OFTEC have written a letter to more than 500 prospective parliamentary candidates urging them to support proposals for a radical shake-up to home heating policies in the UK.
Working with FPS and with support from rural communities’ charity ACRE, the letter has been sent to election candidates representing the majority of rural constituencies in the UK. They are calling for a far greater and more realistic approach to reducing fuel poverty and carbon emissions.
Recommendations put forward in OFTEC’s letter include:
- Stronger emphasis on upgrading insulation in rural homes which have far poorer EPC ratings than urban properties
- Incentivising the installation of high efficiency condensing boilers by re-introducing boiler scrappage schemes for oil boilers as well as mains gas boilers
- Revising the domestic RHI to better incentivise hybrid heating systems and include bio-fuels such as B30K
- Extend Government funding to support low income off-grid households.
According to OFTEC the letter has received “significant positive support” from many of its recipients. OFTEC’s director general, Jeremy Hawksley, stated: “There’s a great opportunity for the new government, whichever political colour it may be, to introduce much more realistic and all-inclusive domestic energy policies that address fuel poverty and carbon emission reduction simultaneously, rather than as separate goals.”
Janice Banks, chief executive of Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) which is the national body representing 38 rural community councils, added: “With a high percentage of inefficient, solid-wall housing and many homes without a connection to the mains gas grid, rural households can face unique fuel poverty challenges”.
“However, the current delivery of Government-backed measures is failing households that live in difficult-to-treat houses and those that have to rely on heating oil or LPG for their energy.”
All the organisations involved in producing the letter will continue to push their recommendations to the new government once it is formed. The idea is to improve conditions for the off-grid heating sector.