OVER 10,000 Cumbrian households could face additional costs, as the cost of living crisis continues.

It is estimated that 14,000 households in Cumbria are reliant on oil heating.

Alongside rising energy and food bills, these households could soon face additional costs to install green heating systems if government plans go ahead.

In October last year, the government published its Heat and Buildings Strategy which proposed that, from 2026, households on oil heating will not be able to install a new fossil fuel oil boiler once their existing one breaks down and needs to be replaced.

Instead, in most cases, they will be expected to replace their system with a heat pump which currently cost around £11,000.

However, because rural properties tend to be older and poorly insulated, households often face additional costs and disruption to improve their energy efficiency for the technology to work effectively.

OFTEC, the trade association for liquid fuel heating, is concerned these oil heated homes are being unfairly treated under the plans, which will see homes on mains gas able to replace their boilers like-for-like for an extra nine years up until 2035.

Malcolm Farrow, from OFTEC, is urging the government to consider alternative solutions: “Whilst it’s clear all homes will need to adopt greener heating systems, the current approach by the government is creating a perfect storm. The reality is the vast majority of rural homes, including those on oil heating, are older and poorly insulated. This means heat pumps are less effective unless expensive and disruptive energy efficiency improvements are made.

“The government has said fairness must be front and centre of the move to green heating so we need to recognise that many homeowners are already struggling with the rising cost of living. It’s vital we take a more practical, realistic and affordable approach, using all the low carbon options available.”

Further information about HVO can be found at www.futurereadyfuel.info.