With the publication of Labour’s ‘Thirty by 2030′ report, trade association UK and Ireland Fuel Distributors Association (UKIFDA), is disappointed that the report contains no reference to biofuels in their future home bioenergy mix and are concerned that a focus on the electrification of heating could increase fuel poverty across the UK. Whilst the suggested focus on energy efficiency is welcomed (and is aligned with our own Future Vision published in May and sent to Sue Hayman – Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), the report also contains some statistics that UKIFDA disputes including stating that there are 3.3m homes who use oil boilers when industry figures say 1.5m homes across the UK use heating oil.
UKIFDA Chief Executive Guy Pulham comments: “UKIFDA is working closely with other industry trade associations to promote a pathway for liquid fuels that meets the needs of the consumer and politicians and as we have stated before we believe politicians need to maintain a technology-neutral approach to encourage all industries to find solutions as electrification is not the only conclusion especially when 44% of electricity continues to be generated from fossil fuels (Minister for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation in House of Commons statement April 30th 2019).”
“We now call on Labour politicians to sit down with industry representatives to discuss how a pathway to the introduction of liquid biofuels can provide a practical, affordable and effective solution which addresses key requirements: to keep energy bills low; cost effectively reduce carbon emissions; ensure a secure, resilient energy supply; bring economic benefits and avoid unreasonable upfront costs for consumers. Setting poor policy is bad enough; setting poor policy based on erroneous data shows that all politicians need to engage with industry to set customer focused, ambitious but realistic decarbonisation goals.”
“There are 1.5m households, mainly in rural and off-grid homes in the UK who if Labour’s plans come to fruition are being pushed to change to heat pumps but the majority of these rural off grid homes are pre 1919 and many of those homes need substantial upgrades to their insulation before those homes would be suitable for heat pumps. Figures of £50,000 have been quoted for a typical deep retrofit on a three-bed semi-detached house including insulation, new doors and windows, a heat-pump system, solar PV technology and air tightening that is a substantial amount of money and is probably beyond the means of the average family in the UK. Labour in their report do not state what and if funding will be in place to help homeowners.”
“We feel that adding biofuels into the energy mix for meeting carbon reduction targets and having a pathway to biofuels is key in reaching decarbonisation targets, and in a way that works for consumers too. Labour politicians need to meet with us and learn more about our industry and our Future Vision for liquid biofuels.”