A new report, commissioned by SHV Energy, has found that European residential heating systems fuelled by Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) are 20 per cent lower in carbon emissions, compared to those fuelled by heating oil. The study, Carbon footprints of heating oil and LPG heating systems, also found that the carbon emissions from an LPG fuelled heating system are about 15 per cent lower than a heating system using a 20/80 blend of bio and conventional heating oil.
The report is the first detailed evaluation of its type. Comparisons were based on real-world efficiencies, as defined by the EcoBoiler model, a representation of EU heating systems developed for the European Commission in its ongoing work on energy efficiency.
Footprints were estimated in seven countries that are representative of the EU and constitute two-thirds of the EU-27 population: Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Poland and the UK. For each, the footprint was defined for a new boiler system in an average, existing dwelling, over the 17-year lifetime of the boiler.
In Ireland’s case it found that the country has the second highest annual space heating demand and energy input at 18,376 kWh per average existing dwelling, while the EU-27 average is about halfway between the two at 13,822 kWh.
The report found that when comparing the carbon footprints of new heating oil systems versus an LPG heating system in Ireland, the LPG system had an 18 per cent reduction in carbon footprint over the lifetime of the heating system. The carbon emissions saved by the LPG fuelled system is the equivalent on average of a new car being driven for 136,116 kilometres.
The report used the latest available data on emissions of greenhouse gases in crude oil and natural gas production, so-called ‘well-to-tank’ data. It offers a detailed comparison of carbon footprints for those homes and businesses deciding whether to use gas or heating oil for their energy needs. As well as consumers, it will also be a useful resource for regulators and installers.
“It will come as no surprise that heating Irish homes and offices contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, and that a key target of climate-change policy is to improve the associated carbon footprint,” says Michael Kossack, chief executive of Calor. “At Calor, our aim is to become the rural energy provider of choice by delivering innovative, clean, efficient energy solutions to rural Ireland. This report rightly identifies LPG as a fuel for the future, one that emits less greenhouse gases and a fuel source that has the potential to meet a significant portion of our future rural energy needs”.