PRESS RELEASE: Red Diesel - Government Request for Industry Evidence

The Treasury and the Environment Department (Defra) have launched a further Call for Evidence about Non-Road Mobile Machinery and Red Diesel (a previous request was made in 2017). This excludes use for agriculture, fishing vessels, home heating and static generators. This exercise will help inform the Budget process. We urge members with relevant knowledge and use of red diesel to take part.

At Spring Statement 2018, the government announced a call for evidence on the use of rebated gas oil (often called red diesel) by non-road mobile machinery (NRMM - a class of portable, engine-operated machinery), in order to improve its understanding of what is preventing users from switching to cleaner technologies.

Later in the year, the government will consult on the Clean Air Strategy, setting out how it will work towards the emission reduction targets as well as delivering air quality improvements in the UK.

“Red diesel use makes up over 15% of total diesel use, with the majority of red diesel is used by NRMM. This call for evidence is therefore focused on NRMM. The supply chain that links end users to the original refinery is regulated, hence the government has a good understanding of the suppliers and distributors of red diesel. However, the government has less information about end users and the geographic spread of red diesel use, and would like a better understanding of why red diesel is used, and what are the main barriers to switching to cleaner technologies.

The government also want to know what cleaner alternatives currently exist. This information is relevant because of the impact diesel usage has on air quality, especially in urban areas where multiple uses of red diesel may be concentrated in single locations.

The government invites evidence on red diesel to explore the quantities used across different sectors, the value of the fuel duty rebate to those industries which benefit, the reasons for red diesel use and the cleaner alternatives that currently or will soon exist.  They are asking for data on equipment numbers, use, lifespan and cleaner alternatives, either technologies or practices.

This call for evidence will inform considerations for Budget 2018 about how best to encourage those who use mobile machinery, particularly in urban areas, to purchase cleaner alternatives.

Anyone with an interest in red diesel is encouraged to share their views. However, we would be particularly interested in the views of users, manufacturers and suppliers of NRMM, red diesel suppliers and industries that benefit from the use of red diesel.

If respondents feel that there are issues that are not covered by the questions set out, but which are relevant to the government’s call for evidence, they are welcome to submit additional evidence in their response.”

Responses are requested by 24th July 2018. The government invites feedback on the annexes to this document, in addition to the specific questions raised in the consultation document. Responses can be submitted online using the link or by email to

The call for evidence and supporting documents can be found at: