Heating oil trade association highlights higher cost of low-carbon district heat systems (which are often unviable in rural areas)

A free-standing heat oil tank
A free-standing heat oil tank

EXCLUSIVE by Scottish Energy News

The heating oil trade association – the Federation of Petroleum Suppliers – is urging the more than 135,000 Scottish households which are dependent on oil to heat their home to take part in the Brit-Govt consultation on the future of heat in homes.

The federation points out that carbon-free renewable energy heating alternatives to oil (which are often technically unfeasible in rural areas) cost more than heating oil.

 The FPS has also written to Scottish Members of Parliament asking them to support their constituents who use heating oil and to help shape the government’s upcoming policy so that heating oil can be part of a stepped change approach to reaching the Government’s 2050 carbon reduction targets.

Guy Pulham
Guy Pulham

 Entitled A Future Framework For Heat In Buildings the Government consultation is calling for ideas and evidence on how best to decarbonise the 1.2 million homes across the UK that use oil for heating.

Guy Pulham, Chief Executive of the Federation of Petroleum Suppliers, said: “The current government’s policy seems to be encouraging moving rural households and businesses – currently using oil heating – to electrically driven heat-pumps to cut carbon emissions from the heating sector.

“But we are concerned this may place a large financial burden on many rural communities whose housing stock will need additional costly insulation to make the investment in heat pumps provide competitive energy bills.

“The Energy Savings Trust estimate that the cost of installing heat pumps is at least £6,000 with external wall insulation costing £8,000 and internal wall Insulation £4,000.

 “In contrast, this compares to around £2,000 for an oil condensing boiler of similar heat output or £1,600 if subsidised by a nationwide £400 government boiler replacement incentive scheme, or free for the poorest households under the Government’s current ECO 2 scheme which is due to end in September 2018.

 “A more efficient oil condensing boiler can also reduce CO2 emissions by 30%.”

 According to the latest quarterly data from Sutherland Tables, a recognised independent source of comparative UK domestic heating prices, running an oil condensing boiler currently remains far cheaper than any renewable heating options.

The average annual cost of heating a three-bedroom home in Scotland with an oil condensing boiler is £1,186 per annum compared to an air source heat pump radiator system at £1,655 per annum and electricity is £2,893 per annum. 

For homes using an LPG condensing boiler the cost is £1,691 and wood pellets is £1,650.  Oil is the cheapest option for off grid homes and has been since October 2014.

Pulham added: “The government has a target to reduce carbon emissions by a minimum of 80% by 2050, and this consultation has been designed to help shape plans for phasing out fossil fuel heating in off-grid buildings in the 2020s to assist in its overall target.

 “We believe that oil and potentially bio fuels in the future, can be part of the solution – but we need your help if you’re a householder using heating oil, to persuade the Government that oil does have a future and that we can find a way to meet the carbon reduction targets by working together.”

The FPS is the heating oil trade association and collective voice of the industry and represents its members and consumers on a national level by working closely with Government on all proposals relating to the sector. Currently, the trade association is calling on the Government to support a UK-wide oil boiler replacement scheme as well as to provide support for the research and development of a bio fuel.

 To have their say and submit their views to make a real difference to the future of heating oil, householders must respond before the 11 June deadline.

Visit: https://tinyurl.com/ybfgobmk

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