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Old 25th October 2022, 01:58 AM   #201
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
It is actually illegal to have gas connected in buildings in Sweden and Finland. I don't know if this was because of the risk of gas explosions. Otherwise, I am a bit puzzled as to why the UK energy prices are so incredibly high, when it only gets about 4% of its product from Russia (remember, the war is the reason given by the politicians) and countries such as Germany up to a half, yet not nearly so expensive. I know its the fact of regulations allowing imported products to drive up average prices.

Another factor is insulation. My home is a constant 21° - 23° all year round. When I first moved here in autumn it felt on the cool side to me as in England it was up to a maximum 26° in winter, simply because there were draughts. A lot of housing is old stock and frankly, poor architecture as from about the 60's when functionality was more important than comfort and space.*

About 2/3rds of households have district heating here and the other third do use oil for heating.

Ecologically wise, it is not completely virtuous. Finland and Estonia are still the world's worst offenders for burning peat, simply because there is so much of it!

*A Scottish guy, called Sim, now living in Sweden has brought out a book called 'Soft City', and combines the elements of the Danish concept of hygge and soft lines within the context of architecture.
Even modern standards in the UK aren't that great.
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Old 25th October 2022, 02:43 AM   #202
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Meanwhile there are apparently ships full of LNG floating around not discharging their cargo because the price is likely to rise in a few months time.

Quote:
The behemoths are waiting. Off the coasts of Spain, Portugal, the UK and other European nations lie dozens of giant ships packed full of liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Quote:
"There's been a very dramatic reduction in cement and steel production in Europe," he says.

It all means that a market situation called contango has emerged for LNG, says Mr Carson. That is, when the future price of a commodity is higher than today's price.

"You would get a higher price for a delivery for January than you would in November," he explains.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-63331709
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Old 25th October 2022, 03:25 AM   #203
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I've done everything practical in my house in regard to insulation which means loft fully insulated & double glazing. It's a 2 brick skin 1890s detached 2.5 up and down, which means 4 rooms have 2 external walls and 2 have 3 external walls. Anything else requires a massive amount of work - it would need either internal or external cladding to insulate the walls. My house is anything but unusual.
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Old 26th October 2022, 07:03 AM   #204
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One thing in my house which helps, is only 1 radiator is on an external wall. I covered cardboard with kitchen foil and secured it behind that radiator.
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Old 26th October 2022, 07:20 AM   #205
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
One thing in my house which helps, is only 1 radiator is on an external wall. I covered cardboard with kitchen foil and secured it behind that radiator.
Can't that cause problems/damage? Or am I thinking of foil under electric stove-top elements?
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Old 26th October 2022, 07:36 AM   #206
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Originally Posted by SteveAitch View Post
Can't that cause problems/damage? Or am I thinking of foil under electric stove-top elements?
It has not caused any issues. The radiator is no hotter than expected, I suspect the heat is being reflected up and out with the rising hot air, rather than back into the radiator causing it to overheat.
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Old 26th October 2022, 08:05 AM   #207
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
It has not caused any issues. The radiator is no hotter than expected, I suspect the heat is being reflected up and out with the rising hot air, rather than back into the radiator causing it to overheat.
Fairy nuff.

Anyway, according to a letter I received a couple of days ago from HMRC, I will be getting £500 rather than just £200 for my winter heating payment - because I was clever enough to be born before 1956. I wonder if this means I won't get my usual £10 pensioner's bonus?

To be serious for a minute, I feel a bit guilty about it. I don't really need it, I have a decent company pension, so a chunk of it will be sent to my less well off family (disguised as their Christmas presents), and a bit to charity. I will NOT be refusing it - it would only end up in some politician's slimy friend's pocket.
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Old 26th October 2022, 03:17 PM   #208
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Originally Posted by SteveAitch View Post
Can't that cause problems/damage? Or am I thinking of foil under electric stove-top elements?
I have some behind the radiators, and that is what it is sold as. All it is is some thin insulator with a foil surface.
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Old 26th October 2022, 03:37 PM   #209
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Originally Posted by SteveAitch View Post
Anyway, according to a letter I received a couple of days ago from HMRC, I will be getting £500 rather than just £200 for my winter heating payment - because I was clever enough to be born before 1956. I wonder if this means I won't get my usual £10 pensioner's bonus?
I got that letter this very day, and it was a pleasant surprise. I can really use that money.

In other news - it's incredibly mild for late October and I spend much of my time anyway in a room with no c/h, just a log burner, so I'm burning a little wood each day. The c/h is of no use yet. I need to get in the loft (stupid place for a gas combi boiler, but I understand why it's there) and crank the hot water temperature down somewhat, as it's way too high. I prefer baths to showers, but I suppose I should switch to showering instead.
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Old 27th October 2022, 01:13 AM   #210
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Looks like the energy companies are doing very nicely indeed.

Quote:
Shell has reported profits have more than doubled between July and September helped by high oil and gas prices.

The energy giant said underlying profits reached $9.5bn (£8.2bn) in the third quarter.

