The challenge of decarbonising oil heated homes
The way we heat our homes must change for crucial climate change targets to be met.
The UK and Republic of Ireland (RoI) governments have indicated that cutting carbon emissions from oil-heated homes is an important priority and both want to take action during the 2020s. OFTEC fully supports this goal and is working with both governments to develop a solution.
Unfortunately, there will inevitably be costs associated with the transition to low carbon heating. It is important that these costs are properly understood, minimised as much as possible and distributed fairly. If they aren’t, consumers may not support the changes – which could prevent sufficient progress being made.
However, we are increasingly concerned that the current policy direction means some households, including many in oil heated homes, will face unaffordably high costs if they are forced to switch to the green heating systems preferred by the UK and Irish governments.
This has led OFTEC to join forces with colleagues across the heating industry to research a low carbon liquid fuel alternative to heating oil. The fuel, called HVO, can be used as a direct replacement and offers a near 90% reduction in emissions. The big advantage of this fuel is that it works well in existing boilers with only relatively minor modifications needed.
OFTEC, working together with our industry partners, is currently undertaking field trials, using HVO in existing heating systems. The work is going well and our goal is to make the new fuel available for sale next year.
To provide more information we have set up a new website to tell oil heating customers about the new fuel and why it could be a good choice for their homes. The website also provides more information about the changes that are likely to be coming to heating, explains what it could mean for oil heating households, and compares the low carbon options that are currently available.
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