Sustainability ensures our operations are as efficient as possible and as part of this, we review the types of fuel products we offer to our customers. With a focus on renewables and alternative fuels, we fully support the progress made against this agenda.
Following our update in February 2023, George Eustice, MP, has encouraged the government to allow homes heated using kerosene tanks to use the biofuel Hydrogen Vegetable Oil (HVO) without duty costs, and now the MP has given an interview to The Telegraph newspaper outlining his thoughts on the current government approach. Speaking about renewable liquid fuels, Mr Eustice commented:
“In recent years, great progress has been made improving the performance and expanding the supply of renewable liquid fuels. For just a couple of hundred pounds, an existing kerosene boiler can be converted to run on hydrotreated vegetable oil made from waste cooking oil or vegetable waste”.
HVO is a fossil-free, sustainable fuel made using vegetable oils and animal fats, and can be produced from waste feedstocks and cooking oil. The benefits of the fuel are wide ranging and deliver up to 88% reduction in carbon emissions and a 27% reduction in nitrous-oxide emissions.
In the article, the former environment secretary compares the proposed ban on new oil boilers to the Ulez in London saying, “rural communities are about to have their own version of London’s ultra-low emission zone dumped on them.” Mr Eustice argues the government should “not lock down on one particular technology” but look at the viable alternatives that will make a difference to those living in rural areas. He commented,
“To pick winners today is to shut down all the other innovation taking place and the Prime Minister is right to push back. Instead, we need to create the space for different ideas and approaches to have room to develop to futureproof delivery.”
Following the interview with Mr Eustice, Paul Rose, Chief Executive of OFTEC (Oil Firing Technical Association) and Ken Cronin, Chief Executive of UK and Ireland Fuel Distributors Association (UKIFDA) released the following statement,
“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.
This is the reason why our industry over the last 2 years has invested time, effort and money – without government subsidy – on developing a solution, using renewable liquid fuel as a replacement fuel for kerosene.
We have successfully demonstrated this solution in 150 sites across the UK, including churches, schools, historic building buildings, pubs and residential homes.
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. 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.”
The article notes more than 30 Tory MPs have written to the Prime Minister to raise their concerns it could disproportionately affect rural communities and that nearly half of their constituencies have higher than average numbers of off-grid households. This included Sir Geoffrey Cox, the former attorney general, who said,
“The 2026 cut-off date has left rural households with an “extremely invidious choice. They don’t have an alternative in which they yet which they currently have any confidence. Those of us who live in small rural communities are going to be plunged disadvantageously and prematurely into making a decision like this in two and a half years.”
David Jones, the Conservative MP for Clwyd West, said,
“It’s really unfortunate that the Government seems to think it should be cracking on with that in the rural areas before the cities. “It’s a major concern to most MPs who’ve got constituencies in the rural parts of the country.”
Greg Smith, the MP for Buckingham, said,
“It’s just not feasible to say to people in that position – and I am one of them – that if your boiler breaks and you need to replace it, it’s heat pump or bust.”
The campaign has been backed by consumers with over 1000 MP letters downloaded from the Future Ready Fuel website.