UKC

Gas / electricity prices

New Topic
This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
 Ian W 07 Jan 2022

Just received my renewal notice from my energy suppier - eeek!!

Last 12 months consumption has been just over £1,400, so near enough £120 / month. If I choose their 12. 24 or 36 month fixed rate, my monthly payment in all 3 cases is near enough £335, so £4,020 pa.

Going to the variable rate would lift my payments to £160 per month. Phew, thats not so bad.....but when the price cap is lifted in april, what will the variable rate rise to? Somewhere around the £340 / £350 is my guess.

now i'm reasonably comfortably off, but paying and additional £220 per month will cause choices to be made (one of which may be an ice axe going through the boiler once the current cold spell is over.....). For those not so comfortably off, a virtual trebling of energy costs is going to be a nightmare, and I dont think the true effect has really been publicised yet. And this hasnt yet fed through into shop prices yet, but certainly will do when businesses have to renew supply contract.

So what potential is there to mitigatethe effects, which will be catastrophic on many households? Scrap HS2 and put the money rapidly into wind farms / solar? Nationalise power companies and sell energy to the consumer at a national level? Any other bright ideas from anyone?

In reply to Ian W:

I don't think the variable rate will quite get to the fixed price rate - because the energy market is so unstable none of the energy suppliers have a real clue about what's going to happen, so they're shit scared of doing fixed rate contracts that might turn out to lose money, so they're basically just pricing them out of the market.

How close the variable rate will get to those fixed price rates is anyone's guess, and of course there is a chance that without the price cap it could even go higher.

 e.ms355 07 Jan 2022
In reply to Ian W:

We've had the issue that the company we were with is one of the ones that's gone bust due to the rising costs and it's so far taken 4months to transfer over to the new company we've been allocated (we had no say in this). Although during that time we have continued paying direct debits, I fear these will be nowhere near enough to cover the rise in charge but we have not yet received a bill in four months as they haven't completed the transfer.

We also can't change our DD as they've said this may mess up the transfer.

I agree that the true effect hasn't yet been realised/published if others are in similar situations to us! I have no solution but I'm scared of using the heating until I know exactly what I'm going to be paying!!

OP Ian W 07 Jan 2022
In reply to elsewhere:

> If only there was a way to store gas...

What a brilliant idea. Why did nobody think of this before? Oh.....hang on.....

 LastBoyScout 07 Jan 2022
In reply to Ian W:

My energy bill has more than doubled in the last couple of months - although some of that will have been the Christmas lights.

I'm seriously worried about the rest of this year, though - predicted to go up another 51% in April, I believe, which would be a serious squeeze.

MoneySavingExpert is doing a lot on this at the moment and there's a lot of calls for re-nationalisation, which I'm 100% in favour of - absolute insanity that our core utilities are in the hands of profit-driven private companies.

 wercat 07 Jan 2022
In reply to Ian W:

>So what potential is there to mitigatethe effects, which will be catastrophic on many households? Scrap HS2 and put the money rapidly into wind farms / solar? Nationalise power companies and sell energy to the consumer at a national level? Any other bright ideas from anyone?

My bright idea is to make sure pensioners get their pensions rather than finding very long delays in receiving it after applying and qualifying.  An under discussed national scandal and another Tory cockup that affects the poorest would be pensioners most.

Post edited at 13:06
8
In reply to Ian W:

Will oil fired boilers become more popular?  It's not something I've seen discussed much, but while the cost of heating oil is up about 50% over the past 6 months, that's from a low base caused by covid, and current price isn't that much higher than most of the previous 4 years at about 60p/l.

https://www.boilerjuice.com/heating-oil-prices/

Given that heating oil price is closely linked to crude oil prices, I would guess it's likely to stay fairly stable due to diversity of suppliers, OPEC not wanting prices to go sky high and the government being sensitive about fuel prices at the pump which people are very aware of.

Not great environmentally, but if I was currently on gas and looking for a new boiler, oil would definitely be looking appealing. 

Longer run, yes, you would hope the government will invest in renewables.  Can also see nuclear coming back into favour.

1
In reply to Ian W:

> So what potential is there to mitigatethe effects, which will be catastrophic on many households? Scrap HS2 and put the money rapidly into wind farms / solar?

No.  HS2 is needed, and much of the money for it is borrowed ahead against additional fare income from people transferring from car/air anyway, so if it is not built the money will never exist.

> Nationalise power companies and sell energy to the consumer at a national level? Any other bright ideas from anyone?

We need to convert (with grant assistance) as much of the housing stock as possible to as close to the Passivhaus standard as possible, and so reduce our need for energy.  This may mean relaxing some conservation area type standards, because in some cases you can only do it by replacing windows with triple/quad glazed (old sashes won't cut the mustard, and double glazed ones don't look like old ones anyway) and by putting insulation up the outside of very small houses with rendering over the top.

We need to mandate all new planning applications for new residential buildings to fully meet Passivhaus, with immediate effect.  Alongside this we need to tighten the requirements on landlords for energy efficiency, as often renters are stuck unable to improve things.

