Lobbying for a better off-grid deal

In the run-up to last month’s Budget, the Federation of Petroleum Suppliers (FPS) had been lobbying the government on various fronts for the off-grid heating oil industry. 
Writing to Mr Hammond to better recognise the fuel and oil distribution sector, the FPS asked the chancellor to do more to assist both homeowners and members.
“Although the Budget did produce some good news for households, it was not very exciting and it didn’t deliver any great help for many small business owners many of whom are our members,” said FPS president Jodie Allan.
“The FPS represents 80% of heating oil distributors across the UK and our members operate at very low margins and so not raising fuel duty or vehicle excise duty rates for hauliers will assist our members,” added Jodie.
“However, reducing fuel duty would have helped members further, and we also wanted to see additional measures to help the customers of our members – the 1.25 million mainly rural homeowners who are off grid.
“Nothing was mentioned in the budget about a boiler scrappage scheme or help for off-grid homeowners.
“We would like to see a boiler scrappage scheme for off-grid homes as there are efficient condensing boilers which can be installed either as a replacement or as first-time central heating for customers – and both options would reduce the carbon footprint of the home.
“We’re disappointed that the BEIS has not included a strategy for oil boilers within the Clean Growth Strategy’s Boiler Plus; it deems the level of replacement oil boilers too low compared to that of gas.
“On behalf of members, we will continue to lobby government to introduce a nationwide boiler replacement programme.  In comparison to decarbonising the gas network, decarbonising the oil heating sector should be relatively easy as it’s far smaller.
“As a sign of how seriously we take this matter, the industry is already looking at the type of fuel that may replace oil one day as a low carbon option.