With the current electricity crisis facing South Africans, households are increasingly relying on gas (LPG) as their primary energy source for cooking, water heating or for keeping warm. But most people have very little idea of how gas prices come about. Take a look at the factors that determine these prices and "why you as an individual can't influence gas prices" 

Supply and demand 

LPG is produced primarily as a derivative of the crude oil refining process. The petrol price in South Africa is directly linked to the price of petrol quoted in US dollars . This means that the domestic prices of fuels like LPG are influenced by:

  1. international crude oil prices 
  2. international supply and demand balances for petroleum products and 
  3. the Rand/US Dollar exchange rate counterparts.  


The general rule to remember, is that higher demand tends to lead to higher prices. Lower demand can lead to lower prices. Increases and decreases in prices tend to reduce or increase demand. 

Import vs local (when supplies are running low and gas needs to be imported) 


Like other petroleum products, LPG is not immune to international and local factors affecting petroleum prices. There are six refineries located around South Africa, of which five produce LPG. These five refineries account for producing over 80% of LPG consumed in South Africa annually. The remainder is imported to compensate for the shortfall. When local supply is unable to meet demand, it is supplemented through imported product. This is the case especially during the peak demand season and when there are planned or unplanned maintenance shutdowns at refineries. It is inevitable that the price of LPG will increase in these instances. 

Seasonal demand as a factor on the price 

South African summers can be scorching hot and the winters freezing cold.  We need all the help we can get, but it comes with a price!  Cold weather (low temperatures) increases demand for heating, while hot weather (high temperatures) increases demand for cooling. This increases the demand for gas which will also impact on the price. As with most things in life, if you use your gas appliances with care and in moderation, you do not have to suffer in any seasonal condition.    


Trust Sims Gas to guarantee FULL quality and accredited LPG for your household and commercial needs.  


LPG Gas uses...

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LPG (liquid petroleum gas) is an astonishingly versatile and transportable fuel that forms an integral part of our daily lives. Read on and learn more about what this natural gas is used for. 

In the home 
LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) uses in the home commonly include cooking, heating, hot water, air conditioning refrigerant and back-up generator applications. Using LPG to fuel backup generators has one great advantage. 

Electricity generation 
LPG can be used in combination with diesel fuel to power larger generators, It replaces some of the diesel fuel to run the engines. LPG is not only a clean power alternative but it saves money.  

Leisure & Camping 
Hot air balloons are probably the biggest leisure users of LPG, as hot air is the method of choice of balloonists to get their balloons airborne. Helium is quite expensive to use on a recreational basis and therefore LPG is the fuel of choice.

Whether you are a seasoned camper or just venturing across the country in your one-man tent, LPG can power an assortment of camping gear like camping stoves, fridges, lights and even small camping heaters. 

The uses of LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) can be used to power vehicles and it’s called “autogas”. LPG can be used to substitute for petrol in virtually all petrol-powered vehicles.  Did you know that LPG is used to fuel the yellow school buses in the USA? The environmental benefits of using LPG in transportation is tremendous and less expensive than either petrol or diesel in most countries. 

The use of LPG in the Agriculture sector is extensive and certainly necessary to put money back in the pockets of our farmers. LPG is commonly used for crop drying, irrigation greenhouses, by dairy farmers and bird and animal habitats (poultry sheds).

There are many more uses of LPG than listed above, wherever you find yourself, you will benefit from the usage of LPG if you just pay attention closely.

Trust Sims Gas to guarantee FULL quality and accredited LPG for your household and commercial needs.

Why You Shouldn’t Use Outdoor Gas Heaters Indoors!

Since the discovery of natural gas and liquid petroleum gas or LPG, humans have made incredible strides to help us use LPG to our benefit. This has been done by creating outstanding technologies that allow the easy, everyday use of gas for heating, lighting and cooking in our homes, but did you know that these technologies, such as heaters and stoves, should be used for their intended purpose and in their intended location?

Read more below to learn the dangers of misusing your outdoor gas heater and why it shouldn’t be brought indoors!


Fire Risks

When gas bottles and appliances are used correctly, the risk to the user is minimal, however, if they have been misused they can pose serious hazards to your home and your health. Patio or outdoor gas heaters are specifically designed to work outside. Moving the outdoor heater inside can restrict the ventilation of the outdoor heater, this is very dangerous. In the worst-case scenario, you could have large flames from your heater and sudden combustion will take place, leading to a serious house fire.


Health Risks

All gas appliances will produce small amounts of other gases such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, nitric oxide and carbon monoxide. The larger the appliance is and more gas it needs to work effectively, the amounts of these gases it will produce are greater. Bringing a gas heater designed for a ventilated area into a room with little air circulation will lead to a build of these gases causing people inside to experience headaches, nausea, difficulty breathing, dizziness and even death.


