OFTEC and FPS have written to more than 500 prospective parliamentary candidates, urging them to support proposals for a radical shake-up of home heating policies for the UK.

Supported by Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE), the industry bodies called for a more pragmatic approach to reducing fuel poverty and carbon emissions in their letter. They recommended:

  • Stronger emphasis on upgrading insulation in rural homes that have far poorer EPC ratings than urban properties
  • Encouraging the installation of high-efficiency condensing boilers by reintroducing boiler scrappage schemes for oil boilers as well as mains gas boilers
  • Revising the domestic RHI to better encourage hybrid heating systems and include bio-fuels such as B30K
  • Extending government funding to support low-income, off-grid households.

Jeremy Hawksley, OFTEC’s director general, said: “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 ACRE, 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.”

The organisations behind the letter plan to push their message further once the new government is formed, with the aim of improving conditions for the off-grid heating sector.