LPG left out in the cold

As the second phase of the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund commenced on 10th December 2014, (the trade body) UKLPG the trade association for the LPG industry in the UK – has urged the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to review the importance of Liquid Petroleum Gas in delivering a cohesive, economically sound, low carbon, off-grid heating strategy.The Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF) was set up in order that people making energy saving improvements to their homes, can claim back money from the government to help fund their project.

Rural Village Countryside Cottage

 UKLPG has spelled out that continued omission of LPG from the list of eligible measures under the GDHIF is a missed opportunity to improve heating efficiency for truly rural off-grid homeowners. UKLPG believes that rural populations are disadvantaged from this inconsistent government policy.LPG is a readily available, reliable, low carbon energy, ideally suited for off grid homes. Users benefit from a: clean; efficient; versatile; and secure form of fuel.Instead of supporting families suffering from rural fuel poverty, UKLPG argues that Government energy strategies successively penalise rural homeowners. Data shows that the previous CERT, CESP and ECO schemes all benefitted urban areas far more than that of their rural counterparts.Chief executive of UKLPG, Rob Shuttleworth said: “We welcome the commitment of all political parties to energy efficiency and the eradication of fuel poverty. However, there is still misunderstanding around how these issues affect rural Britain. Indeed, off-grid heating policy continues to be misplaced, limiting consumer choice and failing to address the needs of off-grid households.“The decision to exclude LP Gas condensing boilers from the GDHIF 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.”Shuttleworth continued: “Around two million homes, that’s 4.6 million people, do not have access to the mains grid in the UK. However, the widely variable quality and age of housing stock, combined with accessibility (or lack thereof) to infrastructure means that a one-size-fits-all solution to energy efficiency and fuel poverty will not work.“Currently, truly rural off-grid consumers have to pay for energy efficiency schemes in the form of electricity bills levies, but with little prospect of being able to benefit. While off-grid properties tend to be less thermally efficient and are more likely to have an older and less efficient heating system, they have received significantly lower support for energy improvements via policy intervention, compared with on-grid properties.”UKLPG continues to fight the corner for LPG, engaging with all the concerned political parties to improve understanding of the needs of our rural off-grid communities, to improve energy efficiency, reduce carbon output and eradicate fuel poverty.UKLPG continues to proudly voice the concerns of the LP Gas industry in the UK, representing an industry worth over £750 million to the economy and providing employment for over 10,000 people.