Call for objective leadership to deliver sustainability as a priority

In this letter submitted to Oil Installer Simon Ashman welcomes the optimism around a sustainable liquid fuel solution but calls for objective leadership to deliver sustainability.

Call for objective leadership to deliver sustainability as a priority

I read the winter Oil Installer magazine with interest, especially the articles about delaying the 2026 ban on oil boilers and optimism about HVO.

Clearly, this is good news for the oil industry. Having read the OFTEC HVO handbook, published last July, I note it contains points which highlight the optimism, but also challenges to overcome.

The classification of HVO as ‘net carbon neutral’ must be considered alongside the environmental costs associated with processing, refinement, and transportation emissions. Until manufacturers publish the embedded carbon contained within all their products, it remains impossible to establish environmental impacts accurately, or draw accurate comparisons. 

Ultimately, HVO is a lifeline for the oil industry, but objectivity is key.  Few would argue that the most effective methods of reducing emissions in our sector remain focussed on minimising heat loss. After that, the technology best suited to the property type and client budget must surely be considered with equal importance alongside life cycle environmental impacts.  Applying this logic objectively will ensure we meet the increasingly stringent emission targets.  For example, HVO could be perfectly aligned with some off-grid, hard-to-treat homes, such as listed buildings, especially when paired with the most efficient modulating appliances, controls, and futureproofed low-temperature heating systems.  Equally, biomass will be an alternative consideration.  

Failure to remain objective could see tribalism escalate amongst respective technology stakeholders, which will inevitably cascade to installers

 Surely it’s in all our interests to develop a multi-skilled workforce capable of advising clients on all suitable technologies and therefore installing the best possible option?

To help achieve this, perhaps a unified vision is needed from our industry leaders promoting objectivity and sustainability as a priority instead of partisan bias.

Simon Ashman

We’d love to hear your own thoughts on this – please email Liz@oilinstaller.co.uk