Secondarily, we need to chuck up some more nuclear power stations and move to electric heating (heat pumps and resistance - the latter is fine for Passivhaus as the requirement is so low).

Post edited at 13:16
3
In reply to Ian W:

Wow, do you live in a Dutch barn, I pay £55 pm and in credit for a 4 bedroom 1920 semi, am trying to use less energy to get it under £50 pm.

11
In reply to Ian W:

Build nuclear plants ASAP, insulate existing housing stock, get fracking to get us over the transition with gas power generation.

An energy generation mix of 50% nuclear, 50% renewables and 50% standby gas seems sensible to me.

3
OP Ian W 07 Jan 2022
In reply to robert-hutton:

> Wow, do you live in a Dutch barn, I pay £55 pm and in credit for a 4 bedroom 1920 semi, am trying to use less energy to get it under £50 pm.

No, sounds quite similar sizewise; its a 1890's / 1900's 4 bed townhouse.......how the hell do you get it so low? I know i seem to be the only one in the house who knows which direction "off" is on the heating control, but £55 / month is just under half of  mine.

 johncook 07 Jan 2022
In reply to e.ms355:

I got transferred to Shell from pure planet. That was 18th October and I am still struggling to get through the gross inefficiency of Shell. They have set up multiple accounts for me and my address, they have asked for numerous different DD, and amounts, to be set up for these numerous accounts, and they still have no idea when they will have solved this problem. Meanwhile my bills are mounting. Tried the ombudsman. What a waste of time. They chose Shell so they don't want to accept they made a huge mistake. They say wait until Shell have resolved my problem and if I am still not happy Shell will pass it to them! 

Good luck to everyone  and where possible avoid Shell!

 elliot.baker 07 Jan 2022
In reply to robert-hutton:

How many people live in your house? There's two adults and two babies in my house, we both work from home and have an electric car that we charge at home and our bills were around £90 per month in Winter but we've gone into debt by £200 odd (because our supplier shut down and the direct debit didn't change, as someone else said).


We're in a 3 bed semi with a B or C EPC rating (relatively modern).

 The Norris 07 Jan 2022
In reply to Ian W:

Are you both quoting the cost of both gas and electric combined? 55 quid a month does seem rather low for both? If it is for both I'm jealous! Ours is also about 120 a month combined. 3 bed semi 1920s.

 Si dH 07 Jan 2022
In reply to Ian W:

> No, sounds quite similar sizewise; its a 1890's / 1900's 4 bed townhouse.......how the hell do you get it so low? I know i seem to be the only one in the house who knows which direction "off" is on the heating control, but £55 / month is just under half of  mine.

I think there can be a huge difference between late 19th century and early 20th century houses. Our bills (1880s semi albeit 6 bed so a bit bigger) are 10-20% more than yours. I've already spent a lot of effort on improving things including fitting a new boiler, there is more to do but it's difficult to know what will help significantly and what won't. We only set heating to 18.5. In our old house, a good sized 3-bed 1910s terrace, our bills were half what they are now even though we always had the heating at 20.

​​​​​​So don't be too surprised if you have people in 20th century houses spending far less money and being unsympathetic.

OP Ian W 07 Jan 2022
In reply to Sam W:

> Will oil fired boilers become more popular?  It's not something I've seen discussed much, but while the cost of heating oil is up about 50% over the past 6 months, that's from a low base caused by covid, and current price isn't that much higher than most of the previous 4 years at about 60p/l.

> Given that heating oil price is closely linked to crude oil prices, I would guess it's likely to stay fairly stable due to diversity of suppliers, OPEC not wanting prices to go sky high and the government being sensitive about fuel prices at the pump which people are very aware of.

> Not great environmentally, but if I was currently on gas and looking for a new boiler, oil would definitely be looking appealing. 

> Longer run, yes, you would hope the government will invest in renewables.  Can also see nuclear coming back into favour.

It will certainly become more attractive, but its not a short term fix, and its a short term solution thats needed. Medium term, I'd rather hope that instead of spending the money on the infrastructure and oil fired boiler for this setup, people would invest the money on the stuff Neil Williams (and others) suggest - passivehaus style insulation / heat pumps etc

One other consequence of the massive hike in energy costs is that my suppliers (ovo) special tariff for EV users has double in price - its now twice as expensive to run your EV, which will surely reduce the take up of such vehicles........

OP Ian W 07 Jan 2022
In reply to The Norris:

> Are you both quoting the cost of both gas and electric combined? 55 quid a month does seem rather low for both? If it is for both I'm jealous! Ours is also about 120 a month combined. 3 bed semi 1920s.

Combined for me.

OP Ian W 07 Jan 2022
In reply to Si dH:

> I think there can be a huge difference between late 19th century and early 20th century houses. Our bills (1880s semi albeit 6 bed so a bit bigger) are 10-20% more than yours. I've already spent a lot of effort on improving things including fitting a new boiler, there is more to do but it's difficult to know what will help significantly and what won't. We only set heating to 18.5. In our old house, a good sized 3-bed 1910s terrace, our bills were half what they are now even though we always had the heating at 20.

