From 1 April 2022, changes to UK law mean that many people and businesses who use red diesel (AKA rebated fuel; gas oil; tractor diesel) will need to switch to more costly white diesel, which carries the full Fuel Duty rate.
Most UK vehicles and machinery will no longer be able to use rebated red diesel, especially in the commercial sector. From 1 April it becomes illegal to put red diesel into any tank, vehicle or machine not covered by the new rules.
The switch to white diesel will increase fuel costs by about 47p per litre for many businesses and organisations across the country. This new ruling could have wide-reaching effects, as businesses pass increased fuel costs on to consumers.
From the 1st April the use and storage of red diesel in vehicles, machinery and fuel tanks will be further restricted to operations such as farming and forestry, in line with new rules set out by the UK government.
Briefly, red diesel will still be legal for use in agriculture, fish farming, forestry and horticulture; non-commercial heating and power generation; rail transport, marine transport, boating and sailing; circuses and other travelling fairs; and sports clubs including golf courses. For a more detailed list, please see below.
From the 1st April, many businesses across the UK – ranging from construction and plant hire to recycling operations – will have a legal duty to switch to the use of white diesel immediately, or could face heavy fines.
Red diesel itself isn’t being scrapped or price-hiked. It will just be legally prohibited for use by most of those businesses which used it previously, especially in the commercial sector.
Why is this happening?
This change to the red diesel rules is part of the Government’s 2050 net-zero decarbonisation plan. It’s aimed to encourage the wider use of white diesel and greener fuels by the commercial sector, especially in mining, quarrying, construction, plant, logistics, leisure and highway maintenance.
Who can still use red diesel and other rebated fuel?
The UK government has set out the following on the use of red diesel and rebated biofuels, restricting entitlement “to the following qualifying purposes”:
• “For vehicles and machinery used in agriculture, horticulture, fish farming and forestry. This includes allowing vehicles used for agriculture to be used for cutting verges and hedges, snow clearance and gritting roads
• To propel passenger, freight or maintenance vehicles designed to run on rail tracks
• For heating and electricity generation in non-commercial premises – this includes the heating of homes and buildings such as places of worship, hospitals and town halls; off-grid power generation; and non-propulsion uses on permanently-moored houseboats
• For maintaining community amateur sports clubs as well as golf courses (including activities such as ground maintenance, and the heating and lighting of clubhouses, changing rooms etc.)
• As fuel for all marine craft refuelling and operating in the UK (including fishing and water freight industries), except for propelling private pleasure craft in Northern Ireland
• For powering the machinery (including caravans) of travelling fairs and circuses”.
Even then, there are particular rules on how red diesel can be used in these approved areas. For more info please refer to Government guidance via the link below.
These rules will also extend fuel duty to “biodiesel, bioblends and fuel substitutes used in heating, applying the rebated duty rate to non-commercial heating and the full rate of duty to commercial heating.” (Source: gov.uk)
How does the law change?
Until now, the law regarding red diesel usage set out in the Hydrocarbon Oil Duties Act 1979 (HODA) has included references to ‘road vehicles’. But from 1st April 2022, references to ‘road vehicles’ in this legislation will change to the term ‘excepted machines’. These ‘exceptions’ to the new red diesel rules, and the purposes that red diesel is used for, have been strictly redefined in law.
Currently around 15% of all diesel used in the UK is rebated red diesel. After the 1st April this percentage will drop significantly, and anyone caught using red diesel without entitlement could face significant fines, vehicle seizure, or even unlimited fines and imprisonment – since the unentitled use of rebated red diesel is technically considered tax evasion.
Are other fuels affected?
Yes. These changes affect the use of rebated red diesel, HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil), bioblend, biodiesel and fuel substitutes.
Compliance: What you need to do
If your operation doesn’t fall into one of the excepted categories detailed above, then you have a legal responsibility to make the switch to white diesel from 1st April 2022. To be compliant with these changes you will need to:
“Contamination” in this respect refers to any presence of red diesel marker dye. The authorities test for this distinctive red dye to catch out anyone using tax-rebated red diesel illegally, and could well inflict heavy fines to enforce the new diesel rules.
Important considerations when switching to white diesel fuel
How can you reduce higher costs associated with white diesel fuel?
Less fuel use, or longer fuel storage times, could also affect how much white diesel you have hanging around when it comes time to swap your summer and winter grades. So it’s well worth reassessing just how quickly you’ll be burning through your costlier store of white diesel fuel over the coming months, and when this summer-grade supply will need to be swapped out for the winter.
Add an advanced fuel management system on top of that, and suddenly you’ve limited the basic dispensing of your fuel to only those people who own an assigned app licence, or a key fob, able to activate your fuel tank and make it operate. Without a key fob or Bluetooth app licence assigned to them, someone attempting to use your fuel tank can’t take a single drop.
While you may not be able to combat the new higher cost of your white diesel supply versus that old red diesel, there are certainly ways to tighten up on its use and security while it’s stored on your worksites and premises.
Instead look to prevent theft, preserve your supply over the seasons, care for your fuel stock with regular tank testing and cleaning, and measure your fuel’s dispensing to the last drop with a remote fuel management system.
Preventing any of that costly white diesel going astray is as good as receiving money back on your fuel supply. And ultimately, that can only come down to investing in the right fuel tank for your business. And we can certainly help you there.
Click the link below to learn more about the red diesel restrictions from 1st April 2022, as detailed in the Government’s Reform of Red Diesel policy.
Phew! It's been an incredibly busy 2021 – and for that we'd like to say a massive thank you to each and every one of you: our customers, partners and subscribers alike.
