Rural homeowners to benefit from £260m investment in renewable gases

Homes and businesses off the mains gas grid are set to benefit from a £260m investment in the UK production of renewable liquid gases, supporting them to reduce their carbon footprint and save on the long-term cost of heating.

The equivalent of over 40,000 homes currently use renewable liquid gases, which are a 100% renewable alternative to traditional LPG. As a drop-in fuel, these gases can be used within existing LPG systems and appliances, and offer up to a 90% carbon saving to the end user.

Analysis from Liquid Gas UK, the trade association behind the announcement, also indicates consumer savings of £7bn could be made in the run up to 2050 if the UK adopts a mixed approach to decarbonising rural heating, that includes renewable liquid gas.

George Webb, CEO of Liquid Gas UK, said: “Despite over 2 million rural households and over 100,000 businesses currently relying on traditional fuels for their heating and energy requirements, government has set out its intention to phase out replacement fossil fuel heating systems in off-grid properties by 2026.”

“Electric heat pumps are being pushed by government as the only solution for off-grid properties, but we argue that rural consumers deserve a choice over how to heat their homes,” says Mr Webb.

“This investment in renewable liquid gases will enable us to produce a sustainable energy source from waste products, here in the UK. We’re forging a new supply chain, which will in turn, provide end users off-grid with greater choice and more flexibility.”

He explains that rural properties are complex to heat, being typically older and less energy efficient, which makes heat pumps unsuitable. In some cases, it could cost in excess of £30,000 to install a heat pump in a rural home.

“At the moment, 200,000 homes and thousands of rural businesses rely on LPG for their energy needs, which is why industry is dedicated to providing viable, long-term energy solutions,” adds Mr Webb.

“Two years ago, the LPG industry made a commitment to becoming 100% renewable by 2040. Today, we’re delivering on these promises. While LPG remains the lowest carbon transitional fuel for the off-grid market, bioLPG and rDME are two renewable liquid gases that are propelling us forward.

“Renewable liquid gases are here today and offer a real decarbonisation pathway for homes and businesses that are unsuitable for electrification,” says Mr Webb.

What are renewable liquid gases?

bioLPG and rDME (renewable DME) are the 100% renewable alternatives to traditional LPG, produced from either renewable or waste sources. bioLPG is already produced in the UK, with more capacity expected to come on stream within the next decade, and earlier this year, the location for a new rDME production plant in Teesside was announced. Both bioLPG and rDME can be used as an alternative for LPG in heating and hot water systems and appliances, in both domestic, commercial and industrial settings.