The following content originally appeared in Dairy Innovation magazine issue 129, which you can subscribe to here.
Reducing costs and carbon emissions is on everyone’s agenda, and it has been for some time. Most businesses prioritise it as good practice; however outside influences also have a huge impact.
The Dairy Roadmap is having a hugely positive effect on ensuring that the British dairy industry continues to lead the world on environmental sustainability, setting tough targets for farmers and manufacturers on everything from pollution incidents and carbon reduction to energy efficiency and environment management.
Retailers too are also publicly supporting the Roadmap, which can only be good for the long term sustainability of our industry. However, the retailers are also adding pressure on the other side of the coin, by driving down the margins made by farmers and manufacturers.
Whatever the reasons for wanting to reduce costs and carbon emissions, there are many changes, large and small that farmers and manufacturers can make.
However, there won’t be many changes that will hit cost and carbon targets at the same time, and potentially reduce them both by up to 40–50%.
One that will is energy supply and usage.
With many dairy farms and manufacturing plants located off the national grid, oil is widely used as the primary energy source.
The main problems with oil are well known; it can be expensive to buy, it’s an inefficient (and therefore expensive) fuel to burn, it’s dirty, and it’s a huge environmental pollutant.
Add to that the maintenance costs of an oil boiler, the potential for oil theft and the pollution risks (and fines) associated with oil leaks and spillages, it’s easy to see why it’s time to switch away from oil.
Moving away from oil
The only real alternative for off grid businesses looking to reduce costs and carbon emissions is gas. Specifically, Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) or Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). Both of which are delivered straight to your bulk tanks by tanker.
They’re cheaper than oil, greener than oil, cleaner burning, and fulfil all the same criteria that natural gas fulfils for on grid businesses. You wouldn’t burn oil if you were on the grid, so why use it off grid when there is a gas alternative?
The cheaper alternative
Although oil prices are currently low, what many people don’t realise is that gas prices have also seen a similar or greater reduction. Additionally, LPG and LNG pricing has proved historically to be consistently lower per litre than oil, regardless of whether it’s being compared to kerosene, gasoil or heavy fuel oil (HFO).
The expectation is that in the medium and long term the price differential between oil and gas will constantly increase, so the savings to be made by switching will continue to grow.
The exact amount saved will depend on usage, and on the current grade of oil used. However, experts predict LPG and LNG could reduce bills by between 20-40%. The savings come in two parts; fuel alone, and by replacing the oil burning equipment with much more efficient gas burners.
LPG and LNG are far superior to oil from an environmental perspective too. Comparing the fuels alone, they reduce CO2 emissions by 14% compared to kerosene, by 29% compared to gasoil and by 31% when compared to HFO. However, when combined with more efficient gas burners, LPG and LNG offer carbon dioxide reductions of 30-50%, helping to take a huge chunk out of corporate carbon footprints.
They not only offer significantly reduced CO2, but also reductions in particulates, NO2 and SO2 when compared to all grades of oil.
LPG vs LNG – what’s the difference?
Cost and carbon savings are identical; the main difference is pricing structure. So a conversation with energy expert, Flogas, will help you decide which one is right for you.
Either way though, whether you are converting from oil to LPG or LNG, conversion costs will be recouped in about a year, making the decision to switch even easier.
Making the switch
Flogas is the UK market leader in oil to LPG conversion, and is at the forefront of the UK’s expanding LNG market, so switching to LPG or LNG with Flogas is easy.
The switching process starts with a comprehensive site survey from Flogas’ qualified engineers. They’ll check the efficiency of your existing plant before designing a solution to suit your individual business needs. Before any costs are committed or any work is carried out, you’ll be shown the exact savings you can expect to see.
Flogas are experts in energy and provides a complete energy solution, so it’s a completely managed process from start to finish. The Flogas team will take care of everything – from civil works, to the installation and commissioning of new plant equipment and tanks.
But if making the switch is so easy, with conversion costs being recouped in a year, and obvious savings both financially and environmentally, why hasn’t everyone converted to LPG or LNG?
According to Rob McCord of Flogas, it’s because people just aren’t aware there is an alternative to oil. “We find the biggest reason that businesses still burn oil is a lack of awareness that there is a cheaper, greener alternative, or because they are under the misconception that switching is expensive or difficult. However, once they’ve seen how much they can save, and how easy the process is, the conversion quickly follows.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019