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One of the most affordable and straightforward ways to heat your home without natural gas is to use LPG. Delivered by road and stored in tanks to the exterior of the property, LPG gas prices make this a viable option for hundreds of thousands of homes across the UK. So: what do LPG gas prices look like and what are the pros and cons of using LPG to heat your home?
Last update: March 2021
There are a few million households in the UK that are not connected to the gas mains. These homes and homeowners are faced with a choice about how to heat their home. They can choose electric storage heaters, wood or pellet burners or even a solar or wind powered energy system. Let’s take a deeper dive into another option, LPG, by looking at LPG gas prices.
How much is LPG a litre?
The cost of a litre of LPG has varied by as much as 15p over the last five years. It currently stands at 47p per litre as of January 2020. But it has been as low as 44p a litre in January 2016. The cost per litre is determined by a number of factors such as global supply, the cost of transportation and the price caps put in place by Ofgem.
Are LPG gas prices cheaper than oil?
It’s possible to compare the price of LPG to heating oil to see how it measures up. As seen above, in January 2020 the price of a litre of LPG was 47p. The price of a litre of heating oil, which serves a similar purpose in the home, was 51p. This means that LPG costs slightly less than oil.
Are LPG boilers expensive to run?
The average cost of using LPG gas to heat your home and hot water for one year in the UK is £796. This is based on consumption of 12,000 kWh per year – the UK average for a mid size property. Remember that your own consumption may be more or less depending on your habits, the size of your home and the number of occupants.
This annual number is based on the average cost per kWh when using LPG, which is 6.64p and multiplied by the annual average use statistics provided by the industry regulator Ofgem.
However, these are just average prices and it is possible to find better deals on your LPG supply. If you have a bulk tank, you are allowed to switch suppliers as long as you do not have a contract. If you decide to switch then simply contact your new supplier to inform them and they will take care of the rest. If you are part of a group of homes running off one tank then you need the permission of all households before you can switch suppliers.
LPG price evolution
LPG gas prices have fluctuated over recent years. Since 2015 the price per litre has been as follows:
- January 2015 – 59p per litre
- January 2016 – 45p per litre
- January 2017 – 44p per litre
- January 2018 – 47p per litre
- January 2019 – 50p per litre
- January 2020 – 47p per litre
More than ever, our team of experts remain on deck to help you make savings on your energy. We understand how deeply the lives of many are affected by these trying times and we want to support you the best we can. More on your energy supply during COVID-19 in our article.
Is LPG gas expensive to run in your home?
The average cost of using heating oil to power your heating and hot water is 6p and to use electric costs around 12.5p per kWh. The LPG gas price is just under 6.7p per kWh. However, it is not just the cost of the fuel you have to keep in mind. You also need a boiler and heating system.
For heating oil the average cost of a combi boiler is between £2,000 and £2,500 for most internal models. For LPG it is just £800 to £1,400, with prices for electric boilers being roughly the same. Both LPG and heating oil also require storage tanks, which are roughly £1,400 for heating oil and £250 plus annual leasing for LPG. As you can see, LPG is one of the most cost-effective options.
You also need to keep in mind the costs of servicing and supplier contracts.
Of course, the average cost per kWh of mains gas is just 3.75p, so if you can connect to the mains this is always the better option.
How long does LPG last?
This depends on how big the storage tank for the LPG is but let’s look at some examples. Every kilo of LPG can produce around 14 kw of heat energy. So, to work out how much energy each bottle or tank contains you can multiply its weight capacity by 14.
So, if you have a 47 kg bottle then it is 47 x 14, which is 658 kw of energy. Imagine that your heater runs at 4kWh on its maximum setting then you need to work out the following 658kw/4kWh which equals 164.5 hours of power.
You can use this equation to work out how long your LPG will last if you know how much you have in the tank and how much power your boiler or appliance uses at capacity.
Why is LPG so expensive?
LPG gas prices are really not that expensive compared to other alternative fuel options. Yes, it works out around twice the price of having a mains gas connection but to connect some rural properties and the other kinds of homes that lack gas mains would be prohibitively expensive.
Compared to using electricity or heating oil to run your home, LPG gas prices are actually quite affordable. Other options include a solar heating system or biomass. Both of which cost around £15,000 to £20,000 to install. So, they will need to run for a number of years in order to be more cost-effective than LPG.
How dangerous is LPG?
Using LPG is generally very safe. However, there are safety issues around leaks, as there are with natural gas in the home. You should always report any LPG leaks or suspected leaks to the relevant authorities as soon as possible.
Pros and cons of LPG?
There are numerous pros and cons of LPG for heating your home. These include:
- LPG is a very efficient fuel that gives a good return on energy investment
- Modern boilers can now achieve up to 90% efficiency helping to reduce costs and emissions
- Installing an LPG boiler is a straightforward job
- As LPG is delivered by road there is a chance you could run out
- You may have to buy or rent a tank from a supplier and if you switch then you may need a new tank installed
- Storage tanks can be unsightly
Are LPG cars worth it?
LPG cars are more fuel efficient and less harmful than petrol engines but there are few incentives to make the switch and the difficulty of finding fuel often make it too much hassle for most people.
Are LPG cars more expensive to insure?
Converting to LPG qualifies as a modification that you need to inform your insurer about. In most cases, an LPG car will cost no more to insure than a regular petrol model of the same car.
Would you like to know more about comparing energy prices? Great! Here are some more related articles:
Updated on 31 Mar, 2021