Changes to red diesel regulations – maintaining your critical assets

By Mark Griffiths, Head of Business Development

In the 2020 budget, the government announced that many sectors will lose their red diesel fuel tax entitlement from April 2022 – a benefit that currently cuts duty rates by a significant 80% per litre compared to regular diesel. The reforms support the UK’s bold environmental commitments to improve air quality, champion greener fuels, and reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Businesses will now face challenges on a number of fronts, including the economical replacement of existing reserves with alternative fuel options – such as white diesel, Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO), or biodiesel – and the pressure to perform the switch while maintaining 24/7 customer service.  

Mark Griffiths, Head of Business Development at Adler and Allan, explains why your approach to red diesel replenishment could shape your infrastructure’s resilience, reliability, and performance for the long term.  

Foundations for a greener future

Whether red diesel is relied on to power fleet vehicles, heavy duty equipment or back-up generators, the legislative updates will force companies to balance environmental responsibility with rising costs and the risk of operational downtime. By taking a big picture view – and this rare opportunity to future-proof assets and rethink overall efficiency and green credentials – organisations can get a head start on the UK’s increasingly ambitious policies to reduce global warming and climate change.

An experienced environmental risk consultant will support you in cost effectively phasing out paraffinic diesels and shaping forward strategy and investment – while continuing to deliver for customers, day in and day out. 

Step-by-step compliance support     

The replacement of red diesel involves a specialised sequence of tank cleaning, line flushing, and the uplift of current stores to make way for onward fuel. The success of the operation – and its make-or-break impact on your end-users – depends on a detailed understanding of your estate, systems, and risk profile.  

As a first step, an environmental professional will undertake a practical audit of assets to gauge their condition, potential ecological hazards, and the recommended plan for fuel uplift and fulfilment. Key actions are likely to include full tank inspections to assess structural integrity, comprehensive cleaning and removal of red diesel residue to prevent fines, and responsible disposal in line with current compliance laws. Tailored follow-up consultation will focus on top line business goals and proactive measures to safeguard the future health of your assets and equipment, from possible tank re-lining to upgraded fuel maintenance and management programmes.

The right partner, the right plan

Following a government consultation, the finer details of red diesel reforms are yet to be revealed, but prudent organisations will take immediate – yet measured – action. By initiating the planning process now, and aligning with a commercially minded risk specialist, it is possible to intelligently spread investment and mitigate the financial burden of building a greener business. The support of a trusted partner enables you to prioritise critical environmental threats, while – crucially – setting timescales for less urgent requirements.

Readying your assets for the move to fossil free fuels and developing a deeper understanding of your environmental risks and opportunities are sensible places to start. A qualified consultant will help you tackle the pressing task of red diesel replacement – and navigate your company’s most productive and cost-efficient route to lasting compliance.

 

Keep your business compliant, safe and avoid costly downtime

Find out how Adler & Allan can identify and mitigate risk to protect your reputation, your staff and your environment