Save Money On LPG – How we saved over £1,000 on our gas supply

Our main fuel is LPG (Liquid Petroleum Gas), which is delivered to a large tank in the garden and from there it feeds the heating boiler and cooker. When we moved here we contacted the supplier whose name was on the tank. They sent us a contract which we signed without really paying it too much attention. Big mistake.

LPG was 4 times the cost of mains gas!

LPG Gas Tank

Our LPG (Gas) Tank

The bills were awful, about 4 times what we were paying for mains gas! In fairness we had moved from a modern insulated property to an old solid-stone wall house which is harder to heat and just before the coldest winter for a century struck, but even so, 4 times as much for a smaller property!

Save Money on LPG – Liquid Petroleum Gas

Now we’re a bit more knowledgable and so, to help those who like us find themselves on LPG with no options a few tips that could save you money.

You Have a Choice of LPG Supplier – Whoever Owns the Tank

When you move into a house with an LPG tank, you don’t have to buy your gas from the tank owner whose name is on the side. Yes they own the tank but if you change supplier they sell the tank to the new supplier. It doesn’t affect you at all.

You Can Change LPG Suppliers Every 2 Years

The contracts last for 2 years and you have a legal right to change supplier then, although they’ll sign you up for 2 years. If you don’t have a current contract and many people haven’t signed a new one for years, then you can change at any time.

Calor, Flogas and Avanti

There are three main suppliers; Calor, Flogas and Avanti. Spend a little time phoning them and get a quote from each. This will be in two parts; a price per litre of gas delivered plus a standing charge for the tank, around £60 pa for an aboveground tank. Both are subject to 5% VAT.

No Transparent Pricing on LPG

Calor, Flogas and Avanti do not have prices displayed on their web sites. There isn’t an open comparison website either so the only way to compare prices is to contact them individually.

Haggle for the Best Price on LPG

Start by telephoning them all and getting a price. You’re in the land of haggle, just like the market in Tangiers where they ‘make you good price’ by doubling it to start!

Now, when you have the best price, ring the other two suppliers and see what they can do about their quote. Take the new best quote back to the previous best priced supplier and see if they can beat it. You can go round as many times as you like.

Things to Check on the LPG Gas Supply Contract

  • Your contract will be for two years
  • Make sure the price per litre is fixed for twelve months and that the second year price is capped not to increase beyond a stated amount. Make no mistake, they will increase the price as far as they can in year 2.
  • Check the tank rental charge – this can be daily, monthly or annual.
  • Read the contract carefully before you sign and go back to them for clarification in writing of anything you are unsure of or unhappy with. Do not sign anything where they’ve left a box blank. In my experience they’re as slippery as eels. Once you’ve signed, they’ve got you, remember that market in Tangiers? No refunds.

How we Saved Over £1,000 on LPG

Now, here’s our experience. For one hour’s work we have saved £1,172.00 on the price we were paying over two years.

We use about 3,000 litres of LPG a year. Our gas was being supplied by company 1 at 42.5p per litre plus VAT. When the contract ran out they offered us £100 credit on the account to sign up again at the same price.

I picked up the phone and company 3 said we were far from a depot but they’d get back to us, which didn’t happen, so forget them.

Company 2 came back with 29.5p per litre plus VAT, capped at 3p increase in year two plus £250 credit for switching.

Back to company 1 who now could offer 29p per litre, plus £250 credit on the account and year two capped at 3p increase. Both companies were about the same on tank rental.

I then moaned about a few service issues we’d had and said it wasn’t enough to tempt me to stay. Now we’d just had a tankful delivered (1174 litres at 42.5p) and they offered to credit that down to the new price, giving me another £166 which is when I agreed.

Final LPG Fuel Savings Calculation – £1,172.00

So previous cost over 2 years would have been about 6,000 litres at 42.5p plus 5% VAT – £2,677.50

New cost will be 3,000 litres at 29p and 3,000 litres at 32p plus 5% VAT – £1921.50

Savings £756.00 plus £250.00 plus £166.00 gives a total of £1,172.00

I wonder how many people are paying more than they need to.

John Harrison 2016


April 2018

Recently I was contacted by the Mail on Sunday who have published an article on this problem – you can read it here: Are you being held to ransom by suppliers over the price of LPG?


 

Posted in Financial Fast, Home
91 comments on “Save Money On LPG – How we saved over £1,000 on our gas supply
  1. Nicola says:

    This is a great article! Its only been a couple of years since you can actually shop around for lpg. I did the same in 2014 and received massive on going savings and credit as well. Looking forward to doing the same later this year, its well worth it! Just looked and there’s a couple of lpg comparison websites just sprung up – never used them, so far, I just e mail the companies direct and they soon reply with offers. Well worth it!

    • John Harrison says:

      Hi Nicola – The only ‘comparison web site’ I found for LPG wanted to phone me back – which I reckon means ‘do a sales job’ on me. The mains gas / electric comparison sites are regulated but I don’t think there is any regulation on LPG – or oil for that matter.

  2. Graham says:

    Spare a thought for those of us that cannot have bulk LPG but must rely on bottles. We get through two 47Kg bottles every 2 weeks during the winter. These cost £50 a pop per bottle. I calculate this equates to 54p per litre. our heating and hot water costs last year were £1250 for a small 2 bedroom mid terraced house. I cannot understand why the price of LPG has not fallen since March last year as the price of oil is now so low?