Different Specifications

Gas heaters developed for indoor use need to meet certain standards in safety. This means that in order for them to be considered safe for indoor use, they can’t produce an excess of nitric oxide, carbon dioxide or carbon monoxide. Patio or outdoor gas heaters do not have these manufacturer design restrictions as they intended to be used outside without any restriction to their ventilation needs. 

South Africans are not strangers to the horrific accidents that can occur when products are not carefully monitored or used for their intended purpose. Always follow the instructions and safety precautions when using your gas appliances, turn off your gas bottle valves when you have finished using your appliance, and only use the appliance for its intended use only.

As is with everything in life, making use of Liquid Petroleum Gas to help light/heat your home and aid in cooking your food, certain precautions and safety measures need to be taken. Knowing how to detect certain warning signs and how to take care of your gas bottles is vital to using gas safely. Read more to learn what you need to know about gas safety.


The Propane Gas Alarm

For any home, campsite, or caravan that makes use of natural gas or LPGas, a Propane Gas Alarm is a must. These alarms are specifically designed to help detect a wide range of combustible and hazardous gases which can often be found in the home. From LPG and natural gas to methane and butane, these clever alarm systems will let you know there’s a problem with rogue gas levels before they hit a dangerous level.


Gas Bottle Erosion and Corrosion

Both corrosion and erosion is a natural process that can be observed in numerous places in nature, but this isn’t something you want to watch happen to your gas bottle or its pipes. There are several different types of corrosion which you will need to look out for, but all are characterised as obvious damage to the cylinder which weakens the cylinder’s integrity. The best prevention for corrosion is awareness, keep an eye on the condition of your gas bottles and have them serviced regularly by a professional, licensed supplier.


Cylinder Placement

Knowing where and how to place and store your gas bottles can be the difference between safe and dangerous gas use. Always ensure that your cylinder is placed upright on a level surface with enough airflow and ventilation surrounding it. Make sure your cylinder is stored away from extremely high heat sources and remember to keep it in a safe place away from children.


Warning Signs

Do you know the warning signs of a gas leak? Knowing these four warning signs could save your life if you have a problem:

1. The smell of gas lasts longer than a few seconds after igniting it on the gas heater, gas stove, or gas lamp.
2. Hearing a soft hissing noise coming from the direction of the gas bottle.
3. Severe corrosion anywhere on the cylinder.
4. Your gas appliances have a discoloured flame. You will always want to see a crisp blue coloured flame instead or an orange or yellow flame. 

Knowing how to take care of your gas bottles and gas appliances can be the difference between using it safely or creating a dangerous environment. If you’re looking for a safe and reliable energy partner to help with your gas needs, then contact us with your query.


Sims Gas - Your Energy Partner
Phone: 0861 746 7427
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Or fill in your gas supply query here:

Do you know the fascinating history of gas? Read here and discover how we have shaped gas to suit our needs:

It’s general knowledge that humans have evolved alongside gas (LPG), marvelling at all it has done for us. From the Greek temples to being the first widespread method of producing light, gas(LPG) has influenced us as much as we have shaped it for our needs. Want to know more? Read on for a short history on how we have used gas (LPG).


When gas was discovered

It has been known that gas (LPG) was noticed by humans as early as 1000 BCE as flames burning through rocks and crevasses in the Americas, Middle East, and Asia. One of the most well known of these natural gas outlets was found on the Greek mountain of Parnassus. It was thought to have been a sign of divinity and they built a temple around it to house the Oracle of Delphi. Since then, gas has been discovered in pockets and deposits around the world and manufactured into Liquid Petroleum Gas and other manufactured gas types in the 19th Century.


How did gas come into our homes

Britain was the first country to commercialize both natural gas and LPG in 1785 which was produced from coal to light up homes, street lamps and even businesses. During the 19th Century, gas was used almost exclusively as a source of light. However, when electricity started becoming the preferred power source for municipal, commercial, and business purposes, gas engineers started looking for more ways in which it could be used.


How has technology developed for gas use

With one great discovery comes many minds who will find ways to improve and further develop something for our convenience. Towards the end of the 19th Century gas started moving out of the homes to be replaced with electricity. Engineers started looking for alternative uses for gas which lead to cooking and heating appliances such as the Bunsen Burner (developed in 1885) and gas pipelines for transportation, although the design for these pipelines were only made efficient after the Second World War.


Since then, gas bottles have become more streamlined and propane detectors have made it safer for homeowners and business owners to have gas to fuel their homes. Needless to say, gas has been fundamental to our growing understanding of the world we live in and as we search for cleaner power alternatives, it looks like LP Gas will be here to stay for longer.

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