A new scheme is offering a £500 incentive to homes not connected to the gas grid who switch from heating oil, solid fuel or electric-powered heating to liquid petroleum gas (LPG).
Calor says it will give £500 – in the form of a credit that can be used off a home’s first order of LPG, or off an LPG boiler installation – to any off-grid home currently using heating oil, solid fuel or electricity for their heating.
LPG provides an alternative to the mains gas network in remote, often rural areas. It’s normally used in a ‘wet’ heating system where an LPG-fired boiler heats water, which provides central heating via radiators and hot water through the taps in your home.
LPG central heating explained
The main difference between mains gas and LPG is that it is delivered by road and stored in a tank, which can be buried underground. Some standard gas boilers can be converted to use LPG, but installing an LPG central heating system from scratch can be expensive.
Calor says that LPG is cleaner, more versatile and can be more flexibly stored than other off-grid fuel options such as heating oil. It also promises it will deliver 365 days a year, and will be automatically notified whenever your stocks are getting low, so you won’t have to remember to re-order fuel. You can find out more about the offer on the Calor website.
Switch to LPG?
According to Which? energy expert Sylvia Baron: ‘I’d advise homeowners considering this offer to tread carefully. Whilst LPG is better for the environment than the likes of heating oil, we’ve calculated that it’s also now a slightly more expensive option per litre than heating oil. In fact, prices have rocketed in recent months for both fuel types – prompting the Office of Fair Trading to announce it was conducting an investigation into the off-grid energy market earlier this year.
‘On the other hand, an LPG heating system is cheaper to run than electric central heating, for example. But make sure you factor in all the costs of switching to LPG for your property, including getting a new compatible boiler installed.’
If you live off the gas grid, you might also want to consider installing a renewable alternative to contribute to heating your home, such as a solar thermal system or a heat pump – both of which will be eligible for financial rewards through the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive scheme.
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You can compare energy prices and switch to a new gas and electricity supplier on Which? Switch. People who switched with us between 1 October and 31 December 2013 are predicted to save an average of £234 a year on their bills.
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