  3. Elizabeth says:

    We’ve had exactly the same experience as you. Naively signing up for a 2 year contract at 56p a litre when we moved in. Our contract expired in January and I shopped around, managing to get a deal for 29p litre, capped at 32p for 2nd year, £250 free fuel and standing charge 5p a day cheaper. Original supplier offered 52p then matched the other offer. But I said no as waiting up to 3 weeks for a delivery wasn’t good customer service and I’ll still be switching as new company offers max 7 day delivery time. It can only be better than old supplier!!

  4. Lady Eve says:

    I found this really informative, and having been posted in 2016 a lot more up to date than most of the advice that’s out there. I do have a question, and it relates to LPG cylinders rather than bulk tank. I know someone who lives off-grid and recently switched to LPG. Have you or anyone you know ever come across a standing charge being applied to a new 2-year contract where LPG is supplied in cylinders?
    I cannot for the life of me understand what the charge is supposed to be covering (we are talking hundreds of pounds).

    • John Harrison says:

      Hi Lady Eve, nice to have the gentry here! 🙂

      Simple answer is to shop around – lots of places supply gas in bottles – not even sure I’d get a contract. Our coal man does LPG in bottles and doesn’t ask for contracts.

  5. Caroline says:

    Thank you for all the information provided here, which we used to shop around some lpg suppliers. Our renewal contract offer was 43p/litre and £100 gas credit. We managed to secure a deal at 28p/litre for the first year and 31p/litre in the second year with a £200 gas credit from the same supplier. For us this is a two year saving of £740.

  6. LesleyMc says:

    This is brilliant thank you to John for all this great advice. Just moved into house with electric heating (eek!) and an LPG fire in living room. Ran out of gas last night and don’t want to use the electric unless an emergency!

    I guess when you have a contract they refill or connect a new bottle, all sounds very technical to me, prob not possible to buy from coal man or similar as imagine it would be up to me to connect? I’ve just contacted a company company called Woldlink for a quote, but will probably ring direct to the 3 suppliers as you suggest.

    • John Harrison says:

      Hi LesleyMc
      I’ve got a tank as it runs our central heating but you can get bottles from the coal man here – could pay to ring around and not tie yourself up in any contracts.

      Incidentally, there are offers and assistance for replacing expensive electric heating with heat pump systems which are far more efficient. With a fan, bar or electric storage heater you get 1 unit of heat for each unit of electricity but with a heat pump you get between 3 and 5 out for each unit in.

      You may be able to get a grant and there is a feed in tariff available.

  7. Aza says:

    Love the article John. I’ve recently purchased a property for use as a holiday home and the previous owner used LPG for his central heating. The company who supplied him quoted me 34p a litre and in my first phone call to a competitor have been offered 33p, a 3.5p cap for year 2 and £250 of fuel as a switching bonus. Is the 29p still achievable now or have prices risen significantly since the beginning of the year?
    Thanks.

    • John Harrison says:

      Hi Aza – Prices probably have risen since oil & gas are based on the US dollar and we’ve devalued the pound so I suspect the deal you’ve got is about as good as you’re going to get. Always worth going back to the first and seeing if they can beat the deal though – worst case is they say no.

  8. Jeremy says:

    Hi – great article. I’ve just moved into a rented property that is on LPG, first time I’ve used it and I’m not currently on contract. I’m finding that, whilst other companies are prepared to significantly undercut our current supplier, the siting of the tank isn’t in line with current rules and so these companies cannot take on the tank (and there’s nowhere else to put it). Which means I’m stuck with the current supplier, regardless of what they charge. If I don’t take up a contract, am I free to buy LPG from any supplier – or does it have to come from whoever owns the tank? Thanks.

    • John Harrison says:

      Hi Jeremy – what a pickle!! My understanding, which may be wrong, is that the gas suppliers only fill their own tanks. If your tank isn’t ‘legal’ then I would have thought that the owning company shouldn’t fill it either.
      It wouldn’t do any harm to ask the cheaper firms if they are willing to fill the tank although you’ll be paying the service charge to the owning company.
      Could be worth a discussion with the landlord. He might even want to think about an electric heat pump system which is attracting government subsidies at the moment.
      Sorry I’ve no easy or definitive answers – perhaps someone else may comment who does. Good luck!

  9. Luis Ponte says:

    John,
    Thank you very much for a wonderfully informative article. We built our own house in the country 5 years ago and have never bothered to look at our supplier, Flogas, until I cam across your article. I then started to look and could not believe how unregulated it the market is in terms of transparent pricing. Having followed your advice, I have now changed and calculate my savings over 2 years to be £1,733. I cannot believe that in this day and age in this country, energy firms are literally alowed to charge you what they like in this sector. If you haven’t done so, please follow John’s great advice. Thanks again. Luis

  10. Ian McCall says:

    Hi all,
    Have a look at a web site switchmylpg.co.uk
    I haven’t used it as we are currently mid contract. But I have bookmarked it for later in the year as we near the end of our 2 year term. I agree with everything John is saying lpg suppliers are a barrel of monkeys, they should be forced into wearing bandit masks because that is how they behave.

    Since the OFT Competition Commission report back in Oct 2004 suppliers must take on (transfer) your current tanks and equipment if you wish to change supplier. If you use lpg it is worth getting hold of a copy of this report its available on the internet and it provides very useful information regarding your rights as a consumer.

