My contract with Calor will end shortly. The are offering to renew at
68.5p per litre. Flogas are offering to supply at 35p per litre plus £60
pa standing charge. On the face of it this is a no-brainer, but as a
deeply suspicious and pessimistic person, much given to prognostications
of doom, I'm wondering if there's a gotcha. Does anyone have any
experience of changing to Flogas; any snags or unexpected costs?
They seem to be fine. They are THE supplier of Calor Gas around here, I
have two 19kg bottles to feed the cooker hob, and Flogas come to
change the empty bottle when requested. My neighbour's house is heated
by Calor (and wood fire), and I have never heard of any problems.
Calor Gas were a pain in the proverbial, but that was many years ago,
before the heating system was changed to oil, and they might have
I hadn't realised that 47 kg propane cylinders were about the same price
(per unit weight of gas) as a large LPG tank: I'd assumed that the latter
was a much cheaper way of buying gas.
My parents' holiday cottage (where my wife and I have been living until we
can move into a new house) has 2 banks each of 2x47 kg propane for its
heating, probably because that was more economical than an oil tank (with
the tank's large initial cost) for occasional use of a few weeks in the
summer. Having lived there a year, it's definitely *not* a cheap way to heat
a house :-(
The changeover valve between one bank or 2 cylinders and the other has been
a source of great frustration to us. It switches over automatically, and we
can only assume that the changeover pressure it set so as to use up as much
gas as possible, to avoid returning part-filled cylinders. But the indicator
of the need to replace the cylinders is a flag which changes between green
(full) and red (empty) and which can be switched over between banks of
cylinders to show the state of each bank. Several times we've completely run
out of gas, with the indicator showing green. We've had a heating engineer
out who as tested the valve and found it to be working perfectly. But this
last time, the Calor delivery driver proved that the indicator was faulty:
for one bank the indicator is ambiguous (it doesn't completely flip from
green to red) and for the other bank it remains green even with the hoses to
the cylinders disconnected and therefore at atmospheric pressure.
Now all I need is to get in touch with the heating engineer and get him to
replace the valve as having a faulty indicator - but he's ignoring phone
messages and the other people who advertise locally say they don't have a
"ticket" for bottled propane/LPG gas installations, only for mains methane.
There is something called a self fill where you take your empty bottle to a garage and use their LPG pump to fill your bottle as if it was a cars log tank.
A Google session should find it....
Pay the same price per litre as all other LPG drivers....
There are several, Safefill (as you say), Gasit, is another. While
refilling is cheap, the initial cost is high- a Safefill 10kg cylinder
is about £175, with a 10 year nominal life, you need to factor that in.
I see motorhome users singing the praises of such systems in terms of
savings but I wonder how much propane they use. We've been motorhoming 6
years and not spent £175, on propane. (We only use gas for cooking.)
Of course, for motorhomers there is also the advantage you don't have
the issue of changing calor bottles in Europe- where it simply isn't
possible. However, carrying (say) a French bottle is much cheaper than
converting to refillable.
I've considered converting but more for convenience than cost in our case.
Always smile when walking, you never know where there is a camera ;-)
The bottles and the valve are installed in a little lean-to, which is
sized for the 19 kg unit. The cost of rebuilding the lean-to would not
be worth it. And it would look odd, the current setup is just right,
and the roof provides a very useful working garden shelf.
But thanks for the suggestion.
I was with Flogas for 18 years until I moved house last year. Apart
from an initial hiccup when I first moved there, probably a
misunderstanding at both ends, they were fine. I assume you have a
bulk tank, owned by Calor. When chatting to the Flogas man not long
after we moved in over there, he said that if you change from Calor,
not only do they take the tank away, but they squirt expanding foam
down the pipe connecting to the house to make it impossible for it to
be re-used, and the whole length has to be replaced with associated
disruption and upheaval. If you're just on individual bottles, that
probably won't happen but I wouldn't like to guarantee it.
Flogas own any bulk tank they supply, and regularly (like every 15
years in my experience!) check it for flaws, corrosion etc. and if
they find any imperfections, they replace the tank at their expense,
transferring any gas in the old tank into the new one, with some
losses that they should credit you with. There is a quarterly charge
for tank rental of about £16, over and above the supply of gas. That
equates approximately to your standing charge of £60 p.a. In recent
years, our tank was fitted with a couple of radio sensors that were
satellite-linked back to base somewhere, that told them when the tank
was getting low, and they'd come and top it up without being asked.
The last bill I had for a top-up was in October 2017, for 945 litres @
67.19p/l, cost £634.95, VAT @5% £31.75, total £666.7 . Their figure of
35p/litre looks suspiciously like an 'introductory offer' to me, and
will probably revert to something a lot higher in a few months. Read
the small print!
But all together it seemed a very competent operation.
Hmm...perhaps twenty years ago Calor owned the pipe all the way to the
house and things have changed. Or perhaps it was just a ploy to
discourage me from even considering Calor as an alternative. I suspect
There have been many radio programs about LPG prices, especially for
those folks with tanks under their lawns. many of these in Devon.
It seems that everyone pays a different price, so the solution is
go and talk to your neighbours and find out who pays the least,
then go and negotiate with Calor.
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