That compares to $4.2bn during the same period last year though it is a slowdown from the second quarter when it announced record figures.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-63409687

IMO Shell will have done everything they possibly can to manage their profits so as to avoid too much negative publicity. From a shareholder perspective they want good profits but they don't want them to be so high that they attract public criticism.
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Old 27th October 2022, 01:16 AM   #211
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
I got that letter this very day, and it was a pleasant surprise. I can really use that money.

In other news - it's incredibly mild for late October and I spend much of my time anyway in a room with no c/h, just a log burner, so I'm burning a little wood each day. The c/h is of no use yet. I need to get in the loft (stupid place for a gas combi boiler, but I understand why it's there) and crank the hot water temperature down somewhat, as it's way too high. I prefer baths to showers, but I suppose I should switch to showering instead.
It's incredibly mild.

I looked at our Hive app and in the last week our central heating has been on for a total of an hour and three-quarters. At this time of year we'd expect it to be on for about that much every day. It's timed to be on for up to seven hours a day on an 18C thermostat setting.
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Old 27th October 2022, 09:34 AM   #212
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I checked my smart meter before and after a reasonably deep and hot bath and the gas cost a measly 50p. I might just keep on having baths, but maybe fewer of them
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Old 31st October 2022, 03:41 AM   #213
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Should the UK government be leading by example?

Quote:
Rooms in parliament are said to be heated to 30C despite the soaring price of gas and electricity.

MPs have complained of overheating inside the poorly insulated Palace of Westminster and have demanded that the government improves energy use. They say some offices and meeting rooms in the “leaky” building are either freezing cold or unbearably hot.

Temperature readings taken by The Times with a thermal imaging camera showed heat escaping through open windows. Measurements taken outside the House of Lords recorded temperatures in rooms of 23C, 26C and 30C.
TIMES
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Old 31st October 2022, 06:54 AM   #214
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
Should the UK government be leading by example?
Quote:
Rooms in parliament are said to be heated to 30C despite the soaring price of gas and electricity.

MPs have complained of overheating inside the poorly insulated Palace of Westminster and have demanded that the government improves energy use. They say some offices and meeting rooms in the “leaky” building are either freezing cold or unbearably hot.

Temperature readings taken by The Times with a thermal imaging camera showed heat escaping through open windows. Measurements taken outside the House of Lords recorded temperatures in rooms of 23C, 26C and 30C.
TIMES
Looking at the demographics of members of the House of Lords and thinking back to how warm they kept Beaconsfield Court (where Daddy Don spent the last 15 months of his life), I'm not surprised in the least.
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Old 31st October 2022, 06:57 AM   #215
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
I checked my smart meter before and after a reasonably deep and hot bath and the gas cost a measly 50p. I might just keep on having baths, but maybe fewer of them
....and that bath will have got you thoroughly warmed through as well.

Mrs Don loves a bath and will only shower in the summer when it's very warm.

OTOH I cannot abide a bath (the thought of stewing in my own filth isn't attractive) and will only shower.

We really are Jack Sprat and wife
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Old 2nd November 2022, 07:17 AM   #216
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Finally got the supplier's bills worked out, now I realise I pay in advance for what they predict I will use, rather than for what I have actually used.
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Old 2nd November 2022, 10:11 AM   #217
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https://news.sky.com/story/quarter-o...finds-12735632

Apparently 60% of people have not been turning their heating on to help cope with rising costs. I cannot find any figures for national energy consumption, but is must be dropping like a stone, if the claims are true.
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Old 2nd November 2022, 10:28 AM   #218
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
Finally got the supplier's bills worked out, now I realise I pay in advance for what they predict I will use, rather than for what I have actually used.
The weird thing about (my experience with) British Gas is the way they predict what I will use. I can't explain it, and they won't.

At the moment, my bill says they predict I will use £1700 worth of electricity in a year, and they keep telling me that in order to do this, I need to up my monthly payment to £450. That makes no sense on its face and try as I might, I can't get them to tell me how it makes sense to them.

I have decided to ignore them on this, and so far it all seems to be working out fine.
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Old 2nd November 2022, 10:36 AM   #219
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
https://news.sky.com/story/quarter-o...finds-12735632

Apparently 60% of people have not been turning their heating on to help cope with rising costs. I cannot find any figures for national energy consumption, but is must be dropping like a stone, if the claims are true.
It's also been really mild. Let's see if 60% are still leaving the heating off now that autumn seems to have arrived.

Also people say all kinds of ****.

And they may have found less efficient ways to heat their
houses following all the advice in the red top newspapers.

Edited to add.....

I misunderstood the article. It seems that 60% of people claim to have avoided turning on the heating for cost reasons on at least one occasion. I can believe that and I can also believe that the impact on national fuel consumption could be negligible.

Last edited by The Don; 2nd November 2022 at 10:40 AM.
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Old 4th November 2022, 12:49 AM   #220
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To help manage demand, energy providers are offering money off for people with smart meters to use less energy at peak times:

Quote:
Households will be offered discounts on their electricity bills if they cut peak-time use on a handful of days over the winter, as part of National Grid's efforts to avoid blackouts.

