three quarters of the sugar. Add the cinnamon stick or clove to flavour and allow to gently stew for half an hour stirring occasionally. Once the fruit is cooked, mash it slightly with a spoon to ensure they are soft.
  2. Add the stewed apples into the serving dish and allow to cool.
  3. Set the oven to 150°c/gas 2
  4. In a bowl, mix the flour, remaining sugar and butter using your fingers until it becomes a breadcrumb consistency. Cover the top of your apples with the crumble and bake for 30 minutes (or until the crumble is golden brown).
  5. Remove from the oven and serve.

 

Source

There you have it our favourite recipes for keeping this winter. Should you require any additional AGA cooker fuel or home heating oil during the winter period, then please contact your local depot for more information. 

Easy Ways to Reduce Carbon Emissions

 

Figuring out ways to reduce carbon emissions and where to start can be daunting. To help you find the best ways we’re going to explain what carbon emissions are to give you a better understanding and also explain the effects of carbon footprints.

What are Carbon Emissions?

 

Remember learning about the greenhouse effect in school? The greenhouse effect is a process that occurs when gases in the Earth’s atmosphere trap the sun’s heat. This process makes the Earth a comfortable place for us to live as it makes the Earth much warmer than it would be without an atmosphere.

 

Carbon dioxide emissions actually play a pivotal part in maintaining our ecosystem here on Earth, and it’s only causing damage because there’s an excess being generated by our man-made activities.

 

Sources of carbon emissions:

  • Electricity
  • Transportation
  • Industry
  • Commercial/residential
  • Agriculture
  • Land use/forestry

Humans are extracting, refining, transporting and burning fossil fuels that are emitting too much CO2 for our ecosystem to remove. Humans are also cutting down rainforests for lumber or new developments and in doing this, we’re removing the natural systems that absorb and store carbon. According to Carbon Brief, fossil fuel emissions in 2018 increased at its fastest rate for seven years, with another record high in 2019.

Hand Holding Green Plant

Ways to Reduce Carbon Emissions

With so many people switching from other sources of home fuel to using home heating oil, we want to reassure our customers that there are many environmental benefits to this.

 

Did you know that heating oil is altogether clean, safe and efficient?

 

- Heating oil burns cleaner than other fossil fuels and is extremely adaptable. Due to advancements in technologies, heating oil can be modified to give a cleaner burn and reduce carbon emissions.

 

- Also, heating oil has the highest stored energy by volume of all fossil fuels. This allows you to heat up your home much faster than any other energy, and reduce your carbon footprint as you are using your heating oil for a much shorter amount of time. It’s a win-win!

 

- Overall, heating oil is the most economical and environmentally responsible choice for heating up your home!

More ways to reduce carbon emissions include:

  • Order in bulk

By ordering in bulk, you can reduce your carbon emissions as tankers that deliver your oil in large vehicles won’t have to make as many deliveries. More deliveries means the more fuel consumed by the tanker and more carbon emissions. Start avoiding this buy ordering in bunk quantities!

  • Double glazing

Double glazing your windows allows you to increase the amount of heat you are retaining in your home and prevent heat from escaping outside. According to The Green Age, estimates show that double glazing has the potential to reduce carbon emissions up to 680 kilograms annually.

  • Premium heating oil

Utilising premium heating oil means that your boiler isn’t burning impurities and doesn’t have to work as hard to maintain temperature. Rix’s quality premium heating oil contains components which reduce the build-up of carbon fouling in your boiler, which can lead to lowering the efficiency of your boiler. This means that your boiler stays cleaner for longer and, in turn, lowers your carbon footprint.

 

Here at Rix, we care about our environment and are constantly looking at new ways to reduce carbon emissions. All of our different departments play key roles in this. To find out more about what Rix are doing to reduce carbon emissions, read our CSR policy.

Effects of Carbon Footprint

Melting Ice Bergs in the Sea

The most significant effect of carbon footprint is the impact we’re having on climate change. Climate change is making it difficult for plants and crops to survive in extreme weather conditions. What’s more, our carbon footprint is altering our environment and natural habitats. More than ever before, animals are on the verge of mass extinction, with National Geographic reporting the fastest extinction rate the planet has ever witnessed.

Here are more changes currently being seen due to the effects of carbon footprint:

  • Increasing global sea levels
  • Increasing global sea surface temperatures
  • Increase in winter sea ice melting
  • Increase in extreme weather conditions – such as wildfires, tropical storms, flooding, droughts and famines.
  • Decreasing ocean acidification – affecting ocean species, especially organisms like corals and oysters.

