03 July 2019

LPG Industry aims for 100% transition to bioLPG by 2040

  • Full switch to bioLPG could deliver up to 80% reduction in carbon emissions
  • Liquid Gas UK calls for re-think on EPC methodology
  • Trade association announces re-brand from UKLPG to Liquid Gas UK

Liquid Gas UK, the newly re-branded trade association representing the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) industry in the UK has launched its new vision; laying the marker for the industry to transition to 100% bioLPG by 2040.

Already available on the market today, bioLPG offers higher levels of reduction in CO2 compared to existing LPG, with the industry outlining its plans to decarbonise. With up to 80% reduction in carbon emissions, bioLPG represents a cleaner energy future for the almost two million off-grid homes in the UK, as well as the thousands of businesses from mobile caterers to rural manufacturers, B&Bs and farms that are reliant on off-grid fuel sources.

In its current form, LPG offers a low carbon option for off-grid energy when compared to coal and oil by reducing CO2 emissions by 33% and 12% respectively. Today’s vision outlined by Liquid Gas UK sets out how LPG can act as a key transition fuel in the short term, as the industry proactively reduces emissions even further with the introduction and scale up of bioLPG, also known as biopropane.

George Webb, Chief Executive, Liquid Gas UK commented: “LPG offers significant reductions in carbon emissions, and in our vision outlined today, the future for off-grid energy is looking cleaner and greener. The technology already exists for bioLPG to play a major role in the future energy mix of the UK. As a drop-in fuel with no expensive changes to heating systems required, bioLPG is an affordable and non-intrusive option for homes and businesses to reduce their carbon footprint.

“There are millions of homes across the UK that, unless undergoing a major redevelopment, a transition to electrified heating solutions (ground source heat pumps or air source heat pumps) is not affordable. These alternative options are also unlikely to consistently provide the levels of heating demanded by users. It is important that policy makers recognise a ‘one size fits all’ approach for off-grid energy will not work. Different solutions will be required for different types of buildings across the UK. As part of a mixed technology approach to decarbonisation, bioLPG can support the UK Government and Devolved Administrations to achieve Net Zero.”

BioLPG is chemically indistinct from LPG and can be dropped into existing equipment and appliances, making it an easy switch for people without inflicting any costs. The fuel can also be blended with normal LPG, enabling a phased and secure transition to 100% bioLPG.

Production of bioLPG can be undertaken in a number of ways, by applying a variety of thermal or chemical processes on different feedstocks such as vegetable oils, glycerol, sugar and waste.

A fairer system for all

Also outlined in its vision, Liquid Gas UK calls on the UK Government to remove the fuel cost element from the methodology of Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs). Currently, EPC ratings are positioned as a measure of energy efficiency but in reality are a measure of energy cost per m2. As a result the current system favours cheaper, carbon intensive fuels such as oil.

Webb explains in more detail: “Under the current system, two identical properties with the same building standards will receive different EPC ratings depending on the fuel type and heating system. Despite creating more carbon emissions, an oil boiler will receive a better rating than LPG.

“The unintended consequence of this is that EPCs are more likely to encourage off-grid properties to choose a higher carbon heating solution, rather than invest in a more energy efficient system. This is the exact opposite to what policy makers want to happen. In order to see real improvements in energy efficiency, policy makers must address the methodology and ensure that it doesn’t penalise rural communities. The need for greater equity in the methodology will only grow as EPCs are set to become a more important regulatory lever.”

Commenting on the re-brand of the association, Webb added: “The change to Liquid Gas UK comes at a time when we are seeing the political and economic landscape on energy and climate change ramp up. As we move away from fossil fuels to Net Zero, it is important that the LPG industry is seen as a modern and innovative industry that is taking a lead in the challenges and opportunities ahead.”

To read the 2040 Vision in full, please click here.


Notes to editors:

For media enquiries please contact:

Matthew Whitbread
T: 020 7457 2003

About Liquid Gas UK

Liquid Gas UK (formerly known as UKLPG) is the trade association for the LPG and bioLPG industry in the UK, representing a membership of companies who are LPG and bioLPG producers, distributors, equipment manufacturers and service providers. Member companies supply over 99% of the total LPG and 100% of bioLPG distributed in the UK market place.

Liquid Gas UK takes a leading role in liaising and consulting with UK Government and Devolved Administrations to shape policy with respect to the decarbonisation of heat, transport and industry. The association also takes a leading role in safety and this is why Liquid Gas UK is a global trailblazer for Codes of Practice, setting high standards for the safe, progressive development and use of LPG and bioLPG.

About LPG and bioLPG

LPG is the term used for Liquefied Petroleum Gas which refers to two gases, propane (C3H8) and butane (C4H10), which occur naturally and are easily converted to liquid form through the application of moderate pressure. A clean, secure and affordable fuel, LPG emits 33% less CO2 than coal and 12% less than oil as well as very low levels of NOx, SOx and Particulate Matter (PM).

Already available on the market, bioLPG is an affordable, convenient and non-intrusive ‘drop-in’ solution to decarbonisation for a variety of rural off-grid homes and businesses. Made from a diverse mix of biological feedstocks and processes, bioLPG can deliver up to 80% carbon emissions reduction and carries the same low NOx, SOx and PM as conventional LPG.