Rural Herts homes set to go eco with vegetable oil heating

Vegetable oil heating, anyone?

Vegetable oil heating, anyone? - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Vegetable oil could become the heating of choice for more than 4,000 Hertfordshire homes by 2022, according to a new report on the future of rural heating.

Oil heating is already a popular option for those living off the gas grid – and now OFTEC (the Oil Firing Technical Association), the trade association for the oil heating industry, say a vegetable oil blend could become their renewable alternative of choice.

Malcolm Farrow from OFTEC, believes this green ‘biofuel’ could help reduce carbon emissions from these homes and provide a sustainable solution for rural heating across Herts.

He said: “Oil heating is incredibly popular in Hertfordshire due to its low price and flexibility. But we are all being encouraged to take steps to reduce our carbon emissions and, although it may sound strange, vegetable oil could be the key.

“Switching oil-using homes to a biofuel, which blends a small amount of kerosene with vegetable oil or an oil derived from waste products, represents the best of both worlds. Households could continue to enjoy the benefits of a liquid fuel, such as topping up when they want and shopping around for the best price, whilst also drastically cutting their carbon emissions.”

Switching would be relatively simple, Malcolm says, as the fuel can be stored in existing oil tanks and would only require a minor boiler adjustment which could be completed during an annual standard service.

OFTEC is confident that, while oil is currently the cheapest of all the major heating fuels, the price of a biofuel could become very competitive following a mass roll out.

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Malcolm added: “Biofuels could represent a realistic and viable option to help rural homes reduce their carbon emissions. We have presented our detailed proposals to local MPs and government and will shortly begin real world testing.”