The clean, green solution for off-grid homes: A buyer's guide to LPG
4.3 million homes in the UK are situated in an off-grid area with no access to mains gas. For many people looking to move to their ideal home in a rural area, the thought of switching to electricity, oil or solid fuel can be a daunting one, and can leave them pining for their gas stove and real flame. Here Henry Cubbon, managing director at Flogas, answers your questions about Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).
Q: What is LPG and when would I need to use it?
A: Liquefied Petroleum Gas, or LPG as it’s more commonly known, is an alternative fuel for homes that don’t have access to the mains gas network. Its main benefit being that it can produce a real flame for fires and hobs, in addition to being used for central heating and patio and leisure gas. LPG gives you all the benefits of mains gas in non-mains gas areas, and it is a clean, cost effective and environmentally friendly fuel source.
Q: What other fuel alternatives are there for off-grid homes?
A: Oil fuelled heating systems have proved a popular choice in the past, however in recent years the rise in the price of oil has made this an increasingly expensive choice. Oil fuelled appliances require regular maintenance, which is often the responsibility of the homeowner, and they also produce considerably higher levels of carbon dioxide emissions than LPG heating systems. Some rural properties use solid fuel to power authentic heating systems, but maintaining a stock of coal can be inconvenient and quite expensive. Using solid fuel also means homeowners always have to plan ahead, as heat is neither instantly available nor easily controllable, whereas LPG is convenient and easily accessible, just like mains gas.
Q: How effective is an LPG heating supply? And is it very expensive?
A: LPG provides a cleaner, controllable and cost-effective heat supply that is instantly available and readily controlled, in the same way that mains gas is. It is also a highly efficient fuel, which means you get a good return on every unit of energy, particularly when used with modern condensing boilers. Your LPG supplier will also take care of your tank so maintenance costs are lower than with oil or solid fuel heating systems. Look for a supplier who can offer to fix your price for a set period of time as this will help you to manage your budget.
Q: What would I need to bear in mind when switching to LPG?
A: When switching to LPG it is important to choose a supplier who can guide you through the whole process. A good supplier will always offer to provide an initial assessment at your home, free of charge. At Flogas we have a dedicated team of area managers who are always happy to meet customers to answer any questions they might have. LPG can be stored in either an above-ground or underground storage tank, or cylinders and a good supplier will advise you on which storage option is most suited to your property, the correct safety distances and the right size tank for you. They will work with you to tailor-make a solution to suit your needs and requirements, even if space is limited or you want to maintain a picturesque view.
Q: How would I go about choosing an LPG supplier? With so many different companies out there, I want to make sure I get the best possible deal from a reliable supplier.
A: To get the best deal from your LPG supplier make sure you meet with a customer service representative to find out all the vital information before committing to an agreement. It is important to know about distribution, availability and the level of customer support that a supplier provides following installation. You might also want to do some research into additional hire charges that some suppliers impose on your tank to cover maintenance charges, insurance and emergency call out cover. At Flogas our customer service team are always on hand to answer your questions and offer support.
Q: That sounds great, but what about delivery? By switching to LPG isn’t there a danger that my supply will run out?
A: This is a common worry for many LPG users, but the trick is to find a supplier that has an automatic top up service. For example, Flogas has one of the UK’s largest LPG distribution network and also offers a unique Top-Up Service, which means you get reliable deliveries that can be scheduled automatically, thus reducing the risk of running out of gas.
For more information and advice on getting clean, green LPG from Flogas, call the customer services team on 0116 264 9089 or visit www.flogas.co.uk.