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Central Heating, Oil To Gas


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What's the story with getting a solar panel fitted?

 

The front of our house catches the sun really well from sunrise and through a good chunk of the morning and afternoon, it's a mid-terraced house and we've got a big expanse of "empty" roof that could accommodate quite a lot of solar panel real estate.

 

Obviously there'll be planning permission involved but is that pretty much a box-ticking exercise? Would there need to be re-enforcing of the roof? Presumably they don't come cheap and there'll be lots of extra wiring involved, as well as some sort of battery malarkey to store the charge until it's needed.

 

Hmmmm actually I might have just talked myself out of it there.

 

Megatech

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I use oil, it costs about £600-£700 a year. That's heating and hotwater.

 

I wouldn't like to hazard a guess how much it would cost to convert nowadays. If you're seriously thinking about it get some prices. In fact ring Parkinsons up, I seem to remember someone telling me they were quite reasonable.

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I use oil, it costs about £600-£700 a year. That's heating and hotwater.

 

I wouldn't like to hazard a guess how much it would cost to convert nowadays. If you're seriously thinking about it get some prices. In fact ring Parkinsons up, I seem to remember someone telling me they were quite reasonable.

 

Wilddog, on top of that how much do you spend on boiler maintenance, and how much do you allow for fixing problems when they occur?

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The boiler gets a service done once a year and costs about £40. If it needs parts, which (touch wood) isn't often I just tell the engineer to get them. The one and only bill I've had for parts in 10 years was a hundred quid.

The boiler I've got is a Worcester heat slave.

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When I moved into my house 18 years ago it was single glazed with poor insulation and no central heating. At the time I worked out that compared to heating by electricity, it would take central heating 12.5 years to pay for itsself, assuming the price of oil / gas and electricity did not rise. This was based on the estimates from 3 heating installers and the MEA. Since then I have heated by electricity and it adds only about £250 per winter to my electricity bill.

 

I am looking for a more efficient way of heating water (I have the usual cylinder in the loft), but installing central heating is not an option.

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When I moved into my house 18 years ago it was single glazed with poor insulation and no central heating. At the time I worked out that compared to heating by electricity, it would take central heating 12.5 years to pay for itsself, assuming the price of oil / gas and electricity did not rise. This was based on the estimates from 3 heating installers and the MEA. Since then I have heated by electricity and it adds only about £250 per winter to my electricity bill.

I am looking for a more efficient way of heating water (I have the usual cylinder in the loft), but installing central heating is not an option.

 

Perhaps it doesn't matter to you, but electric heating kills the resale value of your house. I'm really surprised with your maths too, electric prices have risen with gas costs and it's generally much less efficient to heat water with electricity vs gas.

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Gas is cheaper to install than oil (due to reduced labour and the cost of an oil tank).

Assuming both boilers are the same energy rating then oil would have a lower running cost than gas on a 3 bed house upwards.

Word on the street is that Natural gas prices will be comming down as the MEA has bought the gas in ahead on a fixed rate contract and they sell it back to Manx Gas.

Gas boilers generally take up less space for the same kW output and you dont have a bulky oil storage tank in the garden.

Gas is a cleaner fuel to oil with lower carbon emmissions.

On the island there is only one gas supplier but three oil suppliers making oil more competitive.

You only get the 250 quid from government if it is a gas or oil condencing boiler (high efficiency), these units cost more.

Solar panels do not require batteries or extensive wiring, in the UK market they are designed to heat up water within the panels and in turn heat up the domestic hot water cylinder through a heat exchanger. There is new technology now where solar panels can be used to preheat the water on domestic combination boilers.

The best way to save fuel costs is to insulate your loft area and wall cavity if possible (and seal off the loft hatch). Install thermostatic radiator valves on each of the radiators and throttle them down to the desired temperature of each room. When setting up the programmer consider the lag times, in other words if you leave your house for work at 8.00am in the morning set the heating to go of an hour or two prior as the house / radiators etc retain the heat for a certain time.

The next big thing to hit the UK market will be ground source heat pumps, basically you will have a bore hole in your back garden and you will heat up the house from the thermal mass energy which is retained below the ground.

Oh and try not to be tempted to buy one of those domestic windmills, they are a gimic and you will be wasting money trying to run one.

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Gas is cheaper to install than oil (due to reduced labour and the cost of an oil tank).

Assuming both boilers are the same energy rating then oil would have a lower running cost than gas on a 3 bed house upwards.

 

There doesn't seem to be that many 'a' rated oil boilers around, right?

 

There is new technology now where solar panels can be used to preheat the water on domestic combination boilers.

Do you have any info on this? I'm just putting a new system in and want to take my tank out to save space.

