The Prime Minister recently outlined his approach to achieving net zero in a landmark speech. The government is looking at off grid properties and reviewing its plans, promising to put fairness and choice at the heart of its plan. That includes for off-grid homes, the option of switching to a renewable liquid fuel.
What the Prime Minister said…
* Existing proposals to ban the installation of domestic oil boilers in off-grid homes will be moved from 2026 to 2035.
* There will be an exemption to the phasing out of fossil fuel boilers, including gas, in 2035 to ensure households who will most struggle to make the switch to heat pumps, or other low-carbon alternatives, won’t have to do so. This is expected to cover about a fifth of homes, including those off the gas grid.
* The UK’s target to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 remains in place.
The government has since clarified that they will explore potential low carbon heating options for off-gas grid properties that are not suitable for heat pumps by issuing a consultation.
Off-grid households must have a choice…
We are pleased that the government has recognised its existing proposal to ban the installation of fossil fuel boilers from 2026, and forcing properties to switch to a heat pump, unfairly targeted off-grid households.
These older properties are often unsuited to heat pumps without extensive additional work, such as new radiators, new piping, the introduction of a hot water tank, and additional insulation. As a result, they would have faced some of the highest costs with some of the poorest outcomes.
That’s why it’s important the government explores all the options on the table…
The demonstration project led by UKIFDA and supported by Goff has seen 150 properties prove that a renewable liquid fuel called Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) provides a pragmatic and straight forward solution for oil heating homes. This liquid fuel reduces emissions by an eyewatering 88% and existing oil-fired boilers can be converted in just a few hours for under £500.
Here at Goff we are pleased with the support the project has received from rural MPs for this approach. As a result, the government put forward an amendment to its Energy Bill which committed it to delivering a consultation on the use of renewable liquid fuels within 12 months of the Bill receiving Royal Ascent.
It’s vital the government now brings forward this consultation as quickly as possible and supports a fuel obligation to reduce the cost of HVO so it can be deployed more widely to the UK’s 1.7 million homes.