> ​​​​​​So don't be too surprised if you have people in 20th century houses spending far less money and being unsympathetic.

Interesting - i suppose ours might be inefficient because all the rooms have 12ft ceilings, and it has 4 beds, 2 receps, large kitchen, separate study........I agree its a bit more expensive than our previous house which was bigger overall but 20c (1930's with large 1980's extension), but not by much (about a tenner a month). Agree though that to get our type of house up to anything like modern insulation / heat efficiency standards is going to need considerable investment.

OP Ian W 07 Jan 2022
In reply to LastBoyScout:

> My energy bill has more than doubled in the last couple of months - although some of that will have been the Christmas lights.

> I'm seriously worried about the rest of this year, though - predicted to go up another 51% in April, I believe, which would be a serious squeeze.

> MoneySavingExpert is doing a lot on this at the moment and there's a lot of calls for re-nationalisation, which I'm 100% in favour of - absolute insanity that our core utilities are in the hands of profit-driven private companies.

And 40% of the electricity supply companies are not british, so 40% of the profits / dividends are flowing needlessly out of the economy.

Post edited at 14:19
1
 David Alcock 07 Jan 2022
In reply to Ian W:

£28 combined for me and my three lads at present, but we're hard and own plenty of blankets. One bed flat in a converted 1590s building, so thick walls. When it all goes up we'll just have to become harder! No choice really. 

In reply to Ian W:

> No, sounds quite similar sizewise; its a 1890's / 1900's 4 bed townhouse.......how the hell do you get it so low? I know i seem to be the only one in the house who knows which direction "off" is on the heating control, but £55 / month is just under half of  mine.

Quite easy, summer tea-shirt on when warm, winter fleece and tea-shirt when cold😁

I did spend some time in insulating the roof and floor as can under into the floor void, and try to buy low energy use items and then switch them off if not needed 70's style.

OP Ian W 07 Jan 2022
In reply to David Alcock:

> £28 combined for me and my three lads at present, but we're hard and own plenty of blankets. One bed flat in a converted 1590s building, so thick walls. When it all goes up we'll just have to become harder! No choice really. 

£28? You're just showing off now.

but joking aside, if you have a single pensioner in the same position, or a single mother on income support, paying as little as £28 / mo (and therefore i would suggest not in a position to spend much more due to fixed low income) then the % rise that i am facing now (35%) followed in April by a potential rise of 51% would put that person in an impossible position. They are going to have to all become double super-b*st*rd SAS style hard, and quickly.

In reply to Ian W:

> Combined for me.

Combined for me also

In reply to elliot.baker:

> How many people live in your house? There's two adults and two babies in my house, we both work from home and have an electric car that we charge at home and our bills were around £90 per month in Winter but we've gone into debt by £200 odd (because our supplier shut down and the direct debit didn't change, as someone else said).

> We're in a 3 bed semi with a B or C EPC rating (relatively modern).

Two adults and son who joined us last year working at home, both retired so in winter mostly in during daytime.

We do live on top of a hill at 350m so needs to be insulated quite well.

Post edited at 14:48
OP Ian W 07 Jan 2022
In reply to robert-hutton:

> Quite easy, summer tea-shirt on when warm, winter fleece and tea-shirt when cold😁

Unfortunately. the current Mrs W and i have a different idea as to what constitutes "cold".

> I did spend some time in insulating the roof and floor as can under into the floor void, and try to buy low energy use items and then switch them off if not needed 70's style.

As a slight aside, when we bought this house, the previous occupant was amazed that I thought his bills were big. In 2010, they were still using an old style boiler with storage tank, and when I changed out the light bulbs for low energy ones, I took 2,400w of (potential) consumption out of the house. The kitchen had 12 x 50w halogen downlighters (i kid you not), and the smallest bulb in the house was 60w (1 in the cupboard under the stairs, and 1 in the downstairs loo - the upstairs loo, separate to the bathroom was 100w....).

In reply to Neil Williams:

> No.  HS2 is needed, and much of the money for it is borrowed ahead against additional fare income from people transferring from car/air anyway, so if it is not built the money will never exist.

I hope you're being ironic - exactly which people is it who are transferring? I suspect the estimates might be a bit out when we finally get to the point of being able to board an HS2 train.

2
In reply to Sam W:

> Will oil fired boilers become more popular?  It's not something I've seen discussed much, but while the cost of heating oil is up about 50% over the past 6 months, that's from a low base caused by covid, and current price isn't that much higher than most of the previous 4 years at about 60p/l.

Just had a ring round and currently 55.5p/l (58.2 inc VAT). Thats up from 35.5p this time last year, 30.8p the year before. It's probably at a 5 year high, but has been higher in the past.

There are lots of downsides to oil. Boilers are far more expensive to buy, install and service. They're also big and heavy, so you need space for it and where you can't hear it roar into life. You also need a storage tank thats accessible enough for a tanker but reasonably secure (A thin plastic tank containing  well over a £1000 of fuel is very tempting to some, and you can look forward to a very expensive cleanup if you do get visited).

