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What is Red Diesel?

Red diesel is a diesel-based gas oil used in off-road vehicles and machinery. Red diesel includes red dye to prevent the illegal use of on-road vehicles. In the UK, red diesel is also referred to as ‘rebated gas oil’. Red diesel is legally allowed to be used in certain situations. These include agriculture, horticulture, aquatic farming or forestry as long as it’s not on a public road. As well as this, it can be used on a golf course, driving range or land maintained by a community amateur sports club. Lastly, it can be used by a travelling fair or circus. So, this leaves us wondering about the question ‘Can generators use red diesel?’.

What is a Generator?

A generator is a device that produces electrical energy by converting mechanical or chemical energy. They are used to produce electric power to help when mains power have an outage, or to power things that have no mains supply. Generators can be used to power all sorts of things such as homes, construction sites, stages, festivals, fair rides and more. In short, they can power anything that needs power so long as they are the right size and have the right output and connections.

Diesel generators use a diesel engine to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy. The diesel engine is the main component in driving the generator. The diesel fuel is ignited in the combustion chamber which produces the mechanical energy. Petrol generators have an internal petrol combustion engine. This takes responsibility for converting chemical energy within the petrol into mechanical energy, used to generate the electrical power.

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Can Generators Use Red Diesel?

In the UK there are many laws related to red diesel. More specifically, there are regulations regarding its use in generators. In the past, you were allowed to use red diesel to run a stationary generator. This means that as long as the generator was powering a stationary source such as a stage or a house, you could use red diesel.

When it comes to the latest UK laws around red diesel, the most recent change took place on the 1st of April 2022. This change aimed to reduce the amount of red diesel being used due to environmental issues and because there is no tax on red diesel. The government wanted to phase out the use of high-sulphur rebated gas oils to reduce harmful emissions and meet the targets set by the EU.

From this legislation, it is now illegal to use red diesel in generators. You may only use white diesel (regular diesel) HVO. HVO is Hydro-treated Vegetable Oil, a type of renewable diesel. HVO is made from plant and animal fat and oils and it’s a good environmentally friendly alternative to white and red diesel. Although HVO is more environmentally friendly, it comes at a more expensive price, so it’s your or your company’s decision whether you use it or regular white diesel.

Can generators use red diesel?

Hire a Generator from Event Sparks

If you are looking for temporary power for any occasion, Event Sparks provides reliable power to help solve power needs. We have a range of diesel generators, ranging from 6 to 160kva meaning we can cover small or large power needs. Contact us today for a quote!

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