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Guest 1footinthegrave

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Guest 1footinthegrave
Can't believe it, after comparing energy prices I was about to switch to Npower, now they have announced similar price increases to British gas, with all the others shortly to follow no doubt, can anyone tell me who has benefited from so called competition in gas and electric apart from fat cats. >:-( what a feckin joke.
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I have to agree. Privatisation has been a sick joke. The monopolies created are unaccountable and hardly in the "Free market".

 

My advice for what it is worth is to buy solar panels now that the High St seem to be marketing them (well - IKEA has started :-S ) and make yourself as independent as possible.

 

We are also looking at water storage tanks in the place we are doing up like they have in Australia with filters so this water is used for gardening, car cleaning, and loo flushing so metered water is only used for cooking and drinking.

 

What with green taxes, VAT etc on top of a monopoly - I fail to see how the utility companies offer anything like good value for money.

 

 

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CliveH - 2013-10-21 10:35 AM

My advice for what it is worth is to buy solar panels now that the High St seem to be marketing them (well - IKEA has started :-S ) and make yourself as independent as possible.

 

We paid £13k for our 4kw state of the art (at the time) solar panels and inverter and, being on the highest FIT, in 30 months it has earned me just over £5,000 giving me a return of about 15% pa., and giving us effectively free light and heat, with a bit left over! Boy, didn't I do the right thing!

 

A new comparable PV system now would cost about £7k and, on the same generation rate that I have achieved, with the current reduced FIT would give a return of just about 10% pa at current rates and if we moved house I would still go for solar PV as a good way to generate a bit of extra 'pension'.

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Guest 1footinthegrave
Will Solar panels run my energy efficient ( joke ) combi gas boiler, and our gas cooker I wonder :-S got my electric sorted though, one energy saving bulb, and a candle for back up. If solar is part of the answer living as we do in a ground floor flat I'm not sure where we would put them. 8-)
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Tracker - 2013-10-21 11:00 AM

 

CliveH - 2013-10-21 10:35 AM

My advice for what it is worth is to buy solar panels now that the High St seem to be marketing them (well - IKEA has started :-S ) and make yourself as independent as possible.

 

We paid £13k for our 4kw state of the art (at the time) solar panels and inverter and, being on the highest FIT, in 30 months it has earned me just over £5,000 giving me a return of about 15% pa., and giving us effectively free light and heat, with a bit left over! Boy, didn't I do the right thing!

 

A new comparable PV system now would cost about £7k and, on the same generation rate that I have achieved, with the current reduced FIT would give a return of just about 10% pa at current rates and if we moved house I would still go for solar PV as a good way to generate a bit of extra 'pension'.

 

Yes Rich - that is my calculation as well.

 

I am also looking at the "benefit" of using an array of leisure batteries to power things rather than be linked into the power "grid" and so be reliant on Tariffs etc.

 

This has been happening in Spain such that the government feared that many people would seriously be able to go "off grid" and so remove themselves from the taxable energy merrygoround. The Governments response to this "threat" was quite draconian and I do not know if has been actioned ?

 

http://www.safehaven.com/article/30615/spain-levies-consumption-tax-on-sunlight

 

But seeing as this is the country where enterprising people found it profitable to run a diesel generator to shine lights onto solar panels because the feed in tariff was so good they still made money!! (up until the powers that be wondered how solar panels where generating power at night!! (lol) ) nothing surprises me anymore!!

 

 

 

8-)

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Solar panels seem to be a good idea...at the moment but as with anything the Government will always change the rules. Unfortunately, you can only do this if you live in a house, if you live in communal property such as flats then things are not so easy. It also helps if you own the house outright so do not need permission from the mortgage holder as I gather some of these 'Contracts' can last 25 years or more.

 

As a flat owner i have to live with the normal means of energy but do find that disappearing to Spain for half the year does help a lot. I also do go round switching plugs off at night so the so called 'stand by lights' are not burning all the time.

 

I also gather that if we were to ditch all the Green taxes imposed by Ed Miiliband then we would all save a good hundred pounds plus a year, plus not clutter up the countryside with useless wind turbines. His Party's desire to be even greener than we need to be has also lost us the use of coal fired power stations which would have helped keep the lights on. Unfortunately the Tories controlled by the Lib/Dems have not reversed any of those loopy ideas.

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Dave225 - 2013-10-21 7:18 PM

It also helps if you own the house outright so do not need permission from the mortgage holder as I gather some of these 'Contracts' can last 25 years or more.

.

 

The only 'contract' is the one given by the government to guarantee payment at an index linked rate for 25 years. My panels are owned by me and I needed nobody's consent to install them on my own roof which I also, rather conveniently, own!!