Prices are seasonably variable, (It went over £1 a litre one winter), so it's always a gamble when to buy (knew I should have brimmed the tank in September rather than hoping prices will be down by May).

Even with a modern boiler oil is still an expensive way to heat, and you need cash in the bank when that invoice hits the mat. The other big issue is it ****** stinks. Fine if it's running well, but if you need to split a line to change the oil pump or replace a nozzle, or there's a tiny drip on a hot part, you'll know about it. 

I have one out of necessity, not choice.
 

Post edited at 14:49
 La benya 07 Jan 2022
In reply to Ian W:

£160 combined for a 1910's 3 bed here.  I work from home and we have the heating on more now for a new baby so I expect that to increase.  We are also one of the accounts moved due to our supplier going under, so I have no idea what our current or future tariff will be.  I was expecting an increase, but your initial post has seriously worried me!  Like you, we are comfortable, but that kind of increase will cripple us.

In reply to Michael Hood:

> I hope you're being ironic

Nope.

- exactly which people is it who are transferring?

The huge number of car drivers on the M6.

> I suspect the estimates might be a bit out when we finally get to the point of being able to board an HS2 train.

HS2 is for the long term.  Don't apply the situation now to it.

In reply to Ian W:

I worked out that to heat our house yesterday cost about £11. It was about 10 degrees outside. 

OP Ian W 07 Jan 2022
In reply to La benya:

> £160 combined for a 1910's 3 bed here.  I work from home and we have the heating on more now for a new baby so I expect that to increase.  We are also one of the accounts moved due to our supplier going under, so I have no idea what our current or future tariff will be.  I was expecting an increase, but your initial post has seriously worried me!  Like you, we are comfortable, but that kind of increase will cripple us.

Indeed. If mine doesnt go up from £120 to £335 pm, but goes up to £160 next month and then to £240 in april / may (as posited quite reasonably above by someone), then I am not going to be a happy bunny, and will have to look at other spending plans as thats an effective fall in post tax disposable income of £1,400 pa. Now my altered spending plans may mean not getting a new garden room, or maybe going on a cheaper holiday, or cutting out a few weekends away etc, so I'm not expecting sympathy, but for many many people who already find life financially hard enough, this is going to be impossible to deal with. And that point is only 3 or 4 months away. Anyone with a job also has a 1.25% cut in disposable income due to the NI rise in april, and I can see this causing somewhat more than a ripple in our economic recovery, given we are a consumer driven economy.

 e.ms355 07 Jan 2022
In reply to johncook:

The same has happened to us PurePlanet to Shell! Good luck sorting everything out. We're also still struggling!

 Jenny C 07 Jan 2022
In reply to Ian W:

We work on the jumpers philosophy, also with both of us out at work no need to heat the house in the day. In the evenings we use a woodburner for the living room which is toasty, then thermostats to keep the rest of the house comfortable through the central heating (comfortable, not hot). 

Unless very cold the heating doesn't come on at all in the morning, but it's on low from late afternoon and then a bit higher in the evening. We are lucky that our 1950s semi does seem to retain heat fairly well, although I do regret not having a radiator in the kitchen which is always freezing.

Big shock to the system home working in a cold house versus an overheated office. I suspect the increase in people being at home (home working or not working) will have had a big impact on bills.

 BRILLBRUM 07 Jan 2022
In reply to Ridge:

To add to this, my parents in rural Lincolnshire twice had their storage tank raided, so there you have a years worth of oil having to be bought three times, and home insurance premiums going up, and additional costs for home security.

 Maggot 07 Jan 2022
In reply to Ian W:

> but for many many people who already find life financially hard enough, this is going to be impossible to deal with.

I suspect we're going to see an explosion (pun not intended) in meter fiddling.

Along with old retired fireplaces being opened up and any other means of heating.

I've put off repairing my wood burner install for the last two years, what with all this particulates chatter, but it's definitely going to get sorted this year.

 mik82 07 Jan 2022
In reply to Ian W:

I don't think there's an easy answer to this. Nationalising energy companies doesn't sort out the actual cost of the energy and would be a large taxpayer expense initially. If you then chose to subsidise energy costs you'd be in the situation of people in newer, more energy efficient homes subsidising those in older, less energy efficient homes through taxation. Labour's policy of cutting VAT would have no effect as it's only 5% anyway.

Ultimately we're all going to be worse off as everything is going to be much more expensive and people will have less disposable income. This is particularly going to affect people without much leeway - i.e. the less well off, and those that have overstretched themselves with mortgages over the last few years (interest rate rises aren't going to help for the latter either).

Post edited at 15:38
OP Ian W 07 Jan 2022
In reply to mik82:

> I don't think there's an easy answer to this. Nationalising energy companies doesn't sort out the actual cost of the energy and would be a large taxpayer expense initially. If you then chose to subsidise energy costs you'd be in the situation of people in newer, more energy efficient homes subsidising those in older, less energy efficient homes through taxation. Labour's policy of cutting VAT would have no effect as it's only 5% anyway.

