Released on Friday, the amendment (new clause 63) mirrors proposals put forward by former environment secretary George Eustice in response to the industry’s Future Ready Fuels campaign and paves the way for the removal of the financial barriers to rural homeowners making the switch to renewable liquid fuels such as HVO.
Growing concern among rural MPs over the potential impacts of Energy Bill policies on their constituents has seen the proposed boiler ban likened to a rural ULEZ, highlighting the need for a more equitable approach. Andrew Bowie, Minister in charge of the bill, addressed the new clause and the work of George Eustice in the opening of his introductory speech – a clear indication of the importance with which this issue is now regarded.
There was significant MP support for the new clause and positive comment across the parliamentary divide with the Labour front bench expressing that they were “pleased about that”.
A swift route to decarbonisation
In a joint statement on the renewable liquid heating fuel amendment to the Energy Bill, Paul Rose, Chief Executive of OFTEC, and Ken Cronin, Chief Executive of UKIFDA, said:
“Following the conclusion of the Energy Bill’s Report Stage on Tuesday evening, we are pleased that a renewable liquid heating fuel amendment to the Energy Bill, proposed by the new DESNZ Secretary of State, Claire Coutinho, following support from more than 30 MPs from across the political divide who supported George Eustice’s amendments on rural decarbonisation, has been accepted.
“Rural communities deserve to have a range of options to decarbonise their homes which reflect their view on affordability and level of acceptable disruption. The provision of a drop-in replacement renewable liquid fuel provides a clear pathway to achieving decarbonisation quickly.
“This amendment will require the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero to deliver a consultation on a renewable liquid heating fuel obligation within 12 months of the Bill receiving Royal Assent.
“We will work closely with the Department to make this happen and also to meet the clear wishes of many MPs expressed yesterday to ensure this process is delivered as quickly as possible and well within that timeframe.”
The bill returns to the Lords on September 12th before progressing to Royal Assent.
Photo shows: L-R – Paul Rose, Chief Executive of OFTEC, and Ken Cronin, Chief Executive of UKIFDA