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Re: ENERGY MATTERS

Posted: 18 Sep 2017, 07:38
by Wendyf
No problems with Npower either the system works very well, which is why I'm wondering why Tiz is making a change.

Re: ENERGY MATTERS

Posted: 18 Sep 2017, 10:01
by Tizer
We don't want anything to do with Npower. They have the worst customer service performance rating of all the energy companies. They're the ones who defined a year as 10 months in their small print and cheated their customers out of two months of discount. The previous owners of this house were with Npower for their leccy. When Mrs Tiz tried to contact them to sort the change of house owner she couldn't get any response because we were `not recognised by their database'. We ended up having to go through to our old and trusted supplier, EDF, and have them get it sorted for us.

As for the time scale of setting up a FIT tariff, it seems to be a long-winded business with all the companies taking ages over it. Npower says allow 60 days before expecting a payment even if we were staying with them.

The Solar iBoost that was already installed here seems a great idea. It simply directs the solar leccy to the hot water cylinder's immersion heater when the water needs heating and the cylinder thermostat stops it when the set temperature is reached. So far we haven't needed the gas boiler to heat the HW cylinder. Of course, I don't know how much it cost when fitted!
The web site is here Solar iBoost
and you can download a manual here: LINK

Re: ENERGY MATTERS

Posted: 19 Sep 2017, 03:18
by Stanley
Sounds like a good system Tiz. I wish you trouble free use!

Re: ENERGY MATTERS

Posted: 27 Sep 2017, 20:45
by BillHowcroft
British Gas are sending me invitations to take out a Loyalty programme and get Rewards.
I think they're implying they appreciate Customer Loyalty but they really want is Customer Inertia.
Time for a change.

Re: ENERGY MATTERS

Posted: 28 Sep 2017, 02:55
by Stanley
The Department of Cunning Wheezes Bill. I can remember a time when they didn't have to worry about 'market share', we all had only one supplier. Economists would argue that this was bad because there was no competition but life was a lot easier and I'm not too sure that the ability to compete improved the quality of the service on the whole. But of course I am a dinosaur......
Look at what is happening now with a 'competitive market', we are going ahead with Hinkley Point and the dreadful Welsh tidal lagoon scheme both of which are predicated on electricity costs that will make our eyes water. Meanwhile the real world moves on, the market changes and renewable energy, particularly wind power, gets cheaper by the day.

Re: ENERGY MATTERS

Posted: 28 Sep 2017, 07:36
by BillHowcroft
I think that when the Chinese bring small to medium battery storage costs down to an acceptable point, smaller scale local generation including personal roof solar will become economic and make us wonder why we subsidised some of these prestige projects.

Re: ENERGY MATTERS

Posted: 28 Sep 2017, 08:44
by Tizer
Our new double-glazed windows are being installed as I write to replace the 1980s DG units. Compared with the old ones, the new units have argon instead of nitrogen; ceramic spacers instead of metal; coated glass to keep in more heat; and low-iron glass to let in more light. We have large windows and it'll make a big difference to the retention of heat in winter.

Re: ENERGY MATTERS

Posted: 29 Sep 2017, 03:26
by Stanley
Bill, that point has been made but of course the government has ignored it. The energy market is changing rapidly and by the time HP comes on line it could be the most expensive white elephant in the world.
Tiz, sounds good..... Do they clean themselves?

Re: ENERGY MATTERS

Posted: 29 Sep 2017, 08:33
by Tizer
No, adding the `lotus' effect is expensive and we've got lots of window cleaners now we're in town!

We've been changing the light bulbs in the `new' house from CFL and halogen to LED and they're all done now except one. It's in a long 6-bulb kitchen light fitting and the old halogen won't come out. I'm not changing the fitting just because of one bulb and it doesn't look significantly different from the LED bulbs. But it's frustrating!

Re: ENERGY MATTERS

Posted: 29 Sep 2017, 09:44
by plaques
Replaced a couple of north facing windows with new Double units. Each morning we now see condensation on the 'outside' pane something we never saw before. Obviously better insulation and less heat transfer.

