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Energy costs. Oh dear.......

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bungeejumper
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Re: Energy costs. Oh dear.......

#628871

Postby bungeejumper » November 20th, 2023, 6:59 pm

Itsallaguess wrote:
TP-Link Kasa Smart Radiator Thermostat Starter KIT - Hub and one Smart Radiator Valve (£30.95) -

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0BLZ63QQ9

TP-Link Kasa Smart Radiator Thermostat Add On, Smart Radiator Valve (£26.99) -

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0BKQWGSMC

As well as being able to be controlled by their normal Kasa App, available on both Apple IOS or Android, they can also be used with Alexa and Google Home, including their normal voice-activation and control processes.

Interesting. :) All I'd want to do, at least initially, would be to stop two rads from coming on in the morning but to have them on in the evening.

There are some user comments about the level of noise from these valves, and some helpful manufacturer hints about how to mitigate it. (LOL, I suppose it's better than saying that it doesn't happen?) But instead, my query is about the mobile phone app.

We don't have a mobile signal at all in our house, but I can still use my smartphone's app via my household wifi to control my BBC iPlayer. Can I assume that this app will work similarly, without needing to find a cellphone signal every time I want to adjust anything?

Cheers.and thanks for the heads-up

BJ

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Re: Energy costs. Oh dear.......

#628874

Postby Itsallaguess » November 20th, 2023, 7:23 pm

bungeejumper wrote:
my query is about the [Kasa] mobile phone app.

We don't have a mobile signal at all in our house, but I can still use my smartphone's app via my household wifi to control my BBC iPlayer.

Can I assume that this app will work similarly, without needing to find a cellphone signal every time I want to adjust anything?


I am almost 100% certain it will, only because they aren't 'mobile phone apps' - they are Android apps, and I control my TP-Link Smart Plugs via the Android Kasa App on a spare SIM-free tablet, rather than my phone...

So I wouldn't expect these TP-Link Smart Radiator Valves to be any different, given the common Kasa app functionality.

Regarding any potential noise from their opening and closing mechanisms, some careful valve-schedule planning in association with boiler on/off timing can help a great deal with that.

My central heating boiler normally shuts down for the night around 8pm, on it's own 'calling for heat' timer, so my bedroom auto-TRV's are set to 'come on' at 9pm whilst everyone is still up, even though there's no system-heat at that time, with the idea that they'll sit there in the 'open' position having made their noises to get there, so when the boiler kicks off again at 6am in the morning for an hour or so, there's no need for any TRV mechanism-noise that early on...

Cheers,

Itsallaguess

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Re: Energy costs. Oh dear.......

#629384

Postby Tedx » November 23rd, 2023, 10:33 am

We have new neighbours moving in soon. In the meantime, there are various trades people moving in and out of the property doing various things that they need to have done.

....including a new installation of gas central heating (the Gas workmen are currently digging up the road out side to extend the pipework to their house and there are gas heating engineers inside the property fitting it out)

...and it struck me that I haven't seen this kind of new installation thing happening for quite a long time (there was a time when it seemed that all the roads on our all electric development were being permanently dug up by gas engineers)

A sign of the times I guess - although I haven't seen too many heatpumps going into properties (other than new developments). Plenty of solar panels though.

I'm currently mulling a high heat retention storage heater conversion, a mini split air con unit and more insultation. Aerogel!

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-64636384

I have a concrete floor in my house and although I did put down the thickest underlay possible when we got new carpets, it has been suggested to me that lifting the carpets and insultating (with Aerogel or other material) would be a fairly significant benefit. Hmmm.

https://www.thermablok.co.uk/our-produc ... oor-board/

funduffer
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Re: Energy costs. Oh dear.......

#629448

Postby funduffer » November 23rd, 2023, 2:57 pm

Tedx wrote:....including a new installation of gas central heating (the Gas workmen are currently digging up the road out side to extend the pipework to their house and there are gas heating engineers inside the property fitting it out)

...and it struck me that I haven't seen this kind of new installation thing happening for quite a long time (there was a time when it seemed that all the roads on our all electric development were being permanently dug up by gas engineers)


They must be mad.

Extending the gas supply to the house and fitting a new boiler + radiators must be costing a fortune and seems like very short term thinking.

With a £7500 subsidy on heat pumps currently, and many innovative electrical tariffs, they should surely future-proof their home with electrical heating.

FD

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Re: Energy costs. Oh dear.......

