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LPG finds favour with eco-conscious businesses

In the colder months when businesses place further focus on their energy usage, installers and heating engineers are being called upon to help commercial operations cut their carbon emissions and reduce their fuel costs. Here, Lee Gannon, of Flogas, discusses how this is leading to a rise in the use of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) amongst the more eco-conscious of businesses
IN LOW TEMPERATURE seasons, energy consumption has become a primary consideration for businesses once again, meaning that for the 300,000 businesses located off-mains, energy efficiency has never been more of a hot topic.

With the Fourth Carbon Budget requiring the UK to axe its carbon emissions by 50 per cent on 1990 levels by 2027, the focus on energy consumption and the associated carbon footprint is greater than ever, particularly for businesses
that will potentially face tax penalties for inefficient energy use.

With this in mind, an increasing number of off-mains users are beginning to review their energy choice in order to adopt a more efficient and cost-effective system.

One of the key fuels beginning to be questioned by off-mains commercial users is oil. Although it has traditionally been the fuel of choice for off-mains businesses, a reduction of its historic price advantage and a lack of green credentials are leading users to query whether it is the right option. As a result, many are looking to switch to a more energy efficient fuel to address their long term energy needs.

Switching from oil to LPG is just one of the routes which is becoming increasingly popular, as LPG emits less CO2 as well as being cheaper per unit of energy. Typically commercial customers switching from oil to LPG can expect to cut carbon by 30 to 50 per cent and enjoy cost savings of up to 40 per cent.

Similarly, renewable technologies that work alongside LPG are also gaining popularity in the commercial sector. Various systems, such as solar PV or ground source heat pumps, are now available in a wide range of specifications for commercial companies looking to reduce their carbon footprint and make long term financial savings.

However, many businesses remain reluctant to rely solely on renewable energy, and as a result are considering the advantages of dual-fuelled systems. By teaming a renewable technology with a more reliable fuel that requires a lower investment, such as LPG, businesses can enjoy the advantages that both energy sources offer. They can gain from the ecocredentials associated with green energy, whilst also ensuring that their fuel supply is not disrupted.

This ever-changing and complex market is bringing about a new role for the heating engineer, who is now not only expected to be able to talk knowledgeably about the benefits of the fuel options available, but is also required to provide customers with details of the investments required and to tailor a solution to suit them.

Heating engineers who equip themselves with a good knowledge of different technologies and their benefits can set their skills apart from others and secure a sound reputation. By recognising these opportunities, they can generate business prospects and additional revenue.

Looking to the future, it is important that heating engineers and LPG suppliers continue to work together to offer the best service, pricing and products available to customers. Flogas works closely with heating engineers via loyalty schemes and industry bodies such as the trade association, UK LPG and the World LP Gas Association (WLPGA) to further enhance the service they provide. Flogas' Platinum Sponsorship of the 26th World LP Gas Forum 2013 in London is further evidence of the business' commitment to building awareness of the positive messages that surround LPG.

Flogas supplies LPG to a range of customers across Britain, including private house-holders, industrial and distribution businesses, caravan parks, arable farmers and petrol stations. LPG can be used for heating and cooking, industrial processes, and as a fuel for cars, trucks and forklift trucks. Supply comes from either bulk tanks installed on customer premises or from a range of gas cylinders. For information visit www.flogas.co.uk

// The author is the MD of Flogas //
3 March 2014

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