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New report reveals LPG’s competitive advantage for new build homes

Calor Gas

A new report by Ecuity Consulting, commissioned by Calor, has revealed that energy costs for new build rural homes fuelled by LPG are significantly less than properties running on electric boilers and comparable with other off-grid alternatives.

For many buyers the anticipated annual running costs of a property are an important purchasing consideration, especially if that home is not connected to the mains gas network. However, historically, many purchasers may believe that an off-grid home fuelled by LPG is significantly more expensive to run than it would be with other available fuel types, including oil, electricity or air source heat pumps (ASHPs).

The ‘New Build Energy Costs Report’ allays these concerns and provides evidence to support the claim that LPG remains a competitively-priced fuel alternative.

The report has examined the annual running costs of 12 new build house designs, from major housebuilders, ranging in size from two-bedroom flats to five-bedroom detached properties, built by both local and regional house builders.

It compares the most common off-grid fuels specified against mains gas, including heating oil, electric (both electric boiler and storage heating), LPG (supplied via a metered estate network) as well as high efficiency, low efficiency and claimed efficiency levels for air-source heat pumps.

The data has been compiled from the SAP report produced for each property to achieve Part L compliance.

The report shows that a newly-constructed three-bedroom semi-detached home built by Bellway Homes in Northumberland could expect to have annual running costs of approximately £312.25 on an LPG metered estate. In comparison, the same house on mains gas would have cost £233.21 per annum for heating and hot water – a difference of less than £80 per year.

For fuel options, such as LPG that are traditionally specified where no mains gas connection is viable, the cost difference was even less. Oil heating offered running costs of £298.51 per annum, while in comparison a high efficiency ASHP was £239.44. Electric heating was the most expensive option, with off-peak night storage having estimated running costs of £478.60.

Interestingly, all of the off-grid fuel options examined in the report have running costs of less than £500 a year.  This is, in part, attributable to the efficiency of new build homes in reducing energy consumption, thanks to superior levels of insulation and improved construction techniques compared to existing properties.

In addition, the report also reinforces that there is no financial justification for a developer to install a heating system based on running cost returns alone. Greater emphasis should be paid to the overall build costs and the implications of deviating from standard housing layouts – a common concern for housebuilders when specifying off-grid fuels.

LPG, in contrast, is the closest alternative to mains gas and can be installed without modifications to standard boiler layouts and heating systems.  This is referenced further in Calor’s recent report, conducted by Briary Energy, which reveals that housebuilders could save up to £500,000 on build costs on a typical 100-plot development if they choose to install LPG heating.[1]

This new study challenges the commonly held belief that LPG is expensive to use and is less attractive to prospective buyers.  The results demonstrate that it can offer provable, guaranteed performance with competitive running costs against other off-grid fuels.

To download the free report in full, please visit  

For more information about LPG for new off-grid developments, please visit





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