A compelling case for oil-fired heating

“Government funding to support the development, evaluation and piloting of an ultra-low carbon fuel would be valued,” says Paul Rose
A two-stage approach to reducing carbon emissions from oil-using households has been put forward by OFTEC in its response to the government’s ‘Heat in Buildings: The Future of Heat in Domestic Buildings’ consultation.
OFTEC’s submission focused on the urgent need to decarbonise heat for the 920,000 oil using households in England and Wales – but in a way that is practical and affordable for consumers.
OFTEC suggests this could be achieved by adopting a two-stage approach, looking at a boiler replacement programme in the short term and developing a very low/zero carbon liquid fuel alternative to kerosene as a realistic medium to long-term solution.
“Our independently verified data shows a boiler replacement programme would prove five times more effective in reducing carbon emissions from oil using households than the current domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).
“Government has already committed further funding to support the ill-fated RHI scheme but by doing so in preference to a boiler replacement scheme, is forfeiting the chance to reduce CO2 emissions by five times for every pound of expenditure.
“A simple boiler replacement programme would be more affordable, easier to comprehend, and simpler to implement for homeowners compared to renewable alternatives, resulting in much higher take up. Due to oil being significantly cheaper to run than renewable options, the approach has the added benefit of reducing household energy bills which will in turn help to lessen the country’s severe fuel poverty issue.
“Whilst a boiler replacement programme would provide an effective short-term carbon reduction solution, we believe the future lies in bringing to market a very low or zero carbon liquid fuel,” added Paul.
“Following advancements in biofuel and building on OFTEC’s successful development of a bio/kerosene blend of fuel in 2010, we are evaluating the suitability of low carbon liquid fuels currently employed in the transport and aviation sectors, for use as a heating fuel.
OFTEC’s submission also supported mandating heating controls along with simple steps such as system flushing and annual boiler servicing to ensure systems are working to maximum efficiency.