    It is of course full of legal jargon but it does help in understanding your rights.

    • John Harrison says:

      Hi Ian
      I appreciate what you’re saying but my experience was you get a far better deal playing one against the other directly. I suspect the switch site will be funded via a commission and that will be reflected in the price you get.

      I could be wrong here, but I think the electricity / mains gas sites like go compare are legally regulated to a degree (although they’re said to not tell you of the best deal if there’s nothing in it for them) but there seems to be precious little regulation for LPG

  11. Jude says:

    I’d be very interested to hear from anyone who has negotiated an LPG price with Flogas recently. We have moved into a housing development that has a group contract for LPG and the current price we are being charged is 59.5p per cubic litre(!) This has been “negotiated” by the development’s landlord. I’d like to help the landlord negotiate harder but need figures for how low Flogas are willing to go at present.
    Thanks in advance
    Jude

  12. Tim says:

    Hi Jude,

    I’ve just been given a price of 33p per litre from Extra Gas who use Flogas for the actual supply in my area.

    I suspect your Landlord is getting a financial incentive from the supplier in someway!

    Hope this helps,
    Tim

  13. Brian De'Ath says:

    Hi all, great informative article. We are in the process of buying a property with LPG gas and after reading the different stories and prices, will definitely be negotiating a deal with one of the mentioned companies. Thanks again, Brian.

  14. DavidWD says:

    I deal with a lot of customers in South West areas who are on LPG and paying way over the odds for their energy.I would advise anyone on LPG to look at alternative such as Air to Air heating and Thermal Dynamics for constant hot water 24 hrs a day. On average would cost around £250 per year to run both.

  15. Stella Oakey says:

    Wow, great informative article and great thread of replies. Unfortunately, just realised we are scuppered! Moved into new property in Worcs June 2016, signed 2 year contract with previous owner’s supplier (Countywide), not really reading it properly (STUPID – assumed protected by regulations as per other energy supply) and price has gone from 42p/lt to 57.5p/lt. Before we realised we couldnt get out of the contract we contacted other suppliers who sucked through their teeth (over phone!) and said “Wow! you are paying way too much. Our price would currently be (Avanti Gas)27p fixed for 12 months or 29.5p fixed for 12 months with £150 of FREE gas both with a cap of 3p in any 6 month period during the 2nd year and rental is £66 per year” Flogas said a very similar thing and quoted similar prices. So folks! However, reading this thread I can see that they too are doing what Countrywide do! Whilst I am gutted that we arent able to do a darn thing till June 2018 – be warned they are ALL like it – don’t be stupid like us and take out a 2 year variable rate deal!

  16. Alan says:

    Hi I am not sure you have done the right thing here if I read your article correctly you were getting ripped off by your LPG supplier, they knew it you at the time you did not, but you ended up staying with them? It seems like this is exactly how the LPG market place works these suppliers, to get their year on year 10% increase for their shareholders they are not getting 10% more customers each year they rely on increasing their existing customers pricing by 10%. Your supplier must be over the moon. I recon the only answer is to move suppliers, why would you want to continue to give money to someone that previously ripped you off? I found this article recently and it helped initially so thank you but I’m not sure it’s the full picture. I am a builder and our client had a tank and was moaning about the cost of gas I used a broker (because it was quick and easy) LPG Price and Advice who pointed this out to me and I agree with them. The market will not change unless customers change it.

    • John Harrison says:

      Hi Alan – effectively we, like many others, have a choice of 2. Some people have 3. They’re all corporate blocks operating in the same way supplying the same thing. As far as I can gather there’s no difference in service level either.
      So as far as I’m concerned, any of them will get the most they can so why penalise myself because the lowest cost supplier ‘ripped me off’ before?
      And why use a broker in such a limited market. Brokers have to be paid so must add a cost in either directly or indirectly. I’m quite capable of using the phone for half an hour and eliminating a middle man charge.

  17. Steve says:

    Hi, Wow I have found the article very interesting as I am looking to purchase a House which is off grid for mains gas supply. I have done a online quote with Calor and got a quote for 34p/litre. Can somebody please answer the following in ‘plain English’ the price difference of mains gas vs off grid gas (large storage LPG) ?

    Many thanks
    Steve

    • John Harrison says:

      OK – Mains gas is delivered through pipes and you pay for it based on the volume and energy in the gas, which can vary a little.
      LPG is delivered by tanker as a liquid so you pay per litre.
      It’s a bit difficult to compare, hard to get an exact like for like but I think it’s fair to say LPG is about twice the cost of mains gas. If you can get mains gas – get it!

  18. Steve says:

    John, Thank you for the quick reply. Damn…. double the price … this is shocking!!!. We have already asked, there is no mains supply.

    • Pete says:

      Been buying LPG from different suppliers for years as I own the bulk tank, prices vary a lot but I can shop around as long as they have a copy of the test certificate. Last time it was tested by one of the suppliers and have been told the tank will have to be replaced because of it’s age. I can find no regulation that says this, anyone know where or who I can contact to question this. Pete.

  19. jon says:

    Very informative site, i’ve just been to look at an old cottage in a rural location for sale that doesn’t have a gas supply, i noticed a couple of houses in the area with gas tanks in the garden.

