De-carbonising our homes

Fossil free renewable fuel

By Andrew Wells, 14 August 2023

You may have read the recent news and heard the media statements regarding the call from a number of rural MPs for government to support the move to liquid fuels, specifically HVO (hydrotreated vegetable oil), for households like yourselves who currently run off kerosene.

The current government position on the move away from fossil fuels
In its Heat and Buildings Strategy the government proposed banning the installation of fossil fuel boilers, which would include oil, from 2026 in homes and small businesses and 2024 for larger businesses. In most cases these properties would be expected to switch to a heat pump.

What the oil industry is saying in response
In a cost of living crisis, heat pumps are costly and unattainable for many households and a third way is being campaigned for by industry body UKIFDA (UK & Ireland Fuel Distributor Association). In a statement, they highlight the issue with decarbonising off-grid properties:

 “Many of our off-grid customers live in rural communities, with older properties who face real and serious challenges about how to decarbonise their home heating. They have told us they need to be given a choice of how they can do this in an affordable way which results in minimal disruption.”

Finding more affordable, renewable options
According to UKFIDA, the industry over the last two years, “has invested time, effort and money – without government subsidy – on developing a solution, using renewable liquid fuel as a replacement fuel for kerosene […] The conversion from oil to these renewable fuels can be done quickly, at a reasonable upfront cost and without disruption and it results in immediate reductions in carbon emissions.”

Movement in the backbenches to support liquid fuels
In a recent move, George Eustice MP, former Environment Secretary is encouraging government to look again at the oil boiler ban in 2026 and the use of renewable liquid fuels as an option for the many rural off-grid properties such as yours. Eustice has introduced the Renewable Liquid Heating Fuel Bill to Parliament which would create powerful incentives to push for a speedy transfer to the use of HVO or other liquid fuels in existing boilers.

In response, UKIFDA says:

“Our industry, members and customers are urging the Government to support George Eustice’s amendment to the Energy Bill, which will bring the cost of these fuels down for consumers, as they already have in transport, while costing the taxpayer nothing.”

What can I do as a kerosene boiler owner?
You can write to your local MP to encourage them to support Mr Eustice’s new bill and the call for liquid fuels as the renewable option for many households where heat pumps are not feasible.

Visit the Future Ready Fuels website for template letters, finding MPs email addresses and an interesting video explaining how HVO works:

Energy Bill Campaign – July