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Why BioLPG Can Offer Quick Carbon Saving Installations For Installers

Calor truck driving down a county road
Off-grid, rural UK homes have a particular set of challenges when it comes to decarbonising heat. Karl Bateman, National Specifier Manager at Calor, explains why these factors mean that boilers will continue to have a place in these homes, and why biofuels for heating such as BioLPG offer installers the easiest way to deliver carbon reductions in off-grid areas here and now.
Rural homes located off the mains gas grid may represent a small proportion of homes in this country. But replacing the fossil fuels used for heating in these properties is a much bigger challenge compared with their urban counterparts. Whilst hydrogen is a possible solution for those on the gas network, it can’t be stored easily or transported off-grid. Heat networks work better in more densely populated areas, so these are unlikely to play a major role in the countryside. This leaves heat pumps and biomass. Biomass has air quality issues, and wood chip pellets need to be manually handled and frequently delivered. Heat pumps generally require good levels of insulation to heat effectively. Many rural homes are hard to insulate, so in reality, an electric heat pump alone may not keep occupants warm enough. What’s more, owners may end up with bigger energy bills than expected because a higher flow temperature would be required in a poorly insulated building, reducing a heat pump’s efficiency. 

If standalone heat pumps aren’t suitable, what can be done? Independent analysis suggests that BioLPG, either in standalone boilers or in combination with a heat pump in a hybrid system, will be the most affordable way to decarbonise around 44% of rural homes currently heated by highly polluting heating oil1. 

That’s because BioLPG is a direct, drop-in replacement for conventional LPG, so LPG boilers - in either of the aforementioned set up - can use it now and in the future. This means that installers who are already LPG trained can help their customers use biofuel for heating by replacing their oil boiler with an LPG one, without retraining in other technologies or spending time and money in becoming MCS certified. 

So what is BioLPG? Like other biofuels, it’s made from a blend of waste, residues and sustainably sourced materials, which means that it’s renewable2. Calor offers it now to consumers as a mix of up to 40% BioLPG and 60% conventional LPG, to provide 38% carbon savings compared with heating oil3. It has pledged that by 2040, 100% of its energy products will be produced from renewable sources, alongside the commitment from its parent company (SHV Energy), to cut its carbon impact by 25% by 2025, across all business units.

In the meantime, property owners can use BioLPG now to make sizeable carbon savings. Boilers are unlikely to go away altogether anytime soon due to the above reasons. So, with biofuels such as BioLPG being available now, installers can use their existing skills in speeding up the pace of decarbonisation for off-grid energy.