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BRITISH GAS
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userMick H.
Posted: 6 August 2008 2:03 PM
Subject: BRITISH GAS
 


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Bearing in mind that british gas has almost doubled their prices in the last 18 months and then last week added another 35% on to that, has anybody seen their T.V. add. Basically it shows all the different prices going through the roof then says something like lets put a stop to this, British Gas will hold your bill steady till 2011.Can't believe it. Mick H.
userbootbags
Posted: 6 August 2008 2:21 PM
Subject: RE: BRITISH GAS
 
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A measure to try and woo back the thousands who left BG in order to find cheaper suppliers. But the cheaper suppliers will soon have to raise their prices too - they have to buy the gas and where are they getting it from? Probably BG, all going through the same pipelines. They have all got us by the short and curlies, you either pay up or try to use less. Head somewhere warmer for the winter maybe like many do, but add the cost of getting there and it will probably all balance out to the same. We are trapped, we cannot possibly win. What is the answer? Someone tell us please.

Edited by bootbags 2008-08-06 2:22 PM
userMick H.
Posted: 6 August 2008 2:46 PM
Subject: RE: BRITISH GAS
 


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bootbags - 2008-08-06 2:21 PM

A measure to try and woo back the thousands who left BG in order to find cheaper suppliers. But the cheaper suppliers will soon have to raise their prices too - they have to buy the gas and where are they getting it from? Probably BG, all going through the same pipelines. They have all got us by the short and curlies, you either pay up or try to use less. Head somewhere warmer for the winter maybe like many do, but add the cost of getting there and it will probably all balance out to the same. We are trapped, we cannot possibly win. What is the answer? Someone tell us please.





Could understand the wooing bit if they put the add on before the price rise, but I think they have shot themselves in the foot.

What is the answer...COME THE REVOLUTION, BROTHER!
userSyd
Posted: 6 August 2008 3:10 PM
Subject: RE: BRITISH GAS
 
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Location: Sunderland


We are seriously looking at installing Solar Water Heating and maybe a windmill too

Maybe this is a part of the answer.
userohgrandma
Posted: 6 August 2008 3:50 PM
Subject: RE: BRITISH GAS
 


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Syd, That is a good idea, the heat from the sun is free, even on an overcast day,the panels will get warm therefore heating the water slightly.
My nephew installs systems, and you get your initial outlay back over the years, Of course they need servicing every so often, to keep them running to their full potential, There are many different types available these days
and if you do decide, dont take the first estimate for information and
installation, as there can be great differences in prices, good luck, Ria.
usercatinou
Posted: 6 August 2008 4:12 PM
Subject: RE: BRITISH GAS
 


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We had a solar panel put in for the hot water last year and have seen our bills drop in the last 12 months. - Enough for us to justify the cost anyway and it is nice to think we are getting something "free".
userbootbags
Posted: 6 August 2008 4:13 PM
Subject: RE: BRITISH GAS
 
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ohgrandma - 2008-08-06 3:50 PM

Syd, That is a good idea, the heat from the sun is free, even on an overcast day,the panels will get warm therefore heating the water slightly.
My nephew installs systems, and you get your initial outlay back over the years, Of course they need servicing every so often, to keep them running to their full potential, There are many different types available these days
and if you do decide, dont take the first estimate for information and
installation, as there can be great differences in prices, good luck, Ria.
I agree and I think a lot more people will look into this alternative means of fuel. However, if you already have a C/Htg system installed how would you separate the water heating side of it. the other problem could be local authority objection to having panels on the roof, also possible objections from nearby neighbours. If there is anything out of the ordinary that people wish to do, someone is always waiting in the wings to voice their objections.
userohgrandma
Posted: 6 August 2008 4:22 PM
Subject: RE: BRITISH GAS
 


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Hi, I am afraid I cannot advise you on the central heating side of this, and
to the best of my knowledge The council are very fair about installing Solar
Panels. Whether neighbours would object or not I am not sure, I really dont consider them an eyesore and would not object, after all it is a clean sourse of energy, and in my opinion they are not used enough, Ria.
userTracker
Posted: 6 August 2008 4:49 PM
Subject: RE: BRITISH GAS
 


We were advised by a local installer that solar WATER heating would not be cost effective as there are only two of us living here and to fully benefit you need to use all the water which, he reckons, is best with a family of 4 or more? This is borne out by a friend who has installed it in his home and is dismayed by the low savings.

