Running an off-grid company will see you facing the same commercial pressures as you would in any other business. There is a significant pressure to reduce your overheads while also watching your profit margins, improving efficiencies and adhering to stringent carbon reduction targets. So, here, we will look at the questions companies should be asking before switching to LPG.

An average small business in the UK (with 10-49 employees) spends a staggering £19k a year on gas and electricity – so securing the very best off-grid, commercial energy source and deal couldn’t be more vital to your bottom line.

For many years, the off-grid fuel of choice for providing commercial heat and power has been oil. However, price volatility over the years matched with rising environmental pressures mean the likes of LPG (liquified petroleum gas), LNG (liquified natural gas) and of course renewables are becoming increasingly more favourable options for the off-grid business community.

And it’s not really a surprise why this is the case. The likes of LPG provide a billion businesses and people across the globe with a versatile, reliable and secure supply – that’s both cleaner and more efficient than traditional fossil fuels. This means they benefit from swift cost savings and a lower carbon footprint to boot.

The good news for any company still relying on oil, electric or solid fuel is that the switch to LPG is a quick and pain-free process that will have minimal downtime to operations.  However, before you take that all-important step towards a more sustainable and cost-effective energy solution, LPG suppliers Flogas, has compiled its top FAQs to help you make a fully-informed decision.

What exactly is LPG?

LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) is a blanket term used to describe two types of natural gas: Propane (C3H8) and Butane (C4H10) – both of which are easily converted into a liquid by cooling or adding pressure. LPG is a natural by-product of natural gas and oil extraction (66%) and the refining of oil (34%). It’s an exceptional and efficient source of energy, that would otherwise go to waste if not captured.

How environmentally friendly is LPG?

Compared to most fossil fuels, LPG is cleaner. This helps improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It emits 33% less CO2 than coal and 15% less than heating oil, with virtually no black carbon (a major contributor to climate change). What’s more, it doesn’t pose a risk to soil or groundwater and releases less nitrogen oxides (NOx) than most other fossil fuels.  The result for companies? A lower carbon footprint and a cleaner, more futureproof supply.

Is LPG suitable for my business?

LPG is also extremely versatile, meaning it can be used practically anywhere. In fact, it has more than 1,000 uses. Available in bulk or in handy cylinders, it’s used across a vast array of commercial industries – from leisure, hospitality and agriculture through to the likes of industrial heating and manufacturing processes, including steam generation. Additionally, it can be used as efficient forklift truck fuel or to run greener vehicle fleets. You can find an exhaustive list on the UKLPG website.

Will LPG save my business money?

You will see greater opportunities to reap the rewards the larger and more energy-intensive your business is. We find this is particularly true for those still relying on oil. LPG has a higher calorific value per tonne than oil, making it more energy efficient. It is also cleaner, so requires far less maintenance – meaning businesses can reduce costly downtime.

How easy is it to switch from oil?

It’s a quick and hassle-free process to switch from oil to LPG. At Flogas, for example, we’ll manage the whole process from start to finish – making the conversion seamless. A dedicated project manager will ensure you receive a bespoke solution to meet your company’s exact energy needs, and expert engineers will coordinate the installation (either above or below ground).

Can I rely on LPG?

Yes, LPG is a reliable source. With LPG, it’s like having a mains gas supply, off the grid. It has multiple, major sources making it a widely available, secure energy source that’s in global abundance. There’s a strong network of depots and storage facilities across the UK, so you can always rely on a dependable supply. Also, tanks nowadays typically feature telemetry systems, allowing for remote monitoring and auto top-up, so you never run out.

When should I opt for LNG instead?

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) has been cooled to a very low temperature (-162ºC) and this means that it’s extremely compact and light to store and transport. It’s a particularly popular option amongst more energy intensive off-grid companies (across all sectors), for example, those using a high amount of oil (kerosene, gas oil or HFO) to drive larger manufacturing or industrial processes.  It is also ideal for large logistics operations, such as road haulage and shipping, as well as for powering emergency backup generators at large usage sites.

Sources from UKLPG, WLPGA and Comparethemarket.com

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