Bringing zero carbon gas to you

Gas has been a reliable, efficient, and affordable energy source for all Kiwis and businesses for over 50 years. Firstgas Group is behind helping Aotearoa meet zero carbon emissions by 2050.

That’s why we have already been investigating zero carbon gas options, such as hydrogen, biogas and bioLPG, to ensure that families and businesses can continue to enjoy instant heat, endless hot water, and cooking with a flame.

  • Hydrogen is produced through the electrolysis of water, and can be burnt like natural gas, or used in a fuel cell to produce electricity.
  • BioLPG is produced from renewable plant and vegetable waste, and is chemically identical to LPG, making it a direct energy replacement for your BBQ or LPG appliances.
  • BioGas is a direct replacement for natural gas, and is produced through the breakdown of organic plant matter, such as food waste, food processing waste and sewage – basically, anything you
    can compost.

Gas will remain an important part of Aotearoa’s energy mix

  • If you currently use natural gas or LPG, you won’t need to do a thing.
  • The industry is working together to ensure gas energy will continue into the future.
  • If you’re already connected, or thinking about connecting to gas, you can be sure that natural gas and LPG will keep flowing as we make the transition to zero carbon gases.
  • You can be confident that you will be able to use natural gas or LPG appliances in your home for their expected lifetime. Current appliances are compatible with bioLPG and biogas, and are already able to run on a blend of natural gas and renewable hydrogen gas (up to 20%).

What you need to know

Still have some burning questions about the future of gas and how it affects you? Visit gasischanging.co.nz

Gas is changing

You may have recently seen the release of the final Climate Change Commission (CCC) advice to Government. We are pleased the Commission’s final advice acknowledges the role zero carbon gas may play in reducing New Zealand’s carbon emissions.

Rockgas, as part of the Firstgas Group, believes that we need to ensure New Zealanders have a choice of energy sources. We also believe that we will need to decarbonise all of our energy distribution channels over time, including by using zero carbon gases like bioLPG, biogas and hydrogen.

Gasischanging.co.nz

The overwhelming response to the CCC’s draft advice (which included more than 15,000 submissions) included a strong message that Kiwis value the option of having gas in their homes and want the confidence to continue to use gas and connect to gas today.  That’s why we are working hard to decarbonise our LPG network to enable New Zealand’s gas to go zero carbon by 2050.

We support the CCC’s final advice and are actively collaborating with energy-system stakeholders and Government to ensure that zero carbon gases like bioLPG, biogas and hydrogen are future options for all New Zealanders.

Rockgas is actively investigating bioLPG and we have seen exciting pathways emerging overseas for bioLPG. Scandinavian company, Neste, has been producing bioLPG since 2018 and in March this year made its first shipment of bioLPG to the UK’s largest LPG company, Calor. This shows us that the trading of bioLPG is feasible, as is large-scale distribution of bioLPG via existing networks.

Firstgas Group is also investigating biogas and hydrogen to ensure a choice of zero carbon gases to meet New Zealand’s everyday needs and climate change goals.

What does this mean for you today?

Absolutely nothing – your LPG services will continue to enable you to heat your water, cook your food, BBQ your steak, and warm up your house. In the future we expect to be able to deliver bioLPG that is compatible with existing gas appliances. This means that as a gas user, you can support New Zealand’s journey to zero emissions without needing to replace your gas appliances and equipment.

We remain confident that the benefits of gas are here to stay in a cleaner energy future. Rockgas is committed to helping New Zealand achieve its target of zero carbon emissions by 2050. We will keep you updated and are keen to involve you in the future of our LPG networks.

Visit www.gasischanging.co.nz for more information.

New Climate Change Commission recommendation

As you may have seen, the Climate Change Commission has released a draft plan recommending how to cut New Zealand’s emissions by 2050. One recommendation is to phase out gas by 2050, with no new bottled LPG to be installed after 2025. The draft plan is now open for consultation until 28 March 2021.

 

Rockgas believes there are multiple ways to achieve these emission goals

We’re committed to helping New Zealand achieve its target of net zero emissions by 2050.
Globally, there are supplies of BioLPG already available. The next step is to develop this option in New Zealand either through producing locally or importing it.

 

It’s important to note:

  • LPG will continue to be available and delivered to your door and this won’t change
  • LPG is still a viable option in any new build and your Rockgas service will continue, while the gas industry works with government to transition to low carbon gas.
  • LPG will continue to be an important energy source and that low carbon gas alternatives, including BioLPG, will be part of New Zealand’s low carbon future.
  • In the future, customers will be able to connect to BioLPG and switch their appliances to this renewable fuel
  • We’re confident this isn’t the end of the good old kiwi BBQ!

