OFTEC has expressed dismay at the announcement last week by DECC to delay the introduction of a Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) for domestic users.
In a letter to energy minister Greg Barker, OFTEC asked for reassurance that oil heating consumers would not be disadvantaged by the decision to postpone phase two of the RHI until 2013, and in the interim to extend the Renewable Heat Premium Payment Scheme (RHPP).
OFTEC Director General Jeremy Hawksley said: “The RHPP does not currently address the needs of the majority of oil heating consumers who live in older properties in rural areas.
“Renewable technologies such as air and ground source heat pumps are simply not suitable for the majority of those homes; they cannot provide sufficient heat and they are very expensive.
“Instead we should be looking to convert those households to bio-liquids which is a lower carbon fuel.
“Conversion costs are modest and, with 80,000 oil boilers being replaced every year, many consumers could easily switch to bio-liquid condensing boilers if the RHPP and the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) provided an incentive for bio-liquids.”
OFTEC estimates that the UK could save up to two million tonnes of carbon emissions per annum by switching oil households over to bio-liquids.
Field trials have proved successful and a technical standard for bio-liquids already exists, which is a blend of 30 per cent fatty acid methyl ester (FAME from waste oil) and 70 per cent kerosene.