I don't know whether solar ELECTRICITY generation is more cost effective - any experiences anyone?
userbootbags
Posted: 6 August 2008 5:05 PM
Subject: RE: BRITISH GAS
 
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Tracker - 2008-08-06 4:49 PM

We were advised by a local installer that solar WATER heating would not be cost effective as there are only two of us living here and to fully benefit you need to use all the water which, he reckons, is best with a family of 4 or more? This is borne out by a friend who has installed it in his home and is dismayed by the low savings.

I don't know whether solar ELECTRICITY generation is more cost effective - any experiences anyone?
But is that not what a solar panel does, generates electric to service an appliance, like a water heater.?
userSyd
Posted: 6 August 2008 5:26 PM
Subject: RE: BRITISH GAS
 
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bootbags - 2008-08-06 5:05 PM
But is that not what a solar panel does, generates electric to service an appliance, like a water heater.?


No, Solar water heating does what it says on the packet it heats water
Electricity generation can be done with solar panels and windmills.
Windmills seem to offer the cheapest way of doing it though but you do not seem to be getting very much electricity for your money
userbootbags
Posted: 6 August 2008 5:43 PM
Subject: RE: BRITISH GAS
 
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Syd - 2008-08-06 5:26 PM

bootbags - 2008-08-06 5:05 PM
But is that not what a solar panel does, generates electric to service an appliance, like a water heater.?


No, Solar water heating does what it says on the packet it heats water
Electricity generation can be done with solar panels and windmills.
Windmills seem to offer the cheapest way of doing it though but you do not seem to be getting very much electricity for your money

So if I am understanding this, you fit a solar panel of whatever power and then link it to an independant water container that is then heated and pumped to somewhere - could it go into an existing immersion heater/ or am I not getting this?
userohgrandma
Posted: 6 August 2008 5:55 PM
Subject: RE: BRITISH GAS
 


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Hi,The solar pre heats the water in your cylinder, You need a cylinder with 2 coils in it The solar one then preheats the water, Which means you dont have to have the immersion on, Hope this helps, Ria.
userbootbags
Posted: 6 August 2008 6:14 PM
Subject: RE: BRITISH GAS
 
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thanks ohgrandma, yes I think so. So the immersion heater, not switched on of course, can be used just as a container for the preheated water. I think she's got it!
userohgrandma
Posted: 6 August 2008 6:21 PM
Subject: RE: BRITISH GAS
 


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Hi, Bootbags, yes you have got it, All fiddly work I should imagine fitting
Panels, but the benefits free showers , baths, already heated water into your washing machine and dishwasher, or any other hot water that is needed in the home, Gosh I am sounding like a sales rep. But I passionately believe they are great , Ria.
usermalc d
Posted: 6 August 2008 6:28 PM
Subject: RE: BRITISH GAS
 
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bootbags - 2008-08-06 6:14 PM

thanks ohgrandma, yes I think so. So the immersion heater, not switched on of course, can be used just as a container for the preheated water. I think she's got it!



An immersion heater is just like the element in an electric kettle ( but much longer).
It goes inside a (normally) copper cylinder in which hot water is stored.


