08–10 OCTOBER 2019 | NEC | BIRMINGHAM News
Bargate Homes chooses Calor LPG for third rural housing development
Award-winning South coast housebuilder, Bargate Homes has partnered with Calor once again to provide its LPG energy requirements for a prestigious rural development site in Hampshire.
‘The Hideaway’ - a collection of 19 homes at Lower Upham - is the third development on which the two companies have teamed up since 2015.
As was the case for its previous sites, connecting to the mains gas supply was not an option due to the development’s countryside setting. However, Bargate Homes was determined that its homebuyers would be able to enjoy all the benefits of rural living without sacrificing the comfort, convenience and control of gas central heating.
The developer therefore opted for Calor LPG as its first-choice fuel and has installed four 4000-litre underground LPG tanks, buried out of sight of the four and five-bedroom detached homes.
Mark White, Operations Director for Bargate Homes, explains,
“We switched to Calor after experiencing unsatisfactory service from another LPG supplier, including being hit with lots of ‘hidden extras.’ I’m pleased to say there have been no such problems with Calor and we’ve built a strong working relationship over the past three years.”
From a practical standpoint, the ease of installation and standard design of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) boilers – being the same size and having the same flue clearance as mains gas boilers - make it the logical choice of fuel for an off-grid housing development.
Gas is distributed through a network of hidden pipes directly to each home, which each have individual meters read annually by Calor. Homeowners are then invoiced for their individual consumption, which means on completion of the site, Bargate Homes will not need to be involved with its energy supply on an ongoing basis.
Homebuyers’ comfort a priority
Bargate Homes briefly considered the viability of using air source heat pumps (ASHPs) on The Hideaway development but, from past experience, was concerned about hidden extras, installation issues and the long-term reliability of the system.
Additionally, adopting ASHP technology would require Bargate Homes to compromise housing layouts to accommodate a hot water cylinder cupboard, reducing bedroom space and impacting on the properties’ desirability to buyers.
Negative customer feedback on other developments where ASHPs had been installed was also a major factor in the developer ruling out this more complex heating system.
In terms of SAP ratings, LPG scores better than electric heating solutions, meaning fewer energy-saving measures – such as solar PV or triple-glazing – need to be installed.
In contrast, simple, low-cost, energy-saving ‘bolt-on’ measures such as waste water heat recovery or high-therm lintels, typically costing less than £500 per home, are normally all that is needed to achieve Part L compliance with government Building Regulations.
Mark White Operations Director at Bargate Homes, explains, “Buyer satisfaction is our paramount consideration in how we operate as a housebuilder and it all starts with the design process. From higher ceilings that add to the sense of space and light, to boot-rooms, to dressing rooms and high-spec kitchen and dining areas, we want our customers to live a life of comfort and convenience. That philosophy extends to central heating and hot water.
“With LPG from Calor all our homebuyers will benefit from the reliability and controllability of a proven, energy-efficient heating system.”
Bargate Homes has also worked with Calor two of its earlier off-grid sites: the Dunsell’s Stone development at Ropley and The Landings at Over Wallop.