Butane Gas

Hi All

A friend of ours bought a terraced house in a village with no access to the rear. It is noted on the act de vente, that she had no access to her rear garden as it was relinquished by the owner previous to the one she purchased from. Unfortunately she did not understand enough French and agreed to this.

She has an underground gas tank in her garden and the only way to fill it is to bring a gas tanker in on the adjacent property. This property has a large gate and access track. The owner of that property a local farmer is very difficult ( it could be that she upset him with her lack of French, but we are not sure) he has reluctantly agreed to allow the tanker access in the past but his last letter said this would be last time he would allow access.

We asked her supplier Intergaz and they cannot fill by running a pipe through the house. They need a line of direct from the tanker to the tank.

I have a couple of ideas, can anyone comment on them.

Is it possible to run a fixed fill line to the road, about 30 metres behind her property as she could probably get permission from the owner of that garden. Alternatively could the gas line from the tank be fitted with a connector to take a gas bottle (or two) they could be wheeled through the house and stored in the back yard. Then if she is unable to get a main gas delivery she could revert to the bottled gas.
She needs a new gas boiler as her old one is not a condensing boiler but is very short of money. I know that ideally she should go for an air sourced heat pump but that is about three times the cost of a new condensing gas boiler and I am not sure how good it would be in the winter when outside temperature gets down to minus 8 degrees.



did you have a look through this recent topic on heating Grants?

I was wondering how I got notified of a thread in which I had not taken part, Graham, then I saw my own words mysteriously come back to haunt me. :rofl:

To get to the point, I don’t know the figures but I believe the grant is not that great, I only mentioned it because there was no grant previously.

The grants vary greatly depending on your revenue, size of the house, number of people/children living there and what you’re installing and replacing. There’s a long list of factors.
Getting rid of a gas heating system for heat pumps is encouraged by the state and I’ve seen more than half of the bill covered by gouvernement grants in a few cases.

For what it’s worth, an acquaintance of mine had a 15K€ pompe à chaleur installation done for about 3K€ after grants. I’ve no idea how they achieved that. The old boiler was oil fired.
Fitting a remote gas filling line is not going to be cheap, so that cost needs to be factored in to your friend’s calculation. In the current (& future) climate it would be a regressive step to carry on with gas if a lower carbon alternative is possible.

She has no access to her rear garden?? Does this mean from the adjacent track? As presumably she can access her garden from her house!

She could possibly buy back a right of access……but that might not be economical and perhaps best to cope with bottled case in the short terms and change heating system.

We have air source heat pump and down to about 0 degrees you are getting an economy, below that is is just more like electric heating. It goes down to -20 where we are…….

Thanks all, we benefitted from various grants to replace a oil fired heating system. We decided to put in a granule powered boiler, heat store and thermal solar panels. Total cost about 22k of which we got back about 18k from the grants.

However our friend does not have any savings so is looking to do this as cheaply as possible. That would seem to be either replacing the current gas boiler with a more efficient condensing boiler or maybe an electric system, (I think the upfront cost of a heat pump is just too much for her)

Yes her garden is accessible through the house but she has a parcel of land behind hers separating her from the road behind. The farmer with the two houses (rentals) next to hers has a good track with an electric gate but he does not want to be bothered with twice yearly.

Last time he allowed it she gave him a bottle of pastis but he still seems very reluctant to allow access.

Best Regards


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I’m surprised this lack of easement was not specifically discovered from the vendor or any survey report or even pointed out by the notaire verbally in the process of purchase.

Wondering after this was discovered whether the vendor was invited to provide any helpful hints as to how they solved the problem. Was this a part of why they sold?

If the buyer would likely be contemplating moving away from gas sometime soon then perhaps it won’t be too onerous for long.

I guess there is no statute or law or bye-law that could be invoked to force access when needed as “essential”?

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Where abouts is this? I’ll be able to help if it’s somewhere near me.

I’ve just started a new job, literally 9 o’clock this morning where I’m in charge of informing people on government grants for new heating solutions and helping work out what you’re allowed.
My wife actually works here too and she’s in charge of doing the paper work for you once we’ve worked out what you need. She makes sure the state pays you.

The company is called New Wave Energies in Limoges and, as I said, I’m just starting in training, so I need to learn the ropes but I’ll be in charge of all English speaking inquiries, being an Englishman myself!

I’d be happy to help out however I can. If your friend has any questions then here are my contact details:

My phone number is 07 55 05 35 81

And my email : alex.lawrence117@gmail.com

If money is too much of an issue then keeping to a gas based system isn’t advisable. The prices will keep going up and the state is going to tax homes with fuel and gas based heating systems more and more to “encourage” people to change. And there are ways of financing the project on the long term where you start paying after getting the heating grant from the state.

Hope this is all helpful!

Best regards



Alexander, rarely have I read a more useful post, though you might change your decision to publish your phone number and email address. private messaging is available. :wink:

It is with New Wave that we have had both our air to air heaters installed. The first, some years ago has recently been serviced, but not as efficient as the 2nd one which was put in earlier this year.

I know where to come now if we don’t get our grant paid next year for that one. The first one was before grants were available. :smiley:

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Since Alexander’s post is a marketing exercise I’m sure he has no problem leaving his phone number and email public. :wink:

Point taken, but then again he is a newbie there and maybe simply trying to be helpful. If those contact details are his and not his employer’s he might like to think about it. :smiley:

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Hi Karen

It is a difficult situation as the right of access was relinquished not by the vendor but by the owner previous to him. Although I have no idea who put in the gas tank.

The previous owner was a Brit getting divorced and he did not want to sell but had to in order to settle with his Ex-wife

It was made clear to our friend that the access had been relinquished but she spoke very little French but did have a bilingual friend with her. I suppose the Notaire did not make it plain enough and nobody thought about the access for the gas delivery.

However a young friend of hers recently spoke to the farmer and he seems willing to allow access with a weeks notice. We now have to lay the law down to Intergaz, they have a bad habit of turning up to try to deliver gas when they want.

Best Regards


Maybe a bottle of something (whisky?) for the farmer/landowner after the delivery to make things a bit more amenable for the next time.

Hi Mark

Yes did that with a bottle of Pastis, but he was still not happy. However another young female friend of ours had words with him yesterday and now he says he will give permission if we give him a weeks notice.

Not sure what our friend did to originally upset him, but he did say she was a very rude woman!!! Whatever it was it was not intentional.



It could be something as simple as tutoying rather than vousvoying……people of a certain age/type would find that over-familiar and very rude!

If a bottle of pastis didn’t help, then he’s probably just a grumpy old git :frowning::rofl:

Or doesn’t drink pastis

…or even having not said Bonjour before opening any conversatiion…

Is that true Jane, I have always found that the French give a lot of licence to foreigners in such matters. And I speak from experience. In my professional life as a driver, sports life as a petanquer, and leisure life as a tea dancer, it has always been tu from the start. So, I find it a strain making sure I don’t use it to others and haven’t always succeeded, but nobody has ever turned a hair. :smiley:

Still, perhaps I have been lucky enough not to have met the grumpiest of old sods. :rofl: Or perhaps it takes one to know one. :rofl:

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