The most significant effect of carbon footprint is the impact we’re having on climate change. Climate change is making it difficult for plants and crops to survive in extreme weather conditions. What’s more, our carbon footprint is altering our environment and natural habitats. More than ever before, animals are on the verge of mass extinction, with National Geographic reporting the fastest extinction rate the planet has ever witnessed.

Here are more changes currently being seen due to the effects of carbon footprint:

  • Increasing global sea levels
  • Increasing global sea surface temperatures
  • Increase in winter sea ice melting
  • Increase in extreme weather conditions – such as wildfires, tropical storms, flooding, droughts and famines.
  • Decreasing ocean acidification – affecting ocean species, especially organisms like corals and oysters.

Trying to be environmentally friendly is a huge concern for many people and humans are thankfully becoming increasingly aware of how our actions are harming the planet. From powerful Greta Thunberg speeches to moving David Attenborough documentaries about climate change, there is no doubt a huge movement rising around climate change action.

 

For more information on ways to reduce carbon emissions, check out our article on energy saving tips for your home.

Rix Services

 

Rix has been providing customers all over the UK with domestic heating oil for over 80 years. Contact your local depot today to discuss your domestic heating oil requirements.

Pros and Cons of Renewable Energy

There are many benefits of using renewable energy; it comes from a source that continuously restores itself, meaning that the availability to utilise that energy source is infinite. However, there are arguments against renewable energy to consider; it can be expensive to install and sustain, as well as being completely weather dependant.

 

Here, we explore both the pros and cons of renewable energy sources and outline the UK Governments vision for renewable energy and how low-carbon gas power is likely to work alongside this in the near future.

Benefits of using renewable energy

 

1. Potential infinite energy supply

 

The use of renewable energy ensures that you will have a continuous supply of energy for years into the future. It’s no secret that fossil fuels aren’t sustainable in the long term, as they come from finite sources which will eventually run out one day.

 

2. Reduce your carbon footprint

 

When fossil fuels are burnt, this contributes to the rising levels of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere. These gases are then trapped within the atmosphere, which can lead to negative effects of global warming and climate change. Renewable energy sources reduce your overall carbon footprint as the levels of greenhouses gases emitted are lower compared to fossil fuels.

 

3. Renewable energy isn’t subject to price fluctuations

 

The price of renewable energy isn’t influenced by what’s happening in the wider market; giving you a level of control of your energy costs. The Carbon Trust reports that compared to ten years ago, the price of offshore wind in the UK is less than a third of what it used to be. However, there are additional costs to consider, including the initial installation, upkeep of renewable energy technology and the immediate effect on the nature around the site.

 

4. Saving money and reducing costs

 

As well as potentially reducing your annual energy bills, installing renewable energy sources in your home means you can claim up to £5000 from installation costs through the Governments Green Home Grant.

 

 

Rows of solar panels in a green field.

Arguments against renewable energy

 

1. Renewable energy is weather dependent

 

It’s no secret that renewable energy is reliant upon the elements. The weather can only be predicted, never guaranteed. The change of each season can also impact the level of power generated. For instance, it’s most likely that winter months won’t generate as much solar power compared to the summer months, as solar power is reliant on the sun’s rays to generate sufficient power.

 

Dependent on which country you live in, the weather will impact the amount of renewable energy generated. For instance, wind-powered renewable energy is reliant on wind strength to turn wind turbines to generate power.

 

2. Expense and development

 

When it comes to renewable energy sites, it requires a large sum of initial investment to cover the cost of setting up the renewable energy generators and the labour involved. Renewable energy sites can’t be developed in any random location; you need to ensure that there’s an area of land large enough to set up the site. Wherever these sites are set up, it will take away from natures environment.

 

3. Visually unappealing

 

Renewable energy sources are often met with criticism from those in the local area for being visually unappealing. The vast depth of solar fields and the height of wind turbines, for instance, are often known as an eyesore and take away from the existing view.

 

4. Noise levels

 

Hydropower and wind turbine sites can generate substantial levels of noise. If these sources are close to a populated area, this could disturb and upset the residents and lead to a whole host of problems between you and the local community.

Hydropower site with solar panels.

What is the UK Governments promise to renewable energy?

 

By 2050, the UK Government are working towards net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. This follows an amendment to the Climate Change Act 2008 in July 2020, which entails working towards a green industrial revolution to bring the UK’s current emission levels down by 100% to an emission level similar to that seen in 1990.