We’re here for you

Rockgas is owned by Firstgas Group (which encompasses Rockgas, Firstgas, Flexgas and Gas Services NZ).

Rockgas has been delivering LPG to Kiwis for over 80 years and we’re New Zealand’s largest LPG retailer, serving over 100,000 customers from a network of 34 outlets throughout the country.

Firstgas, our sister company, has been around since 1972 quietly maintaining a 7000 km network of pipeline assets, including the Maui pipeline, which are critical to delivering gas safely and reliably to around 400,000 industrial, business and residential customers, everyday.

Firstgas Group is actively working on gas alternatives and this work shows that gases such as hydrogen, biogas and BioLPG are viable options to meet customer needs in the future.

Next steps

We’ll keep you updated as we progress on this key piece of work as well as the final recommendations made by the Climate Change Commission.

LPG will continue to be an important energy source and low carbon gas alternatives will be part of New Zealand’s low carbon future.

If you need to get in touch please call us on 0800 762 542 Monday to Friday, 7.30am to 8pm or you can email us at LPGenquiries@rockgas.co.nz  Alternatively you can visit us online at rockgas.co.nz/about-us where you can find some Q&As which may help answer some of your questions.

Have your say

If you would like to make a submission you can go to https://haveyoursay.climatecommission.govt.nz

 

Yours sincerely

Stuart Hylton
Acting General Manager
Rockgas Ltd

 

Click the image below to find all the ways we are working towards this goal.

firstgas is a member of climate change coalition

 

How to use an LPG Gas Cooker safely

How to use an LPG gas cooker camping

We’re pretty lucky here in the ‘winter-less’ north. You can pretty much camp all year round.   If you enjoy the great outdoors and use an LPG gas cooker, safety is a must.  You might want to tick off our check list below.   A great outdoors experience is one you remember!

Use appliances outside whenever possible

Carbon monoxide can be produced without proper ventilation.  It can be dangerous to use an appliance in a small enclosure like a tent or car.  If inside a caravan make sure there’s plenty of space and ventilation.  Ventilation should allow air to move across the space with openings at high and low levels.

Keep LPG appliances in good condition

  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions which should be included when you purchase your appliance.
  • Follow all the warnings on the labels.
  • Each time you connect the gas bottle, test for gas leaks. Follow the instructions on the gas bottle for how to do this.

Follow LPG appliance safety guidelines

  • Keep flammable items well clear of cookers or heaters (at least a metre away).
  • If your cooking appliance has a windshield to protect the fuel bottle or canister, use it.
  • Avoid using cooking utensils that have highly reflective surfaces, as these can reflect heat towards the fuel bottle or canister.
  • Don’t operate the cooker for long periods of time without giving it a rest every so often to let it cool down.
  • Don’t use over-sized pots or pans on small camp cookers.  Give your flame room to burn – it should just touch the bottom of the pot.
  • When you’re not using appliances turn off the gas at the bottle.
  • Stop using an appliance if it emits an odour as this indicates a leak or emissions linked to carbon monoxide poisoning.

There’s nothing better than a hot meal after a long day’s hike or outdoor activities.  Cooking is especially fun camping.   If you follow these LPG gas cooker safety guidelines you will always have an experience to remember.

 

 

 

How do I manage my LPG gas supply?

Is it OK to leave my reserve LPG cylinder turned off?

The auto-changeover is a specially designed regulator that spontaneously closes the supply from one cylinder and opens another.

This ensures you don’t get an interruption to your LPG gas supply.   Your system uses two gas cylinders and it is important that both are left turned on.  The demands of appliances differ in your home. One of these cylinders provides the main while the other is a backup that provides extra LPG for these appliances when needed. This extra gas could be due to increased demand from your appliances.  Cold weather can effect appliances LPG demands.

Even though both cylinders are turned on, you will not run out of gas any quicker, as your appliance will not continuously draw gas from both cylinders.

To avoid any interruption in gas flow, all cylinders should be left in the open position.

If you choose to turn your full bottle off at the valve, you will need to know how to turn it back on to get your gas working again. This can sometimes catch people out & then they think they’re completely out of gas!

Do I need to reset my indicator?

There are several types of automatic changeover regulators available in New Zealand – what type do you have? They all use a visual indicator which will turn red/orange when it’s switched over to the other bottle.  You don’t need to touch or turn the indicator.   The driver will reset this when he/she delivers your bottle.

LPG indicators New Zealand

When you see your indicator has turned red, simply call Rockgas North and place an order for a replacement cylinder.

