LPG gas prices in 2021

One of the most affordable and straightforward ways to heat your home without natural gas is to use LPG, otherwise known as Liquified Petroleum Gas. Delivered by road and stored in tanks on the exterior of the property, LPG gas prices make this a viable option for hundreds of thousands of homes across the UK. This article provides some insight at to what LPG gas prices look like as well as the pros and cons of using LPG to heat your home.
Last update: December 2021

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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 homes. They can choose electric storage heaters, wood or pellet burners or even a solar or wind-powered energy system. However there is another option that many aren’t familiar with, which is LPG. Here we make a case for using an LPG system by breaking down its costs as well as the benefits and detriments that an LPG system can have.

Are LPG boilers being banned in the UK?

In short, yes, as part of the UK government’s efforts to reach net zero carbon emissions they have announced a ban for all oil and gas boilers in the UK by 2025. However, it is important to note that this ban will only apply to new properties, so if you have a tank in place or are already using a gas boiler it may not be an issue. If you do have an existing boiler in your home at that time you will not be asked to get rid of it, but you may be incentivized to switch to a low-carbon alternative option.

This is a very strategic step in the UK’s goal to reach carbon neutrality by the year 2050.

How much is LPG a litre?

The cost of a litre of LPG has increased drastically since the start of the UK energy crisis. It currently stands at 67p per litre as of October 2021. 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 October 2021 the price of a litre of LPG is 67p. The price of a litre of heating oil, which serves a similar purpose in the home, was 68p. This means that on average LPG costs only marginally less than traditional heating oil, but otherwise they are relatively the same cost.

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 £810. 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 6.75p 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:

  1. January 2015 – 59p per litre
  2. January 2016 – 45p per litre
  3. January 2017 – 44p per litre
  4. January 2018 – 47p per litre
  5. January 2019 – 50p per litre
  6. January 2020 – 47p per litre
  7. October 2021 – 67p per litre

Is LPG gas expensive to run in your home?

The average cost of using heating oil to power your heating and hot water is roughly 6p per kWh and to use electricity to do the same thing costs around 12.5p per kWh. While LPG gas price is around 6.75p per kWh and it may seem less economical than traditional gas, but this actually isn’t the case. That’s because it is not just the cost of the fuel itself that you have to keep in mind, you also need pay to install and maintain 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 between $1,400 and $1,800. Additionally, LPG and heating oil both will require storage tanks, which can cost roughly £1,400 to install for heating oil and around £250 plus annual leasing for LPG. As you can see, LPG is one of the most cost-effective options of the three.

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.

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How long does LPG last?

This depends on how big your LPG storage tank 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?

While current prices for LPG have been impacted profoundly by the UK energy crisis, traditionally speaking 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 particular kinds of homes that lack gas mains could 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. However, both of these options cost around £15,000 to £20,000 to install properly, which can be a considerable purchase that many may not be equipped to handle. So, they will need to run for a number of years in order to be more cost-effective than LPG.

LPG Gas Station

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


Car trunk with an LPG gas tank inside

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:

  1. Average gas bill
  2. Cheapest gas supplier
  3. Natural gas prices 

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FAQ

How much is LPG a litre?

The cost of a litre of LPG stands at 67p per litre as of October 2021.

Are LPG boilers expensive to run?

The average cost of using LPG to heat your home and hot water for one year in the UK is £810, based on consumption of 12,000 kWh per year. Your own consumption may be much more or less depending on your usage, the size of your home and the number of occupants.

Is LPG gas expensive to run in your home?

Not really, no. The average cost of using heating oil to power your heating and hot water is 6p per kWh and to use electricity costs around 12.5p per kWh. LPG is just under 6.75p per kWh. This is nearly twice the price of natural gas but if you don’t have a mains connection this is the next best value.

How dangerous is LPG?

Using LPG is generally very safe, with no greater safety risks than using natural gas from the mains. However, you should always report any LPG leaks or suspected leaks to the relevant authorities as soon as possible.

Updated on 22 Oct, 2021

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