In December the influential Cornish Conservative MP, George Eustice visited the village of Kehelland, Cornwall where many properties have been converted to HVO as part of the OFTEC/UKIFDA demonstration project. Mr Eustice met many of the residents and was extremely impressed with everything he saw and heard.
As a result, he promised to actively support the campaign and, on Wednesday 11th January, he introduced a Ten Minute Rule Bill in Parliament to support the use of HVO in heating. The bill proposed to reduce the duty charged on renewable liquid heating fuel, provide for the imposition of obligations on suppliers of heating fuel in relation to the supply of renewable fuel, and for connected purposes.
The Bill was passed unopposed, having achieved the necessary support, and Mr Eustice expressed thanks for the “extraordinary expressions of support” that he had received from MPs of all parties. The second reading of the Bill is set for 3rd March and OFTEC and UKIFDA will continue to provide all possible support.
This is a very helpful development because Ten Minute Rule Bills are a good opportunity to raise the profile of an issue and to see whether it has support among other members of Parliament, which this one clearly has.
Government should modify its decarbonisation plans
Alongside the HVO demonstration project, which is entirely funded by industry, OFTEC and UKIFDA campaigned to get the Bill supported by encouraging Future Ready Fuel subscribers to write to their MP, and by sending detailed briefings to rural MPs to explain the benefits.
As a result of this work, we now have a good number of MP supporters who understand the benefits of HVO, and why it is so important for the rural households and businesses they represent. Despite this progress, we are still some way from achieving our goals.
The next step is to build further grass roots support from back-bench MPs and pressurise the Government to modify its decarbonisation plans.
The Government’s Energy Bill, which is currently going through Parliament, offers a perfect opportunity to do this. Our proposed changes to the Bill will do two things:
- Extend the incentives for using HVO in transport to include heating use as well.
- Align the duty levied on liquid fuels for heating by removing the duty that is currently charged on HVO.
The effect of these changes would be to bring the price of HVO down to a level much closer to kerosene, making it an affordable choice for many households.
We need your help NOW!
If you want your customers to have the option to continue using liquid fuel heating in the future, you need to support our campaign. Please help us by writing to your MP and encouraging your customers to do the same. The next OFTEC e-newsletter will explain how. It will only take you five minutes, but the impact could be huge.