Edited by malc d 2008-08-06 6:31 PM
userohgrandma
Posted: 6 August 2008 6:40 PM
Subject: RE: BRITISH GAS
 


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Hi Bootbags, I meant to say it just heats the cylinder. the immersion heater is seperate, as Malc says, sorry if that wasn't very clear to you Ria.
userbootbags
Posted: 6 August 2008 6:43 PM
Subject: RE: BRITISH GAS
 
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Thanks malc d. I do know what an immersion heater is,(although we don't use ours as we take our h/w from the gas system) what I couldn't get my head around is how, having got my solar panel to heat the water, where it actually got stored and how it gets to the taps.
Thanks for advice - I think I am being a bit thick. I am normally quite 'switched on' pardon the pun - but on this issue I just cannot picture it
userTracker
Posted: 6 August 2008 7:19 PM
Subject: RE: BRITISH GAS
 


There are two sorts of solar heat panels.

One circulates cold water through a black 'radiator' (to use a simplistic term that will be clear to all) fixed on the roof and plumbed into the domestic hot water system. The water gets hot (very hot!) from the sun (and even from the ambient outside temperature when it is higher than the temperature of the water) but it is only of any use if you use all the hot water created.

The other sort of solar panel is a network of photo voltaic cells which generate electricity from daylight or sunlight (not necessarily heat) and the electricity either feeds your own demand, or is unused and lost, or can be fed back into the national grid to save money on your electric bill (it can even make your meter go backwards - so I am told - if you generate enough and use nowt!)

The two sorts look similar but do very different things.
usermalc d
Posted: 6 August 2008 7:21 PM
Subject: RE: BRITISH GAS
 
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bootbags - 2008-08-06 6:43 PM

Thanks malc d. I do know what an immersion heater is,(although we don't use ours as we take our h/w from the gas system) what I couldn't get my head around is how, having got my solar panel to heat the water, where it actually got stored and how it gets to the taps.
Thanks for advice - I think I am being a bit thick. I am normally quite 'switched on' pardon the pun - but on this issue I just cannot picture it



Sorry about that.
My wife always refers to the copper hot water cylinder as 'the immersion' and I thought you were doing the same.



I always think of solar water heating as having a 'radiator' on the roof. The sun heats up the water inside it and it feeds into the hot water system.


Solar panels, on the other hand, use the sun to generate electricity, which is fed into your electrical circuits, supplementing what you get from your power supplier.
Same thing can be done with a windmill.


(I was confused by the fact that you said "the immersion heater can be used to store preheated water").


This may well not be news to you but there may be someone out there who will find it useful.











p.s. Looks like Tracker beat me to it.

Edited by malc d 2008-08-06 7:22 PM
userSyd
Posted: 6 August 2008 7:44 PM
Subject: RE: BRITISH GAS
 
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Location: Sunderland


With Solar water heating you have to have a seperate water cylinder plus a few other bits and pieces, the panel on the roof feeds the heated liquid that is sealed in the coil, from the panel through through this coil into the top section of this thank so the sun is actually heating a special liquid not your water. There can also be a coil into the bottom of the tank
A pump then circulates the heated liquid in the panel when it reaches the required heat, you can purchase these systems with solar electric powered pumps or ordinary electricity operated pumps.

one system that I prefer so far will cost around £5000 to have installed and claims it can save you 30% off your gas bill.

The system can be plugged into your current water heating system be that the "back boiler type or the more modern hang on the wall boiler system.

If it claims that it saves us 30% off our bills, that means about £100 per quarter = £400 per year so it would take me 12.5 years to get a return, at current prices, but really I dont see this as important.
My driving reason is not primarily the current bill, I see it as providing for my family when I am no longer able to.

There are alternative systems which include burying a coil in the ground but as I understand this one you need a LOT of space for the coil and is a lot more expensive

Wind generating also claim to save 30% off your bill but Im not yet convinced of this claim
userTracker
Posted: 6 August 2008 8:06 PM
Subject: RE: BRITISH GAS
 


The bill savings depends on how much hot water you use.
The more you use it the more you save.
The fewer the number of users the less you use it.
As long as you have accurate information and not salesman's spiel you should be able to make an informed decision but my cousin's experience over the last year or so suggest a very long pay back wait for the then £4000 or so cost.
With apologies for being facetious, maybe £4000 invested in premium bonds has the potential to show a better return over a long period!
userCliveH
Posted: 6 August 2008 8:16 PM
Subject: RE: BRITISH GAS
 
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I read a fantastic article some time ago that I will try to find again. It was using research data from NASA on how efficient their low energy equipment is that they have used for years from Apollo thro to the Orbiter and the International Space Station - which of cause tends to rely on batteries recharged by solar power.

