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Old 13th January 2023, 02:41 AM   #241
The Don
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
Meanwhile I'm playing a game of chicken with our oil tank.
Our tank is too small to mess around too much and so I gave in this morning and bought 500 litres of oil for just under 450. At this time of year that's 6-8 weeks worth.

I'm confident that the price will now drop like a stone.
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Old 16th January 2023, 02:03 AM   #242
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A BBC article in which a Norwegian energy company boss says that energy prices are likely to remain at the current high levels for the foreseeable future.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-64270157

This is despite a fall in the wholesale price of natural gas to below pre-war levels which in turn IMO indicates that some companies stand to make super-profits for a long time to come.
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Old 2nd February 2023, 03:26 AM   #243
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A few things.

Firstly, heating oil prices have remained stubbornly high. Given that crude oil prices are below where they were 12 months ago, the 30%+ increase in heating oil prices must indicate a constriction in supply and/or an attempt to profiteer from generally high energy prices.

Secondly, Mrs Don is trying to arrange an electricity supply deal for the local village hall. The new price for a 12 month contract (45p/kwh) is approximately three times what they were paying on their old 3 year deal. A 24 month contract is slightly more expensive which IMO indicates that the expectation is that prices will stay high for a long time. This unsubsidised price isn't much higher than the subsidised domestic rate but the government is still filling energy companies' coffers with our gold.

Thirdly, the UK energy market is broken. Non-gas generators are getting paid the full gas prices and gas prices for UK produced gas are artificially inflated.

Quote:
The way electricity prices are set has pushed UK household bills up by 7.2bn over two years, analysis suggests.

Under existing rules, energy suppliers pay the highest price for wholesale electricity no matter how it is made.

Gas-fired power stations are the most expensive way to generate electricity, but only make about 40% of all electricity used by UK homes.

That means homes pay over the odds for power generated any other way, said the Carbon Tracker Initiative.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-64471262

Fourthly, our solar panels' performance is exceeding our expectations. Our electricity usage is currently zero from 0900 - 1500 on all but the gloomiest days (or highest usage) and Mrs Don's approach of charging her car between those hours on sunny days has meant that her charging has, in effect, been almost free (our usage is lower that before she got the car).
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Old 2nd February 2023, 05:30 AM   #244
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Nova Scotia provincial government is offering $1000 rebates for heating costs. An income threshold of $85,000/household means a substantial percentage of province households qualify. I sent my application yesterday. It will help a lot.
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Old 2nd February 2023, 02:42 PM   #245
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Last January heating bill was $85. This year, $345. But I just got an email from San Diego Gouge & Extort that February's rate will be down 68%. Nearly back to last year's.
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Old 3rd February 2023, 12:50 AM   #246
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<Deleted>
Indulged in some knee-jerk sarc that I had second thoughts about.
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Last edited by Susheel; 3rd February 2023 at 01:15 AM.
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Old 3rd February 2023, 08:09 AM   #247
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
A BBC article in which a Norwegian energy company boss says that energy prices are likely to remain at the current high levels for the foreseeable future.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-64270157
Higher than before prices may be a good thing in the long run, as it speeds the move to more efficiency.

Quote:
This is despite a fall in the wholesale price of natural gas to below pre-war levels which in turn IMO indicates that some companies stand to make super-profits for a long time to come.
The down side, though, if all that money is invested in green energy, there may be no downside.
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Old 7th February 2023, 03:25 AM   #248
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Glad to see that the UK government is using public money to support energy companies in their time of need.

Quote:
Energy giant BP has reported record annual profits as it scaled back plans to reduce the amount of oil and gas it produces by 2030.

The company's profits more than doubled to $27.7bn (23bn) in 2022, as energy prices soared after Russia invaded Ukraine.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-64544110

In theory, at least these profits will be subject to windfall taxation but in practice BP will decommission old plant and equipment, offset that against their profits and pay little or nothing in UK taxes.
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Old 2nd March 2023, 10:37 AM   #249
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Just done a month on month comparison of electricity consumption with February last year.

February 2022 - 353 kWh
February 2023 - 248 kWh

Overall a reduction of 30% which also includes around 80kWh of electricity which was put into Mrs Don's car (she didn't have the car last year). As a consequence of our lower usage, higher monthly payments and government payments, our electricity account is several hundred pounds in credit .

February was unusually sunny and on most days our PV panels generated at least 10kWh of electicity. Too much of that will have been fed back into the grid for free but we're getting better at maximising electricity usage when the sun is out whether that's running the dishwasher or the washing machine or plugging Mrs Don's car into charge (the peak power we've seen from the panels is more than 3kW, more than enough for "granny charging").