TIP –  Try to get in the habit of checking your indicator regularly so you always have one full cylinder.  You don’t have to wait until both cylinders are empty before ordering a refill bottle.  For more helpful information on managing your gas supply read this blog post 

 

Where to Install A New LPG Gas Bottle

Planning a perfect NEW installation – Where to Install A New LPG Gas Bottle

So you want to switch to LPG for your hot water & stove top?  That’s a great choice.  There are several aspects for where to install a new LPG gas bottle to ensure quick & easy delivery.

Cylinder exchange is a single person operation.  Our drivers are very skilled – we like to think of them as our deliver superheroes – Rockgas to the Rescue! But you can do your part too.  We always appreciate home owners who think practically when setting up the location of their installation.

Here’s some extra considerations for your new installation…

Great directions to find you…

When you set up your account with our friendly customer service staff you will be asked for simple directions to find your home & installation.  The more information you can provide the better.  Even simple things like the colour of your house or special letterbox can help our drivers differentiate your home from your neighbour’s house.  It’s great to have this information BEFORE we deliver.  We can avoid having to track you down when the driver is doing laps down your street!

Is your driveway easy to access for our drivers?

Our trucks love a great driveway – especially a smooth even surface.  Our trucks aren’t huge – but they are larger than a ute.  Love a great view? If your house is situated on a steep hill, you can always pipe your gas from cylinders at a lower level.  That way our trucks can access your bottles easy-peasy!

Our trucks love a lot of turning space…

If you live down a right of way – be sure to advise our customer service staff.  It’s great if our drivers can plan ahead.  If the truck can’t turn in front of your house – the driver can always trolley your cylinder from the street – if your driveway isn’t too steep or long.

Gardens or landscaping

Many Rockgas customers create pretty garden settings around their cylinders.  You can easily make a pathway to your bottles with nice flat pavers (available from Bunnings warehouse or Mitre 10).  Just like our trucks – cylinders are happiest when they are placed on nice even surfaces & hugged snuggly by a chain fixed to the wall.     Our drivers are pretty handy with a heavy cylinder & a trolley – but it makes their job that much easier if the access way to your cylinders is clear of bushes & plants.

Different Levels

When considering where to install a new LPG gas bottle – this is an important.   We can negotiate stairs as long as they met our guidelines! Risers need to be less than 200mm high, treads to be more than 200mm wide & total rise to be no more than 1.5m.  These measurements are perfect for our trolleys.

Pooches or pets

Your pets love you & your home.  Your little ones might be most loving to you – but also have the ability to scare off strangers.  It’s best to keep your dog/s inside when we deliver or create a secure area.  Cylinders are solitary creatures.  They don’t mind being kept away from your fury friends!

 

Once you have decided where to install your new LPG bottle, you are now ready to set up your account.  Call 0800 23 23 22 to speak with our customer service team or apply online today.

How To Tell If a Gas Bottle Is Empty

Read your gas bottle indicator right!

This is one of the most common questions we get asked at Rockgas North.  We know how frustrating it can be when you run out of gas, because you did not know how to check if the bottle is about to run empty. 

Here’s the low down on how to check your gas cylinders…

Safety first. In order for your cylinder installation to operate safety and efficiently each cylinder should sit on a concrete pad or individual pavers.  A safety chain should also secure your bottles to the wall to ensure they never fall over.

The change-over regulator (reg) is the gadget between your cylinders. If you have an automatic change over reg (pictured below) it will automatically switch from the empty cylinder to the full one when the first runs out.

How To Tell If a Gas Bottle Is Empty Rockgas North Whangarei

If your cylinder station has a manual regulator, you will need to turn on the valve on your reserve cylinder once the first cylinder is empty. Gas is then drawn from the reserve cylinder.  Your gasfitter should advise you which type of regulator your set up has installed.

How long will a gas bottle last?

One full bottle should last you approximately 6 – 8 weeks (for a family of 2 adults & 2 children – using LPG for hot water & hobs.  Usage for gas fires or heaters will be different).  It’s a good idea to get into the habit of checking the change-over reg. Your change-over reg will have a viewing window/indicator – when both cylinders are full, the viewing window will show as CLEAR, BLACK OR GREEN.  When this is showing RED it means that a bottle is empty and it’s time to call Rockgas for a new one. See the examples above.

Handy Hint:
Many people mistaken the directional arrow for a change-over valve.  Please don’t adjust the directional arrow on the regulator. This only indicates to the driver which gas bottle is empty.

How To Tell If a Gas Bottle Is Empty

If you would like to test the level of LPG in the bottle the safe and accurate way is to:

  1. Pour warm water down the side of the bottle. (not boiling water)
  2. Wait a few minutes
  3. Run your hand down the side of the bottle
  4. It will feel cool to the touch at the level of LPG or may even form a condensation line at this level.
  5. That’s it, you now know how much gas is left in your bottle
  6. Does your bottle need a refill? Order online here

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