Green light for HVO?

The news for the liquid fuel heating industry has been very positive recently. It seems that, quite suddenly, the Government has started listening to us and, as a result, we have taken some important steps forward. The promise of a consultation on HVO for heating, and the pushing back of the deadline for phasing out oil heating are significant wins for the off-gas grid community, and I would like to thank everyone who helped by writing letters or supported our work in other ways.

Green light for HVO?

Choice for consumers

Although we welcomed the prime minister’s announcements, it might come as a surprise to hear that OFTEC never actually campaigned for the 2026 date to be changed. We have always taken the view that action to tackle carbon emissions needs to start as soon as possible, so we supported the need for ambitious plans. What we told the Government was that they needed to give consumers more choices and to make certain that the options available were affordable. Forcing off-grid households and businesses to install heat pumps would have been extremely unfair and could have done lasting damage to support for decarbonisation. Fortunately, the Government has listened to our advice and that threat has receded.

Vote of confidence

However, it’s critical that we don’t take it easy or becomes less ambitious in delivering our plans. The liquid fuel industry has been given an important vote of confidence, and we now need to make good on our claims that HVO can deliver low carbon heating at scale, and for reasonable cost. To do this, we will work closely with the Government as it develops plans for how this can happen, ahead of a consultation which we hope will take place early next year. Nor should we think that the Government has abandoned its support for heat pumps, which will be a critical technology in the transition to net zero. Look out for more announcements soon.

Paul Rose, CEO, OFTEC