Re: ENERGY MATTERS

Posted: 29 Sep 2017, 16:51
by Pluggy
Entirely in agreement with the HP debate. By the time it comes on line it will be obsolete. But I don't have a aircraft hanger full of vested interests and political baggage to pull around. :biggrin2:

I have a small DIY elecricity storage from my solar panels running now. I'm looking at a more serious system next year when my first pension kicks in. I'm thinking going to economy 7 and charging the batteries overnight with cheap grid electric when there isn't enough solar power to do it. (I've had solar long enough to know winter generation is somewhat lacking). It wouldn't pay to make my existing system do it with economy 7 because it uses lead acid batteries and they are pretty grim from an efficiency point of view compared with Lithium Polymer batteries. ( you put a lot more power into them than you get out ). Doesn't matter so much when it only uses excess solar to charge them.

Putting battery storage in new build homes wouldn't cost that much and would dramatically reduce peak usage from the grid (to the point you could get away with a much reduced supply to a housing estate because it would even out the demand. The grids biggest problem is that they have to provide enough resources to meet peak demand and then have to deal with the excess capacity the rest of the time. (Which is the whole point of the economy 7 tariff). Renewables would also greatly benefit, because it wouldn;t matter that the wind doesn't blow and the sun doesn't shine to order.

Regarding Tiz and replacing Halogen with LEDs - it can go wrong very easily because LED lamps like DC and old school Halogen are often AC with just a transformer and no rectification (incandescent Halogen doesn't care). A friend of mine bought a load of LED halogen replacements to find they flickered like hell and he swapped them all back. Depends on the replacement bulbs and the halogen fittings.......

Re: ENERGY MATTERS

Posted: 29 Sep 2017, 19:32
by Big Kev
This seems like the best place to put this. I had a dessicant dehumidifier in my cellar to keep it dry, there were issues recently with a broken drain but it's always been a bit damp. A month ago I replaced the dehum with a quiet running bathroom extractor fan, not only is it a lot quieter than the dehum it looks to be a lot cheaper to run too. I have it set on a timer for 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the evening and, based on how the cloakroom door fits in the frame, the cellar is as dry as it was with the dehum running. There are 2 x 4 inch ducts I run up to the roof when I built the kitchen extension, one is used for the extraction and one for fresh air in. Seems to working well :-)

Re: ENERGY MATTERS

Posted: 30 Sep 2017, 02:41
by chinatyke
Pluggy wrote:
29 Sep 2017, 16:51
Regarding Tiz and replacing Halogen with LEDs - it can go wrong very easily because LED lamps like DC and old school Halogen are often AC with just a transformer and no rectification (incandescent Halogen doesn't care). A friend of mine bought a load of LED halogen replacements to find they flickered like hell and he swapped them all back. Depends on the replacement bulbs and the halogen fittings.......
They can flicker a little in the same way as fluorescent tubes do but I don't notice it. I've got LED bulbs throughout my apartment and I'm delighted with them, although I wouldn't be if I had to pay ten quid each for them! As I've said before, I've become lax about switching off unnecessary lights because they are so cheap to run and yet I still notice the reduction in my electricity usage. Easily my biggest saving on electricity consumption.

Re: ENERGY MATTERS

Posted: 30 Sep 2017, 03:01
by Stanley
I'm impressed by the repository of knowledge we have on the site on energy saving. Demonstrates the opinion about Hinkley Point I think.....

Re: ENERGY MATTERS

Posted: 30 Sep 2017, 10:36
by Pluggy
LED lighting is very complex, there are a wide number of different ways of deriving the DC they require from AC. For mains powered LED lights its usually a capacitive dropper (universally at the cheap end of the market) which is the lowest common denominator of mains power supplies. Appalling power factor and if they skimp on the smoothing (another common trait at the cheap end of the market) their DC is shaky at best so they sometimes flicker. Some people notice it more than others. The better ones have 'proper' switch mode power supplies as beloved by computer companies everywhere. Better power factor and not so prone to flickering. Incandescent lighting doesn't care whether its AC or DC its basically a hot wire and it can't keep up heating and cooling 50 times a second if it was AC.

