Energy Prices

Andy_W

Well-known member
that would mean making legislation that undermines the build them quick and low quality of the house building companies, and the tories won't do that while they are receiving money of some of the bigger ones
To be fair, new houses aren't the problem as far as insulation goes, they're insulated to the hilt, and all have insulated cavities etc, they have to be to meet regs, mines got 400mm of insulation in the roof. It's got solar too mind, but not lots of it, and that's less common.

Older houses are often insulated far less, if insulated at all in some cases. Plenty don't even have loft insulation which is bonkers as it's only about £500-£1,000 to insulate a 3/4 bed house, and pays itself back in 3-5 years.
 

BoroMart

Well-known member
To be fair, new houses aren't the problem as far as insulation goes, they're insulated to the hilt, and all have insulated cavities etc, they have to be to meet regs, mines got 400mm of insulation in the roof. It's got solar too mind, but not lots of it, and that's less common.

Older houses are often insulated far less, if insulated at all in some cases. Plenty don't even have loft insulation which is bonkers as it's only about £500-£1,000 to insulate a 3/4 bed house, and pays itself back in 3-5 years.
agree completely, but it's easier and cheaper to build new than retrofit. It'll take decades and decades to get older houses greener, but we can improve the quality of the overall housing stock by ensuring better build quality, solar and air/ground heat pumps in new houses
 

Andy_W

Well-known member
agree completely, but it's easier and cheaper to build new than retrofit. It'll take decades and decades to get older houses greener, but we can improve the quality of the overall housing stock by ensuring better build quality, solar and air/ground heat pumps in new houses
Retrofitting loft insulation is extremely easy, an amateur could do that and get good results, and that stuff they pump into cavities looks simple enough too (for a pro).

Not sure what you do about old houses that are just a brick wall, and nothing else mind. Suppose you could timber them out, insulate and board them, for the external walls, but it's a lot of cost/ hassle. Also everyone whose gone for that "back to brick" look, won't be helping too.

I don't think heat pumps are well suited to our climate from what I've read, but that was a while ago and I may be wrong.

For me I'd be looking at giving people loans, to carry out green projects on their homes for changes which would make a big difference. Then the loans get paid back, by what they would be saving on energy bills. Effectively if a project cost 3k, and saved £300 a year, then the government pay the 3k as a loan against the house, then if the consumption changed from 100kW to 70kW then the energy company get paid for 70kW, and whatever 30kW is gets paid back off the loan. If that takes 10 years, and the people want to move after 5, then the remaining loan stays with the house, and the new guy takes over until it's paid off. I really can't think of a reason why this would not work, and how it couldn't lead to less energy use and cheaper overall bills for everyone in 5-10 years time.

A lot of the reason people don't do green things, is because they can't afford the initial outlay, or may not see themselves in the house in 3-10 years, so they don't want to foot the bill for someone else's gain. If everyone did it as a collective, then everyone wins, and we do far better on our co2 targets.

I can't think of any reason why new houses shouldn't all have solar.

Could also have a scheme where all new developments have to carry out a green project, of similar scale. It wouldn't necessarily have to be on the same site, we could allocate land for major wind turbine schemes, and new developers 100 miles away can chip into the pot to fund it. Could also get new developments to build a solar roof over areas of SUDS ponds, attenuation tanks and pumped sewer (rising main) stations, etc. Nearly every housing project has these, and effectively unusable land directly above them which could be put to good use for solar panels, which could run the local street lighting.

Street lighting should be on proximity sensors by now also, if someone is walking, light up a few posts ahead and a few behind. Same with motorway lighting, it's not necessary in the middle of the night when there's low traffic.
 

Andy_W

Well-known member
No not on a fixed tariff, pay on receipt of bill monthly.
What's your electricity use per year in KWh? What you paying standing charge/ per KW?

Seems like you've got a good deal/ very low use. Are you in a new build terrace? They can be very cheap to run for heating. Gas hob, maybe even oven 😯, no electric showers etc?

I think I was paying about £30-50 a month for duel fuel, when I lived in a 2 bed flat, don't recall ever having the heating on.
 

Huddboro

Well-known member
What's your electricity use per year in KWh? What you paying standing charge/ per KW?

Seems like you've got a good deal/ very low use.

