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Ministers Urged to Reconsider Role of LPG in Green Deal Initative

The LP Gas industry trade association, UKLPG, is urging energy ministers to reconsider the decision to exclude oil and LP Gas boilers from the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund.

“The decision to exclude LP Gas condensing boilers from the list of measures available under the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund is a missed opportunity to drive up household energy efficiency, cut energy bills and deliver significant environmental benefits to rural communities that don’t have access to the gas grid,” comments Rob Shuttleworth, Chief Executive of UKLPG.

“LPG is the lowest carbon of all of the off-grid conventional fuels and burns without the pollutants that other conventional and indeed some renewable fuels emit. This policy decision is unfairly limiting the choice of consumers because they are not connected to the mains gas network.

He continues: “Rural off-grid consumers have to pay for both the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) and the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund through their taxes, but with little prospect of being able to benefit - as those on the mains gas grid can - when, in fact, a new LPG condensing boiler will typically result in a 30% saving on fuel bills.

“Indeed, we understand that one of the key reasons DECC has chosen not to include LP Gas boilers as eligible systems within the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund is because they want to prioritise delivery of renewable heating systems to the off-grid sector.”

Shuttleworth went on to explain that UKLPG disagreed with the rationale for this approach for three reasons:

Firstly, according to the Heating and Hot Water Council, some 80,000 oil and gas boilers are replaced in the rural sector each year. However, the RHI budget constraints will limit the number of systems that can be installed in the first year to less than a third of this replacement market, representing less than half a percent of the total number off-grid homes – meaning that ample potential exists for alternative carbon reduction technologies fuelled by LP Gas.

Secondly, analysis of the investment case for renewable heat shows that access to Green Deal Home Improvement Fund for the LP Gas heating technology should not make a material difference to customer choice, but will give a greater number of people access to low carbon options when replacing inefficient boilers.

Finally, off-grid properties tend to be less thermally efficient and are more likely to have an older standard efficiency boiler, yet they have received significantly lower support for energy improvements via policy intervention compared to on-grid properties.

“We are continuing talks with DECC to try to resolve the issue,” concludes Shuttleworth.