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Heating Oil Trade Association Welcomes Government Consultation on Future Of Off Grid Heating

March 25, 2018

Heating oil trade association, The Federation of Petroleum Suppliers (FPS) has welcomed the dialogue with The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS) following a roundtable discussion on the Government’s plans to decarbonise heating from the 1.2m homes and 250,000 businesses across the UK who currently use oil to heat their homes and businesses.

On the day that the Government launched their consultation and call for evidence on ‘A future framework for heat in buildings’, the FPS and its members put forward their thoughts on how they want to work with the Government, providing information and ideas on action the government can take to meet carbon reduction targets in off gas grid buildings including taking a stepped change approach to carbon reductions through a government supported nationwide scheme to replace older oil boilers with energy efficient condensing boilers, the development of a bio fuel and alternative research into hybrid systems.

During the discussion, the FPS highlighted to BEIS the important role members play in supplying not only heating oil for homes and businesses but also fuel for agriculture, construction, road transport, marine fuels and fuel for back-up generators for hospitals, schools, care homes and data centres.

Chief Executive of the FPS Guy Pulham comments: “We welcomed today’s meeting. BEIS’ initial direction, outlined in the ‘Clean Growth Strategy’, did not appear to be technology neutral as it seemed to only encourage moving rural households and businesses – currently using oil heating – to electrically driven heat pumps to cut carbon emissions from the heating sector. It is positive that BEIS is now consulting further and asking for ideas and information from the heating oil industry. The Government’s call for evidence launched today is a great opportunity for our industry to put forward their views and make a difference to the Government’s strategy.”

BEIS in the call for evidence states: “The Clean Growth Strategy presented major policies and plans that will cut the cost of energy, drive economic growth, create high value jobs right across the UK, and improve our quality of life.

“This call for evidence reaffirms that ambition by building on the commitment to phase out installation of high carbon fossil fuel heating in new and existing buildings off the gas grid, during the 2020s. The consultation document explains what we mean by this ambition and seeks evidence on how we could implement it.”

Guy said “All our members have a vital role to play in helping the Government reach the right decisions on the best way forward for off grid energy solutions. We recognise the work of the Government to meet the 2050 carbon reduction target, but oil and – more long-term – a bio product, can be part of the phased solution.  BEIS talk about large scale electrification but we believe they need to look at alternatives as this 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 and as many have already experienced in the recent bad weather, outage issues. We can put forward an alternative, credible solution with Government support to achieve genuine energy savings in the short term and CO2 emission reduction through research into bio fuels to smooth the changeover to a decarbonised heat supply.”

The FPS also urged BEIS to facilitate a dialogue with the full supply chain so that refiners, importers and associated industries, such as aviation, are also included.

Guy Pulham adds: “The FPS and its members are eager to engage, and we shall be urging all our members to submit evidence in the Government’s consultation launched this week.  This will give both our members, the wider heating oil industry and consumers a voice and provide clarity, so that we can help shape the future of our industry.  The Government talks about our heating industry retaining its position as a world leader and with Government assistance with research and development incentives we believe we can help to lead the change.  As an industry we are committed to working with the Government to find a way of meeting their carbon reduction targets.

For more information on the Government’s latest consultation and call for evidence visit https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/a-future-framework-for-heat-in-buildings-call-for-evidence Responses are required by 11 June 2018.

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