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Can you use red diesel in a generator?

Red diesel, also known as gas oil, is a fuel sometimes used in the UK mainly in off-road vehicles and in some types of machinery and – previously – generators. However, there are strict rules and regulations regarding the use of red diesel, and it is essential to understand them to avoid any legal issues when using a diesel generator. In this blog, we will discuss whether you can use red diesel in a generator in the UK.

What is red diesel?

Firstly, it is important to understand the difference between red diesel and white diesel. Red diesel has a red dye added to it to differentiate it from the white diesel that is used for on-road vehicles. The red dye serves as a marker for HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to identify the use of the fuel, as red diesel is taxed at a lower rate than white diesel due to its restricted use.

As such, red diesel is entitled to a rebate of 46.81ppl (pence per litre), with white diesel (normal diesel found in road vehicles) having a fuel duty rate of 57.95 ppl.

What can red diesel be used for?

As of the 1st April 2022, chances are that your business is no longer be able to use red diesel. According to UK law, red diesel can only be used for certain purposes, and using it for any other purpose is considered illegal. There are some exceptions to the rule such as agriculture, rail and non-commercial heating, but if your commercial business doesn’t fall within these categories, you will have had to switch to white diesel.

What are the laws on using red diesel in a generator?

UK law on red diesel changed in April 2022. The law change comes as a result of the UK government phasing out the use of red diesel for taxation, air quality and environmental reasons.

Using red diesel in a generator that is not exempt from the rules laid out above can result in severe penalties, including hefty fines and prosecution. HMRC carries out regular checks to ensure that businesses and individuals are using the fuel correctly and can impose fines of up to £5,000 for each offense.

Therefore, it is crucial to understand the rules and regulations surrounding the use of red diesel and ensure that you comply with them.

How do I switch to white diesel?

Vital Power’s generator specialists are experts in all things fuel, regulations and implementation. We can help with a range of fuel services, including draining any existing red fuel supply. We will help ensure your site is completely compliant with the law, and can offer sampling and fuel testing to keep your generators running smoothly.

For more information on legal and efficient generator fuel services, get in touch with Vital Power.

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