Green Energy is Jim’s subject today and you can read his post here
Here are my thoughts:
The original night storage heaters were bricks that retained the heat after ‘charging’ at the cheaper periods called Economy 7, though those seven cheaper hours varied per supplier. I’ve never had NS heating so cannot comment as to whether it was efficient or not, though from my understanding, your home would be warmest at night and cooling down during the day until the recharging started again at 11pm or whenever at night.
It was not on the tick list when we looked for property though, especially as it was expensive to replace for a system with radiators and a boiler.
Our house is brick and very well insulated so it is cheap to run. In the Summer, it can be like an oven, but we have gas central heating, and set our temperature for 18 degrees C in the winter which is perfectly comfortable for us.
With the current energy crisis, we are thinking of an alternative, and bottled gas is being considered as both our boiler and cooker can be converted. Electricity is expensive, and our weekly consumption is only 23 Kwh all year. Having electric central heating is out of the question and the heat pumps the government are pushing are expensive to install, not as efficient as gas or oil, if they work at all, and even more expensive to run.
We had oil heating in the cottage and it was efficient as well as economical for us, so we could explore that.
Solar panels are also expensive to install, and if you invite a company to install them, you need to read the small print on the contract as you may not own the panels, won’t get free electricity which so many people were led to believe as it goes to the National Grid which you then buy back at a discounted rate, and you may not even own your roof anymore that the panels are installed upon.
However, should you own the solar panels and are not tied into a company contract, this can work out quite cheaply once you have the necessary addition of an intelligent inverter (like we had on the boat). You would also have an automatic switch that would divert any surplus to the National Grid after your home took priority, or if your solar panels were not generating enough energy, then the switch would allow energy from the National Grid into your home and that is what you’d pay for. (This is Hubby’s input as it’s something he has looked into and there are different types of systems, so it’s not as straightforward as one might originally think and the kit required is quite sophisticated).
IMO Green energy is a misconceived and impractical idea in current times. Our shoreline is a mass of wind turbines, well over 300 at the last count, but if the wind doesn’t blow, no power is generated. If it blows too much, they turn the damn things off!
Inland less than a mile away, we have 16 turbines and groups of 8 to 14 elsewhere in the area.
TPTB are not thinking it all through and the knock on effects of supply and demand, availability, infrastructure, or cost to consumers has not been considered. That is not to say it cannot be achieved, just not in the timeframe TPTB are intending. Too little has been done too late, and ‘catch up’ isn’t going to work.
We have a perfectly good boiler and central heating system which on our current tariff costs us £350 a year to run (we are fixed until October 2023, but even allowing for the horrendous hikes of 54% this past April and another 64% planned in October this would be around £890 pa) so why rip it out and replace it with something that will cost us £15000 – £20000 to install in the first place and twice our projected costs to run?
Our electricity, again fixed, is about £300 pa, so applying the same increases will be about £760, so our energy bill will equate to £1650 at least compared to £650 combined now. My budget for 2023/24 is £1800 but I will have to do some tweaking on other things to achieve that.
We don’t have that kind of money to spare for such installations and the government aren’t going to help us, as their grants, if they still exist, don’t come close to cover it.