    What are the costs of having a tank installed, purchase price, cost of gas, how long does a tank of gas last, can this type of gas be used with a standard gas combi boiler or do you nedd a special gas boiler.

    Sorry for all the questions, off grid services are new to me, i’m starting to think do i want to buy an house with only mains electric, sewage is a septic tank, water is from a bore hole but hasn’t been used in years, i’m trying to work out all the hidden costs i will incur….thanks

    • John Harrison says:

      Jon – All your gas appliances including the boiler will need to be suitable for LPG. Basically they have different injectors so not a biggie.
      How long a tank will last depends how much gas you use. Big house or little? Well insulated or not? What’s the weather like?
      Costs of installation will vary too – you need to contact the gas suppliers.
      Get a drain survey – older septic tanks in good condition are dead easy to live with (so we find)
      Water from a bore hole – you need to have it analysed in case of pollutants and you should also have a filter and UV steriliser. Our neighbours reckon mains water is cheaper (they’re off grid)

      • jon says:

        Thank you for the reply, i’m not sure the bore hole is viable as it’s not been used since 2009, there is no way to get mains water to the property, i was thinking if couldn’t use the bore hole a rain water harvesting system may be the answer, i’m not too sure you can drink rain water in the UK.

        From online info about lpg i will give some of the gas companies a call to give me qoute for a new installation.

        If i get the house, while i’m renovating it i’m going to try make it as energy efficent as possible with insulation in walls, floors and ceilings.

        Moving from mains services to off grid country living seems a little daunting but once evering is set up hopefully it will be ok.

        • John Harrison says:

          The only way to tell with the borehole is to suck it and see. Probably it is fine – See if the neighbours know anything, if it dries up in summer you’ll need some storage. Same for rainwater harvesting. That isn’t too bad though, you can pick up 1,000 litre lbc tanks quite cheap on ebay.

          Don’t worry – you’ll survive the countryside!

  20. Ceri says:

    Hi
    We are buying a house in Gloucestershire (3 bed semi) that currently has coal fired heating and hot water and would love to have a gas cooker and instant hot water. Currently trying to weight up the cost differences between installing and running LPG and oil.
    Some of the prices here are quite shocking and I am starting to think oil would be a better option. The heavier carbon footprint needles my conscience though. If we do go LPG, this is such useful information, thank you for the eye opener!

  21. James says:

    I have lived out in the country for last. 30 years lpg gas borehole water septic tank my contract with flogas now run out ,waiting to see price they quote .on the plus side with flogas valve on tank faulty Sunday winter ,rang flogas ,came out changed valve,heating back on.no problem with lpg hob make sure the jets for lpg are supplied with the hob .I think a new electric fan oven better than a lpg oven harder to convert

  22. Hardeep says:

    Useful information , i am going to buy farm cottage with oil heating .I called LPG gas tank supplier to get quotation and quite surprise with their quotation 57p/litre for 1st year.According to your post main gas is cheaper.I called main gas supplier and they said they can install gas in £650 in my property .Do you think main gas is good option rather gas tank.

    • John Harrison says:

      Mains gas is by far the best option; more choice, easy to change suppliers and will add value to the property when you sell in the future.

  23. Hardeep says:

    Thank you john.Your advice is valuable and I will go with mains gas.
    You are doing good job.

  24. Joyce and Peter Moody says:

    These comments make very interesting (and informative!) reading.
    My family and I moved into a rural cottage in August this year and being “green round the gills” went with the company (FloGas) already supplying the property, cost 37ppl with a 26p per day standing charge. We signed a 2 year contact. Last week we received a letter saying the wholesale cost of LPG had gone up and that our price had gone up to 47.95ppl!!!!
    After a telephone conversation today, where I was offered a reduction of 2 ppl, I asked what the penalty would be to release us from our contract to which I was informed that there would not be a penalty charge, all that was required was a letter giving 42 days notice.
    I then contacted Calorgas and they offered me (taking into account the 42 days required notice) a 1 year contract fixed for six months at 35 ppl after which the rate was variable. There is apparently a clause stating that Calor cannot increase their prices by more than 3.5ppl in any three month period, which I would mean that Calor could, (and probably would) take advantage of that. If so there would be an overall increase of 7ppl over the second six month period. Also the standing charge is (only!) 17.28 ppd compared to FloGas who come in at 26 ppd.
    Overall this doesn’t seem to bad, particularly the fact that it is only a 12 month contract.
    I would be interested to hear your views.

    • John Harrison says:

      If I was you, Joyce & Peter, I’d go back to Flogas and say you were terminating the contract as Calor have made you a much better offer. When Flogas come back to you (as I bet they will) tell them the Calor offer .. less a few pence per litre.
      I bet they match it or better it. Plus when you say how you’ll go to Calor even so as you feel ripped off, they will most likely offer an even better deal.
      Then go back to Calor with the Flogas offer (less a penny or two) and see what they say.
      I believe you should treat them with the same transparency and honesty that they display to their customers. 🙂
      Do let us all know how you get on in the end.

  25. Kathy says:

    Our contract with calor was due to run our this month (November 2017).
    In the run up to this I had been getting prices from other suppliers (as I know from the past they have been charging us way in excess of other suppliers – some would say immorally/extortionately so!).

    While I was out Calor filled our tank on the first of November…. interesting timing on their part…..
    So I will have to wait for a few months before it’s worth changing suppliers.
    I don’t plan to use calor in the future as a result of my past experience.