#630554

Postby scotview » November 29th, 2023, 10:28 am

Gridwatch just now:
Gas turbine generation 57%
Wind generation 6%

Grid offering cash for folk to cut back on usage for next day or so?

Ofgem to raise price cap by 5% on 1st January, seems like a nice round number.

Is this any way to run the UK energy system ?

BullDog
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Re: Energy costs. Oh dear.......

#630587

Postby BullDog » November 29th, 2023, 1:27 pm

scotview wrote:Gridwatch just now:
Gas turbine generation 57%
Wind generation 6%

Grid offering cash for folk to cut back on usage for next day or so?

Ofgem to raise price cap by 5% on 1st January, seems like a nice round number.

Is this any way to run the UK energy system ?

No. But it's all we have. Wind generation regularly swings by a factor of ten in a day or so. And because we haven't got massive tera watt scale storage, we still need gas fired generation too. Effectively the UK now supports two power generation systems rather than one. I don't see it changing significantly in my lifetime. We have no realistic plans for the enormous energy storage we need now. And that's without fully electrifying heating and transport as well.

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Re: Energy costs. Oh dear.......

#630593

Postby DrFfybes » November 29th, 2023, 1:55 pm

funduffer wrote:
Tedx wrote:....including a new installation of gas central heating (the Gas workmen are currently digging up the road out side to extend the pipework to their house and there are gas heating engineers inside the property fitting it out)


They must be mad.

Extending the gas supply to the house and fitting a new boiler + radiators must be costing a fortune and seems like very short term thinking.

With a £7500 subsidy on heat pumps currently, and many innovative electrical tariffs, they should surely future-proof their home with electrical heating.

FD


Depends on the house and their attitude to risk. GCH is a known quantity in terms of comfort, technology, and operation. If other works are being done then the whole installation and supply is probably under £10k.

For us to go ASHP was about £40k more than replacing the gas boiler and rads after grants. Considering the running costs are pretty much on a par then that's a couple of decades of gas paid for up front. A friend in Scotland switched about 18 months ago, cost £25k after new rads (which he says are huge and take up an inconvenient amount of wall space) and he's paying more in extra electricity than their old Calor Gas heating cost to run - he is very unimpressed. My niece has just turned down the Welsh govts offer of replacing her oil boiler with 2 x 10kW ASHP, insulate the loft and walls, and provide solar panels, all for free. Mainly as their projection for electric bills for the proposed system is 4x what they spend now on oil. Personally I thought their calcs were rubbish, 5MWh per annum to heat water for a start. That's an immersion heater on full pelt for over 4 hours per day. But she wouldn't take the risk.

We've just moved into the winter lounge, mainly as the main one is being remodelled. Now using a split unit heat pump for evening warmth instead of the gas fire, although this room has fewer windows, outside walls, and insulated plasterboard. I'll give it a couple of weeks and see if the drop in gas use covers the extra electric, although obviously the weather is colder now but I also have last year's data to compare.

Paul

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Re: Energy costs. Oh dear.......

#630597

Postby DrFfybes » November 29th, 2023, 2:22 pm

Tedx wrote:I have a concrete floor in my house and although I did put down the thickest underlay possible when we got new carpets, it has been suggested to me that lifting the carpets and insultating (with Aerogel or other material) would be a fairly significant benefit. Hmmm.


I looked at this too, but the cost is massive at circa £100/sqm. For our 6x5m2 lounge being refurbed it is about the same cost as digging down a foot, adding 100mm celotex, and reconcreting (and as the 2 rooms are at slightly different levels then some remedial work is needed anyway). The 10mm bonded plasterboard sheets are about 6x the cost of boards with 35mm celotex (PIR) bonded to them, that's a lot of monry to gain an inch in the room.

As for underlay, TOG ratings of 3 more more are about £7/sqm.

Paul

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Re: Energy costs. Oh dear.......

#630614

Postby Tedx » November 29th, 2023, 2:54 pm

Yeah, agreed. It's extortionate. I just love the idea of aerogel and like graphene it's probably a 'material of the future' (although aerogel has been around for a long time). I guess even it they managed to make it in some sort of clear spray on application for buildings, it would save the world a fortune in energy.

I dunno what the TOG rating of my underlay is, but I was presented with the 2 options in the shop and I went for the thicker/dearer 'deluxe' version.

