The trade association for the oil distribution industry FPS (Federation of Petroleum Suppliers) has called on Chancellor Philip Hammond to use his Autumn Statement later this month to recognise the off-grid sector and assist the 1.25 million mainly rural homeowners who are using heating oil.
Chief executive of the FPS, Mark Askew, has written to the Chancellor asking for a raft of measures, including the removal of the five per cent duty currently charged on kerosene which the FPS say will go some way to reducing fuel poverty in the UK.
Mark said: “The fuel distribution sector is a key but largely disregarded part of the supply of fuels particularly to customers who are off the gas grid, and we are asking Mr Hammond to recognise this sector and do more to assist both the homeowners and our members. Due to the generally poorer standard of housing stock in rural areas there is a higher than the national average proportion of people at or below the fuel poverty line. Our members operate at very low margins and so we are asking that Mr Hammond removes the five per cent duty currently charged on kerosene which will go some way to reducing fuel poverty in the UK.”
The FPS is also urging the government to consider expanding the pilot scheme to fit first time central heating in homes but with a focus on rural customers who suffer from disproportionately low support from schemes such as the Energy Companies Obligation, where most funding is delivered in urban areas.
Oil heating is currently recognised by the independent provider of comparative home heating costs, Sutherland Tables, as being the cheapest form of heating in the UK and has been since January 2015. Therefore, a government supported scheme to replace older oil boilers with new, efficient condensing boilers would both reduce consumer heating bills, while also making a significant contribution to reducing carbon dioxide emissions.