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Future Ready Fuel

For over 50 years heating oil has been a popular choice for homes off the gas grid. To tackle climate change and achieve the UK’s net zero target, we need to switch from fossil fuels to renewable heating.

A simple solution for greener heating

The good news is you don’t need to buy an expensive new heating system to do that – dramatic reductions in your household emissions can be achieved simply by changing the type of fuel you use.

The liquid fuel heating industry is currently trialling a new product called Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) to replace heating oil. The renewable liquid fuel works well in all existing oil heating systems following a simple, cost-effective conversion process.

What is HVO?

For over ten years the liquid fuel heating industry has been working on a low carbon alternative to heating oil. In HVO, which stands for Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil, we have found the perfect replacement.

So what makes HVO so special? It works just like heating oil but is much better for the environment:

Cleaner and greener – reduces your carbon emissions by almost 90% compared to existing heating oil
Simple conversion process that can be conveniently done when your boiler is serviced or upgraded
Usual cost of conversion around £500 (exact cost depends on system)
Made from fossil free, certified sustainable waste materials
You won’t notice the difference – runs just as efficiently as heating oil in your existing system and it’s odourless too.

Trialling of the new fuel is already at an advanced stage and we intend to introduce the new fuel as early as 2022.

Check the news section on the Future Fuels website to find out the latest updates.


Why are renewable liquid fuels needed?

Around 1.5 million UK households use oil heating, and, with the exception of Northern Ireland, most are located in rural areas.

Compared to properties on the gas grid, oil heated homes are much more diverse in character, age, design, and construction and collectively pose a unique and difficult decarbonisation challenge.

The government’s prioritisation of these homes for conversion to heat pumps overlooks a number of constraints:

  • 97% of oil heated homes in Great Britain are energy inefficient (EPC Band D - G) so will require improvements to their insulation first.
  • 46% were built pre-1919 with hard to insulate solid walls.
  • 51% are detached and typically larger than average.
  • Some households face significant financial challenges, with limited disposable income, little or no savings and high levels of unsecured debt. This means they have little capacity to act.
  • Many have valued period features or planning constraints.
  • Their diversity and geographic isolation makes it difficult to put in place cost-effective roll-out programmes or achieve economies of scale.

How can you get involved?

We’re encouraging all customers to support the Future Ready Fuel campaign to help us move trials and the Government approval process forward. You can get involved in three main ways:

1. Register your interest

Your support can help to make the project a reality.

If you’re keen to hear more about the progress of the Future Ready Fuel campaign, you can sign up to receive updates through the Future Ready Fuel website

Register interest

2. Take part in the Future Ready Fuel survey

UKIFDA and OFTEC are running a survey to gauge how many households are interested in switching to HVO. You can complete the short Future Ready Fuel survey online.

Visit the Future Ready Fuel website to take part.

Take survey

3. Write to your MP

If you want to support the drive to low carbon heating but worry about the cost and lack of choice, you can write to or email your local MP. By explaining your concerns about the government’s current plans and highlighting you interest in affordable green heating solutions such as HVO, you can help us get renewable liquid fuels supported as part of future policy.

Templates are available on the Future Ready Fuel website

View templates