Of course the solar power is a fair bit stronger in space but the real point that grabbed me was the conclusion that Solar power on the surface of the planet is not viable NOT because of any problem with power generation BUT the fact that all our equipment runs with such high energy usage.

The question was asked why do we need to have 240 volts and 13 amps when Nasa has equipment that does far more than our telly's, computers, radios etc etc that run on a fraction of the power our current equipment requires.

So to make solar power work there is a need for low power equipment.

The viability of the technology would then take off.
userCliveH
Posted: 6 August 2008 8:18 PM
Subject: RE: BRITISH GAS
 
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Which of course.........!

Why do i allow the spell check to do this???
userTracker
Posted: 6 August 2008 8:29 PM
Subject: RE: BRITISH GAS
 




Which of course.........!

Would raise the hackles of all the vested interests in continued high power consumption such as oil companies, opec, power generators and distributors, governments who rely on VAT and corporation tax etc. etc.............................
usercolin
Posted: 6 August 2008 8:35 PM
Subject: RE: BRITISH GAS
 


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About 20 years ago friend made and installed his own solar water heating, couple of secondhand radiators painted black fitted in wooden box with glass front and placed on top of garage with termosyphon feed to tank , I think he's made his money back many times over, my one contribution was the suggestion of a swing check valve to prevent heat loss when panel was cooling.
The house I'm living in is listed in conversation area so no chance of doing it, and new bungalow has a combi boiler so would have to fit mains pressure tank to preheat water which I'm not keen on.
usercolin
Posted: 6 August 2008 8:42 PM
Subject: RE: BRITISH GAS
 


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CliveH - 2008-08-06 8:16 PM

I read a fantastic article some time ago that I will try to find again. It was using research data from NASA on how efficient their low energy equipment is that they have used for years from Apollo thro to the Orbiter and the International Space Station - which of cause tends to rely on batteries recharged by solar power.

Of course the solar power is a fair bit stronger in space but the real point that grabbed me was the conclusion that Solar power on the surface of the planet is not viable NOT because of any problem with power generation BUT the fact that all our equipment runs with such high energy usage.

The question was asked why do we need to have 240 volts and 13 amps when Nasa has equipment that does far more than our telly's, computers, radios etc etc that run on a fraction of the power our current equipment requires.

So to make solar power work there is a need for low power equipment.

The viability of the technology would then take off.

The reason we have 240v in houses is because the higher the voltage the less loss' in distribution, so as you go back up chain the voltages go up. In more compact enviroments such as cars and motorhomes we use 12v as there are short cable runs. Aside from that I wouldn't want to pay NASA prices.
userTracker
Posted: 6 August 2008 8:42 PM
Subject: RE: BRITISH GAS
 


Maybe a DIY hot water system could be fitted inside a loft, which can get pretty hot at times, even in winter sunshine?
It is after all heat not light that heats the water?
usercolin
Posted: 6 August 2008 9:18 PM
Subject: RE: BRITISH GAS
 


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Tracker - 2008-08-06 8:42 PM

Maybe a DIY hot water system could be fitted inside a loft, which can get pretty hot at times, even in winter sunshine?
It is after all heat not light that heats the water?

We have 10" of finest russian reed not much heat gets throu that, but in new bungalow when you go into loft on sunny day it's very hot.
userdavenewell@home
Posted: 6 August 2008 10:03 PM
Subject: RE: BRITISH GAS
 


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In solar heating systems the "radiator" (collector) is not filled with water but is actually an array of "heat tubes". These are capable of "collecting" more solar energy than straight forward water. The upper ends of these heat tubes are usually inserted into a manifold where the heat is transferred to the water being pumped through the manifold.

It is in effect the opposite of how an absorption fridge works.

D.
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