 

Gas power is likely to become the dominant fossil fuel power used, as gas has less of a negative impact on the environment compared to the impact of carbon. Non-renewable energy sources, like domestic heating oil, will continue to be used alongside renewable energy sources as the best way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

 

If you have any questions about how you could potentially lower your carbon footprint by switching to using domestic heating oil in your home, please get in touch with your local Rix customer service team. We will be more than happy to answer any questions or queries that you may have.

4 Benefits of Insulating Your Home

There are many long term advantages of a well insulated home which can be beneficial for your home all year round, not just in the winter. One of the biggest reasons homeowners are losing heat and energy from their domestic heating oil is through a lack of or poor quality insulation. Home insulation is a great investment, and we’re here to give you the four benefits of insulating your home to help you decide whether it’s worth your investment.  

 

A well-insulated home has many long term advantages. Significantly it helps reduce heat loss, lowers energy bills, increases comfort and has less of an impact on the environment.

 

Advantages of a Well Insulated Home:

 

1. Lower Energy Bills

 

Calculator and Money to Show How You Can Save Money With Home Insulation  

 

Rising energy costs and domestic heating oil bills are putting increasing strain on the disposable income of many households, and with poor insulation many homes are effectively just throwing money away.

 

One of the many benefits of home insulation is that it can help cut the cost of both heating and cooling by up to 40%. However, this depends on several factors such as the size of your home and type of property, to keep the bills as low as possible.

 

Home insulation could decrease your energy bills by. Although loft insulation, for example, would be an initial spend of approximately £300, this will pay for itself in two years with the savings you make! Also, if you already have insulation installed in your loft but it is not up to the recommended 270mm, you could make further savings by simply topping up the thickness for a small price!

 

Improving the insulation on the roof, walls and windows mean domestic heating oil systems don’t have to work as hard or long to reach a moderate temperature. It will also maintain and in some cases, increase the value of your property by helping it run more efficiently.

 

2. Reduces Heat Loss

 

Due to the fact that hot air in your home rises and escapes through the roof, this means that insulating your attic will prevent the hot air from escaping and trap it inside. Therefore, the more thermal insulation your property has, the less you will have to rely upon your domestic heating oil to keep you warm.

 

Having it throughout the home means more heating energy is kept inside, helping to keep pleasant temperatures all year round.

 

When domestic heating oil systems, gas or electricity are used to heat the home, it first warms up the air then the masonry. Poor insulation results in energy being released and then not used effectively, with up to 30% of energy possibly going to waste just through outside walls.

 

3. Reduced Environmental Impact 

 

Homeowners are becoming increasingly mindful of the environmental impact building materials used in their homes have.

 

Another benefit of insulating your home is that it will have a significant effect on the reduction of thermal energy consumption. This, in turn, reduces carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere. This is important because carbon dioxide is responsible for approximately two-thirds of the energy imbalance that is resulting in the rise of the Earth’s temperature.

 

An increase in the level of carbon dioxide across the world results in an excess of greenhouse gases that trap additional heat. This contributes to melting ice caps and rising ocean levels, which can cause flooding.

 

By reducing the release of these emissions from your home, you can promote healthy sustainability for the environment. To find out more on how you can reduce your home’s environmental impact, check out our blog post on getting your home running with ‘zero carbon’.

 

 4. Comfort

 

Mother and Child Playing in the Warm of Their Heated Home

 

Dry, warm and comfortable to live in is the expectation we have of most homes. However, this is unfortunately not always the case in a house. Another benefit of home insulation is that a fully insulated property provides all of this by keeping the movement of heat to a minimum, so you stay cosy during the winter and cool in the summer. It really is a win-win!

 

Home insulation also prevents condensation from occurring, which can result in damp and mould. This can damage the paint, plaster and wallpaper in your home. What’s more, damp in the home can even have a negative impact on your health and cause chronic health problems such as asthma, depending on the level of severity.

 

Deciding how to heat up your home efficiently can be a daunting task, so for more information on domestic heating oil requirements and domestic oil delivery, contact your local depot. You can also browse our informative FAQs section to learn more about heating oil types, systems, prices, safety and maintenance.

 

Rix Petroleum at the Driffield Country Show

Multiple cows in a sunny field.

Rix Petroleum has been providing agricultural services to Britain’s farming community across the UK for over 80 years. The Driffield Show is one of the biggest events in the Rix calendar, with their 72nd year in attendance at the Driffield Show falling in 2019.

