If you have any other questions, please feel free to get in touch via our contact page, or give us a call on 01506 538 538 and we’ll try to help.
We are currently trialling the fuel across the country investigating how it interacts with local weather conditions and with different appliances. We hope these trials will complete early in 2022. We also need to work with Government to ensure that the right policies are in place to ensure the roll out of the fuel is maximised.
Our trials to date suggest this is possible and there should be no reason why HVO cannot be stored in the tank you have, as long as it is well maintained. We will be asking customers to reduce their kerosene levels to as low as possible before making the swap and may recommend having the inside of the tank cleaned as part of the conversion process.
If you are transitioning from oil to HVO, it may be an ideal opportunity though for you to consider upgrading the tank in your garden and installing a bunded oil tank, which is a tank within a leak proof area or a double skinned oil tank. A bunded tank offers an extra layer of protection for homeowners against costly accidental oil spillages, theft, and environmental concerns.
Yes. HVO is a liquid in the same way as your current heating oil
No additional permissions are required.
As HVO is rolled out across the country there is no reason why you will not be able to shop around as you have before.
We are currently evaluating the first phase of the trial. The second phase is likely to start later this year and will be larger, Ideally, we are looking at offering the fuel to a number of households in the same area, creating renewable liquid fuel hubs. We are therefore interested in receiving offers from all parties particularly local village hubs or a small existing buying group.
Currently the Government’s main strategic focus for home heat decarbonisation appears to be heat pumps. We believe that for off-grid homes this may be an expensive upfront solution, which is the reason why we have created the trials and are making the information public. The Government recognises there will be a need for some form of liquid renewable fuel but have yet to say for how many homes.
Both the Climate Change Committee (CCC) and the National Grid Future Energy Scenarios (FES) predict c900,000 of our 1.5m customers will require some form of renewable fuel to provide home heating by 2050 to helpmeet the UK’s net zero commitment.
*Prices will be correct at the time of releasing the oil club prices. Prices do change on a daily basis in accordance with the oil market movements. Johnston Oils will always do their best to ensure our oil clubs have the best available price.
It is not the case that government is not supporting us.
Currently the Government’s main strategic focus for home heat decarbonisation appears to be heat pumps. We believe that for off-grid homes this may be an expensive upfront solution which is the reason why we have created the trials and are making the information public. The Government recognises there will be a need for some form of liquid renewable fuel but have yet to say for how many homes.
Both the Climate Change Committee (CCC) and the National Grid Future Energy Scenarios (FES) predictc900,000 of our 1.5m customers will require some form of renewable fuel to provide home heating by 2050 to helpmeet the UK’s net zero commitment.
We are using Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) as the renewable fuel. This fuel has been independently1 verified and certified to be sustainable and derived from waste streams. The Building Research Establishment (BRE) has established on a CO2e per kWh basis a near 90% reduction in carbon emissions compared to traditional heating oil.
The 90% reduction refers to Green House Gas CO2 and is a Net figure. This is completely inline with the UK Governments Net Zero target, which says that CO2 can still be produced if it does not increase the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere.
HVO is made predominantly from waste products, reducing the well-to-boiler CO2 emitted into the atmosphere, helping meet the climate change targets.
The key is to maintain a balance between emission and removal.
Additional measures such as fuel consumption reductions, start stop regimes and potentially offsetting (if done in the correct way) will get the fuel to a net zero production. Combining the liquid fuel system with solar thermal water heating will also help. It should be noted that other energy sources such as electricity are also not CO2 neutral. Government figures show that the national grid is currently operating at ca 300gCO2/kWh which is no better than fossil Diesel fuel. HVO emits ~32gCO2/kWh. The Government’s own projections show that the grid will not be reduced to this level until around 2040, and only after a large increase in Nuclear power is built.
It is commercially viable now, the low volumes seen in the UK are more about our uptake of the fuel and not production constraints. HVO production is growing rapidly on a global scale and therefore production is able to keep pace with adoption.
