Transport industry faces change with Government reduction to red diesel duty rebates

Transport industry faces change with Government reduction to red diesel duty rebates

Transport businesses which use diesel-powered refrigeration systems for trucks and trailers will be affected by Government cuts to fuel duty rebates in 2022.

4 min read

Traditional heavy transport refrigeration systems rely on an additional industrial diesel engine to power their cooling operations. These systems need their own fuel supply and do not conform to the latest emission standards for modern truck engines.

The UK Government plans to reduce red diesel duty rebates across a number of industries in 2022, as part of wider moves to tackle climate change, improve air quality and encourage cleaner transport. Other changes will include local authorities launching Clean Air Zones throughout 2021 and 2022.

Back in 2018, the Government launched a call for evidence from UK businesses about the red diesel plans. That resulted in 78 replies from recipients including supermarkets, alternative technology, road and rail freight, airports, construction, quarrying and waste management businesses. Recipients included supermarket Sainsbury’s, The Road Haulage Association and the Freight Transport Association.

Then in the Spring 2020 Budget, the Government announced it would remove the entitlement across a number of sectors and applications to use red diesel from April 2022, with some exceptions in agriculture, rail and for non-commercial heating. It then launched a public consultation ending in autumn 2020.


The proposed red diesel duty rebate changes focus on equipment known as non-road mobile machinery (NRMM). This includes machinery such as diesel-powered refrigeration units on trucks and trailers. Red diesel used for other purposes such as agriculture, fishing, home heating is exempt.

Currently, the Government’s fuel duty rate for diesel used in diesel engine road vehicles (DERV) is 57.95 pence per litre. However, diesel intended for other uses is entitled to a rebate of 46.81 pence per litre (an 81 per cent discount). This gives an effective duty rate of 11.14 pence per litre. But this rebate will end in 2022.

It’s vital that everyone in the industry is aware of this and has full access to objective information about all cleaner technology options.


Many haulers may not be aware of other technologies and how they can transition their fleets in a phased, hassle-free way. Some may think greener technology is still in its infancy.  However cleaner systems, such as FRIGOBLOCK, have been established for 40 years. They are trusted and robust and are now the systems of choice for some very large operators who understand the considerable benefits they offer.

Operators who change to a cleaner system will see reduced diesel consumption and costs, greater efficiency, lower CO2 and noxious emissions, lower maintenance costs and rapid temperature pulldown power. These systems offer good return on investment and will help future-proof your businesses.

At MWL, we’ve been closely following the Government plans over recent years and preparing for change.  We are keen to promote advanced new technology while also working with existing equipment.


We help a wide variety of clients make the phased move to cleaner refrigeration systems. We work on all types and sizes of refrigerated vehicles, from small home delivery trucks to larger multi-drop trucks and trailers.

By the way, we’ve also been a service provider for FRIGOBLOCK for 30 years and are sales and service dealer.

FRIGOBLOCK systems efficiently generate electrical power to drive the refrigeration unit by using an alternator connected to the main truck engine. They are cleaner, more efficient, save significant fuel costs and comply with latest clean air standards.


We have all the best temperature control systems, knowledge and experience to provide exceptional service and solutions. Our installation and maintenance engineers are on-call 24/7 across the country, backed-up by our office teams. Get in touch to see how we can help your business move to cleaner technology.

Michael Ward Limited FRIGOBLOCK transport refrigeration unit

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