Installers critical to delivering decarbonisation of off-grid Britain

Monday 4th December 2017

Installers are at the frontline when it comes to ensuring homes and businesses have access to long-term, affordable and reliable energy supplies, even when they are located off the gas grid. With confusion over the many different energy sources available to them, home and business owners are turning to installers for guidance with increasing regularity.

Given recent government announcements targeting the decarbonisation of heating across the country, more consumers than ever are enquiring about low carbon technologies and fuels, and installers need to be able to recommend the right specification and products to suit an individual's needs. With winter kicking in, this is often the time when ageing energy equipment, rising fuel bills and the potential for energy savings all come under the spotlight, meaning the knowledge of heating professionals is called on continually. 

The reality is that electricity alone cannot meet the heat needs of the rural community. Demand for reliable, low carbon energy for space heating, hot water, cooking and industrial processes shows no sign of abating and this is where LPG is becoming an increasingly valuable component in rural Britain's future energy mix.

The LPG industry is ready to respond to this challenge today with clean and proven energy systems already available but we are also pioneering new technologies and introducing bio-LPG as part of a portfolio of long-term low carbon LPG solutions that will support communities located off the gas grid for many years to come. 

Already, installers are able to replace the oldest most inefficient oil boilers with clean condensing LPG boilers that both lower consumer bills and reduce carbon emissions. Whilst the consumer would need a new boiler, in most cases they would not need a new central heating system, and the LPG storage tank would be part of their supply contract. To support future carbon reduction targets, the LPG industry is looking at urgent trialling of technologies such as hybrid heat pumps with a boiler, gas absorption heat pumps and combined heat and power systems.

Many of the boiler manufacturers produce LPG boilers that benefit from the latest energy efficiency technologies, so installers can reassure customers that they will be able to achieve energy savings and reduce fuel consumption, whether connected to the gas grid or not.

The launch of the Government's Clean Growth Strategy in October sent a clear message that it wants to reduce emissions from the 850,000 homes off the gas grid that currently use oil for heating and takes a similar view for businesses that use oil boilers and face volatile costs. It will become more and more important for installers to be able to offer low carbon systems to their customers, and LPG is the obvious solution, available today.

Focussing on the future, the LPG industry is working with partners and customers to provide practical and effective energy solutions that will deliver the decarbonisation of off-grid Britain, and the Government's Clean Growth Strategy provides a firm framework for our activities in this area.

Thanks to its versatility, availability and flexibility, LPG has never been more relevant as a low carbon fuel for off-gas grid homes and businesses, and installers will play a key part in helping consumers get to grips with the benefits of this exceptional energy.

By Rob Shuttleworth, UKLPG Chief Executive

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