Housing association the Hyde Group has selected liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) from Calor for a new rural development in St Mary Bourne, Hampshire, which is dedicated solely to providing affordable housing to local residents.
A collection of 11 two and three bedroom properties built by PMC Construction, the St Mary Bourne development is a rural exception site. Such sites address the needs of the community by building homes on land that would not typically be used for housing.
Located off-grid, there was no feasibility of connecting the development to the mains gas grid, meaning the Hyde Group had to consider the alternative fuel options available, with LPG offering clear advantages in terms of cost efficiencies, flexibility and easy maintenance for tenants.
The Hyde Group initially considered electricity as the site’s main source of energy for providing heating and hot water to the homes, but quickly discovered LPG provided lower fuel costs, with electricity prices generally three to four times higher than gas prices per unit of energy.
LPG offers rural housing associations a cost-effective fuel choice when mains gas is not available. Delivering a flexible solution, residents can use gas for heating, hot water and cooking – through an instant and controllable flame – meaning tenants are able to enjoy the same benefits and conveniences as those in urban environments using mains gas. Furthermore, with LPG tenants can enjoy the familiarity and control of a gas combination boiler.
Calor supplied and installed two 4,000-litre bulk tanks to the site, which have been buried underground to ensure the development maintains its rural aesthetics. This creates a ‘metered estate’, with gas delivered to the properties through a network of pipes. Each tank is fitted with Calor’s 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.
Scott Edwards, Project Manager at the Hyde Group, said:
“We chose LPG for our St Mary Bourne site because not only is it a cost-effective energy supply, but it provides more choice for our residents. The scheme of 11 homes was built on agricultural land, so no other fuel resource had been supplied to this area before. We needed to get an alternative to electric that offered flexibility and was cost efficient for our residents. LPG offered these benefits and was easy to install.
“The service we’ve received from Calor Gas has been great. We have been really impressed that they have considered our needs and our residents at every stage. They worked very closely with our contractors, providing help and guidance throughout the process to make sure everything was ready ahead of time.”
The development is also supported by the Hampshire Alliance for Rural Affordable Housing, which works to strengthen rural communities. The alliance’s main aim is to increase the supply of affordable housing to rural villages in the county, ensuring local people can afford to live in the towns they were raised, work or have family connections.