Whilst the majority of UK homeowners can simply hook up to mains gas to fuel their central heating systems, if you’re off the main grid, you may have to find alternative means. A popular choice of fuel is liquid petroleum gas (LPG), especially since it can be used within a conventional gas central heating system.
If you live off the main grid and want to consider LPG heating, this article will be covering:
- How much LPG boilers cost
- What affects the cost of an LPG boiler
- How you can save money on an LPG boiler
- How to know if an LPG boiler is right for you
- What’s involved in installing an LPG boiler and how to find and hire an installer
To find out if LPG heating might be right for you, keep on reading
How Much Does an LPG Boiler Cost?
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular LPG boiler manufacturers and their associated costs.
|BOILER MANUFACTURER||ESTIMATED SUPPLY COST||ESTIMATED LABOUR COST||TOTAL ESTIMATED COST|
|Vokera||£500 to £1,000||£150 to £250 per day||£650 to £1,250|
|Ideal||£1,000 to £1,200||£150 to £250 per day||£1,150 to £1,450|
|Baxi||£1,000 to £1,500||£150 to £250 per day||£1,150 to £1,750|
|Valliant||£1,100 to £1,300||£150 to £250 per day||£1,250 to £1,550|
|Worcester Bosch||£1,200 to £2,500||£150 to £250 per day||£1,350 to £2,750|
A Vokera boiler has an estimated supply cost of between £500 to £1,000. The estimated labour cost for installation is between £150 to £250 per day, giving a total estimated fee of between £650 to £1,250.
Looking at Ideal next, their boilers come in at between £1,000 to £1,200 for supply costs only. Adding on the same labour costs of between £150 to £250, this will give a final total cost of between £1,150 to £1,450.
Baxi is up next, with estimated supply costs for the boiler being between £1,000 to £1,500. With labour fees of between £150 to £250 per day, the total estimated cost comes in at £1,150 to £1,750.
Valliant boilers carry an estimated supply cost of between £1,100 to £1,300, and when you add on the same estimated labour cost of between £150 to £250 per day, you come out with a total estimated cost for fitting and supply of between £1,250 to £1,550.
Finally, the last boiler manufacturer in our comparison table is Worcester Bosch, which has the highest supply costs of between £1,200 to £2,500. The estimated labour costs are again between £150 to £250 per day, giving a final fitting and supply cost of between £1,350 to £2,750.
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What Affects the Cost of an LPG Boiler?
Now that we know the basic supply costs of LPG boilers, let’s take a look at the other areas that can influence the cost of having and running an LPG boiler.
The Size of Your Storage Tank
LPG is a mixture of butane and propane which is compressed into liquid form and stored in tanks or bottles. These storage tanks are kept on your property, and you will have to arrange for an LPG tanker to come and refill your tank as needed.
The larger the tank, the higher your costs will be. LPG tanks come in two sizes, 1650 litres and 2250 litres. There are various options here for above- or under-ground tanks, or even gas bottles in outdoor casings if you are short on space.
Larger storage tanks are needed for larger properties to store more fuel to power your home, while smaller properties can get away with smaller tanks.
The Size of Your Home and Your Energy Consumption
Let’s take a look at the different costs associated with LPG fuel in comparison to other fuel types. Please note that this data is based on 2022 estimates from the Energy Savings Trust, and actual prices may be affected by changes to energy price caps from April 2022.
|FUEL TYPE||AVERAGE PRICE (PENCE PER KWH) IN ENGLAND, WALES, AND SCOTLAND||AVERAGE PRICE (PENCE PER KWH) IN NORTHERN IRELAND|
|Electricity (standard rate)||20.06||20.33|
LPG’s average price per kWh in England, Wales and Scotland is 7.7 pence, and in Northern Ireland, this same volume is 8.61 pence.
For mains gas, the price per kWh is 4.65 pence, and 5.63 pence in Northern Ireland. Oil comes in at 4.82 pence per kWh in England, Scotland and Wales, and is 3.47 pence in Northern Ireland.
For standard rate electricity, it’s 20.06 pence per kWh in England, Wales and Scotland, while the cost per kWh rises to 20.33 pence in Northern Ireland.
