Future Ready Fuel in Northern Ireland

Why are renewable liquid fuels needed in Northern Ireland?

Around 500,000 Northern Ireland households use a liquid fuel (kerosene) for their heating requirements. Northern Ireland is considerably more dependent on oil than the rest of the UK with 68% of homes still fuelled by oil, compared to just 4% of households in England and Wales.

OFTEC believes biofuels, particularly Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO), provide an achievable path to reaching net zero and should be included as an option for consumers in the energy mix. HVO offers an immediate reduction of c.88% in carbon emissions and with some simple modifications, would work with existing boilers.

Both England and the Republic of Ireland have actioned plans for decarbonising the home heating sector already and have favoured a heat pump approach.

Northern Ireland has the benefit of being in a position that allows us to review and reflect on the approaches taken by our neighbours.

What are the constraints in Northern Ireland for heat pumps?​

  • 70% of bungalows, 50% of semis, 53% of detached and 44% of terraces in Northern Ireland are SAP Band D–G. For a heat pump to run efficiently in these homes, retrofitting would be required.
  • Governments’ own data shows that to retrofit/upgrade insulation and install a heat pump it will cost anywhere from £23,000 to £30,000. In England, the Government is offering a £5000 grant towards an air-source heat pump. A recent parliamentary report reveals the scheme is suffering “disappointingly low” pick up.

With consumer’s facing a cost of living crisis, are heat pumps really a viable option for around 500,000 homes currently using oil and approximately 200,000 using natural gas in Northern Ireland?

It is OFTEC’s view that the government in Northern Ireland should avoid the one size fits all approach taken by Governments in GB and Ireland.

We already have homes using HVO for their home heating and you can read about them HERE.


Renewable Liquid Fuel in Northern Ireland

The Department for Economy will carry out a consultation on decarbonising heat this year before presenting a plan on how they propose to decarbonise the home heating sector.

DfE has a complex task on its hands finalising an energy strategy for Northern Ireland that will make significant contributions to a 56% reduction in energy related emissions by 2030. It will be even more of a challenge to find a path that will suit all consumers.

Write to or email your MLA

If you want to have the option to retain your liquid fuelled boiler and use biofuel to reduce your carbon emissions, please write to or email your MLA and highlight your interest in affordable green heating solutions such as HVO.

Find your MLA.

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