We have spoken to all of the main HVO suppliers across Europe and the US and they have confirmed that their plans from increased production would meet our requirements. As with any fuel there is competition for HVO and we are working with Government to ensure that there are adequate policies in place to encourage supply as demand grows.
On a Kg/Kg basis HVO has slightly more energy available. On a volume basis it is slightly lower due to the lower density. Our experience is that because HVO is a more efficient fuel it uses no more than Kerosene and trials to date suggest that consumption is in fact lower with certain appliances.
That is true at the moment.
The use of HVO in the UK has been limited to blending to make renewable diesel for cars. We expect as demand for the product grows and suppliers increase production the cost will reduce.
We are also discussing with Government how they could reduce the taxation on HVO and provide incentives to recognise its environmental benefits as they
have done for the road fuel market. This would significantly reduce the price paid by consumers.
The major incentive is that you help not only your own home decarbonise, but also the rest of the UK. The point of the trials is to ensure that HVO is seen as being a renewable replacement for kerosene and that a switch can be done in a cost-effective manner without the need for large amounts of disruption and upfront cost.
No changes to the tank will be required. The boiler will need a slight retrofit, which is likely to be approx. £500. If you are transitioning from oil to HVO, it is an ideal opportunity for you to consider upgrading the tank in your garden and installing a bunded oil tank (capable of storing biofuels), which is a tank within a leak proof area or a double skinned oil tank. A bunded tank offers an extra layer of protection for homeowners against costly accidental spillages, theft, and environmental concerns. Depending on the age of your boiler at some point it may also be advisable to move to a more efficient one.
However, for the purposes of this trial there is no change required.
HVO and Kerosene are 100% compatible, however, if your boiler has been converted to run HVO then it would not be able to run on kerosene as well. We would advise all customers that the main point of this exercise is to show that there is an adequate replacement renewable fuel capable of decarbonising your home cost effectively and without significant disruption. Swapping between kerosene and HVO would not achieve that aim.
HVO used for domestic heating purposes should comply with BS EN 15940, be derived from verifiable and sustainable waste sources, and be produced under strict quality assurance systems to achieve consistent quality and properties of the fuel.
It is important to note that we fundamentally believe that all consumers should have a choice when it comes to decarbonising their homes. Of course there will be some systems that work better with certain homes and the reason why we
are promoting a renewable liquid alternative to those homes that already have liquid heating.
At the moment, there are a range of heating options available to homeowners living off the mains gas grid.
The options include liquid fuel heating (heating oil), liquid petroleum gas (LPG), wood burning stoves, electric heaters, and various renewable heating systems from heat pumps through to biomass and solar power.
Finding a heating system that combines cost efficiency with energy efficiency and convenience is key for many homeowners. Deciding what to do for the best can be tricky – hopefully, our guide to the available fuel options, below, will help.
1.5million homes across the UK are heated using liquid fuel. It is a popular choice because it is versatile – it can be used for heating as well as cooking – and is both easy to use and convenient.
Modern liquid fuel-fired condensing boilers have efficiency ratings of over 90%, on a par with gas boilers. When combined with the fact it is one of the cheapest fuels available, and it is easy to shop around meaning you can buy liquid fuel when prices are low, you can understand why so many homeowners choose this option.
Nowadays, heating controls give you flexibility when it comes to heating and you can choose when your home is warmed and on what basis. You’re also in control when it comes to stocking up as you decide when to fill your tank and which supplier to use.
Liquid petroleum gas (LPG) works in a similar way to mains gas and is usually stored in a tank in your garden. However, unlike with liquid fuel, this tank is normally owned by the company supplying the gas – which can make installation cheaper but means there is an ongoing annual rental charge to pay on top of the fuel costs.
The rented fuel tank also makes it tricky to change your fuel supplier as you’re often tied into a long contract. This means it is harder to shop around and buy when the market is good.
According to Sutherland Tables, an independent provider of comparative home heating costs for the most common fuels in the UK and Republic of Ireland, LPG is one of the most expensive fuels available, although carbon emissions are slightly lower than oil and it does come with a similar level of convenience as liquid fuel.
