For rural care homes based off the mains gas grid, there are a range of fuel options to choose from. Gina Roche, Care Home Specialist at Calor, outlines the top three reasons why care home managers should consider switching to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).
It goes without saying that fuel reliability is essential for care homes, to help protect elderly and vulnerable residents, meaning security of supply is a top priority.
To meet this need, Calor LPG tanks are fitted with an intelligent automatic top-up technology, meaning a delivery is scheduled when a tank begins to run low on fuel, distributed via the UK’s largest LPG delivery fleet. This means care homes should never accidently run out of fuel due to an oversight. In care homes caring for vulnerable adults, an interruption to the heating can have a significant impact, so a reliable fuel supply is an important consideration.
In addition, off-grid care homes that switch to LPG do not have to worry about rural fuel theft. In contrast to oil, which remains a common target for thieves, gas is virtually impossible to steal, and burns clean with virtually no soot. It cannot mix with water and is heavier than air, so if there is a leak it will sink to the ground or rest on top of water until it evaporates.
Champions Place, a family-owned residential home in Surrey, is just one care home that has benefitted from switching to LPG.
“Champions Place is not your average care home,” explains owner Roger Sparkes. “There are three floors, plus a basement, made up of bedrooms, lounges, bathrooms, kitchens and activity rooms, and that’s a large space to heat. Heating is therefore probably the largest expense we have.
“Heating is very important, especially in the winter. Some of our residents are elderly and we do not want them to get ill in the cold weather.”
Calor LPG can be installed while an organisation continues to use its existing fuel supply, with switchover only taking place once the installation is complete. Installation can also be arranged outside of normal working hours. Both these measures ensure downtime is kept to an absolute minimum.
In short, security of supply is assured. LPG offers a reliable supply of fuel, so care homes can be safe in the knowledge that heating and hot water will be constant for residents.
A second reason to choose LPG is because it offers all the flexibility of mains gas, providing a real flame for cooking, as well as a proven fuel source for round-the-clock heating and hot water.
Champions Place quickly realised the advantages to LPG’s versatility too. Roger Sparkes adds: “We had our old boilers for 20 years and they were on their way out. We were already using Calor for cooking because we’re off-grid, and electric isn’t as good as gas. It made sense to use Calor to heat the building as well, and we’re very happy with the choice we made.”
With LPG, care homes are able to enjoy the same benefits and conveniences as those in urban environments using mains gas.
While some care home managers might opt for oil-fired systems due to the cost of fuel, and the unpredictable nature of the international markets is helping to keep oil cheap for the time being, there are a number of other factors to consider.
For instance, LPG boilers tend to be significantly cheaper than comparable oil-fired heating systems, both on the initial purchase price and on fitting and maintenance costs. Over the ten to 15-year service period of a boiler’s lifetime, this can result in significant savings.
Indeed, the short service life expectancy and regular maintenance required of many competitor models means an LPG boiler would deliver many important cost savings when whole life costs are taken into account.
Furthermore, Calor is currently offering a free LPG tank and pipework installation to encourage rural care homes interested in upgrading to LPG.
Rural care homes currently using oil, solid fuel or electricity will receive a free, above-ground LPG tank of up to 4,000 litres, complete with professional installation, a concrete base and groundworks, and up to 10 metres of pipework with underground moling at no additional cost.
Care homes that would prefer their tank to be hidden from view can pay just £1,500 for a single underground tank installation of up to 4,000 litres, which includes excavation works and 10 metres of pipework with underground moling.
To take advantage of this offer and learn more about the many benefits of LPG, please visit www.calor.co.uk/business/switching-fuels. For full terms and conditions, please visit www.calor.co.uk/business/business-enquiry.