We've had a quote for installing a proper car charger which has an Eco+ mode in which it only charges the car when there is excess electricity. Given how little time Mrs Don's car spends away from home it's very likely that she'll be able to charge completely for free for 9 or 10 months of the year.

We've also completed our winter oil purchasing. This year we've purchased 1600 litres but we've probably only used 1400-1500 litres. This compares favourably to the 2200-2500 litres a year we used to buy. Part of this is due to our sun room which has excellent insulation and is capable of delivering significant solar gains but mostly due to the demise of our AGA which was a real fuel-hog. IMO any further reductions in oil usage will be small and incremental and dependent on changes in room usage patterns (we've set up a small upstairs room as a winter "snug" which will be much easier to hear than our lounge) or the installation of some new windows and doors.
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Old 4th March 2023, 01:45 AM   #250
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I have been doing comparisons each month for some time now. Our electricity usage Nov, Dec, Jan and Feb has been about 50% lower than last year. It is staggering how much we have saved by switching things off, being more efficient with the oven, washings, dishwasher and tumble drier and having the electric radiator in the kitchen set at 2 degrees lower than before.

Gas has been harder to reduce. Nov, Jan and Feb we were about 12% less than last year, but in Dec where it got to -9, we used 11% more than last year.
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Old 4th March 2023, 02:02 AM   #251
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Well done Nessie.

In both of our cases, the primary driver appears to be financial but the outcome also is a major boon for the climate. If everyone were able to make similar savings with a similar modest impact on lifestyle then that'd be great.

The problem is that energy is still too cheap for it to be worthwhile for the rich, the big users, to be bothered to save and any price rises would simply punish the poor so it's only the tight (or thrifty if you prefer) who are acting
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Old 4th March 2023, 08:40 AM   #252
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UK domestic electricity consumption rose by 5.6% 2019-20, which is attributed to covid and people staying at home. Even with that rise, overall it dropped by 9.2% 2005-20.

https://assets.publishing.service.go...eport_2020.pdf

Non-domestic consumption has dropped by 24.8% between 2005-20, suggesting industry and business has been more active in economising.

The figures for gas are domestic up by 3.3% with the pandemic, but 2005-20 down 19.5% and non domestic down 28.1%.

I suspect there will be huge drops 2020 to 2023.
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Old 6th March 2023, 03:29 AM   #253
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
I have been doing comparisons each month for some time now. Our electricity usage Nov, Dec, Jan and Feb has been about 50% lower than last year. It is staggering how much we have saved by switching things off, being more efficient with the oven, washings, dishwasher and tumble drier and having the electric radiator in the kitchen set at 2 degrees lower than before.

Gas has been harder to reduce. Nov, Jan and Feb we were about 12% less than last year, but in Dec where it got to -9, we used 11% more than last year.
We're the other way around. Our electricity has largely stayed the same sort of level. But then all we can really do is turn a few lights off. The rest is kitchen use, and entertainment technology. The latter is fairly low usage. I even turn off night lights in the morning, knowing it makes little difference.

Even our electric shower use has dropped, and made no noticeable difference to our consumption.

Gas meanwhile has seen about a 30% drop each month from last year. Mainly down to buying a set of smart radiator valves, so we can program rads individually, and it asks Mrs Wobs if she wants to turn off the heating whenever she leaves the house.

In addition, we have a new timber frame kitchen window with argon filled double glazing, which replaced a single glazed metal frame window. Also have wood burner (80% efficient), which we have on most nights.

In a period property like ours, these things have made a difference.

Reminder:
Just remember that energy efficiency has little to do with fighting climate change unless there is some control such as carbon tax to prevent emissions from going up as a result, owing to Jevons Paradox.
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Old 6th March 2023, 04:06 AM   #254
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Electric usage is down by around 20%, deliberately so. Gas is down by around 5% - but that's statistical noise, the heating in this house hardly keeps it warm - thin brick built detached Victorian cottage, basically a 2-up 2 down with an added kitchen - unheated, and bathroom. The biggest saving for gas was when we had the double glazing put in that brought gas down by about 20%. Loft is well insulated. There is just no further big saving we can do without ripping out the heating system and starting afresh, oh and found out last week that we can have solar panels but that will require a partial rebuild of the roof to provide sufficient support. So it would probably cost something like 20-25 thousand to make further improvements that would significantly cut energy costs. That wouldn't deal with the fact that the walls would remain uninsulated!
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