    Great article and replies – thanks

  26. Carole Smith says:

    Moved into property with LPG almost two years ago, presumed it would be similar to oil, phone around and get best price- BIG
    MISTAKE- middle of winter, empty tank so paid through the nose for LPG to company whose name was on tank to tide us over christmas. Received good quote from another company but didn’t know about dreaded tranfer time of six weeks on tank. As we are now due (almost) to recontract and present company say they won’t quote us untill after christmas sugestions on getting around tank transfer waiting time please.

  27. Ed Chester says:

    Great article … I’m just starting on shopping around. I was with Calor and was a bit late paying for my last order… so when I tried to order today I was told I had no contract and had to pay up front! I pressed them further and apparently I’ve had no contract for 2 years! which was news to me! which is when I did some googling and found this article. I will let you know how I get on but thanks for the info John … I can go in ‘armed & ready’ 🙂

    • Ed Chester says:

      So I spoke to FloGas today who said I can move to them no problem. They said they will buy the tank … they could give me a year at the rate of £0.33 a litre + 5% VAT – tank rental of £83 a year invoiced quarterly and £75 free gas. The guy from FloGas said that I would get a cheaper price from Avanti … he said more like 28p … but any gas order would take 28 days to come. I’m going to speak to them tomorrow.

      • John Harrison says:

        If it’s helpful, Ed, we use around 3,000 litres a year to heat our 3 bedroom, stone built bungalow and cook. So 5p a litre is roughly £150 a year difference.
        The flogas deal sounds pretty fair especially as they’re giving you £75 back.

        • Ed Chester says:

          Hey John – well I followed your lead and thought back to a past visit to Marrakesh 🙂

          Calor offered 34p ppl + 5% and £91.72 standing charge – no incentive to stay!

          Avanti offered 2 year contract – 29p ppl + 5% and £115.50 standing charge – No cash offer but offered use of Avanti Premium rewards

          So I went back to Flogas …and said :

          “I’ve spoken to Calor and Avanti to see who offers the best deal and its close between the 3.

          Can you offer me a better unit price? Calor will match 33p and Avanti offer 29p

          If not could you offer anything better on the free gas? both Avanti and Calor will match the Flogas standing charge and have their own incentives.”

          Flogas came back and said :

          “We can take the ppl to 31p (plus VAT) and can take the free gas to £150.”

          So I’m going with Flogas 🙂 and I’m pretty pleased with that! Thanks again John.

  28. Kim Cole says:

    Thank you so much for this information John!! So informative… My contract with Calor is up so I will enjoy haggling tomorrow!
    Thanks again,
    Kim x

  29. Eric Hardy says:

    Hi well there is a LPG switch Compare site more than 1 if you look there is about 2-4 sites they will do the work for you there is more LPG suppliers than the 3 mentioned the 1 which comes out cheapest for me is Extra Gas they cover all the UK plus you can fix your LPG price every 12 months as well.

    • John Harrison says:

      Thanks Eric – I hadn’t come across Extra Gas. All of them will fix for 12 months and usually limit any increase for the second year. Most contracts run for 2 years with tank supplies.
      My experience is that switch sites don’t get you anything like as good a deal as getting on the phone and negotiating.

  30. Patricia Taylor says:

    Hi, I pay an average of 64 pounds for a 47kg bottle of gas to run my Esse cooker. Am I being ripped off?
    Patricia

    • John Harrison says:

      Hi Patricia – I really don’t know as I have a bulk tank. Get on the phone and ring a few suppliers and see what they’d charge you is the only way to know for sure.

  31. Gordon says:

    John,

    I use 47kg bottles for heating and have just re-ordered to find that the price per cylinder has increased by 19%. This seems excessive, but having said that the price is, I think, still very competitive. It is now £53.5 per cylinder as against the previous of £45.

    Has the market price of lpg to suppliers to the domestic market recently increased by virtually 20%?

    Not a bulk lpg issue, but may be of interest as I assume if there has been an increase it will be reflected in bulk supply charges.

  32. GRAHAM ELLIOTT says:

    When I moved to this old cottage 3 years ago there was a letter from Calor kindly offering me bulk Gas for 45p with a 3 month fix.
    Shopped around.

    Flogas 29p with max 2p increase plus £250 credit free.

    Last contract 31p then 33p. Year two.
    Offset by £100 credit for switching next door and saving neighbour from Calor high prices.

  33. Lea says:

    Hi everyone,

    This is a great article thank you and I have enjoyed reading through the comments too.

    We are supposed to be moving into our rental property on 5 Jan – and have just been told it’s an LPG underground tank (which is apparently empty!) Upon investigation I have discovered that Calor installed the tank but are now out of contract so we are ‘free to shop around’ although of course we don’t really have time to do that with the 4/6 week tank transfer time. To add to this Calor refused to talk to me about supply today saying that as there has been ‘problems’ with previous people at the address then it has to go through head office – which I can’t do until Tuesday (2 jan) this obviously makes time even more tight and I am completely panicking as we have 2 children under 2 and obviously cannot be in a house with no heating/hot water.

    Also our rental contract is for 6 months so I am obviously not wanting to sign up for a 2 year contract. Is it always a 2 year contract? I’m beginning to think we may not be moving in after all…..

    Any advice greatly appreciated! Thank you.

