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Oil sector writes to Chancellor to 'remember the rural fuel poor'

Fuel distributors’ association says oil remains important part of clean growth equation and large-scale heat pump use ’not feasible’

The UK and Ireland Fuel Distributors Association, (UKIFDA) has written to Chancellor Sajid Javid urging him to implement policies that support those living in fuel poverty in rural communities in the forthcoming budget. According to UKIFDA, this should mean maintaining oil-fired boilers, since it believes large scale use of heat pumps is ‘not feasible’

Guy Pulham, CEO of UKIFDA said: ”We are urging the Government to implement policies that help the fuel poor but also enable Clean Growth Strategy targets to be met. We are only too aware of the need to cut carbon emissions and reduce the heating industry’s carbon footprint, but to do so in a way that supports the more-than 1 million homes in rural England, Scotland and Wales, and almost 500,000 homes in Northern Ireland that are heated by oil.”

He said maintaining the oil boilers would both reduce emissions and minimise upheaval for owners: “On average, modern condensing oil boilers are more than 90 per cent efficient and swapping from a standard oil boiler to one would cut costs and emissions - and may even take households out of fuel poverty. Furthermore, condensing boilers can cut CO2 emissions by 20 per cent and make a massive difference to the planet as well as to people’s bank accounts. UKIFDA is committed to ensuring off-grid households can become greener without the need to spend a great deal of money upfront.”

Mr Pulham said that bio oils coudl play a key part. He said: ”Liquid fuel, more specifically a bio product, can be part of the solution to achieve the Government’s decarbonisation targets. We believe the Government’s proposals about large scale electrification through the use of heat pumps is not feasible due to high installation and running costs of installing heat pumps for off-grid homeowners, the requirement for additional National Grid generation, and infrastructure costs…We can’t stress enough that electrification through the widespread use of heat pumps is not the only conclusion, especially for vulnerable consumers who might be adversely impacted if they install solutions which reduce emissions and achieve carbon targets but lead to higher bills.”

“There is an alternative solution and one that would support those living in fuel poverty rather than potentially worsen the situation for them - and that is switching to renewables like biofuels.”


Mr Pulham added: “The latest report on 31 Jan from The Sutherland Table…showed that to heat a three-bedroomed home in the UK using an oil condensing boiler costs on average £1100.33 per annum, whereas to heat a home with air source heat pumps with a combination of radiators and underfloor heating is £1572.413…Furthermore, Jan 2019 costs to households using oil for home heating in most regions are down by between 2.5 per cent and 9.5 per cent when compared to last January.



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