Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) – a game-changer for home heating

Firebird leading the charge to combat Ireland’s climate woes...

Norman Armstrong, Training Consultant with SERC (South Eastern Regional College) in Co. Down inspecting the efficiency of HVO as a drop-in replacement to Kerosene.

Switching to eco-friendly HVO as a drop-in replacement for kerosene in existing domestic boilers, would cost home-owners a one-off conversion cost of less than €400 and help Ireland reach its 2030 Climate Action plan goals.

According to Mark Doyle, General Manager of Firebird, Ireland’s leading player in the home heating market, there are currently approx. 700,000 liquid fuel-burning boilers in Irish homes. If these homes switched to HVO, up to 90% of greenhouse gas emissions would be eliminated and emissions such as nitrogen oxide (NOx) would be dramatically reduced, literally overnight. 

Hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) is one of the cleanest fuels on the market, 100% fossil fuel free and sustainable. It is derived from raw materials such as wastes, residues and vegetable oils.

“Firebird does not sell liquid fuels. Firebird has no vested interest, so this fuel is not a commercial opportunity for Firebird – home-owners and the environment are those who would benefit,” explained Mark Doyle of Firebird. 

“Thankfully, the new homes that are being built in Ireland now have a high energy rating but it’s the 700,000 older homes that must adapt and improve in efficiency. Implementing a simple HVO strategy could see Ireland converting these domestic boilers with a low-cost solution to achieve huge environmental savings overnight.”

The switch to HVO for a kerosene boiler is achieved through a simple change of the burner to the Firebird by Elco HVO burner. A boiler (Elco) burning on HVO would instantly reduce its emissions to 0.036kg of CO2 per kWh – far lower than gas or electricity. 

With a growing drive and responsibility to tackle the root causes of climate change and to reduce our environmental impact both at a national and micro level, fossil-free HVO offers the most simple and straightforward solution for both home-owners and the Government.

Ireland is highly unlikely to reach its goal, (or even anywhere close to it), of bringing older homes up to the required energy rating by 2030. While subsidised home insulation programmes are an important incentive, a focus on HVO conversions could pay quick dividends.

Leading the charge in innovation, Firebird Heating Solutions has trialled and tested HVO in Ireland to prove that it can be implemented almost immediately, requiring little or no modification to existing home heating systems – no significant investment beyond a small conversion cost of €400, simply the introduction of the Firebird by Elco HVO burner delivering instant savings for home-owners and the environment. 

Firebird’s trials proved in just one month how greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced from five tonnes to just 500kg per year for an average four-bedroom house. Its trials proved how household greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced by 90% decreasing by up to six tonnes annually.

Confident that HVO is not just the future but the ‘now’, Firebird’s manufacturing sites in Cork, Northern Ireland and England have been running on HVO for the last 12 months.

“We’re passionate about providing sustainable alternatives and we believe a switch to HVO is the most simple, obvious and logical solution for both home-owners and the Government. 

“A move to a renewable, 100% fossil fuel free and a sustainable alternative to fossil fuel for domestic boilers shouldn’t be seen as an option, but a necessity.”

This innovative approach to problem solving is just one of the reasons why Firebird is a market leader in home heating.

For more information, visit www.firebird.ie