    • John Harrison says:

      Hi Lea
      First – Don’t Panic!!
      Yes it is always a 2 year contract but my daughter had exactly the same situation and left the property after 12 months. She was with Flogas and had no problem.
      Check with the prospective supplier and I’m sure they’ll confirm this to you. The problems they’ve had with previous tenants paying may result in them asking for an up-front payment or deposit at worst.

      • Lea says:

        Hi John,

        Thanks for the reply. Since posting on here the landlord rang Calor and sorted out the past issues – as in I now have my own new account created. Calor have let me order without signing into any contract (yes I did pay 37ppl – but at least I have a tank full of gas, or I will do by Tuesday of next week) They said I could continue to order without a contract and pay upfront or sign into a contract for 12 months or 2 years and pay monthly.

        Phew!!

        Thanks again, I am feeling a lot better about it all now 🙂

  34. Graham says:

    Hi All, just read this article and all the replies. Calor are coming out to give me a quote on changing from oil to lpg.
    Are they the only suppliers who do this or are there others who will quote to switch?

  35. rtcas says:

    My experience of Calor has been they messed us about over tank transfer then offered a better price when we had signed with another company. Our two year contract with them is about to run out, we felt when we moved in knowing nothing about bulk LPG, middle of winter and an empty gas tank they had us over a barrel, or should I say tank. Now with contract about to run out have shopped around for prices, this might be of interest-
    been offered 29pltre by Avanti, 30p by Flogas and 33p by Calor,
    Calor also offering £100. free gas and second year of thirtysix pounds ltre fixed.
    All have similar tank rental of around the sixty fiveish
    pounds. We live in North Devon, Calor delivery is around two weeks although we always reorder at around the 40% in the tank. Haven’t yet decided,any feed back welcome.

  36. epf says:

    We own a lodge on a holiday site.The site owner has just increased the already inflated piped LPG charge by 300%. Can he really do this with impunity? Is there nothing we can do? We cannot have bottled gas.

  37. Gavin Sweeten says:

    Hi.

    Just wondering if I am the only one being subjected to price hikes from FloGas….now 61.59ppl !!

    Middle of 2017 I mistakenly thought I had received a letter from FloGas saying that I was out of contract, but it was a letter saying my discounted period was over, and I was reverting to normal rate. I tried to leave, because they had been difficult about an agreed previous price cap, which they relented on. Understandably, the move was refused by the new company. But, I wonder if I am now being ‘punished’ for trying to leave, as I have had three price hikes since then, two in late 2017 and one end Jan 18.

    Is 61p unusually hgh for out-of-contract LPG?

    • John Harrison says:

      Gavin – in view of current wholesale energy costs it seems very high for bulk tank delivered LPG but I suppose their price is whatever they feel like.
      Hope your contract runs out soon so you can swap out.

  38. Cara Stone says:

    Hi John. Thank you for sharing your experiences. I’ve just moved into a property, much as you did, from a 5 bed well insulated modern home on mains gas to a 4 bed solid sandstone cottage. I’ve been petrified by the amount of gas we’re using and consequently limit the family’s use of hot water. We have the heating on for 3 hours in the morning and 5 hours in the evening with the rad valves set at 3. I don’t change it so I can get good data comparisons.
    We moved in on 1/11/17, and to 31/1/18, we’ve used 2340 litres.
    I had someone round who said we didn’t have a leak and that we were using what he would expect. I’ve since phoned the boiler manufacturer’s technical team who felt sure we do have a leak.
    I was wondering whether the gas consumption versus the use sounds a lot to you with your greater experience?
    I’ve also noticed that the average daily consumption goes up as the tank decreases. Have you seen this?
    I’d be so grateful to hear your views – the majority seem to be on oil nearby so can’t compare.

    • John Harrison says:

      Hi Cara
      I doubt you have a leak – if the system has been inspected by the supplier and in the house by a gas safe engineer. They may be rascals on charging but they all take safety seriously.
      Your gas usage depends on the building’s construction and size – you can calculate how much energy you need but it’s well beyond a reply to post. Obviously location and temperature outside effects things – you can get degree day data to calculate that for your location (I see a lot of googling in your future!)
      Boiler efficiency will make a difference as will the control system.
      We have a large 3 bed bungalow, stone walls and now have a lot of loft insulation (60cm) We cook on LPG and have a woodburner as a secondary heat source. We work from home and keep the house warm for health reasons.
      Your usage is very high, I think. 25 litres a day. In 2010 when temps dropped to -15 we had the heating on 24 hours and the woodburner going plus electric heaters. Our usage was 16.49 litres per day (no insulation to speak of in the loft then either)
      Our normal winter consumption is less than 15 litres a day.
      It many be worth pulling in a specialist if you can’t work out what the consumption should be.

      • Cara Stone says:

        Thanks so much for your reply John. The supplier never came and inspected the tank, and the gas safety engineer didn’t actually look at anything – he just asked what we were using and said it seemed fine.
        I’d like to think the EPC has calculated the house construction/size/location and provided a reasonable estimate on the heat demand – it says just shy of 3000 litres per year. We’re not so far off that in 3 months, although I don’t know how many hours of heat demand per day go into their calculations.
        I’ll keep on trying to find an ‘expert’. So far, I’ve only found people who can look at the boiler – Worcester Bosch feel confident it’s not the boiler.
        As you say, on with the research!