 

As we have already seen governments can change the rules in the middle of the game and move the goalposts too so how good a guarantee a government guarantee is in this case remains to be seen?

 

However they have honoured, so far, everyone on a tariff in force at the time the panels were installed and registered so we might be able to hope that if you buy now you will stay on today's rates for 25 years.

 

The FIT goes with the house when you sell it so the new owner carries on where you left off on the existing rates for the balance of 25 years or until the panels fail, although mine are guaranteed for up to 25 years albeit on a reducing scale of efficiency for the last ten years. However as long as you replace the panels with like for like the 25 year rates still applies.

 

Seems fair enough to me!

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I like the idea of solar panels but we are not lined up suitably. I also prefer them on the ground and adjustable for maximum reception but not sure of the cabling required into the house, I'm surprised there is not more advertising regarding this.

 

Any suggestions on say two panels placed in the garden ?

 

Or are roofs so used because the cable diameter required would be excessive over a distance ?

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1footinthegrave - 2013-10-21 12:14 PM

 

Will Solar panels run my energy efficient ( joke ) combi gas boiler, and our gas cooker I wonder :-S got my electric sorted though, one energy saving bulb, and a candle for back up. If solar is part of the answer living as we do in a ground floor flat I'm not sure where we would put them. 8-)

 

Mike, Put them where the sun shines...... :D

 

Dave

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We have an Australian lady with us today from Perth WA

 

They use mains water metered.

 

Bore water for outside use NOT metred ... but she says there are plans for meters.

 

I grow vegetables, all the water used is from saved rainwater.

 

If I lived on my own I would return to a bucket and chuck-it system with a bucket by the loo. Its so easy with a little thought to reduce costs.

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Will85 - 2013-10-21 7:55 PM

 

Or are roofs so used because the cable diameter required would be excessive over a distance ?

 

The panels generate about 50 volts DC and that is converted by an inverter to 230 v ac.

 

The shorter the cable run from panels to inverter the less the loss of current and as 230 v ac suffers no such loss over medium distances you can site the panels wherever you like but it's best to site the inverter close to them. The inverter gets hot so it not only needs to be waterproof it also needs an airflow to keep it's cool.

 

The important thing for solar panels is to be facing as close to South as possible at an angle of about 30 (I think?) degrees to the ground and with no trees, buildings or other obstructions between them and the passage of the sun across the sky.

 

My neighbour has the same system as we do and his generation is about 10% down on mine because he has one tall pine tree in his garden shading the panels for part of the day.

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All understood so far which is simple basic information. How is the energy fed into the company's system and where is the energy calculator situated ?

 

If the inverter gets hot this means a loss of energy which then means the power unit required must first overcome this loss before becoming an efficient machine.

 

I presume the gain per size of panel can be estimated and the loss also, the result being that its reasonable to estimate the number and area of panels required to produce a worthwhile supply into the house.

 

Which then means if I need a given are of sola panels and I do not have the space. No sale

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1footinthegrave - 2013-10-21 10:07 AM

 

Can't believe it, after comparing energy prices I was about to switch to Npower, now they have announced similar price increases to British gas, with all the others shortly to follow no doubt, can anyone tell me who has benefited from so called competition in gas and electric apart from fat cats. >:-( what a feckin joke.

 

Once one company puts the price up you can be sure they will all follow suit, and thats where the latest advice from gov falls down, so never switch providers in a rising market. The only time you can get any sensible comparison is when the prices are stable.

 

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Will85 - 2013-10-21 8:45 PM

 

All understood so far which is simple basic information. How is the energy fed into the company's system and where is the energy calculator situated ?

 

If the inverter gets hot this means a loss of energy which then means the power unit required must first overcome this loss before becoming an efficient machine.

 

I presume the gain per size of panel can be estimated and the loss also, the result being that its reasonable to estimate the number and area of panels required to produce a worthwhile supply into the house.

 

Which then means if I need a given are of solar panels and I do not have the space. No sale

 

The 'inverted' ac power is fed via a meter into the main power input into your home at a point between your existing meter and the distribution/fuse box.

 

The inverter won't get hot enough to be a factor as long as it has a good airflow - ie plenty of space - around it.

 

You can have as many or as few panels as you like or the available South(ish) roof space allows, but generally speaking at least 2 kw which is 8 x 250 watt panels up to 4 kw above which the return is proportionately less than for systems of 4 kw and under. On the other hand economies of scale might still make it feasible if you have the roof space.

