Ireland's Plumbing & Heating Magazine Issue 112 Mar-Apr


A consumer in Co. Down has already started using HVO to heat his home. There will be a full report in the next issue.

“The installation of a heat pump in a retrofit scenario can be a disruptive and costly process, and if the incentives being offered by our neighbouring Governments are anything to go by, we don’t believe consumers will adopt this new technology readily and our chances of reaching our net zero targets will be severely hampered. “In England, for example, the Government offers a £5000 grant towards an air-source heat pump. However, the total bill, including retrofit works is expected to be between £15,000 and £20,000. “This leaves a substantial cost for the homeowner, especially during a cost- of-living crisis. In the Republic, a heat pump installation as part of a deep retrofit costs €56,000 on average and is beyond the reach of many families. “In Northern Ireland, we have the benefit “The intended impact of the Bill is to reduce the cost of HVO so that it can achieve parity with kerosene.”

achieve an overall 56% reduction in energy-related emissions by 2030. Both the Republic of Ireland and England have favoured a ‘heat pump first’ approach to decarbonising the sector. However, OFTEC strongly believes that a one-size-fits-all approach to decarbonising the housing sector in Northern Ireland must be avoided. OFTEC Ireland Manager, David Blevings said, “We believe the key to decarbonisation will see a range of technologies deployed, including biofuels. “It was very encouraging to see two local MPs come out and publicly declare their support for this Bill and OFTEC hopes these are the first of many local representatives who see the benefits of HVO. “Electrification and heat pumps may be the right solution for those in a new build or thermally efficient homes, but with 70% of bungalows​, 50% of semis, 53% of detached houses and 44% of terraces​ in SAP Bands D – G, we believe these homes are not easily served (if at all) by a heat pump and an alternative technology is required.

of being in a position that allows us to review and reflect on the plans actioned in England and ROI. “We believe biofuels have a key role to assist in decarbonisation and can sit alongside and complement other options”. David Blevings added that the Bill, which now moves to a second reading, would allow homes to keep their boilers but “switch to a greener renewable liquid fuel which would significantly reduce carbon emissions with a much lower upfront cost.” He said, “Given the age and condition of many homes across Northern Ireland, we believe a switch to a biofuel would be a much easier and cost-effective option, plus it offers massive carbon savings (c.88%) now, not in 10 or 20 years’ time. Any new strategy must be technology neutral and consumer-centric, fair and equitable in its delivery.” Meanwhile, OFTEC has extended an open invitation to MLAs and MPs to meet and tour the Belfast Oil Terminal to see how the liquid fuel industry works in Northern Ireland and discuss their plans for decarbonisation of the liquid-fuelled heating sector.

David Blevings, OFTEC Ireland Manager on T: +44 (0)28 9186 2916 Sean McBride, Ireland Representative on T: +44 (0)7540 502 304 (NI) or +353 (0)87 241 7041 (RoI)



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