Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
There are a number of different biofuels commercially available in the UK for use in vehicles and other types of transport, including inland waterway vessels and mobile machinery.
Most of the fuel you buy at petrol stations will already have some biodiesel or bioethanol added to it. Large fuel suppliers have increased the amount of biofuel content in their fuel each year and standard pump fuel in the UK will now contain 10 per cent biodiesel or bioethanol (E10). You can buy fuel with a higher concentration of biodiesel and bioethanol at some outlets. E5 is now only available as "Premium blend".
There are mandatory sustainability criteria that must be met before a biofuel can be given a renewable transport fuel certificate and count towards this total.
You should only use biodiesel that conforms to the recognised European quality standard EN14214 and meets the current diesel specification EN590.
If you want to use other biofuels, for example biogas, you will need to consider installing your own refuelling facilities. There is currently a limited supply of biogas for road transport and there are no public refuelling outlets in the UK.
Several HGV biogas refuelling stations are planned for the future and biogas is expected to become more readily available.
You may be able to use valuable tax breaks for refuelling equipment.
HMRC: First year allowances for natural gas and hydrogen fuelling equipment
Most fossil fuels used for road transport in the UK are refined or imported by suppliers, and the RTFO puts certain obligations on these suppliers. An obligated supplier (producing more than 450,000 litres of relevant fuel) must prove to the Secretary of State that eligible fuels, i.e.
make up a percentage of the fuel they supply, by producing Renewable Transport Fuel Certificates (RTFCs) at the end of the year. One RTFC is awarded for every litre of biofuel reported, and an obligated supplier can obtain them either by supplying biofuel, or by trading with other biofuel suppliers.
The RTFO programme does not apply if the annual volume of fuel you supply is less than 450,000 litres. You can trade RTFCs with obligated suppliers, providing a potential revenue stream to support the production of biofuel.
The RTFO covers only biofuels used in the transport and non-road mobile machinery (NRMM) sectors.
For more information, see
Department of Transport: Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation guidance
Department of Transport: Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) - compliance, reporting and verification (guidance for 2022 onwards)
Where you can buy biofuels
SEPA Special Waste Consignment Notes – updated position, The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) is now accepting special waste consignment notes (SWCNs) by email only.
DAERA Waste Policy Tracker, The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs has published a Waste policy tracker to stay informed of waste policy developments.
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