 

Have a look on the internet and maybe get a couple of firms to give you a quote. You can believe their figures because they are not allowed to quote over optimistically and my actual returns have exceeded the projections by a healthy margin.

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Guest 1footinthegrave
Tracker - 2013-10-21 10:10 PM

 

Surely it is not beyond the wit of man to realise that getting domestic fuel price comparisons in the middle of a bout of price rises is pointless?

 

Simply wait a week or three until they've all finished their increases to see how it pans out.

 

 

I was taking your advice that you gave around a week ago. 8-) give us a nudge nudge when they are stable

 

I can't remember a time when fuel prices were not rising, and surely it's not beyond the wit of man to realise that the domestic fuel prices in this country are controlled by the same wholesale prices, wholesale prices in some measure dictated by generous home solar feed in tariffs, OK if you've got a roof and a wad of cash to spare, like someone else said "the illusion of choice" what a load of ........................

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Guest 1footinthegrave

Oh the irony...............................in todays papers.

 

Energy giant ScottishPower will pay £8.5million compensation to customers who were mis-sold gas and electricity, after an investigation by the industry regulator.

 

Customers were given misleading estimates of how much they would pay for energy if they switched their supplier, Ofgem found

 

 

The probe into ScottishPower comes as part of a wider market inquiry into mis-selling across the energy industry, which has already seen three investigations concluded.

SSE was fined £10.5million in April for 'prolonged and extensive' sales practice failures.

 

Ofgem is still conducting two ongoing mis-selling investigations into npower, which was launched in 2010, and into E.ON, which was launched last year. (!)

 

Like I said, what a load of b******s

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What is even worse is that despite the "privatisation" - the resulting companies have an effective monopoly on power supply and all act as a cartel together.

 

The regulator seems pretty toothless in that all that happens is they fine the monopolies for abuse of power then those same monopolies increase our bills to recoup the cost of the fine!

 

 

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Guest 1footinthegrave
Found out that our property is served by an IGT company for gas, so even if swapping suppliers the cost of the IGT is not shown on comparison websites............................it gets better................... Your suppliers must pay both the National Grid and the IGT for the gas supply there is simply no way round it for the consumer, they have installed the bloody pipes and want paying for them ad-infinitum . >:-(
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Just yesterday we started our switch from Southern to Scottish.  Hopefully, having our actual energy consumption figures and current tariff to hand our new 'fixed' tariff should save us in the region of £150 per year less than before...oh and a £30 cash back after 3 months.  Fingers crossed it all goes smoothly and only time will tell if 'fixing' was the way to go.

 

As has been said before it's a minefield of 'choice' and you really do take a chance (albeit an informed one) on switching.

 

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I don't often come across anyone as perpetually Grumpy as you Mike and I do hope that it is an act just for the forum and that in real life you are more normal - whatever normal is!!

 

In life we are where we are with most aspects and unless we can change things to the way we want them I see no point in getting uptight about anything.

 

We have to make the best of what we have and work within the system as best we can to try and make it suit ourselves.

 

Life is too short to get all wound up at every opportunity!!

 

Sure, there are things I too would like to change but it ain't gonna happen so I just canter on in my own sweet way enjoying the view as it passes me by.

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CliveH - 2013-10-22 10:41 AM

 

What is even worse is that despite the "privatisation" - the resulting companies have an effective monopoly on power supply and all act as a cartel together.

 

Too right, Clive, take a look at this!

 

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/shortcuts/2013/oct/21/hinkley-point-nuclear-power-station

 

Hmmmmmmmmmmm,

 

Colin.

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Guest 1footinthegrave
Tracker - 2013-10-22 2:27 PM

 

I don't often come across anyone as perpetually Grumpy as you Mike and I do hope that it is an act just for the forum and that in real life you are more normal - whatever normal is!!

 

In life we are where we are with most aspects and unless we can change things to the way we want them I see no point in getting uptight about anything.

 

We have to make the best of what we have and work within the system as best we can to try and make it suit ourselves.

 

Life is too short to get all wound up at every opportunity!!

 

Sure, there are things I too would like to change but it ain't gonna happen so I just canter on in my own sweet way enjoying the view as it passes me by.

 

As long as the great British people keep voting for the same muppets your right, nothings going to change, as for being perpetually grumpy perhaps your correct...........................despite the recorded messages " your call is important to us" or "your moving up the queue" I try desperately to ignore every reason to be grumpy.................................mmmm, lets see if I can now access my online only Scottish power account that I was advised gave me the best deal out of the 92 on offer to scrutinise which exactly ties in with your "life is too short" comment. there used to be just 2, standard domestic and economy 7 ;-)

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