Night Storage Heaters
These heaters are inexpensive and easy to install. However, when compared to liquid fuel, they are costly to run and only provide a limited amount of control to the homeowner as most of the heat is emitted during the daytime and reduces at night-time.
Open fires and wood burners are a good way to boost an existing heating system – and a real fire is a lovely addition to every home but domestic coal and certain types of wood are to be banned from sale from 2021 in a bid to cut air pollution.
The Environment Secretary said the move was necessary as wood-burning stoves and open fires were now considered “the most harmful pollutant” affecting people in this country.
Often considered a renewable heating option, heat pumps do need electricity to run on which is currently generated from a mix of renewable and non- renewable fuels. While the proportion of electricity generated from renewable energy is gradually increasing, it is important to keep this in mind if you’re looking for a fully renewable heating option for your home.
Heat pumps extract heat from the air or ground and use this heat to warm radiators, underfloor heating systems and hot water in your house.
As heat pumps are most efficient when producing heat at lower temperatures than conventional boilers, more radiators are often needed, or improved building insulation is required when installed in place of a liquid fuel or gas heating system – which adds to the installation costs.
No cheaper to run than gas or liquid fuel boilers, heat pumps are best suited to homes that already have larger radiators to keep installation costs lower. Furthermore, refrigerants in heat pumps have high GHG potential (and do leak over time) R32 for instance has a GHG potential of 677 times that of CO2
Biomass boilers run on specifically treated pellets and are often fitted as a replacement to a gas or liquid fuel-fired boiler.
Suited to larger homes given the bigger size of biomass boilers compared to standard gas or liquid fuel boilers, you also need to install an automatic fuel feed for your biomass boiler or be prepared to do the refuelling yourself.
Solar panels are usually placed on a south-facing roof and use the heat from the sun to warm water in the home. Whilst in Britain there isn’t the levels of
sunshine required for the panels to heat the entire home, solar panels are great for heating water and for cutting the running costs and carbon emissions of a property – in the summer, solar panels can mean the main heating system isn’t needed at all.
Not in Europe and the UK where palm oil is not allowed to be used as a component in renewable fuels.
This fuel has been independently2 verified and certified to be sustainable and derived from waste streams.
HVO is produced from a waste, land use is not an issue.
Each batch of HVO is accompanied by a proof of sustainability document which details the raw materials used to produce the fuel. If these are not acceptable to the UK Government, then it cannot be placed on the market as a renewable fuel.
The product is produced is made predominantly from waste products and is deemed renewable as it comes from non-fossil sources. This definition is used both in the UK and EU.
There is an international trade in used oils of this kind, for example it also already used as a blend into road diesel to reduce the environmental impact. The availability of feedstock is more than capable of supplying the volume of HVO currently required and there is scope to produce more as users move away from diesel blends.
All of the energy and GHG emissions from the production of HVO are accounted for in the Life Cycle Analysis (LCA)used to calculate the carbon intensity reported (c90% of current heating oil). This LCA is governed in legislation in the UK and Europe and independently verified.
The hydrogen used to produce HVO is only a process aid and is expelled from the fuel as water during the chemical reaction which converts the raw material into HVO. The GHG emission of the production and use of Hydrogen is accounted for in the LCA.
As well as vastly reducing CO2 emissions, the clean burn affected by HVO significantly reduces noxious emissions of Particulate matter (smoke), Nitrous Oxides (NOX), Carbon Monoxide and Sulphur Dioxide.
The 90% figure is a well to tank number. It then becomes incumbent on the final fuel supplier to mitigate the delivery CO2 (which is very small) from tank to the customer.
The safety issues concerning the transportation, storage, and combustion of Kerosene are dramatically reduced when compared with the properties of HVO because it is not classed as a flammable liquid nor as a pollutant.
HVO contains at worst only 2% of the sulphur content of Kerosene whilst in its liquid state.
HVO often outperforms kerosene in terms of performance and environmental impact. It also boasts excellent cold-weather performance. Its higher cetane
number (up to 90) and low cloud point (-32C) means there are no concerns over performance through the winter compared with traditional kerosene.