By far the biggest improvement I've done was relatively cheap and the was piling on the insulation in the loft. It took a lot of hours, but it was done (by me) during COVID. I wish I'd put more down, but at the same time I was flooring the loft and was restricted by the height of the stilts (they say not to compress the insulation for better effectiveness). I did look at putting an aerogel type plaster board on the ceilings upstairs but, as you say, it's far too expensive.

I've just had a quote in from my energy provider for solar panels/battery. What do others think?

Grade A Tier1 Monocrystalline / 8 panels / 3.04kw / inc fitting / inc invertor.......£6,730

5kw/h battery.....£3,820

Total Cost....£10,550


Other details

Estimated annual export:94kWh
Your estimated export income:£14

Your estimated annual
electricity bill saving:
Solar panels only: £594
Solar panel & battery: £694

Estimated annual consumption: 7197
Estimated annual generation: 2437

Your estimated payback period:
Solar panels only: 9 years
Solar panel & battery: 13 years

I'm all electric on Economy 7. Pretty sure the consultant said the battery would charge off night time elecricity if the solar panels didnt charge it up (this would be handy to me in the winter time)

Seems expensive to me. What do others think?

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Re: Energy costs. Oh dear.......

#630631

Postby DrFfybes » November 29th, 2023, 4:22 pm

Tedx wrote:I've just had a quote in from my energy provider for solar panels/battery. What do others think?

Grade A Tier1 Monocrystalline / 8 panels / 3.04kw / inc fitting / inc invertor.......£6,730

5kw/h battery.....£3,820

Total Cost....£10,550


Other details


Estimated annual export:94kWh
Your estimated export income:£14
[...]

I'm all electric on Economy 7. Pretty sure the consultant said the battery would charge off night time elecricity if the solar panels didnt charge it up (this would be handy to me in the winter time)

Seems expensive to me. What do others think?


The export is a spurious figure, really depends on your usage profile and tariff. What is important is the generation. Our 10 panel East/3 panel West generated 390kWh/125 export in Aug, 275/136 Sept when we went away and used nothing for a few days, then , 130/40, and 42/3kWh this month.

As shown, the battery cost takes ages to recoup IF you have a decent export rate like Octopus' 15p or so per kWh. The battery saving is import cost - export cost (or off peak charge cost as you can set them to charge from mains at certain periods). At the moment you'll generate next to nowt so if you're paying 10p/kWh economy7 your 5kWh battery will save you about 75p/night. In summer it 'buffers' the solar, and you can save a bit more, perhaps as much as a quid per day.

Battery and panel costs have come down the last 6 months, a Huawei 5kWh battery with management unit is £3500 cf £5k in Summer. There are other cheaper brands out there, 10kWh can be had for about £4k.

Depending upon where you are, the cost isn't excessive. We paid £10.5K in July in Shropshire for 5.2kW panels (13 x 400W) and a 5kWh battery. We have a 6kW inverter as we're adding more panels once the builders put the house roof back. However we didn't need any scaffolding for installation as it was on a garage and was a simple 1.5 day job. Do you need scaff? - that can easily add a grand or 2 to the job, which is not dissimilar to the cost of 5 panels. We have optimisers on all our panels, seems to be a pretty standard thing.

Battery is VAT free as part of a solar install, but you pay VAT if you add it later.

If you just want to look at it from a financial side, maximise the panels and forget the battery.

Tedx wrote:Estimated annual consumption: 7197
Estimated annual generation: 2437


Thise seem low if you're using elec for everything - I guess your bill will tell you that. I'd also expect more generation if your panels are South/SE facing.

Paul

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Re: Energy costs. Oh dear.......

#630642

Postby Tedx » November 29th, 2023, 5:07 pm

Thanks Paul

Thise seem low if you're using elec for everything - I guess your bill will tell you that. I'd also expect more generation if your panels are South/SE facing.

I am incredibly tight.

My usage, as per my annual statement is

Day - 1868
Night - 4891

My house is within a degree or 2 of south facing and clear of any obstructions.

I've asked my provider to confirm that the batteries will charge on night rate - as Ive said, this is useful to be in the long dark winters of NE Scotland. The last time I checked, my day rate wass 36.56p and the night rate is 17.74p - so a handy saving.

I should add that the quote was supplied from actual figures I supplied to them and from photographs they asked me to take - as well as Google Earth I would assume. There has been no actual site visit.

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Re: Energy costs. Oh dear.......