 

 

The next big thing to hit the UK market will be ground source heat pumps, basically you will have a bore hole in your back garden and you will heat up the house from the thermal mass energy which is retained below the ground.

 

I've some friends in mainland europe, and this is massive over there, everyones got it. I gather it's quite a long payback though, you still use extra power to run the pump.

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Perhaps it doesn't matter to you, but electric heating kills the resale value of your house. I'm really surprised with your maths too, electric prices have risen with gas costs and it's generally much less efficient to heat water with electricity vs gas.

 

Electricity in the form of a storeage tank is far from an efficient way of heating water. As I said in my post, That is what I am looking to address at the moment. I think a real time hot water system (a bit like an electric shower) that heats water on demand is the best way to go.

 

The resale value of my house is not an issue. However, I seriously doubt that it would be affected that much. To have a brand new boiler, tank, piping etc. installed is not that expensive conpared to £160k of the house. Lets say it is £5000, so I may lose £5000 off the value of my house, if the people who move in really feel they need central heating (totally unnecessary on IOM) they can have a completely brand new, guaranteed system installed, with radiators exactly where they want them. I mean nearly everyone I know who has moved into a house has ended up moving radiators.

 

Also, on the price of electricity, it actually went down in the ninties quite considerably after the cable to the UK was implemented. With all kinds of renewable energy coming to the fore now, plus the possibility of new nuclear plants, electricity will remain stable, more than likely fall in the long term. Oil and gas on the other hand has consistantly gone up and will never be cheap again.

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The resale value of my house is not an issue. However, I seriously doubt that it would be affected that much. To have a brand new boiler, tank, piping etc. installed is not that expensive conpared to £160k of the house. Lets say it is £5000, so I may lose £5000 off the value of my house, if the people who move in really feel they need central heating (totally unnecessary on IOM) they can have a completely brand new, guaranteed system installed, with radiators exactly where they want them. I mean nearly everyone I know who has moved into a house has ended up moving radiators.

 

Yes, I know that, but that's not how buyers work. Adding central heating to a house adds more to the value than the cost of a system. Some other improvements follow suit, particularly kitchens and bathrooms.

 

Also, on the price of electricity, it actually went down in the ninties quite considerably after the cable to the UK was implemented. With all kinds of renewable energy coming to the fore now, plus the possibility of new nuclear plants, electricity will remain stable, more than likely fall in the long term. Oil and gas on the other hand has consistantly gone up and will never be cheap again.

 

Oil prices haven't constantly gone up, there has been dips. Electricity prices tend to follow oil and gas quite closely apart from specific points like the cable that you mention.

 

I'm sure electricity is a viable option, I'm just not convinced on your reasoning :)

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I'm sure electricity is a viable option, I'm just not convinced on your reasoning :)

 

Gas / Oil CH = £5000 to install, Electricity = £100, difference = £4900 = a lot of electricity. 10-12 years free heating!

 

Slim, how much do you pay per quarter for electricity?

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Gas / Oil CH = £5000 to install, Electricity = £100, difference = £4900 = a lot of electricity. 10-12 years free heating!

 

Er, what on earth?

 

To install a gas heating system in my 3 bed semi is around 3.5k. That's everything, boiler, radiators, installation.

 

To install the equivelant electric £100? What are you heating the house with, bare wires? You still need a tank, an immersion heater, electric panels. It's a lot more than 100 quid.

 

Slim, how much do you pay per quarter for electricity?

 

Not much, why?

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I'm sure electricity is a viable option, I'm just not convinced on your reasoning :)

 

Gas / Oil CH = £5000 to install, Electricity = £100, difference = £4900 = a lot of electricity. 10-12 years free heating!

 

Slim, how much do you pay per quarter for electricity?

 

 

Electricity is one of the most expensive forms of energy on the IOM. Look at the local OFT energy price index on the unit cost of power on the gov.im website. Heating your house with electric is a no no. I understand that a lot of the new appartments are heated by electic and this is because they are generally well insulated with low 'U' value (therefore reduced energy requirement) and more over it saves the developer the worry of having multiple balanced flues sited adjacent to openings, and offcourse the increased capital cost.

There are lots of high efficiency boilers on the market both gas and oil (its a huge industry at the moment)

Go to the manx gas show room on South Quay and you can see the new solar panel technology suitable for Alpha condencing boilers.

In general terms ground source heat pumps produce 3 units of heat for every one unit of electricity required to run the heatpump.

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Solar panels do not require batteries or extensive wiring,

 

They do require batteries if you want store electricity.

Solar panel systems work by converting the suns energy into electricity, which is stored in a battery/ batteries. You'll also need a regulator that lies between the battery and the solar panel which protects the battery from over-charging.

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