More than 18,000 homes in Dorset could be heated by Vegetable Oil within 5 years.
A recent industry report on the future of rural heating by the Oil Firing Technical Association (OFTEC) suggests that oil heating in homes could be switched to the renewable alternative of a vegetable oil blend.
This transition could be completed by as early as 2022.
Malcolm Farrow from OFTEC said: “For households, adopting this biofuel would be relatively simple as the fuel can be stored in existing oil tanks and would only require a minor boiler adjustment which could be completed during an annual standard service.”
Currently oil heating is one of the most popular choices for those living off the gas grid, especially for those in rural areas like Dorset.
Approximately one million households use oil for heating and it is estimated by OFTEC that a further 250,000 commercial oil boilers are installed in premises such as schools, warehouses and hospitals in off mains gas areas.
It is believed that this method could be more successful than other renewable heating sources such as air source heat pumps and solar thermal, as it does not have such high upfront installation costs or as much significant disruption involved.
Switching oil using homes to a biofuel would be done by blending a small amount of kerosene with vegetable oil or an oil derived from waste products, which Mr Farrow believes “represents the best of both worlds”.