Oil heated households are calling for easier, more affordable ways to reduce emissions from their homes and tackle climate change, according to a new survey.
Current government proposals only support a small number of low carbon heating solutions for oil heated homes, which include switching to electric heat pumps or, in limited cases, biomass systems.
Both options cost thousands of pounds to install while additional home improvements would also need to be made to many older, poorly insulated properties for a heat pump to work effectively.
According to the survey of oil households, these plans may not be achievable with over 90% of respondents emphasising the need for a wider choice of green heating systems.
A further 69% said they would choose the heating system that offered best value for money with just 6% opting for the best solution, regardless of cost. A further 49% would go for the option that is least disruptive to install.
Following the findings, trade associations OFTEC and UKIFDA are urging the government to widen the green heating options available and support a renewable liquid fuel alternative for oil heated households.
The survey results suggest this simple, far cheaper to install solution would be acceptable to an overwhelming 98% of respondents.
Malcolm Farrow of OFTEC, a registration body for off-grid heating, said: “Our survey shows rural households are keen to play their part in reducing emissions from their homes but need more choice when it comes to choosing a low carbon heating system. The cost and disruption involved with installing the current solutions on offer is a real barrier and without more affordable, easy to implement options, the government’s plans may prove unworkable.
“That’s why we’re currently trialling a new, low carbon liquid fuel called Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) in oil heated homes up and down the country which can reduce emissions by almost 90%. Early indications have been very positive and we believe this near drop-in replacement is the most affordable and realistic way for oil homes to go green.”
Ken Cronin, CEO of UKIFDA, the trade association for liquid fuel distribution, added: “Many rural homes present a real challenge when it comes to reducing emissions. Existing low carbon heating solutions can work effectively in well insulated properties. However, many rural properties are older and energy inefficient, making these systems far more costly and difficult to install.
“If we are to succeed in reducing emissions, we need to be practical and ensure rural households are offered choice and green heating solutions that fit the needs of rural homes. We’re calling on the government to support renewable liquid fuels and help oil homes transition to a fair, affordable low carbon future.”