#630680

Postby DrFfybes » November 29th, 2023, 9:51 pm

Tedx wrote:
I should add that the quote was supplied from actual figures I supplied to them and from photographs they asked me to take - as well as Google Earth I would assume. There has been no actual site visit.


Wait. Someone has quoted to come and bolt something on to your roof and hasn't visited the house? I guess the price might be high as it has to contain a contingency amount.

Presumably you also sent photos of the loft space so they can check the loading won't be a problem (although 6 panels shouldn't be a big problem)

Personally I'd find a couple of local installers neighbours have used and get them to come and look.

Paul

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Re: Energy costs. Oh dear.......

#630702

Postby Itsallaguess » November 30th, 2023, 6:12 am

Tedx wrote:
I've just had a quote in from my energy provider for solar panels/battery. What do others think?

Grade A Tier1 Monocrystalline / 8 panels / 3.04kw / inc fitting / inc invertor.......£6,730


Is that the highest-power array you can fit on your roof?

Only asking because it looks a little on the smaller side, and I thought the common thinking nowadays, especially in places higher up the northern hemisphere, is to over-spec the panel-capacity and then limit the output on a high-rated inverter, to enable you to gather more power more often and get the most out of your installation and positioning...

Cheers,

Itsallaguess

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Re: Energy costs. Oh dear.......

#630703

Postby servodude » November 30th, 2023, 6:21 am

Itsallaguess wrote:
Tedx wrote:
I've just had a quote in from my energy provider for solar panels/battery. What do others think?

Grade A Tier1 Monocrystalline / 8 panels / 3.04kw / inc fitting / inc invertor.......£6,730


Is that the highest-power array you can fit on your roof?

Only asking because it looks a little on the smaller side, and I thought the common thinking nowadays, especially in places higher up the northern hemisphere, is to over-spec the panel-capacity and then limit the output on a high-rated inverter, to enable you to gather more power more often and get the most out of your installation and positioning...

Cheers,

Itsallaguess


I agree. I've rarely met an install where there was too much panel (...for PV - I've certainly seen problems where evac' tubes have run out of where to dump hot water!)

That said if the inverter and charge controller can cope with extra it could be added afterwards. If they can't, I'd consider up-specing them

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Re: Energy costs. Oh dear.......

#630732

Postby Tedx » November 30th, 2023, 9:18 am

Yeah, 8 400w panels is about all that will go up in the south facing space. Anywhere else will liley be less than useless (although there is a large house in town with a fairly impressive set of panels on the north facing roof (as well as the south). he just can't be getting much from the north facing set)

Scottish Power also emailed me back saying that the batteries will not charge from the overnight cheap rate electricity. It must have been another provider I spoke to that said that. It does mean that if one of the providers can actually confirm overnight charging, then the SP figures/payback are probably out fairly substantially given the length of the winters here.

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Re: Energy costs. Oh dear.......

#630739

Postby DrFfybes » November 30th, 2023, 9:51 am

Tedx wrote:Scottish Power also emailed me back saying that the batteries will not charge from the overnight cheap rate electricity. It must have been another provider I spoke to that said that. It does mean that if one of the providers can actually confirm overnight charging, then the SP figures/payback are probably out fairly substantially given the length of the winters here.


I suspect SP could never tell if your battery was charging or you were running a dishwasher/vacuum cleaner/tea urn during the cheap rate, especially if you set the timer to charge them in 10-15 min bursts at different times each night :) Most people I know with batteries use a variable tariff and charge overnight, I bet they never checked, and it didn't occur to me to make this enquiry of Octopus.

Sounds like you might be quite far North as well from what you say, the upside of that is in summer you generate for about 20 hours per day.

One more thought I had, if they haven't visited, how have you decided on battery/inverter location, cable routing to the meter, etc?

For the people that install these all the time it is fairly routine and simple, they just install and go. For the home owner it is a large investment and a one=off event that has long consequeces of done wrong, and a good installer will take the time to sit with you and discuss options of siting, extra panels, optimisers, cable runs, future upgrades, etc.

Paul

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Re: Energy costs. Oh dear.......

#630750

Postby Tedx » November 30th, 2023, 10:58 am

Most people I know with batteries use a variable tariff and charge overnight

Good to know.

Sounds like you might be quite far North as well from what you say, the upside of that is in summer you generate for about 20 hours per day.

Yeah and going by the Sister in Law who lives fairly close and has panels fitted, her set up would barely charge her mobile phone in the depths of winter.

