“Time is not on our side. The stark warning from the IPCC is clear and we need to urgently rethink our approach to decarbonisation. Tackling the emissions from heating buildings is a key priority. The government is mainly focussed on accelerating the deployment of heat pumps and, through our training and registration services, OFTEC is supporting more and more technicians to install them in suitable properties.
Utilise all technologies to make rapid progress
“However, there are risks in focussing too much on one technology. Not every property is going to be suitable for a heat pump and their high cost is a barrier to progress. This is particularly true off-grid where disruptive and expensive investments are often needed for heat pumps to work effectively. We need to embrace other options if we are to make progress quickly. This means taking a pragmatic approach where we focus on achieving progress rapidly by utilising all available technologies.
“Working with industry partners, we’ve transitioned nearly 150 oil heated properties to the renewable liquid fuel Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO). The demonstration project has been hugely successful and it’s clear HVO works as a solution. It reduces emissions by nearly 90% and the conversion cost for the end user is expected to be around £500.
“By utilising both heat pumps and HVO and installing the most suited solution on a case-by-case basis, we can keep costs down for both the government and off gas grid households, whilst rolling out low carbon heating far more quickly. However, we need the government to recognise the important role of HVO and put in place the policy mechanisms to support this approach.”
This statement was issued 23 March 2023