MP Camborne and Redruth, George Eustice, will today introduce a new Bill to Parliament which creates a legal obligation on Government to remove duties on renewable liquid heating fuels and extend the incentive mechanism contained in the Renewal Transport Fuel Obligation to apply to domestic heating fuels too.
There are currently 1.7 million households in rural communities in the UK using conventional kerosene boilers. Under current Government proposals, all “off-gas grid” homes in rural communities will be banned from purchasing replacement boilers from 2026 and expected to have an air source or ground source heat pump system instead.
However, such systems cost at least three times as much as conventional boilers and are inappropriate and less effective in many older properties.
The capital costs involved in such a change are a huge barrier to large scale adoption and it will take over a decade to see any meaningful change in carbon emissions from the current policy.
The technology now exists to make a minor adaptation to existing kerosene oil boilers so that they will run efficiently on renewable fuels such as Hydro-Treated Vegetable Oil (HVO).
Cornwall is leading the drive to HVO, with Scorrier-based oil supplier Mitchell & Webber currently running highly successful nationally-leading local trials in Kehelland.
The Government’s own analysis shows that converting from Kerosene to HVO reduces Green House Gas Emissions by 88%. The cost of the adaptation to the boiler is typically no more than a few hundred pounds.
The Renewable Liquid Heating Fuel Bill would create powerful incentives to drive a rapid transfer to using HVO or other liquid fuels in existing boilers. It would lead to a sharp, near-term reduction in carbon emissions for a fraction of the cost.
There is already an incentive scheme for HVO contained in the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation which requires major fuel manufacturers or importers to purchase a proportion of their fuel from renewable sources. This creates an effective subsidy in favour of the renewable fuel and the scheme has been a success. The Renewable Liquid Heating Fuel Bill simply extends the incentive mechanism to cover renewable heating fuels used in domestic boilers.
George Eustice said: “If we want to hit our ambitious targets on Carbon Budgets and Net Zero, we must make it as easy as possible for households to deliver early change. Encouraging the use of renewable liquid fuels like HVO reduces carbon emissions by 88% far faster and for a fraction of the cost of new systems like air source heat pumps. It means less waste of resources because the fuel can run on existing boilers and central heating infrastructure with a simple, low-cost adaptation to the boiler.
“The Government has a chance to take these proposals forward through its own Energy Bill later this Spring and it must grasp this opportunity to deliver for our environment.”