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The Government’s Clean Growth Strategy: The FPS Response

November 15, 2017

The Government recently published its Clean Growth Strategy and Boiler Plus initiative as part of its commitment to greener energy. The Federation of Petroleum Suppliers (FPS) welcomes this news and fully supports the drive for homeowners to have cost-effective and realistic measures to help them reduce their carbon footprint and boost the energy efficiency of their homes.

However, while the policies are supported and seen as positive overall by the FPS, the trade association is keen for much more to be done to support the heating oil industry.

FPS Technical Manager Tony Brown, says: “As the trade association for the oil distribution industry in the Republic of Ireland and UK, we do welcome the Government’s new Clean Growth Strategy and Boiler Plus initiative.

“The twin aims of helping improve energy efficiency whilst cutting carbon emissions from UK homes can only be a good thing and we naturally wholeheartedly support these goals. We just hope these policies will be followed by further measures targeting off-grid energy users and heating oil consumers in particular, over the course of the next few years.

“There are an estimated 1.5 million homes in the UK that are oil heated, and oil is currently the cheapest form of energy for off-grid homeowners costing on average £894 per annum to heat a 3 bedroomed home with an oil condensing boiler whilst comparable LPG costs £1529 and Electricity £1910.  Even mains gas costs more at £967 per annum and air source heat pump radiators cost far more than oil at £1681 per annum and wood pellets cost £1280. The FPS represents 80% of the UK’s distributors of heating oil – so we’re greatly committed to this industry and feel passionate about making it as energy efficient for consumers as possible.”

Following the Government’s publication of the Clean Growth Strategy, the FPS has met with policy advisors from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to discuss all implications of the announcement, together with its Boiler Plus initiative.

Commenting on this meeting, Tony Brown states: “The main objective of Boiler Plus and the Clean Growth Strategy is to achieve the UK Government’s 2032 carbon budget and ultimately its 2050 emissions reduction target by decarbonising all heating.

“Boiler Plus is a great initiative for the replacement of gas boilers and would contribute to meeting the 2032 carbon budget due to the high numbers of boiler replacements each year. However, we’re disappointed that the BEIS has not included a similar strategy for oil boilers within Boiler Plus as it deems the level of replacement boilers too low.

“We would like to see a boiler scrappage scheme for off-grid homes as there are efficient condensing boilers which can be installed either as a replacement or as first-time central heating for customers – and both options would reduce the carbon footprint of the home.

“We’re currently lobbying the Government to introduce a nationwide boiler replacement programme to help the 400,000 households in the UK that rely on standard oil boilers, and enable them to upgrade to the high efficiency condensing boilers.

“A fuel-wide boiler scrappage scheme would help consumers to reduce their energy bills as well as their carbon emissions, and help the Government to reach its carbon budget targets.

“Boiler manufacturers have been developing new boiler types and testing fuels – and we want the Government to support the industry with a boiler replacement scheme for heating oil homeowners.

Energy Efficiency For Off-Grid Homes

“In comparison to decarbonising the gas network, decarbonising the oil heating sector should be relatively easy as it’s far smaller. However, this doesn’t mean there can’t be step changes – after all, improving energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions for off-grid homes is at the core of all we do. And is an issue that needs to be urgently addressed.

“As a sign of how seriously we take this matter, the industry is already looking at the type of fuel that may replace oil one day as a low carbon option.

“It’s positive the Government has launched its Clean Growth Strategy and Boiler Plus, and we just hope this is the start of further measures that will include support for all oil heated homes in the UK to become more energy efficient and environmentally friendly.

“We welcome all energy efficiency policy and measures, and the FPS will continue to support such measures and to lobby on further action that must be taken.”

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