I think I was paying about £50 a month when I lived in a 2 bed flat, don't recall ever having the heating on.
I'll check and find out. Last three months gas and elec total has been around £110.
 

BoroMart

Well-known member
I don't think heat pumps are well suited to our climate from what I've read, but that was a while ago and I may be wrong.
they are used throughout scandanavia, Canada and the northern US they're well suited

For me I'd be looking at giving people loans, to carry out green projects on their homes for changes which would make a big difference. Then the loans get paid back, by what they would be saving on energy bills.
not a terrible idea, also adding energy efficiency to your house, should, in theory, add value to your house.
Could also have a scheme where all new developments have to carry out a green project, of similar scale
yup, local authorities often force developers to do all kinds of things, they should now ensure green projects are tied in more.

I guess there isn't one answer, lots of different policies are needed.
 

MolteniArcore

Well-known member
The Government are really missing a trick with insulation. It could be a brand new industry that could kick start the economy under public ownership.

The Government could buy the insulation in at cost in vast amounts, train up thousands of workers, install it in peoples homes at cost price, offer incentives or maybe fund through tax on high energy bills.

Obviously it's not as simple as that but there is a real opportunity here and it is being squandered.
 

Same_as_before

Well-known member
I worked in the insulation industry for a while. It's a con trick run by con men. The same house could be insulated 3 or 4 times. I left as i did not want to be associated with it.

The Green Deal was part of the con.

The only way to run the industry is via state ownership.
 

Same_as_before

Well-known member
When I worked in the industry it worked as follows.

The big energy companies collected the cash via your bill. As you can imagine they don't want to let go of it.


They pass it to a large number of funders. As you can imagine they don't want to let it go.

Insulation companies do the work, if they do it, and make a claim based on addresses. It's why you had lots of people knocking on your door a few years ago. The same address could be used many times, the audit trail was laughable.

The whole process is full of charletons.

We had people going round checking the work for our company and others, we had a contract for it. The number of holes drilled with no work done was incredible.

Then you have the insulation on the outside of houses, have you noticed how many are now a very off white.

The only way to do it properly is it to be under the control of local government with their own teams. One benefit alone is to p off the big energy companies.
 

Andy_W

Well-known member
they are used throughout scandanavia, Canada and the northern US they're well suited

I guess there isn't one answer, lots of different policies are needed.
Air source heat pumps become less efficient as you get colder though, so when you need them most, they become expensive (or don't work at all).

The problem with that, in the UK, is they run on electricity, and electricity costs a lot when gas costs a lot (as that's where our electricity comes from), and gas costs a lot when it gets cold (or just now in general).

Air source heat pumps would be good in spring/ summer, when there's less gas use and more solar etc, but obviously is a time of less demand.

Suppose they would be good in conjunction with other systems, but ground source is better for colder climates, albeit a bit more expensive.

ASHP running on electric are like 3x more efficient than gas, but gas is 4x cheaper.

So, before transitioning to ASHP's, we need to move away from Gas as our main electricity supply, and then get the cost of that electricity down. Moving to Nuclear wouldn't do this, as it's extremely expensive, so we would need more solar/ wind etc, to keep that cost down. I suppose that an ASHP would get better over time, as the UK moves away from Gas for it's electric, but we're nowhere near that yet, so ASHP's seem a hard sell to me, as they would be well out of warranty/ guarantee before they reached their potential.

Scandanavia and Canada pretty much get all of their electric from everything but gas. Norway's like 98% renewables, Sweden 80% (rest is mainly oil), Canada 80%. USA is similar to us (relies a lot on gas).

It's definitely horses for courses, as far as different countries go, but in order for us to sort out green/ reliable home heat generation, we need to back that up with green electricity generation too, and get away from gas, no matter what. Electric boilers or heaters could even work, if we sort the electricity generation side out, and they're cheap/ easy to install.
 

BoroMart

Well-known member
Air source heat pumps become less efficient as you get colder though, so when you need them most, they become expensive (or don't work at all).

The problem with that, in the UK, is they run on electricity, and electricity costs a lot when gas costs a lot (as that's where our electricity comes from), and gas costs a lot when it gets cold (or just now in general).

