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Rural Homeowners Must Prepare Early for Winter Heating


Written by:

George Webb
Liquid Gas UK



Rural homeowners who heat their homes with off-grid energy such as LPG and renewable liquid fuels, are being urged to prepare for winter heating now, before fuel demand increases and in-home heating systems are needed.

George Webb, CEO at Liquid Gas UK, the trade association for the LPG and renewable liquid gas industry, says that taking precautionary steps to get ahead now will help to relieve some pressure on homeowners during the winter months.

“This summer the UK has experienced an extreme in weather, with a very hot, dry summer and record temperatures being recorded in the 40s. This winter could prove equally extreme. While we cannot be sure what to expect, it is important that LPG consumers are prepared for whatever the winter may throw at us this year.

“We recognise that this year in particular, news about global gas supplies and the cost of energy is causing concern for homeowners. As such, industry is ramping up its communication to customers much earlier than in previous years, to support them during this period.”

Mr Webb explains that outreach to the UK LPG industry’s 200,000 customers has already begun, which includes advice on ordering LPG ahead of time, what to do in case of payment concerns and energy saving tips.

“We’re advising homeowners to check their LPG tank level now, and speak to their supplier about optimum order times, and the options available for deliveries this winter being made by connecting to an automatic ordering system from their supplier,” he says.

“Going into winter with a full tank of fuel will provide peace of mind and it means that when it turns cold, it can help ease worries around their energy supply,” he says.

He adds that the LPG industry has strengthened its winter resilience by making significant investments in infrastructure, assets and strategic storage.

“Nearly £117m has been invested in strategic and vessel storage and infrastructure over the past 12 months, and a further £130.5m is planned to be invested into this area over the next 12 months, which will help with increased demand over winter. £12.5m has also been invested in industry’s fleet, which will help in maintaining deliveries to homes.”

To further support customers, industry has invested an additional £1m in workforce recruitment, upskilling and training and nearly £2m in customer service, with investments in these areas set to increase to £2.5million in the next 12 months.

“Our members are committed to providing outstanding customer care and take their responsibilities to customers very seriously. This is demonstrated through such significant investment from across the board in these key areas,” he says.

“For homeowners requiring additional support this winter, particularly those who are concerned about costs, we would encourage them to speak to their suppliers, who will be able to advise them on options going forward,” he says.

“Preparing in advance across the areas of fuel supply, energy savings and costs will help rural homeowners to be in the best position possible for the winter months ahead,” he concludes.