Businesses which choose to operate off-grid will face identical commercial pressures as any other company. For instance, employers will be constantly looking to improve efficiencies, reduce overheads, monitor their profit margins and ensuring they always meet if not exceed increasingly stringent carbon reduction targets.
When it comes to the last of these pressures, your choice of energy supply can certainly help. The average small business — those with between ten and 49 employees — across the UK forks out £19k on gas and electricity on an annual basis. With this staggering amount in mind, it surely makes sense to secure the very best off-grid, commercial energy source and deal. In fact, such a strategy couldn’t be more vital to your bottom line.
The off-grid fuel of choice for providing commercial businesses with heat and power has long been oil, though LNG (liquified natural gas) and LPG (liquified petroleum gas) have started to become more popular as a result of rising environmental pressures and price volatility in recent years. Renewables are also proving more and more appealing to firms looking to take their energy supply off-grid.
We shouldn’t be surprised to be witnessing this change in attitude mind. 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.
If you still find yourself relying on electric, oil or solid fuel across your company, you’ll also be pleased to hear that switching to LPG is very easy and can be carried out with minimal downtime to operations. However, before you take that all-important step towards a more sustainable and cost-effective energy solution, Flogas, which can provide you with a very attractive fixed or variable domestic LPG price, has compiled its top FAQs to help you make a fully-informed decision…
What does LPG refer to?
LPG is short for liquefied petroleum gas and is a blanket term that covers two variations of natural gas — Propane (C3H8) and Butane (C4H10). Both of these types of gas 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.
Is LPG environmentally friendly?
Cleaner than the majority of other fossil fuels, LPG can assist in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving air quality. 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 reliable?
You don’t need to worry where reliability is concerned. 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.
Is it simple to switch from oil to LPG?
Switching from oil to LPG is a quick and hassle-free process. At Flogas, for example, they’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 LPG save my company money?
The cost savings that you will witness should be greater depending on how large 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.
Will it be suitable for my company to start using LPG?
Rest assured that LPG is a very versatile fuel and can be used in practically any situation. 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.
What about LNG?
LNG, short for liquefied natural gas, has been cooled to an extremely low temperature — -162ºC in fact. This makes it 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