Liquid Gas Ireland call on Government to deliver a ‘just transition’ to decarbonisation which supports both rural and urban communities
Rural homes and businesses must have options to switch to lower carbon fuels such as LPG and BioLPG if they are to support Ireland’s decarbonisation journey. That’s the message to Government from Liquid Gas Ireland (LGI) as it marks World LPG Day showcasing LPG as a secure, clean, and lower emission energy choice.
Commenting on behalf of the representative body for the LPG and BioLPG industry, LGI Policy Director, Philip Hannon said: “There is growing frustration among off gas grid homes and businesses over the lack of realistic options being endorsed by Government to help them switch from high carbon fossil fuels. As currently constituted, the revised Climate Action Plan simply does not provide for the ‘mixed technology’ approach required to help large parts of rural Ireland decarbonise.
“CSO data tells us that nearly two-thirds of homes in rural Ireland currently rely on high carbon fossil-based fuels including oil, coal and turf for heating and energy. The current ‘one size fits all’ approach of pushing these homes and businesses towards an expensive retrofit for heat pump installation to improve energy efficiency simply isn’t a viable option for all. Government policy must be bolder in its consideration of those who want to decarbonise but whose unique economic and infrastructural circumstances prevent them from doing so. Should the retrofit scheme be extended to endorse lower carbon LPG and renewable BioLPG, the combined consumer, Exchequer and carbon savings would be considerable.”
A report series published by LGI in August 2021, revealed the savings that could be made if the 500,000 plus homes in rural Ireland currently using high carbon fossil-based fuels switched to lower carbon alternatives like LPG or BioLPG. The savings were based on an average cost of €56,000 for a full-scale retrofit including heat pump installation and an industry estimate of €5,000 for switching to a gas boiler with standard system upgrades.
At the heart of its revised Climate Action Plan, the Irish Government has set an ambitious target to retrofit 500,000 homes and install 400,000 heat pump systems in existing dwellings by 2030.
Mr Hannon added: “We are at a stage now where Ireland is facing real risk of missing its climate action targets. It’s clear the retrofit programme isn’t hitting the numbers targeted and with the spiralling cost of living, large cohorts of society could find themselves left excluded. The likely impact of this on rural Ireland is much higher as proven by the continued low uptake of retrofitting grants outside urban centres. All lower carbon energy options must now be given due consideration to ensure a ‘just transition’ to decarbonisation for both urban and rural communities.”
LPG can cut emissions from the domestic, commercial, industrial, and transport sectors by up to 33% compared to heating oil and solid fuels. And BioLPG delivers up to 90% certified carbon emission savings compared to conventional LPG.
“Those in rural and off gas grid communities must have appropriate and financially viable energy technology options which meet their unique needs, while allowing them to reduce carbon emissions. LPG and BioLPG have already been successfully adopted to date by many homes and businesses across rural Ireland who are embarking on their decarbonisation journey. Government must step-up and embrace all energy options which support a whole of society approach in getting Ireland back on track with its climate action targets,” Mr Hannon concluded.