Its a massive problem that isnt getting the airtime it warrants - i'm no better than anyone else; i was aware costs were rising significantly, but until i got it in black and white on my renewal notice it wasnt really on the horizon. It is now!

Nationalising doesn't sort out the cost, but returning the profits made by the overseas owners to the public purse would help, and by not far off the equivalent of the potential VAT cut). Which was also posited by the tories as a possibility (although I didn't believe for a nanosecond they would go through with it).

Why would it have to be a large taxpayer current expense? As Neil Williams pointed out above, money is available borrowed against future income streams, which are pretty solid for utilities, hence the attractiveness of the shares. The government can issue bonds at fractions of a percent, and the yields on energy shares are somewhere around 4.5 - 5.0%. Much more solid than HS2 anyway.

> Ultimately we're all going to be worse off as everything is going to be much more expensive and people will have less disposable income. This is particularly going to affect people without much leeway - i.e. the less well off, and those that have overstretched themselves with mortgages over the last few years (interest rate rises aren't going to help for the latter either).

Oh indeed - and on the housing market front, it has been at stupid levels recently - this kind of shock may well burst that particular bubble.

 Si dH 07 Jan 2022
In reply to Maggot:

> I suspect we're going to see an explosion (pun not intended) in meter fiddling.

> Along with old retired fireplaces being opened up and any other means of heating.

> I've put off repairing my wood burner install for the last two years, what with all this particulates chatter, but it's definitely going to get sorted this year.

Heating a house with wood burners costs more than central heating unless you have your own supply of well dried wood. Open fireplace even more so - smokeless coal is cheaper than good quality wood but open fireplaces are less efficient.

Post edited at 16:02
In reply to Ian W:

> Oh indeed - and on the housing market front, it has been at stupid levels recently - this kind of shock may well burst that particular bubble.

Most of that seems to be being caused by people not selling - there is a huge shortage of homes to buy.

 Maggot 07 Jan 2022
In reply to Si dH:

I have a source of free wood. Have to admit I got sick to death of making burner sized pieces.

Fair point though re costs, but there are plenty of sources of cheap/free/environmentaly horrendous fuel if you choose to look and/or break 'the rules'.

Me and the Mrs are getting old now ... get old feel the cold. I know what my plan is, and it doesn't involve expanding energy providers and their shareholders bank accounts.

 LastBoyScout 07 Jan 2022
In reply to Ian W:

> Unfortunately. the current Mrs W and i have a different idea as to what constitutes "cold".

Same here! Sometimes, I think she only married me to keep her warm!

> As a slight aside, when we bought this house, the previous occupant was amazed that I thought his bills were big. In 2010, they were still using an old style boiler with storage tank, and when I changed out the light bulbs for low energy ones, I took 2,400w of (potential) consumption out of the house. The kitchen had 12 x 50w halogen downlighters (i kid you not), and the smallest bulb in the house was 60w (1 in the cupboard under the stairs, and 1 in the downstairs loo - the upstairs loo, separate to the bathroom was 100w....).

We're in a new-build house, so should be up to scratch with current insulation regs and all the basic pendants that came with it had low energy bulbs, but we've replaced pretty much all of them with fittings that use LED bulbs. There are a couple of fittings that have G9 halogen bulbs in them and I need to replace them with LED equivalents...

OP Ian W 07 Jan 2022
In reply to Neil Williams:

> Most of that seems to be being caused by people not selling - there is a huge shortage of homes to buy.

Yes, quite separately to this thread, we've decided to downsize (hopefully cheaper to heat!) now that the offspring have flown the nest; we were amazed at a) how quickly our house sold (3 offers in less than 1 week from listing) and b) the price achieved (approx 10% above asking). Struggled to find a decent house to buy, but eventually found one and got it as we are cash buyers and can move as soon as paperwork done. However estate agent said that its a really odd market (whether just locally or whether this is a national phenomenon) as he knows of many sellers who have cashed in and are in rented houses waiting for the bubble to burst and prices to fall. Which of course they wont, as there is pent up demand caused by these very people. Quite what will happen appears to be anyones guess; still high demand, rising interest rates, lower disposable incomes.........

In reply to Si dH:

> Heating a house with wood burners costs more than central heating unless you have your own supply of well dried wood.

I'm not so sure on that. We average 2000l of oil a year, so that's about £120 a month at current prices. That's equivalent to buying about two 1m3 dumpy bags of kiln dried softwood a month. You could almost keep a wood burner running 24hrs a day, 365 days a year with that. (Although we'd still be using oil for hot water).

 Jamie Wakeham 07 Jan 2022
In reply to Ian W:

> One other consequence of the massive hike in energy costs is that my suppliers (ovo) special tariff for EV users has double in price - its now twice as expensive to run your EV, which will surely reduce the take up of such vehicles........

