NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: LPG Heating costs  (Read 13669 times)

TG

  • Joined Oct 2009
LPG Heating costs
« on: January 13, 2011, 12:49:43 pm »
I assume that by the nature of what we do there are many out there without mains gas. We looked at the options when we moved about three years ago and decided on bulk tank LPG for the heating.
Opted for Flogas who supplied the tank and filled when ready. All worked well and no problems until recently.

First letter just berfore Christmas saying that due to blah blah my p/p/l was going up by about 15%. Ok I can see fuel prices rising so not happy but accepted this.
Yesterday I got another letter .... due to etc etc. they are increasing by another 13%. All in the space of about a month.

We are now looking at other options including a decent size woodburner with a backboiler. We have a reasonable supply of wood but I am interested to know how practical this option would be. Do they actually heat the house or am I wasting my time ?

I will also be looking at the hot water system to see if we can move to solar ( this seems to be one of the most affordable renewable option).

Thanks
TG
Voss Electric Fence

JulieS

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Devon - EX39 5RF
    • Ford Mill Farm
Re: LPG Heating costs
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2011, 01:25:30 pm »
Flo Gas aren't my favourite company at the moment.  I had a bulk tank put in last year and signed up for 'top up', and was assured I would never run out.  Guess what??!!  It ran out over Christmas even though I had phoned numerous times from the 1st Dec to say I was running low.

All that, as well as similar letters to the ones you received is making me look at alternatives.

Will be interested to hear others views too.

Pedigree GOS Pigs and Butchery for Smallholders.

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
    • ABERDON GUNDOGS for work and show
    • Facebook
Re: LPG Heating costs
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2011, 01:41:37 pm »
My next door neighbours have an LPG automatic top up system in place too, and the lorry eventually came here a couple of days ago when there was snow and ice on the steep lane and they had all but run out.  It got stuck, nearly took my fence down, and refused to come back till the lane was gritted.  A kind soul at the Council agreed to that but to be honest since it was a tractor and shovel just scraped off the top and made it worse when it froze up again.  So they are using electric heaters meantime.

I put in a woodburner up the road - didn't connect it to the heating but wish I had.  They are fantastic and I am  right this minute replacing an electric fire that was here when I moved in with another stove.  Get as big a wattage as you can, leave all your doors open and it will heat the whole house.  Get a dual fuel one so you can use coal if you need to, and connect to your heating if you can.  I have a 20shm lounge and a 5ks stove going in which should be loads for me, my previous one was an 8.5 kw but the room was 30 sq m - and my goodness it was warm!

I'm also considering solar panels with the current Government producer scheme being quite an incentive.  This runs for the next 23 years (started a couple of years ago), and you pay for your panels but get 40 pence a unit from the Gov for producing electricity - regardless of whether you use it or not.  From my first quote I would pay about £12K for my system, and the net income would be about £1000 per annum, so you'd be in profit after about 11/13 years depending on the interest rate for borrowing the cash.  I'm waiting for two more companies to give me quotes before deciding.  I've heard also wind turbines give a good rate of payback but they are much more expensive to install and obviously much more weather dependent.
HTH
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

darkbrowneggs

  • Joined Aug 2010
    • The World is My Lobster
Re: LPG Heating costs
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2011, 02:33:48 pm »
I'm also considering solar panels with the current Government producer scheme being quite an incentive.  This runs for the next 23 years (started a couple of years ago), and you pay for your panels but get 40 pence a unit from the Gov for producing electricity - regardless of whether you use it or not.  From my first quote I would pay about £12K for my system, and the net income would be about £1000 per annum, so you'd be in profit after about 11/13 years depending on the interest rate for borrowing the cash.  I'm waiting for two more companies to give me quotes before deciding.  I've heard also wind turbines give a good rate of payback but they are much more expensive to install and obviously much more weather dependent.
HTH


Interesting post  :)  Keep us all updated on costings and and grants available.  Also whether the 40p is fixed or liable to change either up or down hence affecting income. 

I went on a "Wind Course" at the Alternative Energy Centre many years ago, but decided they were neither effective in terms of power produced or cost to the environment to install - but of course I could have made an incorrect assumption, and/or things may well have changed
To follow my travel journal see http://www.theworldismylobster.org.uk

For lots of info about Marans and how to breed and look after them see www.darkbrowneggs.info

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: LPG Heating costs
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2011, 02:46:33 pm »
Any type of solar panels will need plannig permission (at least where we are). Also i would have a very detailed look at any of the small print.... sorry am being very sceptical about any of these large scale schemes, they usually don't deliver for the individual but for the large company....

If you have the up-front money in the bank, it might just be a reasonable investment, given that the interest rate on savings is not going to improve any time soon, but I personally would not borrow money for a project like this.

My neighbours panels were covered in snow for about two weeks recently.... not much generated there. Since the snow melted we had quite grey, cloudy days, I am not sure if Scotland is in the right place in the world to generate lots of its energy from solar....