Rix first started exhibiting at the Driffield Show in 1947, just after the war and took a small stand. Having enjoyed it so much, we’ve been back every year since, and now usually occupy the biggest stand of all.

As Duncan Lambert, Rix Petroleum director, eloquently once said “Although we are a national company with depots from the north of Scotland down to the south east of England, Yorkshire, particularly East Yorkshire, is our heartland. That’s why we always look forward to the Driffield Agricultural Show, which is the region’s flagship agricultural event.

What is the Driffield Country Show?

The Driffield Show is a much-loved event for the region and is one of the country’s largest one-day agricultural shows. It dates back to 1854 and is hosted by the Driffield Agricultural Society in July every year. For the safety of all visitors and traders, the Wednesday 22nd July 2020 show was cancelled, making everyone at Rix all the more excited to hopefully resume our tradition next year as exhibitors.   

At the Driffield Show, you can guarantee a fun, entertaining and educational day for all ages. As one of Yorkshire’s largest agricultural events, it’s known to attract 25,000 visitors with around 500 trade stands to explore, from the latest agricultural services and machinery to local food and craft stalls and much more. Not forgetting the livestock classes of course!

Interested in finding out more about what’s on at the Driffield Country Show? This video gives you a great idea about what to expect. It’s an excellent day for catching up with old friends and making new ones!

Where is the Driffield Country Show?

The Driffield Country Show is hosted at the Driffield Showground, East Yorkshire, YO25 5HP. The showground is easily accessible by road or public transport and a shuttle bus runs from Driffield town. In March 2015, the previous shed used for the farmers’ market went under a £281,000 development to build the Rix Pavilion. Rix Petroleum is extremely proud to sponsor the new building, as the headline sponsor of the Rix Pavilion Driffield after a sponsorship deal with the Driffield Agricultural Society in early 2014. Now, it’s a popular venue for trade shows, weddings and conferences with 300 seats and a dining facility on the town’s historic showground.

Women in a white top looking at farm animals.

What can I expect at the Rix Petroleum stand at the Driffield Show?

At the Driffield Show 2019, there were more than 500 stands to explore! Over the years the Rix Petroleum stand has won prizes for their great stand activities, for instance, they received 1st prize for the “Best Agricultural Stand” at the show in 2014, and 2nd prize for best Agricultural exhibition stand in 2016!

If you’re after a friendly face, a cup of tea and a scone in the sun then look no further. The Rix Petroleum stand always has an exciting activity to be enjoyed by adults and children. Each year Rix try to improve their stand and come up with a different theme. Check out the video highlight from the 2013 stand.

Overall, it’s a fantastic event to catch up with old friends, make new ones, and find out how the farming year is going. The show is one of the highlights of the annual farming calendar. It usually marks the start of harvest too, so it is a good time to speak to farmers and contractors and gauge their fuel needs for the months ahead, which is useful for all parties involved.  

What activities have there been at the Rix Petroleum stand?

Rix always displays fun and enjoyable activities for all. Rix Petroleum’s hot air balloons have been a regular feature in the skies above East Yorkshire for four decades. In other years, three balloons dating from the 1970s, 1990s and 2000s were on display at the show. For Rix, it was a historic occasion to have them all together in one place, the three balloons cover the whole forty-year period the company has been flying them.

At the Driffield Show 2018, Rix offered virtual helicopter flights of the area on their exhibition stand, using VR headsets. Visitors were able to fly with the Yorkshire Air Ambulance crew virtually! Also, the Yorkshire Air Ambulances helivan was on display for visitors to learn more about.

Previously, visitors got the chance to test their driving skills in a Formula One car simulator, lent by Total Oils, which took pride of place at the Rix stand. Lots of people were trying to get the fastest lap to win a bottle of champagne. Rix also had the real thing, a Red Bull Formula One racing car supplied courtesy of fuel brand Total on display. Rix Petroleum has previously donated prizes like a trip to the Lotus F1 factory in Norfolk for the winners of the Driffield Show, which included a tour of the famous car marque’s UK factory for two.

In 2017, at Rix Petroleum’s 70th Driffield Show, visitors took a walk down memory lane with a 1940’s replica garage forecourt, historic photos, a live classical jazz band, all whilst they sat back and relaxed in their marquee with traditional tea and scones.

White and red formula one car on a race track.

Which charities do Rix Petroleum support at the Driffield Show?