I don't know what OVO are charging now, but Octopus GO is still 5p/kWh overnight, which works out to about 1.5p/mile for the 'fuel' for a typical EV.  A typical ICE will be 15-20p/mile, again for fuel alone. 

<shameless plug> if you wanted to switch to Octopus, use my referral code and they'll give both you and me £50:  https://share.octopus.energy/eager-eve-607

1
In reply to Jamie Wakeham:

We're on Octopus Go, had a look earlier and it's up to 7.5p off peak and 30p peak in our area.

In reply to Jamie Wakeham:

I see octopus do e-car leasing and seems like decent prices, anyone else had experience with them for leasing?

Post edited at 18:55
 flatlandrich 07 Jan 2022
In reply to Ridge:

> I'm not so sure on that. We average 2000l of oil a year, so that's about £120 a month at current prices. That's equivalent to buying about two 1m3 dumpy bags of kiln dried softwood a month. You could almost keep a wood burner running 24hrs a day, 365 days a year with that. (Although we'd still be using oil for hot water).

I wouldn't be so sure on that either. I'm assuming your oil boiler runs your central heating system. If you heat a house using a wood burner with a back boiler running a CH system then you get through a phenomenal amount of wood. Forget the nice gentle flames and slow burning, when they are running ten radiators they burn like a blast furnace and will easily get through a heaped wheelbarrow load of wood in 24 hours.  

OP Ian W 07 Jan 2022
In reply to Jamie Wakeham:

> I don't know what OVO are charging now, but Octopus GO is still 5p/kWh overnight, which works out to about 1.5p/mile for the 'fuel' for a typical EV.  A typical ICE will be 15-20p/mile, again for fuel alone. 

> <shameless plug> if you wanted to switch to Octopus, use my referral code and they'll give both you and me £50:  https://share.octopus.energy/eager-eve-607

At those rates I might - ovo's suggested plan is 28p/kWh, but thats maybe not comparable as it is a combined plan for household electricity, gas and Ev juice.

In reply to Si dH:

> Heating a house with wood burners costs more than central heating

You don't heat the house though. If we time lighting it right we can have our lounge and dining room warm from 6pm until bedtime on 2 logs. Not sure what it would cost to run the boiler with all but 2 of the rads turned off, but.... I'm guessing more at current prices.

1
 Jamie Wakeham 07 Jan 2022
In reply to Ian W:

So I'm getting 14p/kWh most of the day, and 5p/kWh between 00:30 and 04:30, with a standing charge of 25p/day.  It might be that new customers aren't getting that good a deal, or that it's different in other parts of the UK.  Certainly worth a look.

Overall I'm paying about £55/month, gas and elec, including charging my EV, for a well insulated three storey 3-bed with two adults working from home all day long.  But we do have a big solar array (so if it's sunny we consume nothing, and the dishwasher is set to go off at 1am on the super cheap rate) and a 5kW woodburner which we use on the coldest nights to supplement the heating.

 Jamie Wakeham 07 Jan 2022
In reply to robert-hutton:

> I see octopus do e-car leasing and seems like decent prices, anyone else had experience with them for leasing?

Afraid not - I got mine through Drive Electric, who I would recommend.  My previous was from JustDrive, who I would definitely not.

OP Ian W 07 Jan 2022
In reply to Jamie Wakeham:

> So I'm getting 14p/kWh most of the day, and 5p/kWh between 00:30 and 04:30, with a standing charge of 25p/day.  It might be that new customers aren't getting that good a deal, or that it's different in other parts of the UK.  Certainly worth a look.

> Overall I'm paying about £55/month, gas and elec, including charging my EV, for a well insulated three storey 3-bed with two adults working from home all day long.  But we do have a big solar array (so if it's sunny we consume nothing, and the dishwasher is set to go off at 1am on the super cheap rate) and a 5kW woodburner which we use on the coldest nights to supplement the heating.

not dissimilar to my current contract - electricity 15.09p, gas 2.93p, but no cheap overnight price. TBH i've not been too excited about current costs of about £120 pm as we make no real effort to turn individual rooms off, and have "all mod cons" re electrical goodies, and both WFH pretty well all the time. And as per my OP, i'll be able to afford a doubling of cost, albeit it will make us look for ways to save; its those who are already struggling i genuinely feel for. And this is a long term issue which cant be sorted short term. as neil Williams said, we need to fundamentally change housebuilding standards, and change them now. Not next week, but now. And invest properly in renewables / nuclear, which again isnt going to happen overnight.

In reply to Jamie Wakeham:

You need a Smart meter installed to get Octopus Go too btw https://octopus.energy/go

In reply to flatlandrich:

Thanks, interesting to know.

