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Reliable and safe heat and hot water provision

Gina Roche, care home sector specialist at Calor, discusses the benefits liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) has to offer, particularly to rural care homes, which include heating efficiencies, security of supply and the fact that LPG tanks can be buried underground

One of the top priorities for any care home will be ensuring that residents are kept warm and comfortable. However, when homes are based off the mains gas grid, it can be hard to know if they are using the best fuel to achieve this. Security of supply is also of the utmost importance as many off-grid care homes are situated in fairly isolated locations. Care home managers need to know that no matter which fuel is selected, security of supply is assured, as they will not want to leave their residents vulnerable. Natural gas is by far the most popular heating fuel in the UK, with the National Grid reporting that there are more than

The credentials of LPG can make a compelling business case

23 million customers connected to the gas grid. However, for many rural properties, including a large number of care homes, this is not an option. Although the mains gas grid is slowly expanding, for the vast majority of sites

Case study - Champions Place, Surrey

that don’t already have a connection, deciding to create one is simply not a viable option due to the cost and length of the installation process.

In these off-grid care homes many managers see an oil fired central heating system as the ‘default’ option and will continue to choose this solution when it comes to investing in a new boiler or other heating equipment. However, when it comes to keeping costs low, overall heating efficiency, security of supply and environmental impact, the credentials of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) can make a compelling business case.

Since replacing its ageing and inefficient oil fired boilers, the home, which provides care to adults with learning difficulties, has benefitted from significantly cheaper energy bills, as well as improved heating efficiencies.

“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. 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 it to heat the building as well, and we’re very happy with the choice we made.”

As with many care homes, heating is much more than another expense. It has a vital role in both the comfort and safety of the residents.

38 www.thecarehomeenvironment .com • May 2017

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