OFTEC lobbies MPs for changes to UK home heating policies

Tue, Apr 21, 2015

OFTEC and the Federation of Petroleum Suppliers (FPS), supported by the rural communities’ charity ACRE, have written to potential MPs urging them to support proposals for a change to home heating policies in the UK.

The letter was sent out to a large number of election candidates who are representing the UK’s rural constituencies – demanding a greater and more practical approach to reducing fuel poverty and carbon emissions.

The letter makes a number of suggestions, including a request for stronger emphasis on the upgrading of insulation in rural homes – especially rural properties with poor EPC ratings. The letter also recommends re-introducing boiler scrappage schemes for both oil and gas, to encourage the installation of high efficiency condensing boilers. It also calls for a revision of the domestic Renewable Heating Incentive to better incentivise hybrid heating systems and include bio-fuels such as B30K. Furthermore, it suggests extending Government funding to support low income off-grid households.

So far, the majority of those who have received the letter have responded positively and are in support of the proposals.

OFTEC’s Director General, Jeremy Hawksley believes that the new government has an opportunity to introduce realistic and all inclusive domestic energy policies, which target fuel poverty and carbon emission reduction simultaneously, rather than separately.

ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England) represents 38 rural community councils, and the charities Chief Executive Janice Banks says that rural households can face unique fuel poverty challenges. She believes that this is due to a high percentage of inefficient, solid wall housing and homes that have no connection to the mains gas grid. Janice also said that the current delivery of Government-backed measures is failing those who live in difficult-to-treat houses and those that have to rely on heating oil or LPG for their energy.

The organisations behind the letter plan to push their message further once the new Government is formed, and aim to improve conditions for the off grid heating sector.