Rural pub opens doors to greener future with HVO

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A pub in South Lincolnshire is raising a glass after becoming the first rural establishment in the country to achieve net-zero emissions with a new cleaner heating fuel.


The Five Horseshoes Inn in the village of Barholm has reduced its carbon emissions by nearly 90% after adopting a renewable liquid fuel for its heating system called Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO).


The fossil-free fuel, sustainably sourced from waste cooking oil, fats and greases, works in the pub’s existing oil heating system as a ‘drop-in’ replacement for kerosene. It can usually be used with existing oil heating systems following a minor modification to the boiler.


The Five Horseshoes has committed to off-set the remaining carbon and achieve net-zero status by planting trees, which puts the 300-year-old pub at the forefront of greener, rural heating.


The pub, like many other older, rural properties has very low energy efficiency. The building has uninsulated solid walls, solid and suspended timber floors and single glazing in most doors and windows. This would make the transition to alternative heating systems such as heat pumps very costly and would require extensive renovation and disruption.


The transition to HVO is part of a wider demonstration of 20 other homes and businesses by trade associations OFTEC and UKIFDA to showcase the viability of the fuel as an affordable and realistic green heating solution for hard to heat rural properties in support of the government’s ambitious target to achieve net-zero emissions in the UK by 2050.


Landlady Emma Freeman, who is delighted to be part of the pioneering demonstration project, said: “For us, the conversion ticks two boxes. From an energy point of view the place will be much warmer thanks to a better heating system and improved insulation, and environmentally, we know we are doing our bit to make a difference.”


To further improve the energy efficiency of the pub, EOGB Energy Products replaced the old 1970s oil fired boiler and installed smarter controls, greatly reducing fuel use. Crown Oil Limited also provided a new bunded steel oil storage tank.


Malcolm Farrow from OFTEC, which is funding the cost of the HVO used in the pub as part of the demonstration project, said: “We’ve been delighted to work with The Five Horseshoes pub to help them significantly reduce their carbon emissions and make a real positive impact in their local community.


“To tackle climate change and achieve the UK’s net-zero target, we all need to make changes to the way we heat our homes and businesses which means moving away from fossil fuels to cleaner alternatives. But, with all the challenges faced over the past eighteen months, solutions need to be realistic and affordable if they are to succeed.


“Rural properties are often unique and their poor energy efficiency and older design makes technologies such as heat pumps impractical and costly to install. The good news for the 1.7 million UK homes on heating oil is that simply changing the fuel to renewable alterative such as HVO provides a low cost, hassle free solution. But we need the support of government to make this happen so we would encourage households to contact their MP to petition for HVO to be included in future heating policies.”


Martin Cooke, from EOGB, added: “The Five Horseshoes is a perfect example of how we can create a green, cleaner future for rural communities. As well as replacing the fuel, by installing smarter controls to monitor our energy usage and replacing older, less efficient boilers we can reduce not just harmful carbon emissions but also the money we spend on keeping warm.”

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