Biomass Strategy offers energy lifeline for off-grid homes

Friday 11th August 2023

Rural off-grid homeowners have today (10 August 2023) been given an energy lifeline in the Government’s Biomass Strategy*, which recognises the role of renewable liquid gases (RLGs) to decarbonise domestic heating and meet net zero targets.

Prior to today’s announcement, in just three years' time homeowners in properties not connected to the mains gas network faced little choice but to replace their current heating system with a heat pump, with installation costs estimated to reach up to £30,000*.

This meant previous net zero measures risked penalising rural communities, leaving them with a lack of affordable heating options.

George Webb, CEO at Liquid Gas UK, explains industry has long argued the case for a mixed technology approach to decarbonise rural heating as they can provide greater choice.

“We’re pleased Government has listened to our concerns by signalling their support for renewable liquid gases and their important role in the future off-grid energy mix today, in the Biomass Strategy,” says Mr Webb.

He explains that RLGs offer a sustainable alternative for customers to achieve up to 90% carbon emissions reductions using their existing boilers and appliances.

RLGs are chemically identical to traditional liquified petroleum gas (LPG) but sourced from a variety of recycled or renewable feedstocks and processes, including domestic waste, cooking oils, plastics, tyres and recovered CO2.

Warm reception to RLGs opens the door for industry investment

Liquid Gas UK has committed to being 100% renewable by 2040 and Mr Webb says today’s announcement will give the industry confidence needed to secure future investment.

"As an industry we’ve already placed significant investment behind the domestic production and development of renewable liquid gases to the tune of £260m, without any Government backing,” he says.

“And we’ve forecast a further £600m of investment up to 2025,” adds Mr Webb.

“It’s now important for Government to get behind the industry to support future investment and accelerate the transition to a green future for the off-grid energy sector.

“It’s great to know customers can now opt for this low-carbon ‘drop-in’ solution – avoiding unnecessary costly retrofits and appliance changes at a time when finances are tight for so many,” says Mr Webb.

He adds that Liquid Gas UK and its members are looking forward to scaling up the domestic production of RLGs and working with Government to deliver on their renewable vision, ensuring RLGs continue to provide off-grid properties with a viable and sustainable low-carbon heating solution.

“We’re delighted to have the opportunity to showcase the sustainable credentials of renewable liquid gases and will continue to monitor and advise Government on future policies to support the decarbonisation of off-grid energy,” he says.

The trade association for the LPG and bioLPG industry in the UK