If the battery does charge at cheap rate, than I would pretty much expect my maximum cost at worst per kw to be the night rate and at best, free. There might even be a case for just fitting a battery.....?

Re: Location etc, I have had solar quotations done (a few years ago) before when they did come out and visit/inspect the loft, cable runs etc and the battery would probably be best outside, back to back with the meter box that in the entrance hallway.

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Re: Energy costs. Oh dear.......

#630761

Postby DrFfybes » November 30th, 2023, 11:35 am

Tedx wrote:
If the battery does charge at cheap rate, than I would pretty much expect my maximum cost at worst per kw to be the night rate and at best, free. There might even be a case for just fitting a battery.....?

Re: Location etc, I have had solar quotations done (a few years ago) before when they did come out and visit/inspect the loft, cable runs etc and the battery would probably be best outside, back to back with the meter box that in the entrance hallway.


Your low use doesn't alter the battery maths, in fact I think it makes it worse as in summer you probably use so little that charging the battery overnight is pointless and you're better concentrating on a good export tariff,

Re battery outside - not necessarily a good thing as they don't work as well when very cold. I presume they have some heat modulation, but I'll wager my 56V Ego garden tool batteries won't take a charge in the garage this morning.

Also one thing to note is the power on your battery and inverter, generally a 5kWh battery will charge and discharge at a max of 2.5kW. This means when you use a high current appliance or several at once, eg toaster, kettle, microwave, oven, washing maching/dishwasher heating water, storage heater top up, etc you will still be drawing from the grid if you don't have enough solar generation to make up the difference so you'll never get all your power at reduced rate . In summer I made efforts to stagger appliances to keep the load down and save a penny or 2 (literally a penny or 2, but it was the challenge :) ) , much to MrsF's frustration.

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Re: Energy costs. Oh dear.......

#630768

Postby Tedx » November 30th, 2023, 11:59 am

Your low use doesn't alter the battery maths, in fact I think it makes it worse as in summer you probably use so little that charging the battery overnight is pointless and you're better concentrating on a good export tariff,


Ah, yes. I see what your saying.

Here's my trailing 12m useage. The increase in the colder months is entirely down to heating, plus a bit of additional lighting (we're all LED's, so not that much more). And all the heating is done via E7 storage heaters with very little supplemental heating used at day rates.

Nov-22 589.5
Dec-22 1011.5
Jan-23 958
Feb-23 778.21
Mar-23 842.79
Apr-23 537
May-23 354
Jun-23 218
Jul-23 245.18
Aug-23 250.91
Sep-23 246.09
Oct-23 489

The only thing that the Quotation documentation said about outside location was that they should be out of direct sunlight.

Scottish Power have an export tarriff of 15p, which I think is fairly normal.

Also one thing to note is the power on your battery and inverter, generally a 5kWh battery will charge and discharge at a max of 2.5kW. This means when you use a high current appliance or several at once, eg toaster, kettle, microwave, oven, washing maching/dishwasher heating water, storage heater top up, etc you will still be drawing from the grid if you don't have enough solar generation to make up the difference so you'll never get all your power at reduced rate . In summer I made efforts to stagger appliances to keep the load down and save a penny or 2 (literally a penny or 2, but it was the challenge :) ) , much to MrsF's frustration.

Good point.

Looking at the usage figures, I'd probably be better fitting a mini split to supplement the existing heating.

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Re: Energy costs. Oh dear.......

#630780

Postby DrFfybes » November 30th, 2023, 12:33 pm

TedX

Here's my trailing 12m useage.

May-23 354
Jun-23 218
Jul-23 245.18
Aug-23 250.91
Sep-23 246.09


Scottish Power have an export tarriff of 15p, which I think is fairly normal.


15p is pretty good :) If you can charge overnight at a cheaper rate then the batteries start the day full and you start to export sooner (the setup is generally to recharge the battery and then export when it is full). If your export is 15p then it is probably beneficial to charge overnight anyway.

The only thing that the Quotation documentation said about outside location was that they should be out of direct sunlight.

Fair enough - they must be built for it. It is still about 1C in the garage this afternoon.

Looking at the usage figures, I'd probably be better fitting a mini split to supplement the existing heating

We like ours - despite needing a dedicated 16A supply it seems to run about 300W in Eco mode, although last night it locked out with an error so I needed to reset it :(

And heated throws or car seat covers are toasty :)


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