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Red diesel tax and the impact on site security

The government has announced that from the 1st April 2022, changes to the rebate on red diesel will go into effect, causing major fuel price rises for thousands of companies, particularly within the construction sector, across the UK. These new measures are part of the government’s plans to promote energy efficiency and cleaner fuel alternatives by taxing all red diesel users at the standard diesel rate, rather than their previously heavily discounted rate.

There are a limited number of scenarios where discounted red diesel usage will remain in effect, but looking at the list of government exceptions, it’s fair to say that this will certainly have a huge impact on the construction sector.

The following scenarios will continue to qualify for the discounted red diesel rebate –


  • for vehicles and machinery used in agriculture, horticulture, fish farming and forestry. This includes allowing vehicles used for agriculture to be used for cutting verges and hedges, snow clearance and gritting roads
  • to propel passenger, freight or maintenance vehicles designed to run on rail tracks
  • for heating and electricity generation in non-commercial premises – this includes the heating of homes and buildings such as places of worship, hospitals and townhalls; off-grid power generation; and non-propulsion uses on permanently-moored houseboats
  • for maintaining community amateur sports clubs as well as golf courses (including activities such as ground maintenance, and the heating and lighting of clubhouses, changing rooms etc.)
  • as fuel for all marine craft refuelling and operating in the UK (including fishing and water freight industries), except for propelling private pleasure craft in Northern Ireland
  • for powering the machinery (including caravans) of travelling fairs and circuses

Fuel price rises

To put the new fuel rebate into context, currently red diesel has a rebate of 46.81 pence per litre (ppl), resulting in a duty rate of 11.14ppl. Regular white diesel currently receives no rebate, which results in a duty rate of 57.95ppl meaning a 46.81ppl price hike for current red diesel users. As this equates to almost 5 times as much duty as before, the impact will be severe for many businesses that rely on red diesel for plant and vehicles that require huge amounts of fuel for daily operations.

Other implications beside plant and vehicles are commercial heating and power generators that are typically used on construction sites and powered by red diesel.


Increased security threat

These new measures will result in an increased risk to the security of construction sites as fuel becomes an increasingly valuable commodity. Some companies will attempt to bulk purchase red diesel before the April deadline, storing larger quantities of red diesel in order to take advantage of the lower rebate fuel. This will make fuel-heavy sites a particularly attractive target for thieves looking for easy opportunities at locations where security is most vulnerable.

As red diesel will now effectively cost the same as white diesel, sites will tend to store the more flexible white diesel alternative as there is no longer a red diesel price advantage. Unfortunately, this will also attract attention from more ‘mainstream’ thieves targeting regular diesel fuel resources for domestic vehicles, rather than just specialist ‘construction plant fuel’ thieves.

    Simple security tips for your site

    1 – Protect your Valuable Assets

    As previously mentioned, fuel storages and compound areas with high value assets should be prioritised against theft. Securing these types of areas can be achieved through CCTV, perimeter fencing, security signage and even security lighting to make high value areas significantly less attractive for thieves. Deterring theft from occurring from the outset, is always the best possible security scenario.

    Where possible, also try to remove all valuable tools from your site and lock away any valuable building materials. If this isn’t practical, then removing them from view is a second option you should explore. If intruders cannot verify valuable assets, then they are far less likely to attempt a break-in or theft in the first place.

    2 – Secure your Site

    It’s impossible to ensure that your site is completely risk-free, however keeping your site locked and as secure as possible will certainly provide a deterrent against would be intruders. Unwanted intruders are less likely to target premises that have a high level of security, so make sure that your site is up to the job.

      3 – Protecting Your Plant

      Plant machinery are amongst the most valuable assets on any type of site, and unfortunately these can be very difficult to secure due to their size. This is also true for plant accessories such as buckets, hydraulic breakers and compressors that can often cost tens of thousands of pounds to replace. When thinking of security, you should prioritise this type of asset and try to store it as far away from the public eye as possible.

        4 – Have a Designated Contact

        Even with the most precise planning, incidents can still occur. Ensure that either yourself or a colleague are contactable in the events of trespass, theft or even fire. In these types of situations, it’s always better to know earlier rather than later.


        Professional Support

        Simply put, the more security measures in place, the less chance that thieves will even bother to target your site and will usually move onto a less secure premises. We offer a free site assessment designed to advise site managers on the best way to protect their assets, whilst also complying with insurance requirements. Some of our security solutions can include –


        • CCTV towers
        • Manned guarding services
        • Alarm systems
        • Perimeter fencing
        • Security signage
        • Fly-tipping removal and prevention services

        We hope that this information has been useful. When performing site assessments, we will always take individual site factors into consideration, and based on these, work with our customers to provide practical, cost-effective solutions. By providing a one stop shop of security options for our customers, we can make the process even easier and reduce costs further with a package of options.

        If you would like to discuss this with our team, then simply get in touch and we will be happy to supply more information, arrange a free site assessment or simply have a quick chat.


        Send us a message to speak with a member of our team about your security requirements


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