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COSTS OF BIOFUELS COMPARED WITH CONVENTIONAL FUELS

Apart from some remarks about road fuels, these figures take no account of the useful energy that can be obtained from each litre of each type of fuel.

Central heating

FUEL Volume purchased (litres) Price (pence / litre) Excise duty (pence / litre) VAT (pence / litre) Total (pence / litre)
Biodiesel 1000 34 0 5.95 (17.5%) 39.95
SVO (food grade) 31 37 0 02 37
SVO (cleaned used oil) 100 15 0 2.625 (17.5%) 17.625
Kerosene 1000 16 0 0.8 (5%) 16.8
Diesel 1000 17.5 0 0.875 (5%) 18.375

Fuel for cars

LPG is not included in this table because duty is charged by weight, not volume (the duty on LPG is 9 pence per Kg) and because mpg is about 20% less than petrol. Currently, LPG is about 45% cheaper than petrol (including all taxes) so, despite the low mpg,  it is a relatively cheap fuel. It is promoted as a 'green' fuel but CO2 emissions are only about 10% less than petrol.

It looks as if biodiesel and 'fossil' diesel both give substantially higher mpg than petrol. This may also be true of SVO.

FUEL Volume purchased (litres) Price (pence / litre) Excise duty (pence / litre) VAT (pence / litre) Total (pence / litre)
Biodiesel 1000 34 25.823 10.47 (17.5%) 70.29
SVO (food grade) 31 37 25.823 02 62.82
SVO (cleaned used oil) 100 15 25.823 11.69 (17.5%) 52.51
Unleaded petrol 10 11.52 48.82 10.56 (17.5%) 70.9
Ultra low sulphur diesel 10 17.92 45.82 11.15 (17.5%) 74.9

1 Tesco's 3 litre bottle of vegetable oil.

2 Applies only to certain food grade oils: maize (corn) oil, rapeseed oil, groundnut oil, olive oil, almond oil (but not bitter almond oil), sesame seed oil, sunflower seed oil, palm kernel oil, walnut oil, soya oil, and blends of these, provided that they are of a type and grade suitable for culinary purposes and they do not contain any substance that would make them unsuitable for culinary use.

3 After July, 2002.


Last updated: 2006-07-13 (ISO 8601)