Renewable Transport Fuel Certificates (RTFCs)

Renewable Transport Fuel Certificates (RTFCs) are issued for each litre of sustainable renewable fuel that is supplied for certain types of transport use within the UK. They play an important role in rewarding renewable transport fuel producers for their contribution to the adoption of renewable transport fuels and are one of the Government’s main policies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transport.

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RTFCs

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are RTFCs and who can claim them?

    Renewable Transport Fuel Certificates (RTFCs) are issued by the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) scheme. The RTFO is administered by a team within the Department for Transport (DfT) called the RTFO Unit. Typically, one RTFC is issued for each litre of applicable transport fuel (petrol, diesel, gas oil or renewable fuel) that is supplied within the UK. Fuel from certain wastes or residues, dedicated energy crops, and Renewable Fuels of Non-Biological Origin (RFNBOs) are awarded double the RTFCs per litre supplied.

    RTFCs are issued for gaseous renewable transport fuels, such as biomethane on a per kg basis. The number issued is calculated by considering the energy density of the gas compared to the average energy density of liquid renewable transport fuels.

  • Are there different types of RTFCs?

    There are 3 different types of RTFC – “relevant crop”, “development fuel” or “general”.

  • What are they used for?

    Under the RTFO, suppliers of relevant transport fuel (petrol, diesel, gas oil or renewable fuel) in the UK must be able to show that a percentage of the fuel they supply comes from renewable and sustainable sources. Fuel suppliers that deliver at least 450,000 litres of this fuel a year are affected by this requirement.

    The obligation has two elements – the ‘main obligation’ and the ‘development fuel target’. The obligation is calculated by multiplying the obligated amount (the total fossil and unsustainable renewable fuel supplied) by the obligation percentage for that period. Obligated suppliers can meet their obligation by redeeming Renewable Transport Fuel Certificates (RTFCs) or by paying a fixed sum for each litre of fuel for which they wish to ‘buy-out’ of their obligation.

  • How do I claim RTFCs?

    Fuel suppliers providing fuel for use in UK transport report these volumes using the RTFO Operating System (ROS). These volumes are validated against data from HMRC, and suppliers can then submit applications for RTFCs for the proportion of renewable fuel supplied. Once applications have been independently verified, the RTFO Unit conducts further targeted checks and, if satisfied, awards RTFCs.

  • Do RTFCs have an expiry date?

    Each ‘Obligation Period’ runs from 1st January to 31st December. By 15th September in the year following an obligation period, obligated suppliers must meet their obligation (both the main and development fuel obligation) by redeeming sufficient RTFCs. If they do not, they must pay a buy-out price.

    Unused RTFCs from a given obligation period can be carried over for use in the subsequent obligation year, but only once. For example, RTFCs from 2024 can be carried over into 2025, but not 2026. Obligated fuel suppliers can meet up to 25% of their obligation using certificates from the previous obligation year.

  • How much are RTFCs worth and how can I buy or sell them?

    Suppliers of purely renewable fuel can sell their certificates to suppliers of fossil fuel who unable to supply sufficient renewable fuel themselves to meet their obligation.

    The RTFC buy-out price is set each year and is a fixed value, but the price for buying and selling RTFCs is market driven and therefore fluctuates.

    C-Zero has access to a range of sellers and buyers of RTFC certificates and can help you access this market.

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