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LGI calls on Government to help switch to cleaner, lower carbon fuels

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‘Mixed technology’ energy options offer a fairer approach to reducing carbon emissions and delivering cleaner air for rural Ireland. That’s according to Liquid Gas Ireland (LGI) who have called on Government to introduce more accessible incentives to help consumers switch from oil to lower carbon, cleaner fuels and biofuels.

In its response to the Government’s Call for Expert Evidence for the Climate Action Plan 2023, LGI is recommending:

  • An oil boiler scrappage scheme as a once-off incentive to support the transition away from high-carbon fossil fuel infrastructure to cleaner, lower carbon heating systems such as LPG and BioLPG enabled boilers.
  • The expansion of renewable heating technology grants for homes and businesses to cover biofuel enabled boilers which offer capital-constrained consumers a lower upfront cost option.
  • Greater adoption of lower-carbon fuels such as LPG through a ‘mixed technology’ approach, allowing rural off gas grid homes and businesses play their role in Ireland’s decarbonisation journey to 2050 net-zero emissions.

Commenting on behalf of the representative association for LPG and BioLPG producers, distributors, equipment manufacturers, and service providers in Ireland, was LGI Policy Director, Philip Hannon. He said: “The ‘one size fits all’ approach to home heating being promoted by this Government is very expensive compared to the installation of an LPG boiler. Climate change policy must be equitable for all families and businesses, and the retrofit scheme as currently operated doesn’t offer a fair deal for rural Ireland. For example, we know that heat pump installation coupled with the necessary deep retrofitting required to achieve an energy efficiency upgrade could cost more than €60,000 according to the SEAI. By comparison, a new, high efficiency LPG boiler with standard system upgrades can be installed for around €5,000.

“Half a million homes in Ireland have no connection to the natural gas distribution network, and two-thirds of these currently rely on oil boilers for heating. Connecting these properties to the natural gas grid or installing new heat pump technology simply isn’t a financially or logistically viable option for most families. In contrast, switching to an LPG boiler is easy and affordable, with immediate environmental benefits. By adopting a mixed technology approach to decarbonisation, we can accelerate Ireland’s transition to lower carbon and efficient heating sources while keeping people warm in their homes.”

LPG is a clean-burning, smoke-free fuel that cuts carbon emissions from heating oil by 11%. BioLPG is a chemically indistinct but renewable version of LPG. Made from sustainably sourced renewable vegetable oils, wastes, and residues, it delivers up to 90% certified carbon emission savings compared to conventional LPG. As BioLPG can be used in existing LPG infrastructure, it increases efficiency for homes and business to switch to a renewable fuel option without the need for capital investment.

Concluding on the question of security of supply, Mr Hannon said: “LPG is a versatile fuel with multiple supply sources. Because it is easily and safely transported, it offers a secure and widely available energy source for homes, businesses and applications off the gas grid. LPG and BioLPG are a reliable source of lower carbon and renewable energy for home heating and industrial processes like water heating, cooking, and food processing. Both fuels are used in the hospitality, food processing, healthcare, sports and leisure, industry, and education sectors.”

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