We’re in a very rural part of Horsham, in Sussex, for this case study.
We’re pleased to say that this is the third new boiler installation job we’ve carried out for this family in two years. Although only around 2% of our installation work features here in our case studies (because one of our boiler renewals looks much like the next, and it takes so long writing it all up), both jobs can be seen on our blog because they were unusual in different respects.
We’re replacing an LPG fired (Liquid Petroleum Gas; in this case, Propane) combi boiler in an annexe. The original Vokera unit was around 15 years old and was becoming unreliable.
For those in the country off grid from Mains Gas, LPG is one of the options for heating. The others are Oil, Electricity (including heat pumps) and solid fuels such as woodchip (amusingly called biomass by greenies) and coal.
Heating Oil, at the time of writing, is cheaper than mains gas. But this isn’t normally the case, as the oil price is unusually depressed now (May 2015).
LPG is one of the most expensive fuel options, spectacularly so if you are running on refillable portable cylinders. Most domestic (and commercial) applications therefore use a Bulk LPG tank, which is owned and maintained by the LPG supplier. LPG delivered in bulk to a tank is around 40% cheaper than the same stuff in loose cylinders. But even then it is second only to peak rate electricity in cost.
You will find it very difficult to get figures on LPG Bulk costs that are comparable to Mains Gas and Oil, calorific values cloud the real differences in prospective annual bills. We have done price comparisons for customers who are interested, Bulk LPG does give the option of using gas cookers, fires and standard domestic boilers.
The Biasi boiler had a permanent pilot light, meaning it was using the gas in the bulk tank 24 hours a day, even though the property is only sporadically occupied.
We recommended replacing the boiler with a new Worcester-Bosch 25Si Compact LPG combination boiler. Modern boilers do not have pilot lights, (you can still buy some new but antiquated gas warm units with them though!) so are ideal to connect to Bulk LPG.
As our customer already has other properties under the control of Honeywell Evohome, it made sense to link this one up too, so it could be listed under the same iPhone (or Android) app on a pull down menu.