Wood pellets average out at 6.06 pence per kWh in England, Wales and Scotland, with a fee of 4.97 pence per kWh in Northern Ireland. Coal is 4.73 pence per kWh in England, Wales and Scotland, which is the same fee as seen in Northern Ireland, too.
If you ever need an emergency fuel top-up, this will come at an additional cost, usually up to £300. This will grant you fuel usually within ten days of requesting it from your supplier.
If You Need Any Necessary Upgrades
Although LPG works with a regular combi boiler, if you’re having the fuel type introduced newly to your property, you may need additional pipework installed. The same is true for installing the storage tank, which will cost approximately £150 to £250 per day to fit.
If you need to update your boiler, this will cost you between £1,600 to £2,000, and if you want to upgrade or fit new radiators in your home, this can cost around £180 per unit.
Ease of Access
Again, if you are newly introducing this fuel type to your home, to first get the tank onto your property, the installers will need to have good ease of access. If this is an issue, this will see your installation and labour fees rise.
To install an underground LPG storage tank in your garden, you can expect to pay around £1,500, with a standing charge of £130 per year. If you have a particularly uneven garden or require additional landscaping to get the tank in place, expect your fees to rise further.
How Can I Save Money on an LPG Boiler?
Comparing quotes is a great way to potentially reduce the cost of your LPG heating project. HouseholdQuotes can help you get quotes from multiple heating engineers near you, so that you can find someone that suits your budget.
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While DIY is not an option for LPG boilers, there are a few ways in which you can look to reduce your costs during installation.
One of the easiest ways to save money when switching your fuel source to LPG is to keep the same boiler where possible. As LPG is just the fuel type; your boiler is likely to still be classed as a combi boiler, meaning you can use your existing boiler with the new fuel as LPG can be used within a conventional gas central heating system.
If you’re having LPG installed, likely your neighbours will need an off-grid fuel solution too. If they are in need of a new installation, it’s a good idea to team together to have the installation done at the same time to combine the call-out charges.
This will also help with fuel deliveries as suppliers can combine their trips and routes to supply your area at one time, which can sometimes help to reduce your fuel cost if delivered on a larger scale.
For those needing a new heating system and a new LPG storage tank installed, it can be a good idea to try to get your outdoor space as ready as possible to reduce the labour hours needed from the professionals. This can be in levelling your garden or just simply clearing the space for where your tank will be located.
While this can be a very labour-intensive job, if you are up for the challenge it can be a good way to reduce labour fees.
Is an LPG Boiler the Best Choice for Me?
Let’s take a look at the main advantages and disadvantages of having an LPG boiler in your home:
|Ease of installation and low maintenance required over a lifetime||You can run out of fuel if you aren’t on top of your supply, resulting in emergency call-out fees which can be £300 on top of your fuel cost|
|LPG is an extremely efficient fuel type, reaching 90% efficiency in some cases||You need a substantial amount of land to store the storage tank under or above ground in your garden, which can be an eyesore|
|For off-grid properties, LPG is far cheaper than electricity to heat your home||Falling out of popularity as homeowners are becoming increasingly interested in eco-friendly heating options, moving away from fossil fuels|
|Fewer emissions than regular oil or gas||Ban on new properties having gas boilers fitted in 2025|
|Regular servicing is required to ensure everything is running as it should|
LPG boilers are easy to install, and they have a low level of maintenance required over their lifetime. They’re a great option for those off the gas line, who need an alternative fuel type to heat their home.
The disadvantages are that if you run out of fuel, you can potentially be without heat for a period of time. You will also need a lot of spare space to store your gas tank, and the installation of this will cost you on top of the actual fuel cost.
What’s Involved in Installing an LPG Boiler?
There are three main aspects needed to enable LPG to flow through your home’s heating system:
- An LPG fired boiler (or converted mains gas boiler) plumbed into the house
- LPG storage tank located in the garden
- Regular LPG supply deliveries via your supplier
LPG is safe to use, providing similar heating characteristics to mains gas and is a reliable source – as long as you receive deliveries in time.
You’ll need to have a trench dug to store the tank of gas underground, and then pipes connected to your boiler to give you your fuel supply – alternatively, you can opt for above-ground storage, as well as tanks being stored in outdoor casings on your property. The LPG supplier will also install any required pipework and vessels linking the tank to your home.
