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Updated: 9 May 2022

LPG central heating

Find out how LPG heating works, how much it costs, and the pros and cons of running your heating with liquid petroleum gas.
Sarah Ingrams

Around two hundred thousand homes which aren't on the gas grid use LPG for heating.

LPG can fuel gas household appliances, including gas central heating and gas cookers. The main difference between mains gas and LPG is that LPG is delivered by road and stored in a tank (rather than piped to your home).

You might have solely LPG central heating or use it as a back-up source if you have renewable heating or generate electricity from solar panels.

See our boiler reviews to find a model that will be right for you.

How does LPG central heating work?

LPG central heating is usually a ‘wet’ heating system, where an LPG-fired boiler heats water. This then provides central heating through radiators and hot water to your taps.

Some boilers designed for mains gas can be converted to use LPG.

You'll need to store LPG in a tank outside your home and arrange for it to be delivered by tanker.

Will LPG boilers be banned?

Couple sitting by a radiator wrapped in a blanket

The government plans to phase-out high-carbon fossil fuel heating, including LPG, in off-gas-grid homes during the 2020s. 

So when you need to replace your LPG central heating, you'll need to consider alternatives. Lower carbon options include:

If a heat pump isn't practical in your home, then a high-temperature heat pump or biomass boiler are alternatives.

How much does LPG central heating cost?

Heating your home with LPG can cost around £800 per year.* That's based on an average home, using around 12,000kWh for heating and hot water.

Your actual heating costs depend on various factors including:

  • the size of your home
  • how well it's insulated
  • the efficiency of your boiler
  • the price you pay for LPG
  • how much heating and hot water you use
  • where you live in the UK.

Use our guide to cutting your energy costs to see what changes you can make to keep your home cosy and save money.

*(Calculated using the average price of LPG across the UK in September 2021 from Sutherland Tables, which collects domestic-fuel pricing data. The cost per kWh in pence (6.62) was multiplied by the 12,000kWh a medium gas-energy user consumes on average in a year, according to Ofgem.)

You can also compare electricity prices with our free, independent switching service, Which? Switch, to see how much you can save on your electricity bill.

Save money on LPG

The price of LPG fluctuates and is currently pricier than kerosene heating oil, though this varies. Renewable heating systems can cost more to install but have lower running costs. 

The price of LPG has varied by 15p per litre over the past six years:

  • 59p in January 2015 
  • 45p in January 2016
  • 44p in January 2017 
  • 47p in January 2018
  • 50p in January 2019
  • 47p in January 2020
  • 47p in January 2021

If you're worried you're paying too much for LPG, it's worth looking for a cheaper supplier. Trade association Liquid Gas UK has a tool to find LPG suppliers in your area.

You can switch supplier as long as:

  • you have LPD supplied into a bulk tank
  • you're not within a contract (your supplier should tell you a month before your contract finishes).

Tell both your existing and new suppliers if you decide to switch. LPG suppliers don't have to take you on as a customer if they don't want to, unlike gas and electricity providers. 

If you are part of a group of homes all supplied from one tank (a metered estate), all residents have to agree to switch supplier and all must be out of contract.

Besides switching, make sure your boiler is working efficiently and you have good home heating controls - take a look at our heating control and thermostat tips

Insulating your home, or topping-up existing insulation, will also help keep your home cosy. Find out about different types of insulation.

LPG central heating pros and cons

Pros

  • LPG is an efficient fuel, so you get a good return on every unit of energy
  • Replacing a standard LPG boiler with a more efficient condensing one is relatively straightforward.

Cons

  • LPG is delivered by road so there's a risk you could run out while waiting for delivery. But you can get systems that monitor how much is in your tank and tell your supplier automatically when it's running low
  • LPG is a fossil fuel and produces carbon dioxide when it's burnt so it's not environmentally-friendly
  • The storage tank can be unsightly
  • You might need to buy or rent your LPG tank from your supplier, which adds to the cost
  • If you switch supplier, you'll need to transfer ownership of your tank to the new supplier or get a new tank installed.