Oil-heating industry seeks Govt help to develop new bio-product

Guy Pulham
Guy Pulham

The trade association which represents the oil distribution industry in the UK and Republic of Ireland has asked for government help for industry research and development for long term change to a 100% bio product. 

More than one million homes in rural England, Scotland and Wales, and almost 500,000 in Northern Ireland, are heated by oil as well as a further 250,000 businesses. 

And the Federation of Petroleum Suppliers is also urging UK finance minister Philip Hammond to implement policies that will help the’ forgotten rural fuel poor’ whilst also meeting the government’s Clean Growth Strategy targets in his spending statement this week.

Guy Pulham, FPS chief executive, has written to Hammond urging him to keep fuel duty low, help off-grid homeowners with a nationwide boiler scrappage scheme and give support to the oil heating industry to develop a new bio fuel.

The Energy Savings Trust estimate that the cost of installing heat pumps is at least £6,000 compared 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 ECO. These boilers could also be adapted in the future for bio-fuel.

Pulham said: “This is only feasible if the government can provide support to industry for technological investment now, ensuring a payback for innovators. 

“It is also important that the government facilitates a dialogue with the full supply chain so that refiners, importers and associated industries, such as aviation, are also included.

“We recognise the work of the government to meet the 2050 carbon reduction target, but oil, more specifically a bio product, can be part of the solution, not the problem.  The FPS and its members are eager to engage and asks Government to provide a clear pathway to its Clean Growth Strategy targets so that our members can innovate and evolve their businesses as they have done over the last 80 years.

“Rural homeowners suffer from disproportionately low support from schemes such as the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO), where most funding is delivered in urban areas and for gas boiler replacements.

“The fuel poor are also excluded from the RHI as they can’t afford the high upfront costs to install renewable technologies and importantly, many renewable technologies are not the solution for all housing.

“We believe a government supported nationwide scheme to replace older oil boilers with energy efficient condensing boilers would both reduce heating bills whilst also making a significant contribution to reducing CO2 emissions.  It could also help those families who can’t afford the RHI and who don’t qualify for ECO.”

12 Mar 2018

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