Air source heat pumps would be good in spring/ summer, when there's less gas use and more solar etc, but obviously is a time of less demand.
They work perfectly well in cold weather. I had one in Baltimore and gets down to -10 in winter.

Yes they use more electricity in that weather, but then you use more gas and electricity in that weather regardless.

I've got solar (battery to come), it'll keep the costs of running it down, but it's generally cheaper anyway. What it isn't good at is quickly heating a house/room, you do it slowly.

The table below shows the annual cost of electric space and water heating for the average 2-bed house. This does not include running costs of electrical appliances like TVs, lighting or electric showers:


Air source heat pump with underfloor heating£1,006
Air source heat pump with radiators£1,280
Night storage heaters on Economy 7£1,598
Electric radiators and immersion hot water tank£2,230

Totally agree we have to move towards more renewables and away from gas. Forget nuclear for the short term, apart from teh cost to build, it takes 15 years to build one so it's not going to solve anything anytime soon.
 

Andy_W

Well-known member
They work perfectly well in cold weather. I had one in Baltimore and gets down to -10 in winter.

Yes they use more electricity in that weather, but then you use more gas and electricity in that weather regardless.

I've got solar (battery to come), it'll keep the costs of running it down, but it's generally cheaper anyway. What it isn't good at is quickly heating a house/room, you do it slowly.

The table below shows the annual cost of electric space and water heating for the average 2-bed house. This does not include running costs of electrical appliances like TVs, lighting or electric showers:


Air source heat pump with underfloor heating£1,006
Air source heat pump with radiators£1,280
Night storage heaters on Economy 7£1,598
Electric radiators and immersion hot water tank£2,230

Totally agree we have to move towards more renewables and away from gas. Forget nuclear for the short term, apart from teh cost to build, it takes 15 years to build one so it's not going to solve anything anytime soon.
Yeah, gas does use more energy in cold weather (like an electric heater would), but they don't become less efficient in colder weather, like ASHP does, and as they sit outside they don't get the benefit of increasing the efficiency for themselves, as they obviously only heat up the inside not the outside etc.

Not sure where you got the table, so what climate that's based on, or what they're basing costs on, but there's lots of variables to that.

Like I say, we need to get to heat/ hw running on electric, but we need to get that source of that electric to be green/ cheap too, otherwise it's far less beneficial in a few ways.

Storage heaters can use electricity (or gas) when it's in least demand, so there can be big benefits to that, and of course electric heating in general is cheap/ requiring low maintenance. There's place for all of them of course, but it's dictated by local climate, the energy market, where you get that energy from, and what the cost outlay is to the home user.

I still think loaning people money to make their homes green, and paying that back with the energy/ cost saved is the best way, to get all of this going. Suppose they don't want too many people switching over too soon mind, as the electric demand could outstrip what we supply, so would have to use more gas, which defeats the object. Has to be more solar/ wind overall, and nuclear/ biomass and others making up for times when demand is high and there's less sun/ wind etc. We could probably do with some sort of energy storage method, to take advantage of high solar/ wind, but not sure what efficient options we have to do this at grid scale. Using old EV batteries could do a great job of this in the future, for homes, if they're able to be repurposed, if they're not recycled. Better battery tech, unsing non-rare materials is coming in the next 5-10 years mind.
 

Blf

Well-known member
I moved into my house in the mid 90s. Government scheme had people fitting free insulation around 1996 In the 00's another free scheme sent more people to put even more insulation in. Around 2017 another load turned up and put absolutely loads in again free on a gov scheme. If I put anymore in my roof will pop off.
 

Andy_W

Well-known member
it was a uk based climate, from the centre for sustainable energy.

They don't provide any detail on how they got to those numbers, so hard to know what to make of them.

Also, like the article mentions, need newer/ larger radiators, or preferably underfloor heating, both of those could cost a fair whack to retrofit to older houses. UFH could be used on new builds, if these systems are being installed, and saves having unsightly radiators.

Not sure if they would work on inefficient/ older houses either, on those people get away with just heating them for the evenings and mornings, and let them go cold during the day/ night, when they're out or in bed etc. With an inefficient house, even with larger radiators these systems may not be able to keep up with the energy loss, and of course there's no option to just use these high for limited durations of occupancy, as they just won't suit that, as won't get hot enough to cover those limited durations.
 
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