OFTEC and the Federation of Petroleum Suppliers (FPS) have reported that they’ve been contacted in recent months by a number of colleges and other organisations worried by promotional material from some renewable heating solution providers. The messaging encourages a switch to alternative heating methods ahead of a false deadline that states ‘oil heating will be outlawed by 2030’.
This has all come about due to a commitment in the government’s Clean Growth plan that has been misrepresented by unscrupulous marketeers working for the renewables sector. The rogue claim has been appearing in promotional material and online with schools, businesses and organisations in rural, off grid areas a particular target.
It’s true the Clean Growth strategy, published last October, includes a broad ambition to phase out the installation of new, high carbon fossil fuel heating systems, starting with new-builds, but no specific proposals have been developed and there are no plans to ban the used of existing fossil fuel heating systems, so it’s a disingenuous claim.
OFTEC and FPS hit back over the misleading claims
OFTEC CEO, Paul Rose when asked to comment on the situation came back with a robust reply in a recent article in HPM magazine:
‘This claim is untrue. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the misleading marketing material also fails to mention that our industry is currently working to develop low carbon liquid biofuels. These would directly replace kerosene and enable oil heating customers to significantly reduce carbon emissions without the need for expensive – and often impractical – appliance changes.’
FPS CEO, Guy Pulham, when asked for his response, highlighted the need for a clear government response to ensure consumers and businesses are not misled. He said: “For rural businesses to make informed investment plans, they need clear, accurate guidance. It’s essential that government sets out clear decarbonisation policies and takes action to prevent the kind of false claims we’ve highlighted in this case.
A press release published by OFTEC at the end of August states that OFTEC and the FPS have requested urgent clarification from the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) over the carbon reduction targets that the oil heating sector is expected to meet under the Clean Growth Strategy and both organisations have referred the matter of the scurrilous claims relating to the false deadline to the Advertising Standards Authority.
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