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Oil heating industry unites to call for RHI subsidy

The oil heating industry has come together to urge Climate Change Minister Greg Barker MP, to incentivise the millions of consumers across the UK who use oil to heat their homes, to switch to renewable bioliquid.

The Oil Firing Technical Association (OFTEC), Federation of Petroleum Suppliers (FPS) and ICOM Energy Association (ICOM) argue that replacing kerosene with environmentally friendly bioliquid, would reduce carbon emissions by 28 per cent with up to 2 million tonnes of CO2 per annum saved by 2020.

To incentivise this switch, industry is calling for the Government to include bioliquid with a 30 per cent waste cooking oil content in the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) and implement a minimum 8p per kw hour subsidy. If included in the RHI, 90 per cent of existing oil customers could switch to the new fuel by 2020 therefore helping the Government reach its targets for reducing carbon emissions.

Jeremy Hawksley, Director General of OFTEC said: “The oil heating industry has been working hard to develop technologies to enable approximately 2 million consumers across the UK and Ireland to reduce their carbon emissions from heating and hot water.  Industry field trials over an 18 month period have highlighted the significant carbon savings that can be made by a switch from kerosene, resulting in the publication of a provisional standard for bioliquid”.

The provisional fuel specification for a bioliquid blend contains a mix of 30 per cent FAME bio-fuel and 70 per cent kerosene, and can be used on existing oil heating appliances with very few system modifications. It is suitable for pressure jet appliances up to 100kW. Now that a provisional standard has been agreed, oil companies, distributors and government will all be consulted on how to make the fuel commercially available at the right price for consumers. Part of this process is to persuade the government that bio-liquids should be eligible for payments under the Renewable Heat Incentive from October 2012.