The Federation of Petroleum Suppliers (FPS), the trade association for the oil distribution industry in the UK and Republic of Ireland, has written to the Chancellor George Osborne in the run up to the March budget urging him to keep fuel duty low and expand the recently introduced London boiler scrappage scheme to the whole of England in his next budget.
“The expansion of the boiler scrappage scheme would result in the replacement of millions of old and inefficient boilers, which would not only save homeowners money on their heating costs but help the environment too,” explains Mark Askew, Chief Executive of FPS.
“The current scheme only exists in London, after the Mayor of London Boris Johnson introduced it. It offers £400 cashback to everyone who replaces their boiler, which is obviously a massive incentive for homeowners to upgrade their boilers – something which benefits families as well as the planet.
“The scheme encourages householders to replace non-condensing gas, LPG, and oil boilers, and is designed to reduce greenhouse gases, fuel use, and energy bills. And this is why all of us at the FPS want this scheme to be nationwide and why the trade association is urging Chancellor George Osborne to expand the scheme.” adds Mr. Askew.
It is estimated that approximately 10 million homes are currently heated by non-condensing boilers, and should be replaced by a more efficient, affordable and what the FPS describes as a ‘greener’ boiler.
In addition to urging the Chancellor to offer this scheme to those in the rest of England, FPS is also lobbying him not to increase fuel duty in the next Budget. Given that the Government has identified many of our members customers are in the fuel poverty bracket, and that this number is increasing year on year, any additional costs which are passed on to customers is only going to make the situation worse. It is really bad news for consumers at the moment because everywhere they turn they are faced with increases in essential household bills. The FPS strongly opposes any duty increases to the fuels which its members supply.
As well as delivering heating oil to consumers some FPS members also operate independent Forecourts and while most people understand that the haulage industry and consumers will be badly affected by any increase in fuel duty, not many appreciate that independent forecourt operators will also be affected. Many of these forecourts are in rural areas, providing a lifeline to the local community. But, due to low turnover, any rise in duty has a devastating effect on their cash flow. These sites are already struggling to make ends meet and are no longer able to keep their storage tanks full. A further hike in the duty rate will undoubtedly result in further forecourt closures. In recent years, these closures have been running at almost 200* a year which could see in ten years’ time just 6500* independent sites left open.