        • John Harrison says:

          Cara – In view of of what you’ve said, something is going badly wrong somewhere. It does sound like a leak – are you sure your neighbour hasn’t tapped in to the pipe!

          Worcester Bosch do a brilliant maintenance plan with employed engineers who do a proper service. Worth taking out, especially if the boiler is over 5 years old.

  39. R. Mcauley says:

    I received a letter from flogas last week advising that my cost per litre is increasing to 70.1 pence & vat from feb 5th. My last correspondence from September 2017 advised that the price from 1st October was 49.31p. When I called to order a refill I was quoted 62.21p per litre as it had increased to this in December ( I received no notification of this interim rise)
    As a “goodwill”gesture the company offered to fix the price at 62.21p for one year.
    I have refused this offer & am currently shopping around however living in rural Scotland there’s not much choice. Any advice would be welcome

  40. Emma says:

    Hi,
    We moved into a house in January where the previous owners used Flogas. We wanted to shop around but have had Countrywide come out and say our tank was incorrectly placed and that it is too close to the rear fence and side fence. It does look as though the tank may have been placed wrong when it was installed by the house builder 19 years ago. Flogas came out and filled it as an emergency (took five days) as it was empty and they are happy to renew the contract, are we stuck with them as they will fill this “illegally” placed tank or who is responsible?

    • Ann Porter says:

      You can get out of this problem by building a “gas retention” wall, not sure of technical name. We are looking to do this as to put a “legal” tank in will site it in the middle of our drive! Look on government planning regulation site and then challenge anyone who won’t let you have gas.

  41. Sam van den Berg says:

    Hi!
    Has anyone else had a 65% increase from Flogas?
    We have only been with Flogas for 2 1/2 months on the understanding we had a fixed rate of 34p for the first year and no increase more than 5p in the second year. In 2 months we have had 2 increases and they total 22p more per litre. This is daylight robbery, is it a mistake? Can’t get hold of the guy who signed us up. Can you give us some advice on this?
    We only have a 2 bedroom poorly insulated wooden cabin as have moved from town to a farm we are developing for our horses. We have used 1005 litres in 75 days , is this normal? We are in for a hell of a bill more than our 4 bedroom double story. Very concerned as we can’t see on the contract where they fixed the rate and are now worried it was verbally told it was fixed for a year etc. Are we stuck in this 2 year contract to pay whatever they wish???

    • John Harrison says:

      Hi Sam – Your consumption seems high but there are too many variables to make a relevant answer.
      As for the contract, my understanding is that what you have in writing is provable but verbal statements mean little to nothing in court. You really should consult a lawyer for legal advice though.

  42. Sam van den Berg says:

    Is this increase a country wide dilemma that all companies prices have gone up? ( I don’t mean the store!)
    Is it a fair and legitimate increase or are they just catching us out as we are rookie first timers?
    They claim it is unavoidable due to sharp increases over recent weeks in oil prices and unplanned shutdown of major pipelines in the North Sea and Libya during the second half of December.
    Is this true? ?

    • Sam van den Berg says:

      Thanks John for your reply. I found the contract part that we were shown on line that shows they will not increase more that 5p in 12 months, I can’t seem to attach it to show you but there is a clause linked to a Platt’s index price going up. I’m struggling to find out what this is. 5p is not too bad but when it goes up to 56.15p ex vat with our consumption it’s quite daunting.
      Thanks in advance for your information ?

      • John Harrison says:

        Hi Sam – I’m no expert on LPG, I just passed on my experience as a customer that haggling was well worthwhile. I’ve not heard of this Platt index at all.
        I think the North Sea closure has been planned for a long time. There was a global peak in price in December 2017 since when it’s falling.
        I’m safely under contract with Calor so on a fixed price – what they would offer today, I don’t know.

  43. Joanne says:

    John just wanted to say thanks for this post; it’s been really helpful and I am now shopping around. We are currently out of contract with Calor paying 58ppl and didn’t realise we could change suppliers!! They’ve now quoted 34 ppl with standing charge at 25p per day based on a 2 year fixed contract with year 2 capped at a max of 37.5 ppl. Avanti quoted 29ppl fixed for 12 months with year 2 capped at 3ppl increase in any one 6 months i.e max 6p a year; standing charge is £110 pa and £150 credit of free gas. Flogas dont have any staff this afternoon to help me so not sure I’ll be going with them… Calor offer us a telemetric devise which means we don’t need to monitor our usage (great for us because Calor came out yesterday as we were down to 5%!) whereas Avati dont have this and rely on “Guestimation forecasting” their term and doesn’t sound very scientific! I’ll keep haggling 🙂

  44. The prices on here if you shop around are lower than LPG was 10 years ago. It’s more than oil, but not by a huge amount.

    If one assumes that the price paid can be reduced by haggling to 30 pence per litre, the energy content of LPG is 7.1 kWh per litre so that makes the price to compare to other fuels 4.2 p per kWh.

    Electricity is about 14 p per kWh. Mains gas, I don’t know but it used to be about 4 p. So don’t use electricity unless you have a heat pump and even then you need the RHI aka a taxpayer subsidy to make it worthwhile.

    • John Harrison says:

      Sorry to be pedantic but you’d need to factor in boiler efficiency to give a fair comparison with electric. Typically this varies between 70% and 90% depending on type and it being properly maintained.