Once inside the property, the supply will still need to be linked to a gas boiler and heating system. This is not a DIY job, and it is only suitable for trained Certified Gas Safe LPG engineers.
It’s good to note that your LPG fuel supplier will not fit the boiler themselves, although they may be able to recommend a gas certified professional who will be able to do that for you.
When it comes to fitting the boiler, your certified engineer will fix the wall mounts first to give a clear space for the boiler to be installed. Boiler connection points will then be installed, with gas and water being connected.
The flue will be installed, with the condensate connection next. Electrical points are then connected, and pre-commissioning checks begin.
Once everything has been tested and checked for safety, your gas safe engineer will show you how to work your new boiler.
How Do I Find and Hire an Installer?
Finding the right heating engineers can be challenging. At HouseholdQuotes, we can connect you to heating engineers in your area.
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When having a boiler fitted in your home, safety is paramount, and you should check that any trader is on the Gas Safe Register. When dealing with LPG in particular, you need to ensure that your engineer is Gas Safe, but has also completed their LPG qualification to enable them to safely work with and install LPG in your home.
If your property is off-grid, likely your neighbouring houses are too, meaning you can likely ask them for recommendations for traders as they are bound to have connections or previous traders they’ve worked with who they might recommend to you.
Ensuring the Professional Is the Right Fit
As we have already said, safety is paramount when it comes to boiler fitting, so making sure the tradesperson you choose is competent and qualified is of the highest importance. Ensuring they are Gas Safe Engineers while having their LPG certification is essential before agreeing to work.
You should always get a written quote before work commences so that both parties know what fees are going to be involved and what to expect so that no unexpected costs crop up as the job goes on.
Where possible, it’s a good idea to take a look at any references or reviews for their previous work to ascertain if they’re a good fit for you and your job, while looking at their experience to ensure they are qualified and well-versed in the work you need doing.
You should double-check that the trader has relevant insurance for the job, and also check to see if there is a warranty or guarantee available with the new boiler that’s being fitted, ensuring you are validating this to receive the benefits once installed.
If you think LPG is the heating type for you, take a look at our final checklist to make sure everything is in line when it comes to installation:
- Decide if LPG is right for you – are you off-grid with no other options, and does solar power not work for you?
- Check you have permission and space for a storage tank either below or overground
- Understand the process of having fuel delivered and how to keep on top of levels to avoid emergency charges
- Ensure they are Gas Safe Engineers with LPG certification
- Do not undertake any part of boiler installation yourself
Use HouseholdQuotes to find local heating engineers and potentially save money on your LPG heating project.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is an LPG Boiler More Expensive than Mains Gas?
The main reason to have LPG over mains gas is that mains gas isn’t available at your property because you live off-grid. Let’s take a look at some average annual costs for heating and hot water, based on a medium household with 13,500 kWh usage:
|Fuel source||Cost per kWh||Average annual costs|
Here, we can see that the annual cost for mains gas is £609, while LPG is £1,125, making LPG more expensive than mains gas. But, as mains gas isn’t a fuel option for homes off-grid, the other comparable fuel type is electricity, which comes in at £2,053 per year – £928 more expensive than LPG.
Are LPG Boilers Being Phased Out?
There is going to be a gas boiler ban from 2025 in new build properties, preventing them from having this type of appliance installed in a bid to reach net-zero emissions in 2050. This means that from 2025 onwards, it may become harder to have a new gas appliance installed.
Instead, low-carbon alternatives will be offered, such as heat pumps and solar-powered fittings. If you are thinking about having an LPG system installed now, it might be worth considering renewable alternatives to futureproof your home and make it more environmentally-friendly, while more appealing to future house buyers who will be looking for longevity in their heating systems.
Who Owns the Tank?
In most, if not all, cases, the supplier of your LPG fuel owns your storage tank.
Do I Need Planning Permission for an LPG Boiler?
This isn’t usually necessary, as the LPG fuel storage falls under permitted development. There are some guidelines, however, as dictated by Planning Applications:
- Not more than 3,500 litres in capacity
- Not forward of the principal elevation fronting a highway
- Maximum overall height of three metres
- Maximum height of 2.5 metres within two metres of a boundary
If your home is within a listed or protected area, it’s always best to check with your local council for individual guidelines before attempting to have anything installed.
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