 Jamie Wakeham 07 Jan 2022
In reply to Paul Phillips - UKC and UKH:

Oh - yes - you need a smart meter for any of the new time-of-use tariffs. 

 daftdazza 08 Jan 2022
In reply to Ian W:

Putting money rapidly into wind farms and solar would in the short term likely cause a even more rapid rise In energy prices.  Replacing nuclear power stations rather than shutting them down would have been a good start, but as others said, exploring if fracking would be commercially viable could help, more gas storage, any potential to extract more gas in North Sea?  Even when global gas prices eventually go back to normal future energy prices are only going to rise 

2
 summo 08 Jan 2022
In reply to daftdazza:

Obviously power generation improvements are too slow to solve things this winter. But energy saving isn't. Across the uk there will be suppliers with loft and wall insulation, led bulbs etc.  sitting on shelves. The government could cut the vat on all these products and maybe have all insulation related works tax deductible. 

The rising energy costs will be crippling the public sector too, so there are incentives for everyone. If you don't use it, you don't need to buy it regardless of the price. 

 Si dH 08 Jan 2022
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

> You don't heat the house though. If we time lighting it right we can have our lounge and dining room warm from 6pm until bedtime on 2 logs. 

I don't understand how that's possible to be honest. Our wood burner (which is quite a large one) doesn't start to give off a decent amount of heat until I've put at least 3-4 logs through it and it won't start to really warm the room up for around 1.5-2 hours after lighting. We only light it on very cold days but if we want to sit in the room with it going for a few hours it will use at least 10-15 logs and probably more like 20. It has a decent draw but it's sat at the bottom of a big, tall chimney, I'm not sure if this effects performance.

I do recognise some wood burners get going much faster than others though. My mum has a new one built in to her wall in a much more modern house (rather than a separate standalone one like ours) and hers lights and gets going well almost instantly. I could imagine her keeping that going for a couple of hours with only 4 or 5 logs.

Anyway, off topic

Post edited at 08:33
1
In reply to Si dH:

> I don't understand how that's possible to be honest. Our wood burner (which is quite a large one) doesn't start to give off a decent amount of heat until I've put at least 3-4 logs through it and it won't start to really warm the room up for around 1.5-2 hours after lighting. We only light it on very cold days but if we want to sit in the room with it going for a few hours it will use at least 10-15 logs and probably more like 20. It has a decent draw but it's sat at the bottom of a big, tall chimney, I'm not sure if this effects performance.

> I do recognise some wood burners get going much faster than others though. My mum has a new one built in to her wall in a much more modern house (rather than a separate standalone one like ours) and hers lights and gets going well almost instantly. I could imagine her keeping that going for a couple of hours with only 4 or 5 logs.

> Anyway, off topic

Sounds like a lot of your heat is going straight up your chimney, our wood burner has a baffle so will heat up in 10 minutes, plus I put a load of rockwool in the final few metres of the chimney so the pipe warms up the zoud within the  chimney keeping the house warm.

2
In reply to Si dH:

Yep, as others have said, small stove and 2 of those fans, and a decent draw from the chimney.
It doesn't warm up instantly. That's what I meant by timing the lighting right. If I light it about 5pm the room is warming up noticeably by 6. The fire is out out by about 7 but there's enough heat in the stove and room that it's cozy until 9.30/10ish.

1
 wbo2 08 Jan 2022
In reply to daftdazza: So the background for this is a hard spike in gas prices, and the UK is a bit exposed even compared to mainland Europe as domestic gas supply is dropping.  My comments are , apologies for listing them as points but I can't be bothered to put them into a non bullet point format that makes sense

1. Renewables are the cheapest long term source of power as you have almost no OPEX and the CAPEX isn't huge BUT you have the problems of storage and things like low wind speed , so you need to be on an interconnected network to try to flatten that.

2. Nuclear is the most expensive form of power. Massive CAPEX , big OPEX and big end of life costs to budget in.

3. I don't believe onshore fracking in say Lancashire is commercially viable, and it ain't cheap (I know). It might make sense now, but when prices drop again they'll be in all sorts of shtum and begging for help.  Onshore gas in the US is a lot technically easier than in the UK and very boom and bust, and never cheap.

4. Further production North Sea - unlikely - bit of reworking, and at the moment people are pulling out gas injected to support oil production as it's more profitable to produce the gas than the oil.  Southern Gas Basin is dead, Morecambe Bay is dead, but??  Gas storage is easy technically but you really want to buy an increasing amount from Russia?

Sadly I'd ignore the short term pain , or mitigate it with subisidies, and plan towards an improved point 1), and that's what most countries will do.  Isn't free, isn't quick tho' and requires long term planning and investment, things the UK isn't great at for the last 40 years

And start building proper houses!!!  The easiest, biggest  win

> Putting money rapidly into wind farms and solar would in the short term likely cause a even more rapid rise In energy prices.  Replacing nuclear power stations rather than shutting them down would have been a good start, but as others said, exploring if fracking would be commercially viable could help, more gas storage, any potential to extract more gas in North Sea?  Even when global gas prices eventually go back to normal future energy prices are only going to rise 

Post edited at 10:13
1
 flatlandrich 08 Jan 2022
In reply to Si dH:

There's so many variables here that you can't really compare performance. Room size/layout; stove size/efficiency; occupants definition of 'warm'; insulation/draft levels; size of the logs etc.