      So an old boiler is maybe 6p per KWh delivered to 4.7p whereas an airsource heatpump is probably giving 2.5 to 1, maybe 3 to 1

      Not that it invalidates your conclusion.

  45. Jim says:

    I’m shocked at the prices of LPG people are quoting. I’ve been with Flogas since 2013 after Macgas folded.75p a ltr inc 5% vat. And £52 yr for an underground tank.
    I don’t even know if I have a contract with them. Feel ripped off after reading this. I only use the c/ htg. for 3 hours a day it’s too expensive and use an electric heater in the living room when needed. Last year I managed on 1000ltrs £750 from Nov- Nov. This year not so with the cold weather need another top up already, March.
    January I installed a new W/Bosch boiler, supposed to be at least 25% more efficient, certainly doesn’t seem to use any less gas.
    Glad I found this site, just received a online quote from Calor 38p a ltr and £95 a yr for the tank. Will be on the phone tomorrow to check Avanti prices and start haggling. Can’t believe I’ve paid such a high price for the last five years.

  46. Anne says:

    Sorry if this off the point. Ii am using cylinders and want to get an underground lpg tank (I haven’t even got to lpg prices yet). I have got a quote to dig the hole and then backfill it. £2600. Seems an awful lot. Has anybody had experience of this? Thanks

    • Jim says:

      Anne.
      No harm in trying one of the LPG comparison websites.
      LPG-save
      LPG compare
      Switchmylpg
      These guy’s seem to get very good deals on all LPG needs, according to the testimonials.
      My u/ground tank was installed for free 21 years ago.

    • Ann Porter says:

      Why a below ground tank, apart from the aesthetics. Apart from the price of the “hole” there is an about x4 cost of the service charge each year. Check it all out before you leap. Also see my reply just above about a wall if you are too close to fences.

  47. Rachel Tierney says:

    Does anyone know if a supplier is not keeping their side of the contract, ie not delivering and not responding to any communication, can the consumer cancel with no penalty charge.
    Thanks any replies appreciated

    • John Harrison says:

      From what you say they’re already in breach of contract and I would expect you could cancel without penalty BUT I’m not a lawyer – who would need to read the contract.
      I’m pretty sure a contract term that amounted to ‘we can mess you about’ would be deemed unfair 🙂
      If it was me I’d write it all down and cancel by letter giving them a reasonable time to remedy the breach.
      This is not legal advice though – just stating what I would do in those circumstances.

  48. Susan says:

    So glad I have read these reviews. Didn’t realize I could change suppliers. Have been with Flogas since 2013 and the price this years quote has gone to 69.9 ppl. EXTORTIONATE, plus £64 year. That’s a lot of money being a pensioner. Certainly going to call Avanti. Can anyone give me phone numbers to call cheaper suppliers. It would really be appreciated to get cheaper LPG

  49. CB3 says:

    John
    Although your first post is a couple of years old now, I found it incredibly useful, balanced and informative. Many thanks indeed. Actually, despite the passage of time the numbers you were quoting are not a million miles off my experience now: our usage is circa 3000 litres pa and we are currently coming off contract with Calor where we have been paid 47p.
    One thing that has intrigued me: I got in contact with two of the main LPG comparison sites. Call me a cynic…but each of them seemed ‘locked in’ to one of the two big players: one recommended Flogas and the other one immediately recommended Calor. The spooky thing was the ‘independent’ who recommended Calor seemed to have access to Calor’s own customer data! This because I had called Calor myself first – on the basis that I have had an account with them for many years – and he was able to tell me exactly what deal they had offered me to the nearest penny!! That raised an interesting question in my mind: is he a genuine independent adviser and, if so, is he able to access the customer records of all the LPG firms? I doubt it – and I would hope not! Therefore, I would conclude that, in fact, he is really recruiting for Calor and, I assume, gets a commission or bounty for each one he signs up. I wasn’t any use to him as he could see that I had already contacted Calor directly. However, it has certainly raised a lot of doubt in my mind about these so called LPG price comparison websites/services as they are not really ‘whole of market’ – they are effectively tied to one supplier whether they admit it or not.
    It’s a pity that the LPG bulk market is so relatively small in terms of market size and therefore OFGEM has no interest in regulating it because it actually feels like the wild west out there with predatory pricing and price ‘gouging’ going on by all the operators. I am slightly surprised that nobody has raised the possibly of filing a consumer super complaint to get the market structure investigated – again.

    • John Harrison says:

      Hi CB3 that’s very interesting. As I’ve said before, there’s no regulation on LPG comparison sites and since they have to make money for recommending people it strikes me that you’re better off spending a few minutes on the phone and cutting out the middle man.
      Incidentally, I’ve been contacted by the Mail on Sunday about this article and I believe the piece will be in on Sunday 29th April

      • CB3 says:

        Thanks John. Be interesting to read the article. I agree: the price comparison sites are not, it seems, really independent brokers. They are simply recruiting customers for a particular provider.
        The truth is that the Government (whoever they may be) knows that the LPG heating market is relatively small in terms of the number of households (i.e. voters!) so they can’t really be bothered to tackle the issues of poor service/low supply levels (certainly over the past year) and predatory pricing and pretty blatant price fixing. Were more votes at stake, they’d be all over this market like a cheap suit.

  50. Susan says:

    Thanks John. I will let you know how I go on

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