From everyone here at Fuel Proof, Merry Christmas and a very happy 2022!
Christmas opening hours
Please note that we close for Christmas on Thursday 23rd December, 2021.
We are open again from Tuesday 4th January, 2022.
If in the meantime you'd like to learn more about our fuel tanks and fuel storage products, then you're welcome to browse and download our handy PDF product guides.
So until 2022, have yourself a fantastic Christmas and a marvellous New Year!
As of July 2021, the British fuel tank manufacturer Fuel Proof Ltd is now a FORS Silver-Accredited Fleet Operator. This new professional accreditation demonstrates Fuel Proof’s continued commitment to achieving exceptional industry standards – not only in the design and fabrication of its diesel and aviation fuel tanks, but also as the operator of its own dedicated service and delivery fleet.
FORS, the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme, is a leading UK industry accreditation scheme for fleet operators who wish to demonstrate exemplary levels of safety, efficiency, professionalism and environmental protection.
Fuel Proof’s voluntary application for FORS Accreditation, first to the Bronze standard and now to the upgraded Silver standard, has involved in-depth assessments of the company’s daily fleet operations, ensuring compliance with FORS requirements and industry best practice – as well as the team’s level of training and day-to-day commitment in running a high-quality fleet of service and heavy goods vehicles.
Fuel Proof’s new FORS Silver-level accreditation applies to the company’s full fleet of branded service vans and fuel tank delivery HGVs, which travel the UK on a daily basis to deliver and maintain its industry-leading diesel and aviation fuel tanks.
Fuel Proof’s FORS Silver Accreditation sets it apart from many manufacturers, and demonstrates not only sound corporate responsibility but also the company’s commitment to providing its customers with the very best products and standards of service as a fleet operator.
FORS grants its members, like Fuel Proof, special access to training courses and online learning modules, along with expert advice designed to promote the safest, most fuel-efficient approaches for its members’ daily fleet operations.
Already a FORS Bronze-Accredited Fleet Operator, and one of only 4,662 companies to attain this title, Fuel Proof’s new FORS Silver Accreditation makes it one of just 2,291 companies to advance to this level. With its sights set on attaining FORS Gold Accreditation in the future, this exclusive title would set Fuel Proof apart as one of only 743 companies in the UK to operate at the highest level of FORS Fleet compliance.
As part of its new Silver Accreditation, the Fuel Proof fleet will now display the FORS Silver logo alongside its vehicles’ branded livery – demonstrating its team’s commitment to continued best practice as a safe, efficient and professional fleet operator, working to top fleet industry standards across the UK.
About Fuel Proof Ltd.
Fuel Proof Ltd. is an established British fuel tank manufacturer with over £9m annual turnover. The company has 60+ staff and over 16,000 global customers, with more than 20 years of continuous growth.
Its advanced £5m fuel tank fabrication facility in Heysham LA3 is now busier than ever, and complete with in-house design, laser cutting, CNC, shot-blasting and full paint capabilities to handle the intense demand for its products.
Fuel Proof is fully UN/EU compliant and ISO 9001 2015 and Safe Contractor accredited, but above all it’s trusted by its customers to produce fuel storage products of the highest specifications, to the very highest quality.
Having the right fuel tank on-site can save you time, money and unnecessary effort. All of which are especially valuable when you have a business to run. But there’s so much more besides.
Investing in on-site fuel storage isn’t just about the fuel tank. You’re investing in greater control over your outgoings, and bringing any potential issues in-house, where you can oversee the refuelling process and optimise it for the success of your business.
Let’s take a look at the top ten reasons to invest in rock-solid fuel storage on your own business site.
1. An on-site fuel tank saves you time.
The obvious benefit of an on-site fuel tank is that your team won’t need to travel anywhere else to refuel. After all, they’re burning costly fuel just to get to the nearest fuelling station – so why not build your own fuelling station, and cut out masses of travel time when it comes to refuelling your fleet?
2. An on-site fuel tank saves you money.
When you refuel your fleet at consumer fuel stations, you’re at the mercy of consumer price changes. (And consumer queues). These problems are solved when you bring your fuel tank in-house. Become your own fuel station, and suddenly you have the opportunity to negotiate bulk prices with your own fuel supplier. How much could you save per litre? How much could you save in wages over time? If you issue fuel cards, could you even remove the risk of cloning, fraud, or fuel card abuse?
3. An on-site fuel tank saves you effort.
Good business is all about saving effort, so you can direct your energies in the most profitable way. If you can automate a process, you should. If you can do something better or cheaper in-house, well then you absolutely should. An on-site fuel tank can be a fantastic investment if you need to refuel frequently, simply because it saves you the time and effort of refuelling elsewhere. It effectively turns your business premises into a base of operations, saving you and your team the added effort of sourcing fuel from busy external vendors. And, if you can see a profit in saving your neighbours some effort too, what’s to stop you from becoming a registered fuel reseller?
We’re looking for the very best photograph of any Fuel Proof fuel tank, set in any location. There’s no limit to the number of times you can enter this competition, so feel free to send us as many different photos as you like!
We'd love to know your story too. So the more you can tell us in your email entry about yourself, your work, and why you chose a Fuel Proof fuel tank, the better!
Send us as many photos as you like of your Fuel Proof fuel storage product(s), in whichever setting you prefer. Our competition runs until 1st September 2021, when all entries will be voted on by the Fuel Proof office team.
One lucky winner gets a whole 12 months’ supply of free diesel tank filters, which normally retail for up to £80 each!
Please submit your photograph entry as an email attachment to email@example.com.
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