As a new report finds that oil heated households in the United Kingdom could reduce their carbon emissions quickly and easily by switching to a renewable liquid fuel made from used cooking oil, homeowners are being urged to write to their MP to secure support for the proposal.
The call follows a successful two year project which saw a coastal village in Cornwall switch from kerosene to Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO). Some 17 homes as well as the local church and school, in the village of Kehelland, participated in the scheme.
The ‘Kehelland Project’ was part of a larger demonstration covering 150 premises across the UK and the report stated the village could be a blueprint for rural communities to switch to the renewable liquid fuel in support of the UK’s carbon reduction targets.
Converting each oil boiler to HVO took just a few hours with an estimated cost of around £500 per property. As a result, emissions were immediately reduced by 88%. The fuel is sustainably sourced and research shows there is more than enough supply to meet demand.
The national initiative was backed by trade associations OFTEC and UKIFDA with the Kehelland demonstration managed by fuel distributor Mitchell and Webber.
The promising results follow the publication of the government’s Heat and Buildings Strategy, which put forward proposals to end the installation of fossil fuel boilers in the home from 2026. In most cases, households would be expected to switch to a heat pump when their boiler is replaced. The government has yet to publish its response to the consultation.
Paul Rose and Ken Cronin, CEOs at OFTEC and UKIFDA, said: “This successful project demonstrates how renewable liquid fuels can offer a low cost, undisruptive and simple route to greener heating for rural homes on oil and could be replicated across the country.
“We all want to play our part in reducing our carbon emissions, but in the current cost of living crisis there is no appetite from consumers to foot the bill. That’s why we launched our pioneering project to demonstrate there is an alternative solution.
“We’re calling for the government to amend its Energy Bill to mirror for home heating the current scheme in place for HVO use in transport, which would greatly reduce the cost of HVO for oil users to support a transition to the greener fuel. We urge oil households to write to their MP to back the campaign.”
The chancellor could achieve a quick win amongst rural voters by scrapping the tax on renewable liquid heating fuels in his upcoming budget.