Heating oil has been a popular choice for everyone living off-grid for well over 50 years. But now there is new alternative on the horizon. One that’s every bit as efficient, just as convenient and can be used in your current heating system – so no expensive new boiler or tank needed. The big difference – and it is a big difference – it that this new choice of fuel is green. A fossil-free choice, this new fuel is called HVO, which stands for Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil and it can cut carbon dioxide emissions by up to a staggering 90%.
As fresh solutions are needed to help us all tackle climate change and achieve the UK’s net zero target, the upcoming launch of HVO fuel in 2022 is great news for off-grid homeowners and businesses. As well as for our planet of course!
Heating that doesn’t cost the Earth
What makes HVO such an attractive choice for anyone who is using heating oil is that it will work in their existing oil boiler. Which will have many homeowners sighing with relief, as the cost of swapping some properties in rural areas over to an electric heat pump can be quite frankly eye-watering to say the least.
Now, that’s not to say there is no cost whatsoever in changing over to HVO fuel, as an old oil tank might need a lining installed. But by comparison, this is a quick, easy and far cheaper option. In fact, it’s a straightforward conversion process that can carried be out when a boiler is serviced.
Or alternatively, it could be the ideal time to upgrade to a modern bunded oil tank which is a highly efficient way to store fuel and a safer option as it’s designed to prevent leaks. Which means that changing to a bunded tank gives the benefit of an extra layer against costly accidental oil spillages, theft, and environmental concerns.
Once a tank is good to go, the HVO fuel will be delivered in the same way as traditional heating oil. It then provides the same level of heating and comfort as traditional oil, only in a far more environmentally-friendly way.
When is it coming out?
Trails of HVO oil are currently underway with the results proving to be better than hoped. The fuel is being tested in real homes across the UK and so far there have been no issues whatsoever, no matter what make the boiler.
What’s been discovered is that using HVO leads to a reduction in fuel usage compared to traditional heating after the conversion of a vaporising cooker. This is fantastic news as it means emissions can be further reduced, as can fuel costs. Which is another bonus compared to having to change over to electric heating pumps which in turn would mean replacing a gas cooker with an electric one.
The next phase of tests are set to take place in the second half of 2021 and if things continue to go as planned – and there’s no reason to see why not given current test results - new HVO fuel should be available as early as 2022. Which means that as a future-ready fuel, it’s going to be ready to be used in off-grid homes around the country before you know it.
At Northern Energy, we believe in not just putting our customers first, but also our planet, which is why we’re going to be making sure we’re one of the first to be offering this great new greener option to customers.
Home green home
Another great reason to change to HVO is that it’s been found to outperform kerosene in terms of performance and environmental impact. It’s also excellent in cold weather, boasting fantastic performance which again makes it a better option compared to kerosene, especially in the depths of winter.
Then, add to this the fact that HVO will comply with BS EN 15940, be derived from verifiable and sustainable waste sources, and be produced under strict quality assurance systems to achieve consistent quality and properties of the fuel.
Last and by no means least, HVO has no odour. Which for those of us with delicate senses of smell, will be a breath of fresh air. Literally.
Aiming for zero emissions
HVO renewable fuel has been independently verified and certified to be sustainable and derived from waste streams. It’s also been established that it reduces carbon emissions by up to 90% compared to using traditional heating oil.
This 90% reduction refers to Green House Gas CO2 and is a net figure. As such, it’s completely in line with the UK Governments Net Zero target, which says that CO2 can still be produced if it does not increase the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere.
The aim is for HVO to produce zero CO2. It’s hoped that this can be achieved through the use of additional measures such as fuel consumption reductions, start stop regimes and potentially offsetting (if done in the correct way). Combining a liquid fuel system with solar thermal water heating would also help.
And it’s worth noting here that other energy sources such as electricity, for example, are not 100% CO2 neutral.
Not long to wait
We’re hoping to be offering new HVO fuel to our customers at the start of 2022. As the greener, brighter option, we’re looking forward to helping everyone heat their home while doing their, and our, bit for the environment.