We built our house 4 years ago, and decided on an oil central heating system - because of cost mainly. We also have a multifuel stove in our big living area, and don't normally put the oil central heating on before the end of November and turn it off by March. We use about 1500ltrs of oil per year, this includes running the hot water system over summer. We are thinking about installing a hot water solar system for summer use, but haven't really got any finance for this....

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
    • ABERDON GUNDOGS for work and show
    • Facebook
Re: LPG Heating costs
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2011, 03:25:36 pm »
Any type of solar panels will need plannig permission (at least where we are). Also i would have a very detailed look at any of the small print.... sorry am being very sceptical about any of these large scale schemes, they usually don't deliver for the individual but for the large company....

If you have the up-front money in the bank, it might just be a reasonable investment, given that the interest rate on savings is not going to improve any time soon, but I personally would not borrow money for a project like this.

My neighbours panels were covered in snow for about two weeks recently.... not much generated there. Since the snow melted we had quite grey, cloudy days, I am not sure if Scotland is in the right place in the world to generate lots of its energy from solar....

We built our house 4 years ago, and decided on an oil central heating system - because of cost mainly. We also have a multifuel stove in our big living area, and don't normally put the oil central heating on before the end of November and turn it off by March. We use about 1500ltrs of oil per year, this includes running the hot water system over summer. We are thinking about installing a hot water solar system for summer use, but haven't really got any finance for this....
All of these things are taken account of in the quotes, the 40p is the minimum cashback, it is actually a few pence more, it is guaranteed by the Government for the remaining 23 years as part of their forward planning to alleviate fossil fuel usage, and that is exactly why I am waiting fro two more quotes before I make up my mind - I too am sceptical.
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

sausagesandcash

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • UK
    • IrishHandcraft
Re: LPG Heating costs
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2011, 03:32:36 pm »
We bought a 30 kw multi-fuel stove with back boiler...can't sing it's praises enough! We took out all doors to the sitting room (3) and put in arches...now the heat wafts around, and keeps us all super toasty. We burn wood, turf and slack (you need a bit of coal or slack to really get the heat up). The stove is so good, it would nearly burn water!!  When you're buying check the BTU output to room and rads to make sure you're getting the best for your needs!

Regards,

Morgan

sheardale

  • Joined Apr 2009
  • Dollar, Clacks, Scotland
Re: LPG Heating costs
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2011, 05:47:38 pm »
We use LPG.  Get ours from J. Gas.     We are on the top up service.  In the kitchenette there is a multifuel stove.  Its great.  I burn everything, logs, coal, household rubbish the lot.  The gas is expensive tho.
Cheers Helen

benkt

  • Joined Apr 2010
  • Cambridgeshire
    • Hempsals Community Farm
Re: LPG Heating costs
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2011, 11:09:36 pm »
We had a free choice with our new place, only central heating here before was an oil-fired aga running a towel rail off the back boiler! After having oil at the last house we'd got fed up with the constant increases in price as well and went for an all wood-fired solution.

We've got a big Wamsler range that runs the central heating and hot water via a heat store. One advantage of that is that its all ready to hook up to some solar panels if we have enough cash left at the end of the renovation. We've also got a small 8kw wood burner in the sitting room, but haven't lit it yet as the room is still full of boxes and we can't get near it. The wamsler did get though a hell of a lot of wood in the cold spell before Christmas, but would only cost the same as oil even if we bought it all in - which we won't! Now we're running the range just for a few hours in the evening and the heat store means we have a burst of early morning central heating and hot water all day from this.

So far I'm very happy with our choice - although the final test will be in seeing how much free wood I can cut, split and store over the summer to make next winter nice and cheap!

Bright Raven

  • Joined May 2010
  • North Shropshire
Re: LPG Heating costs
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2011, 05:38:15 am »
My set up is oil but I have solar and a wood burning stove with a back boiler linked to my system. I have the re-assurance that if I were ill and unable to feed my burner I could still use my oil reserve as back up. Solar is the primary heater of the water from April to November and the wood burner keeps us going from November to March. We supplement with coal when the temperature goes below 0. I have been glowing with satisfaction since.
99 ash trees are growing nicely in the field and I am always on the scam for wood, every time I drag a piece home I feel like I have beaten the system.

A Wamsler 900 is on the top of my wish list for the kitchen. I will make sure it is integrated. The Wamsler 1100 belts out more BTU's.
 http://www.stovesonline.co.uk/wood_burning_stoves/Wamsler-cooker-stoves.html
Might take me a good few years to save for it but I am convinced it will make me super self sufficient.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2011, 05:51:26 am by Bright Raven »
Julia xxx 3 acres and a day job!!!! Chickens, Turkeys, Sheep, Pigs, Veggies and Homebrew. Husband, son, pets, chutney and music.
If I am here it's because I am putting my feet up!

waterhouse

  • Guest
Re: LPG Heating costs
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2011, 07:00:20 pm »
We had horrendous heating costs and a grossly over-complicated arrangement when we bought the house (four generations of the same family shared the property but with their own boilers) and a magnificent looking open fire in the living room.  I say "looking" because it looked grate (!) but created draughts, used a lot of wood and didn't heat the room  while producing masses of ash.

