Following announcements that the government is set to make substantial cuts to household energy efficiency funding, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) trade association, UKLPG, is urging ministers to consider a future rural boiler replacement programme.
Policy proposals announced earlier this year, included the end of support for the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF), which incentivised householders to install a range of home energy efficiency measures. This followed a range of new measures designed to curb the government’s subsidy spending, such as the immediate removal of subsidy for biomass conversions and a consultation proposing a change in the rules around access to the Feed-In-Tariff scheme (FiT).
The effects of potential funding cuts are most likely to be felt in UK households which do not have access to the mains grid. This equates to approximately two million homes, or 4.6 million people, according to parliamentary data.
“The variable quality and age of the UK’s rural housing stock has left many rural homes in need of an upgrade to ensure their heating and hot water requirements are met,” says Rob Shuttleworth, Chief Executive of UKLPG. “There is certainly more that the government can do to help off-grid residents achieve greater household energy efficiency.”
According to UKLPG, the installation of a new LPG condensing boiler, can increase efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. LPG boilers emit 33% less CO2 than coal and 15% less than heating oil. However, that efficiency comes at a cost; LPG is currently significantly more expensive than almost any other off-grid fuel.
Following the recent confirmation from Amber Rudd MP that carbon reduction targets are essential to safeguarding the UK’s future energy security and supply, UKLPG claims that LPG is well positioned to help DECC ensure that these are met.
“According to the Heating and Hot Water Council, approximately 80,000 oil and gas boilers are replaced in rural Britain each year,” Mr. Shuttleworth continues. “We are urging the government to expand this on a wider scale and to support a rural boiler replacement programme to improve household energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions across off-grid Britain.
“Such a measure would certainly ease the burden for off-grid residents. As we wait to see the impact of the spending review, UKLPG believes this will provide a clearer pathway to help householders to achieve both carbon emissions cuts and greater home heating efficiency.”