The network operator has announced details of the scheme, which it said could save households up to £100.

There will be 12 "test" days initially, designed to see how customers respond, between November and March.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-63483668

Where do we sign up ?
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Old 24th November 2022, 11:20 AM   #221
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I received an envelope from one of my electricity providers (here in Finland you get two providers: the one that provides the current for the area and then there is the service provider. This one came from the former.) I unfolded the letter with trepidation when I saw the 'price increase' header. The increase is...







scroll down





...a whole 4.3%. With the government saying they will waive the 24% VAT over the winter months, there probably will be little change in the bill at all

I haven't received a notice from the other provider yet.
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Old 28th November 2022, 08:06 AM   #222
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The installation of a 4kw solar array on the garage roof at Don Towers began today, it should be complete tomorrow.

The 10kwh battery will likely follow in due course.

It's not the best time of year for this kind of thing, there's only about 8 hours of daylight and precious little sunshine, but then again we will be using every last watt we'll be generating.
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Old 28th November 2022, 08:09 AM   #223
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
The installation of a 4kw solar array on the garage roof at Don Towers began today, it should be complete tomorrow.

The 10kwh battery will likely follow in due course.

It's not the best time of year for this kind of thing, there's only about 8 hours of daylight and precious little sunshine, but then again we will be using every last watt we'll be generating.
It's Wales - there's never a best time of the year for solar power!
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Old 28th November 2022, 08:12 AM   #224
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
It's Wales - there's never a best time of the year for solar power!
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Old Yesterday, 01:50 AM   #225
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I periodically check heating oil prices just to get a feel for how the market is moving. Back when we had a 2200 litre tank we tended to keep it 25%-75% full so that if prices suddenly dipped then we could take advantage. Now our tank is only 1200 litres and so there's much less scope for this but nevertheless I check the prices from time to time.

I was prompted this morning by breathless headlines from the BBC saying...

Quote:
Ukraine war: Oil prices rise as cap on Russian crude looms
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-63855030

...and was concerned that heating oil prices were going back over £1 a litre again (they peaked at nearly £2 a litre earlier this year). I shouldn't have worried, they're currently around 75p a litre which is "only" 25% more than I paid the last two deliveries before the Russian invasion of Ukraine and around 40% more the average we've paid the 11 years we've been here.

We're not likely to need any more oil this year and will probably order some more oil just before Christmas for delivery in early January.

Meanwhile, the PV installation continues, slowly, thanks to poor weather. The mounting bars are on the garage roof, the inverter is installed and we're just waiting for the panels to go on this week in time for some less foggy weather.
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Old Yesterday, 04:06 AM   #226
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
It's Wales - there's never a best time of the year for solar power!


Can I suggest rain power?


I am going now.
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Old Yesterday, 04:13 AM   #227
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
Can I suggest rain power?


I am going now.
Well, they have a number of hydro-electric power-stations, which is sort of rain power...
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Old Yesterday, 05:38 AM   #228
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Switched on my gas c/h several days ago and the smart meter readings since then are a bit of a shock. And, I'm only running the c/h for a few hours a day as the rooms where I 'live' have no radiators anyway. I'm burning a fair bit of wood to keep those reasonably cosy, but even that's costing a fair whack. The local firewood suppliers are also having trouble getting stock as so many people seem to be turning to wood burning.

I have my eyes on some local ash trees, but unfortunately my chainsaw is electric
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Old Yesterday, 06:17 AM   #229
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
Switched on my gas c/h several days ago and the smart meter readings since then are a bit of a shock. And, I'm only running the c/h for a few hours a day as the rooms where I 'live' have no radiators anyway. I'm burning a fair bit of wood to keep those reasonably cosy, but even that's costing a fair whack. The local firewood suppliers are also having trouble getting stock as so many people seem to be turning to wood burning.

I have my eyes on some local ash trees, but unfortunately my chainsaw is electric
Yes, I note that fallen branches round here now disappear almost immediately, presumably to be burnt.

Mrs Don bought one of these electrically heated throws last year and I pooh-poohed her decision to do so. I now freely admit I was quite wrong because its a cost effective way to heat a person sitting (or napping ) on a sofa.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mia-Coco-El.../dp/B08FXLSSTP

I've just had a new chimney cowl fitted this lunchtime (the last one blow off a couple of weeks ago and we've had water coming down the chimney in downpours since then). I'll re-black the multi-fuel stove this afternoon and have a nice cosy fire this evening.

Speaking of this, we burn Ecoal50 in our stove. The cheapest I could get it this winter was £19 per 25kg bag (up from £15 last winter), delivered a few days ago. Imagine my chagrin when I found it in Costco, for the first time ever, for just over £14 a bag a day later.
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Old Yesterday, 06:51 AM   #230
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Oh, in addition I've been wearing my long johns for the last few days. Popping outside was becoming a bit too cold on my legs
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