Its further complicated by halogen light fittings using 12v bulbs, some of which expect the fitting to rectify the power for them and some of them do it themeslves. Make sure you buy AC compliant if putting them in existing fittings. (Usually the case for stuff from mainstream "British" manufacturers. )

Sometimes the cheap end of stuff intended for the Chinese market is sold here (similar voltage and frequency) and most of it is crap at best and downright dangerous at worst. I have a delightful battery charger I bought on Ebay, obliviously of this ilk. Nice all metal case with the mains electronics on a raw board directly screwed to the same, and no earth connection.,,, Life is cheap in China in more ways than one. The stuff from "British" or "European" makers is usually made in China as well but they usually get it made with some form of safety standards in play. Many countries in the world have little or no regulation on electrical products.
Heres one of my haunts, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNjA0aee07k a British electrictian pulling a "suicide shower" in bits to see how it works. He does it with all kinds of stuff he hunts down on Ebay, he delights in destroying cheap Chinese made electrical crap. The more explosive the better. :biggrin2:

This is a good one : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftX7C9uvP1w and is a good explanation why cheap stuff flickers.

Re: ENERGY MATTERS

Posted: 30 Sep 2017, 13:40
by BillHowcroft
Fascinating website.

Re: ENERGY MATTERS

Posted: 30 Sep 2017, 14:16
by chinatyke
Pluggy wrote:
30 Sep 2017, 10:36

Sometimes the cheap end of stuff intended for the Chinese market is sold here (similar voltage and frequency) and most of it is crap at best and downright dangerous at worst.
How right you are but never mind the quality feel the price! My favourite saying here is "Chinese rubbish" when describing articles made for the home market that aren't fit for purpose. Earth leads aren't common on many electrical goods even though they don't have double insulation protection.

Re: ENERGY MATTERS

Posted: 01 Oct 2017, 03:27
by Stanley
That's a very honest post China! Reinforces my long distance good opinion of you.
I am not an electricity man, as I once told George Bleasdale when he was cleaning the commutator on the big alternator as it was running Electricity travels at 186,000 miles a second and it's faster than me!"
I also remember being surprised to find that the reason why fluorescent lighting was no good in the dark room is because it takes the tubes so long to stop glowing when you switch them off and light sensitive media can detect it.
You're right Bill. I often think the same thing. Better than formal education in many ways.....

Re: ENERGY MATTERS

Posted: 01 Oct 2017, 14:36
by chinatyke
Stanley wrote:
01 Oct 2017, 03:27
That's a very honest post China! Reinforces my long distance good opinion of you.
You have been known to get it wrong! :extrawink:

Thanks. :biggrin2:

Re: ENERGY MATTERS

Posted: 02 Oct 2017, 02:16
by Stanley
True....... :biggrin2:

Re: ENERGY MATTERS

Posted: 04 Oct 2017, 05:27
by Stanley
I've had a funny little glitch for a few days now. The monitor for my smart meter went AWOL and nothing I did seemed to improve it. So, I did the only sensible thing and ignored it, I still had gas and leccy! Yesterday afternoon I noticed that it was back on line again and it has fired up as normal at 6AM this morning. It looks as though it has healed itself. I shall leave it alone.......

Re: ENERGY MATTERS

Posted: 04 Oct 2017, 06:21
by Big Kev
Stanley wrote:
04 Oct 2017, 05:27
I've had a funny little glitch for a few days now. The monitor for my smart meter went AWOL and nothing I did seemed to improve it. So, I did the only sensible thing and ignored it, I still had gas and leccy! Yesterday afternoon I noticed that it was back on line again and it has fired up as normal at 6AM this morning. It looks as though it has healed itself. I shall leave it alone.......
My brother-in-law had his monitor on the mantlepiece for 2 days before got bored with it, it's been put back in the box and relegated to the back of the meter cupboard now.

Re: ENERGY MATTERS

Posted: 04 Oct 2017, 06:41
by Big Kev
Image
That's sorted it :surprised:

Re: ENERGY MATTERS

Posted: 05 Oct 2017, 03:55
by Stanley
You can laugh but I have seen fuses in heavy current boxes bridged with six inch nails....

Re: ENERGY MATTERS

Posted: 05 Oct 2017, 09:34
by PanBiker
Quite, in my time on field service I have seen a house which had been rewired in bell wire with no earth, I pulled the YEB fuses and made a call. In another all the cables burnt out of the walls after a lightning strike, proper mess that was. In another cottage on the row that I was called to the strange thing was, the TV I was attending had all the internal structure of the coax down lead from the aerial vaporised but the outside PVC jacket was intact. A 12 valve monochrome TV with only the bases of the valves left welded into their sockets, the tuner had melted off its mountings. The old lady who lived in the cottage said "it went off with a pop" and asked expectantly if it would be a big job to mend it! :surprised: :extrawink: