Commercial businesses turn to LPG as Paris Agreement comes into force
In the wake of the Paris Agreement on climate change coming into force, demand for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) looks set to increase further, as commercial businesses seek a reliable and trusted fuel source that offers significantly lower carbon emissions than rival fossil fuels.
The Paris Agreement commits world leaders to keep global warming below 2°C, which is seen as the threshold for safety by scientists. The act sends out the clearest signal yet to industry that action needs to be taken to cut emissions and implement sustainable energy strategies.
Last year alone, businesses from across the UK slashed their annual CO2 emissions by 1,236 tonnes by switching from oil to LPG, according to Calor’s latest sustainability review.
Gregor Dalgleish, Commercial Sales Manager at Calor, said: “The Paris Agreement is an important step towards securing a more sustainable future, marking the first time that governments have agreed legally binding limits to global temperature rises. We are having conversations with many off-grid businesses that are considering switching from oil or coal to a more environmentally friendly fuel, such as LPG.
“Some companies are considering renewable systems too, with the latest government statistics showing the UK’s installed capacity for renewables has grown by almost 14 percent over the last year alone. However, while technologies such as solar, biomass and ground source heat pumps can help businesses to reduce carbon emissions, many are reluctant to depend solely on these systems.
“In order to make sure businesses have access to heating and hot water no matter what, it makes sense to partner these renewable technologies with a more reliable and proven technology, like LPG. The fact that LPG is the lowest off-mains carbon-emitting fossil fuel available on the market, emitting 20 percent less CO2 per kWh than oil, means it is also ideally positioned to be this partner.
“With 350,000 commercial premises already reaping the benefits of LPG, it seems clear the fuel will play a vital role in helping to meet the commitment set out in the Paris Agreement.”
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.