Time for a numbers post I think.
Actually, it’s also a budget thought, and the saying that if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
Depends how you look at it I suppose, and if you are prepared to see the whole picture rather than what is in front of your nose.
Where to start.
Pest control, yep, that’ll do.
Hubby used to help out and I’d get the rabbits for pie.
An acquaintance of ours had a severe rat problem, so called in the Expert for a quote.
She was surprised when he offered his services for just 98p a day.
He explained that he would come to her property initially two or three times a week at his convenience, then once every couple of months or so to ‘ keep an eye on things’.
However, she was expected to enter into a contract for 12 months, at a cost of £360 plus VAT for the job.
She declined, bought some poison sachets for £25, and sorted it out herself.
In later years, Hubby used to do pest control on a private basis by word of mouth, and when he was asked to sort out a mole problem for someone else, he charged £10 a mole. He caught 2.
So let us move on to electricity.
A friend has recently purchased an oil filled electric radiator for the winter. He is very pleased with his purchase, and at 1500 watts has calculated it uses 28p worth of electricity an hour.
He’s pleased with that too, as it’s keeping the chill off the room and not costing the earth, or so he thought.
It took a while to explain to him that he could expect his quarterly bill to be about £250 higher by using it, even on a moderate basis.
Our sums were thus:
On average, let us say the heater is on for 10 hours a day. That is assuming he doesn’t run it when he goes out or at night after he’s gone to bed.
So that’s £2.80.
Take it as a 30 day month (average Dec, Jan, Feb), so that’s £84.00 a month.
Three months at £84 is £252.
So to heat ONE ROOM for ten hours a day is going to cost him £252 over three months.
We got him a cup of tea.
To fill his oil tank would cost around £700, but his budget only allows him to buy 500 litres at a time, so let us say £350.
If his central heating was working properly, this would heat his entire house, and provide hot water for the duration of the winter. Also, by keeping the house warm, it would not be using so much energy to keep it so, unlike turning on and off one electric radiator, which then has to work doubly hard to heat up a cold area before it can even begin to moderate the room temperature.
Of course he could replace his central heating radiators at a cost of around £30 each. Currently he has 6, but could do with one in his loo as it doesn’t have one.
An alternative would be to open the chimney and fit a multi fuel stove in his lounge.
The one we had in the cottage was brilliant, the fuel we used economical and long lasting, and no pipework or electricity would be required to fit and run it. He already has a stone hearth to put it on.
Fuel would be around £20 for a 50 kilo bag, and one bag would last him about a week, heating the room and spreading out the heat to the rest of the property for 24 hours.
Moneywise, this works out around £260 over 13 weeks , so roughly the same as his radiator, but at least that is heat for an entire day, and more than one room.
At the end of the day though, he really needs to do something before he has no heat at all, and no money for alternatives.
Hubby has offered to help with whatever he decides. In the past we have replaced and installed radiators, modified pipework and sorted out a multi fuel stove.
We have our two little 500 watt oil filled rads on the boat.
They are on 24/7 during the coldest days between 2 and 3 on their thermostat controls.
To run them and our dehumidifier to keep the condensation down (we’ll never cure it completely) through the winter adds about 250 kwh to our electricity bill a month.
That’s £50 a month or thereabouts.
We also have the luxury of central heating run by our diesel fuel. We calculated it burns a quarter of a litre every half hour, so if we use it twice a day and with fuel at £1 a litre, that’s 50p. Over thirty days, that’s £15 (15 litres), but then we haven’t had to use it every day, just when it got really cold, so we can almost halve that.
Admittedly we don’t have a large area to heat, but we manage to keep the boat almost at an equal temperature throughout, which is half the battle of keeping warm.
Obviously if we were living in a house we would NOT be using electricity for our heating.