From the Scottish Highlands to Cornish shores: More than 100 oil homes switch to HVO

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Calls for the government to back a wider rollout of the renewable liquid fuel HVO continue to grow following the announcement that over 100 oil heated properties across the UK have now converted to the fossil-free kerosene alternative.

The HVO demonstration is being led by trade associations OFTEC and UKIFDA, in partnership with fuel distributors and technicians, as part of the Future Ready Fuel campaign. The industry is self-funding the project and is investing over £800,000.

Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil, otherwise known as HVO, is derived from used cooking oil and has been certified as sustainable by the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC). It immediately reduces emissions by 88% and works in existing oil heating systems following a simple £500 conversion.

The transition to the low carbon fuel can be completed as part of a normal service and is seen as a more attractive alternative to heat pumps, which can be expensive and disruptive to install in homes off the gas grid with poor insulation and low energy efficiency.

Cornwall based fuel distributor Mitchell and Webber, which has been supplying liquid fuel to homes and businesses across Cornwall and Devon for over 120 years, converted the first oil property to HVO in November 2020. Since then, the firm has significantly expanded the rollout and has now transitioned nearly 50 sites in the Kehelland area to HVO, from domestic homes to businesses as well as two churches, two schools and a pub.

We’ve very pleased with the progress we’ve made and the conversion process has been very straight forward. Our technicians have reported how clean the system is even after several months running HVO and our customers are very happy, even saying how they’ve forgotten they’re using a greener fuel as it works in exactly the same way as kerosene

John Weedon, director at Mitchell and Webber

Over 600 miles north in the Scottish Highlands, independent fuel distributor Highland Fuels, which has been delivering kerosene across Scotland for 65 years, was the first Scottish distributor to supply HVO as part of the demonstration. In the past year, the firm has converted five homes in Banchory and Lumphanan to the renewable fuel with an additional property set to join later this month.

Through HVO we have delivered a simple, fossil-free solution. Our customers have said they couldn’t be happier with the straightforward conversion process as it means they can continue to use their heating system the same way as before, but know they are making a real difference by reducing their emissions. Focussing on replacing the fuel and not the appliance also removes all the hassle of switching to a completely different system.

Stephen Rhodes, managing director at Highland Fuels

Find out how you can support the Future Ready Fuel campaign here

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