At the end of the day every fuel has a certain calorific value so can only provide X amount of heat and some homes will need more of it. It's how well you can hang on to it after you've created it that matters.

 flatlandrich 08 Jan 2022
In reply to Ian W:

I started to wonder if these gas price rises were actually being kept artificially high (not sure how though) in an effort to make people rethink how much they use and their attitude towards insulating their properties better. Gas has always been so cheap that you would have trouble recouping the cost of adding 'proper' insulation. But if prices look set to treble in the future then adding things like internal/external insulation will become much more financially attractive options and bring them up peoples list of priorities. At the same time it also makes investing in electric and renewables seem like a better idea.

 j_duds 08 Jan 2022
In reply to flatlandrich:

And would rising gas prices make Air Source Heat Pumps viable (vs gas boilers)? 

 flatlandrich 08 Jan 2022
In reply to j_duds:

I haven't done and calculations on it but it must make it more viable. Gas has always been a cheep, clean, easy and relatively trouble free way of heating a house, so why would you use anything else if it's available? But if prices are likely to double, maybe even treble then that's got to put other alternatives in a better light. 

 Jamie Wakeham 08 Jan 2022
In reply to flatlandrich:

I'm trying to get an installer lined up to fit my ASHP to replace gas before the RHI scheme closes later this year.  I've done quite a lot of detailed calculations and for me ASHP breaks even against gas, just.  I've had to take into account that my boiler is on its last legs and will need expensive ongoing repairs (or just replacement) in the near future, and my ASHP will be driven partly by 5p/kWh off peak electricity and partly by my PV array, and with all that it just about reaches parity with current gas prices once you take the RHI payments into account.  

Oh, and I've excluded the already completed cost of fitting wet UFH, because we wanted that regardless.

For most houses with gas CH, at current prices, needing work to fit wet UFH or oversized rads, ASHP simply can't beat gas, not at the current ratio of gas being ~1/4 the price of electricity.

I've just done a back-of-a-fag-packet calculation and I reckon that for a similar house to mine, without PV, needing to pay for the wet UFH as well, but still assuming that you get subsidy payouts from the RHI, you'll need gas to rise to about half the cost of electricity per kWh.

We're going ahead for the very significant reduction in CO2, but it's not going to save us any money unless gas prices go very high (and electricity doesn't follow).

 daftdazza 08 Jan 2022
In reply to wbo2:

Renewables are clearly becoming cheaper but it’s a fairly weird phenomenon that as prices for renewables decrease actual cost of electricity increase, seems be fairly good correlation between increased renewable capacity within a country with increased electricity cost.  Maybe until adequate storage becomes available the cost of requiring gas or coal back up will always be high. 
 

I have a feeling if we for example invested 100 billion in nuclear by end end of this decade vs 100 billion in renewables end electricity price would be cheaper from going down nuclear option, just a guess though biased on no evidence.

I don’t have the answers but I think the government would be better exploring options for reducing CO2 emission in agriculture and transport at moment rather than Energy, does not solve current energy prices problem for which I can’t really see a solution.

1
 flatlandrich 08 Jan 2022
In reply to Jamie Wakeham:

Thanks for that reply. An interesting, if slightly depressing read, in that you can only just make it break even even though the 'odds' are all in your favor.  Still that might be enough for some people. I wouldn't mind paying a bit more overall if I knew I was getting a large CO2 saving. 

 kevin stephens 08 Jan 2022
In reply to j_duds: the ratio of gas prices to electricity prices known as the Spark Spread has been relatively steady during the recent turmoil in gas markets and prices, this has largely been driven by more expensive marginal electricity generation from gas fired stations, particularly when UK wind generation was relatively low. I don’t see the spark spread changing dramatically for now so the relatively economics of heat pumps, cogeneration (combined heat and power) will be fairly static.

If the Russians don’t invade Ukraine and Germany allows the Russians to commission their new pipeline then gas prices will drop significantly until the next geopolitical crisis 

 wbo2 08 Jan 2022
In reply to daftdazza: I think you're wrong - 100 billion would get you a hell of a lot of renewable power with the big bonus I'll repeat again of ALMOST NO OPEX (fuel for a gas plant is OPEX) so inherently low costs when running.  That doesn't fix the backup problem , but 40 billion will get you two nuclear stations (eventually).

There isn't a fix for the current price problem.  It's an international problem and the UK government doesn't have much influence on this.  

 Jim Hamilton 08 Jan 2022
In reply to wbo2:

> 4. Further production North Sea - unlikely - bit of reworking, and at the moment people are pulling out gas injected to support oil production as it's more profitable to produce the gas than the oil.  Southern Gas Basin is dead, Morecambe Bay is dead, but??  Gas storage is easy technically but you really want to buy an increasing amount from Russia?

Norway and Netherlands have increased exploration/production? 

 wbo2 08 Jan 2022
In reply to Jim Hamilton: There isn't really much to go for in the Netherlands, so they're running down progressively.  Most of the big Norwegian gas fields are running down too from 2025, there's a bit of a bump from back producing gas injected into oil fields


New Topic
This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
Loading Notifications...