Government urged to slash the tax on renewable liquid heating fuels

UK heating oil distributor WCF is supporting calls for the Chancellor to slash the tax on renewable liquid heating fuels such as Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO), ahead of the Spring Budget on March 6. WCF is urging the Government to make fuels such as Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) more accessible and affordable for an estimated four million people who rely on off-grid heating.
Government urged to slash the tax on renewable liquid heating fuels
Allan Stobart Fuels, which took part in the trial. Courtesy of WCF.

 Currently, HVO is taxed at a higher rate than fossil fuels such as kerosene heating oil, creating a financial barrier for householders looking to switch to greener alternatives.

Around 1.7 million homes in the UK currently rely on kerosene heating oil to heat their homes, with the majority of these properties in rural areas and off the gas grid.

“The upcoming Budget is  an ideal opportunity for the Chancellor to equalise the tax duties for renewable liquid fuels, making them a real option for people who want to reduce their home heating emissions in an affordable way” said Phil Murray, Deputy Managing Director at WCF. “Renewable liquid fuels are a tried and tested alternative, delivering a carbon reduction of up to 88 percent, with minimal upfront costs and fuss to householders in converting boilers to HVO and no difference in performance from kerosene.”

WCF is a member of the UK and Ireland Fuel Distributors Association (UKIFDA) which is campaigning jointly with OFTEC, which represents liquid heating fuel equipment manufacturers and training providers, to reduce the tax paid on renewable liquid fuels for heating as part of the Future Ready Fuel campaign.

The campaign recently published the results of a successful three-year trial which saw 135 properties across the UK converted to HVO. WCF was one of 16 heating oil distributors which took part in the HVO scheme, with its Carlisle-based business Allan Stobart Fuels delivering the renewable liquid fuel to nine of its domestic heating customers.

“The feedback from participants in the demonstration project was overwhelmingly positive” added Mr Murray, who is a board member and Vice President of UKIFDA. “It has shown that HVO is a cost effective, pragmatic and realistic solution to decarbonising off-grid homes. The trial also proved that HVO is highly versatile and was successfully used in both domestic and commercial buildings.”

HVO works in existing oil heating systems following a minor modification to the boiler which costs around £500 and can be completed as part of a routine service. WCF currently distributes HVO fuel to the transport sector which benefits from reduced duty on renewable fuels for commercial fleets under the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation.

The company operates four oil distribution businesses, Allan Stobart Lubricants & Fuels, WCF Chandlers, WCF Fuels North West, and WCF Fuels North East, which deliver fuel from 12 fuel storage depots in Norfolk, Lincolnshire, Humberside, Yorkshire, Northumberland, Lancashire and Cumbria.

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