Just before last winter we put in a 12kW wood stove and haven't looked back.  The room is about 6m high so the fire heats a lof of brickwork which keeps chucking heat out after the fire dies down.  The logistics of getting enough dry wood do require some planning and I store it in covered Big Bags on pallets so I can move it around.

You will need planning permission unless you can fit it all onto the house, but it sounds like you're looking at about 2kW, so ten or twelve panels which should be OK?

Interest rates won't stay at current rates for ever.  I wouldn't borrow for this purpose, at least not much, because the current scheme is very generous and trusting a succession of governments to do the decent thing over 23 years is risky.  The feed-in tariff also pays you only for what you generate, and the people selling the panels have to estimate how much sun there will be at your location, and what proportion will generate electricity.  Masdar in Abu Dhabi did a lot of unpublished work on comparing outputs from different panel manufacturers.  They did say that the effective angle of operation of some panels was markedly smaller than others.  So see someone else's installation using the same panels and ignore the gross output under optimal conditions numbers.  We're seeing very little output at this time of the year

johnmac

  • Joined Dec 2008
  • Perth
Re: LPG Heating costs
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2011, 07:12:54 pm »
Hi there. I've oil fired heating (kerosene) used to be 10p/litre ten years ago....

Got a delivery in November it was 50p/litre.

Neighbour got some end December from
same company... 75p/litre!!!!!!!!

50% price rise in two months!!!!

Fortunately I installed a woodburner (multifuel) in my dining room to compliment open fire in livingroom... Last winter we used 2,200litres of heating oil in four months dec,jan,feb,march.

This year only had 500l since November.

Woodburner heats all down stairs and bed room upstairs once up to heat with doors left open... A comfy 20oC with top temp of 25oC so far!

Wood is the future!!!! Oil and gas and electric are a rip off!

As for solar... The couple of people who have it say it's crap... A turbine is even worse!

Even without a backboiler my stove heats most of my rooms in a drafty cold, badly insulated 1900's farmhouse through the coldest winter.... Mine is 8.9kw... Double the size required for the room... So it heats the other rooms!

waterhouse

  • Guest
Re: LPG Heating costs
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2011, 11:21:24 pm »
We bought a solar collector integrated with a highly efficient Vaillant boiler.  It has more knobs, gauges, valves, bells and whistles than the average nuclear submarine.  If it were installed in an office someone would have to be sent on a two day course to run the brute.  We were merely handed 30 manuals in a variety of miscellaneous European languages and left to work it out. 

None of the English manuals explains how the different components interact with each other.  There are for example two separate controllers plus those on the boiler itself.   There is a wide variety of parameters which can be adjusted but no guidance on what they're for.  After a couple of months dissatisfied with the way it was working I found a concealed valve at floor level which was closed when it should have been open.  Then we were getting an unlisted error message on the boiler which turned out simply to require one of us to lie on the floor and open a valve while the other watched a tiny pressure gauge on the boiler rise.

A year after the installation we were puzzled that the 250l tank didn't produce enough hot water for a bath when it was really sunny.  This was because the pressure in the roof system had fallen to zero and the bloody thing wouldn't work.   The gauge for that was also at floor level near that valve we didn't know about.

I think we've now got to grips with the system though it's so non-intuitive to use that I always have to look in the manual to find out what the icons mean.  It takes real skill to make something for the domestic market these days which is quite so bolluxed.  Most maintenance companies round here - including British Gas - won't touch them.

johnmac

  • Joined Dec 2008
  • Perth
Re: LPG Heating costs
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2011, 12:26:48 am »
Sorry to hear your solar experiments gone so badly... But to be honest I haven't heard of one that's gone well!!

Wind turbines are even worse from the stories I've heard/read.

Wood is the future!!!

I'd get a wood boiler stove in the future if I could afford it.... They seem great value for money if you can get cheap/ free timber?!?

The way fuels going people will be freezing to death next winter if the prices don't stop rising!!

:-)

ambriel

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Kinlochbervie, NW Sutherland, Scotland
  • Mad, bad, and dangerous to know!
    • Harbour Cottage
Re: LPG Heating costs
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2011, 01:04:37 am »

We're on kerosene for hot water and radiators but have four fireplaces in the house. Previous owners had blocked these up, preferring the oil, but we're steadily going round recommissioning them. No back boiler, unfortunately butI don't mind leaving the oil in for that, if we can heat the rest of the house with the fires.

 

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