Over the past five years, Rix Petroleum has raised nearly £35,000 for local charities including Macmillan Cancer Support East Yorkshire, Cancer Research UK and Dove House Hospice, with the Driffield Agricultural Show playing a large part in generating this.

In July 2019 it was Rix Petroleum’s 72nd consecutive year exhibiting at the Driffield Show. As well as the young farmers’ clubs, Rix Petroleum also hosted their charity of the year, the Yorkshire Air Ambulance Service, and the East Riding Engine Club, organisers of the Driffield Steam and Vintage Rally.

One of the many other businesses that Rix support is the Bridlington Young Farmers; one of four young farmers clubs Rix Petroleum supports across the UK. Helping the next generation learn the skills they need to carry the industry forward and be successful, is something we take pride in.

Back in 2015, a team made up of staff from Rix and Bridlington Young Farmers clocked up 42 miles on an exercise bike – the distance from Rix Petroleum’s Hull depot to Driffield Showground and back in 2015!

At the 2016 show, Rix Petroleum and their storage tank supplier Envirostore had the pleasure of donating a brand new tank to the Driffield Agricultural Society. This tank was kept at the showground to hold GasOil for their tractors. Rix has a long history of supporting the Agricultural Society, so it was a pleasure to help them out when they could.

What activities are children friendly?

At theDriffield Show 2019, Rix Petroleum sponsored the hook-a-duck game which was run by three young farmers groups – Wragby, Bridlington and Alnwick. The hook-a-duck game on the company’s stand was won by four-year-old Freddie Coutts-Lawson, from Driffield, and four-year-old Sophie Artley from Kilham. The hook-a-duck was very popular with kids and adults alike, so it’s a fantastic opportunity for some family fun in the sun.

In previous years, Bridlington Young Farmers Club brought a wooden cow along that children and adults could milk, which was enjoyed by visitors throughout the day. In the meantime, Dove House had a team of face painters on hand to keep the children happy.

One both the adults and children have enjoyed in the past is the hunt to find 25 golden gnomes which were hidden around other exhibitor’s stands in 2014. Each gnome carried a prize ranging from a free boiler service to 500 litres of home heating oil delivered to the lucky winner’s door!

When is the next Driffield Country Show?

The next Driffield Show is scheduled for Wednesday 21st July 2021, COVID-19 permitting. The whole Rix team look forward to the show every year, and we look forward to seeing you at the show next summer! If you are attending the show, pop over to our stand and say hello and enjoy a warm welcome.

For more information about future dates of the show or details of the Rix Pavilion Driffield, make sure to check out the Driffield Showground FAQs.  

If you’d like to find out about services that Rix Agriculture provides, contact your local Rix Petroleum fuel depot or get in touch with a member of our friendly team today.

Rix Petroleum agrees year-long partnership with Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance

Leading family fuel supplier Rix Petroleum Ltd is flying high with its latest charity tie up.

The company has formed a year-long partnership with the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance service and aims to raise thousands of pounds for the charity.

Under the agreement, Rix Petroleum will proudly display the ambulance’s branding on the back of selected tankers which makes regular deliveries across the two counties.

The company’s name will also appear on the ambucopter itself in the form of a bespoke tail wrap as part of their 25th anniversary In Safe Hands Campaign.  

Rix Petroleum supplies domestic heating oil and commercial diesel to homes, farms and businesses in the East Midlands from depots across Lincolnshire, along with agricultural lubricants, heating services, boilers and tanks.

As well as the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance, the company supports air ambulance services in Yorkshire and the West Midlands.

Duncan Lambert, Managing Director of Rix Petroleum Ltd, described Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance as a ‘truly worthy cause’, adding he was delighted to be partnering with the charity.

He said: “Rix Petroleum has been serving farms, rural businesses and rural communities for almost 100 years, so we know that living and working in the most remote areas of the country can be very hazardous.

“This is why the air ambulance services are so vital to the communities we serve.

“They are equipped to get to remote areas faster than any other form of emergency transport and by doing so, save lives on a regular basis.

“The crews do fantastic work in what are often difficult conditions, helping to look after and protect the communities we support, which is why we’re delighted to support them.”

The company will be running a comprehensive programme of fundraising events over the next 12 months and is encouraging all of its employees to get involved.

Activities will range from physical challenges such as bike rides, runs and walks to fun packed events like It’s a Knockout, competitions, dress down days and raffles.

Customers will also be able to donate to their local air ambulance service via the Rix Petroleum website.

Tanya Taylor, Corporate Fundraiser at the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance, said: “We are incredibly grateful to be working with Rix Petroleum.

“With their support, not only will this help to raise awareness of the lifesaving work we do at the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance, but it will also help to raise funds for our vital service. 

“As a charity, we receive no direct Government funding, so every penny really does make a difference and helps us to save even more lives every single day of the year.  

“We quite literally could not provide our vital emergency medical service without the help and continued support we receive from our local communities.”

Rix Petroleum acquires Gainsborough-based fuel supplier

Fuel supplier Rix Petroleum has extended its coverage in the East Midlands with the acquisition of a Lincolnshire business.

The Yorkshire company has bought Gainsborough-based K9 Fuels for an undisclosed sum.

The move extends Rix Petroleum’s coverage in Lincoln, Market Rasen, Gainsborough, Horncastle, Louth, Spilsby and Retford, and enables the business to push into Worksop, Newark and Nottinghamshire for the first time.

It brings to three the number of Rix depots across Lincolnshire, adding to existing operations in Immingham and Spalding.

Duncan Lambert, managing director of Rix Petroleum, paid tribute to former owners Ken and Ann Shingdia who sold the business after deciding to retire.

Ken and Ann owned K9 Fuels for 10 years and have developed it into a thriving business with a loyal customer base.

Mr Lambert said: “K9 Fuels is a fantastic business run very much along the same lines as Rix Petroleum. We are both family firms with a deep-rooted commitment to dependable and friendly customer service.

“When we heard Ken and Ann had decided to retire, we immediately expressed an interest in the business because it sits between our other Lincolnshire operations in Immingham and Spalding, meaning we have extended our coverage of the region to include mid-Lincolnshire and west into Nottinghamshire.”

Under the deal, all the staff at K9 Fuels will continue to work at the business.

The move also creates two new jobs, including business manager role, which will be filled by Steve Ella, and a new driver’s role.

The tanker fleet is to be updated with state-of-the-art technology and branding that reflects both the K9 Fuels and Rix Petroleum names.

The move also sees products and services available from the Gainsborough business extended, as customers will now be able to get access to boiler repairs, replacement tanks, lubricants and AdBlue.

Mr Lambert added he wished Ken and Ann all the best with their retirement.

“Ken and Ann have built a fantastic business which has attracted a loyal customer base and we feel privileged they have chosen us to take that business forward,” he said.

“We intended to make the transition as smooth as possible so customers can be assured of complete continuity of service.”

Mr Shingdia said that finding the right successor to take the business on had been one of the biggest challenges of deciding to retire.

But he added that with more than 80 years’ experience in delivering fuel, he believed Rix Petroleum was the right choice to continue where he and Ann had left off.

“We are pleased to say that we have been able to secure a sale and pass the full operation over to Rix Petroleum, another local and family-owned business,” he said.

“We have complete confidence that what we have worked hard to achieve will continue in the safe hands of a company that shares our own values and attitude towards customer service.”

How cost effective is double glazing for me and my family

May 20, 2013

Installing double-glazing in your home can be a great way of improving the energy efficiency of your property, and can stand to make you savings on your energy bills year after year.

In fact, figures from an Energy Savings Trust survey, conducted at the beginning of the year showed that more than a fifth (22%) of the 2,000 consumers questioned had installed double glazing in the last 12 months.

More than half of consumers (52%) also revealed that they were contemplating doing so.

However, with initial set-up costs to take into account, it can be difficult to determine whether double-glazing will be particularly cost-effective for your family. Here are the factors to take into account:

Costs

The cost of installing double-glazing can vary from company to company, but could be in the region of £4,500-£5,500 for 12 standard upvc windows in a three-bedroom house. However, this could climb to as high as between £14,000 and £18,000 for sash windows in a 4-bedroom period property.

However, this cost could be reduced by obtaining a loan under the government’s Green Deal or local authority grants.

Benefits

Replacing single-glazed windows with B-rated double glazing could stand to make you annual savings of £170 for your energy bills, as well as helping to save the planet – reducing CO2 emissions by 680kg a year.

Installing double-glazing will also help your home feel warmer all year-round, helping to retain heat in your home, reducing cold spots and draughts.

As an added bonus, double-glazing will also help to significantly minimise external noise, allowing your family to relax and unwind in peace and quiet.

With double-glazing having a life of approximately 20 years or more, you should have made £3,400 in cost savings over this period, partly negating some of your installation costs.

To make further savings on your energy costs you can secure the best deal on your domestic heating oil.