What do you heat your home with and what does it cost??

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Re: What do you heat your home with and what does it cost??

Post: # 269185Post Cligereen »

We live in a fairly large old stone farmhouse. There is a solid fuel range in the dining room (was a kitchen many moons ago). The range is connected to the rads and hot water tank. We burn peat briquettes and wood in that. We use one bale of briquettes a day, which cost us €3.30 each and mix it with logs. Some logs are from our own trees and some are bought in, so say €2 per day for logs. That is €5.30 ish per day = €165 per month.

We also have a dual oil system that will run simultaneously with the range which we use in really cold weather, say from Nov-March. 1000l tank costs about €800 (haven't bought this year's fill yet so not sure of exact cost) and we use one fill per year. That brings it to €2770 ish per year for heat and as much hot water as we want. We do cook on the range as well if we are not in a hurry.

In really cold weather, we have an open fire in the sitting room which we light but that's not too often. We use coal on that. We find, as Boboff says, that to keep a constant warmth going to keep the stone walls warm is the best thing. It takes forever to rewarm those walls if they get cold.

Hopefully this winter won't be too cold. I was nearly crying with the cold in those periods over the last few years when we hit minus 20c.
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Re: What do you heat your home with and what does it cost??

Post: # 269193Post Sky »

We heat our house with wood, we have our own pine plantation for firewood and also we get free wood from my hubs work. I've also planted willow to use for burning and some to weave with.

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Re: What do you heat your home with and what does it cost??

Post: # 269473Post Teadrinking »

We're on a boat so heating costs are fairly low ish. We've a multifuel stove and use a mix of smokeless fuel (usually excel but sometimes supertherm which is more expensive but burns at a higher temp than the excel (I think anyway!) and wood which we buy in, or find and cut and split. Reckon we use 6 - bags a month of smokeless fuel so between £48 and £64 quid. We cook on lpg and that's prob a bottle a 1/4 if that so 96 quid a year. We're in a marina at the moment so on electric hook up and we use about £10 - £15 quid a month.
So total fuel bills come in at less than £600 a year and we could def lower this if we worked harder at sourcing wood. We're also saving to put in a couple of solar panels next year which would help towards our electricity usage and give us a hand when we're not on hook up. :icon_smile:

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Re: What do you heat your home with and what does it cost??

Post: # 269530Post marshlander »

merlin wrote:We were interested in starting a willow coppice, does anybody have any idea what the yield would be per 1000m2
Found this per hectare which is 10,000 square metres (an area 100 x 100 metres)
Different Fire Wood Yield from different woodland management systems Tonnes per hectare (2.47 acres) per year
Typical Farm woodland (unmanaged) 2-3 tonnes
Traditional mixed coppice 4-5 tonnes
Short Rotation Coppice Willow 8-12 tonnes
Short Rotation Coppice Poplar 4-20 tonnes, yields for Poplar have not proven consistent in the UK, but can do very well

On this basis, wilow on 1000 M2 = 0.8 - 1.2 tonnes

source; http://mammothwillow.co.uk/store/index. ... =page&id=4
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Re: What do you heat your home with and what does it cost??

Post: # 269540Post gregorach »

KeithBC wrote:We have electric heat for backup. It is $0.10 a kWh, but I don't know how much of the electric bill is heat and how much is other use.
It's pretty straightforward to work out if you take your own meter readings... Take a monthly (or even better, weekly) reading, then you can see what your average baseline is during the summer, and how much it increases during the winter. OK, some of that increase will be down to extra lighting, but that will be relatively insignificant compared to heating and hot water.

If you want to get a handle on your energy use, taking your own readings regularly is probably the most important first step. Once you've got a decent baseline, you can then see how much effect any changes you make have. Tracking improvements to heating or insulation is a little trickier, as you need to compensate for how cold it is, but once you've got the data, there's a lot you can do.
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Re: What do you heat your home with and what does it cost??

Post: # 269659Post merlin »

We have our first electric bill for the house next week, I can hardly wait!

Will all the insulation and solar tubes be worth it?

Have I been a complete pratt?

Watch this space....
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Re: What do you heat your home with and what does it cost??

Post: # 269683Post seasidegirl »

We've got gas central heating from a very old system that really needs replacing. It's the old type that fills up an immersion heater which I like. I believe that if we replace it we are obliged to have the new type (condensing boiler?) that means we are not allowed to have our immersion heater anymore. The radiators need replacing too, they can't be bled, and the plan is to go through them one at a time.

As well as that we use an open fire in the sitting room when it's cold. I dont turn the CH off when we're burning but do turn it down. We spend about £10 a week on coal for four months ish but haven't paid for any logs yet having scavenged wood. Our gas DD's over the year are £60 per month which is about double from two or three years ago but compared to some here it seems quite reasonable.

I'd like to re-think the whole system now gas costs so much more than it did. I understand that gas is three times cheaper than electric but this doesn't allow for the cost of installing a new system which is thousands. I have heard that most of the new boiler types we are obliged to buy are rubbish. One my friend installed only lasted five years and I think they are much more unreliable in really cold weather (when you need them most).

We have a SW facing roof in a sunny part of the country so I'm seriously considering looking around for a free solar panel installation. I like the idea of using to heat our hot water and then finding some other way than gas to heat our house in the winter when we really have to replace the boiler.

Were electric storage heaters such a bad thing?

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Re: What do you heat your home with and what does it cost??

Post: # 269689Post Flo »

This is a housing association building taken over from council some years back - it was built in 1920s and privately owned for many years so of course it isn't really up to normal council standards. It has cavity wall insulation and the roof on the upstairs flat is insulated. The boiler is working quite well but is old and spares are hard to get and will only be repaired when it croaks. It does hot water and gas central heating through radiators - the one in the bedroom though is in the wrong place due to it being impossible to put in where it should be as there's a sloping mud cellar which has never been worked on underneath the place.

So not a lot can be done but to pay the bills as they come in (depends on the winter as to how high the bills are). Last winter was warm and cheap. So far this winter looks to be cold and more costly. You can do the obvious like dressing sensibly and having good curtains. With a bit of insistence the external doors are now double glazed. The place is a lot warmer and less costly now that the weather facing door is done - had to stand a housing officer in nylon tights and skirt by it while we talked so that she understood what the problem was (knee length skirt flapping sort of helped the understanding).

But there's no chance of self sufficiency in any form here - the chimney is now covered by gas fires in both this flat and the one upstairs. The housing association does not replace gas fires with old style open ones (I think they fancy that their tenants might burn the place down if they did).

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Re: What do you heat your home with and what does it cost??

Post: # 269858Post citizentwiglet »

We live in an ex council house that was built in 1967 and we are purely electric. We have a white meter 'storage' heater in the living room. We also have those plug in portable oil radiators in the two bedrooms for the winter. We have a horrid three bar fire that goes on for a quick blast every now and then.

We pay a set amount each month so we don't have any surprises in the winter, and they have just put our estimate up to £80 a month. We are always in credit by the end of the year. I have taken meter readings daily to assess our use, and ALL our electricity use rarely exceeds £60 a month, even in the dead of winter.
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Re: What do you heat your home with and what does it cost??

Post: # 269863Post diggernotdreamer »

We get electricity bills here every TWO months, not quarterly, so they get an extra two lots of standing charges more than is charged in the UK, plus because we live in the countryside and not a big town or city, we pay extra for our electricity because it costs more to take services to nutters that live in the arse end of nowhere. (ie all the English people, all sensible Irish people live in proper houses with flushing toilets and bathrooms the size of the Blackpool ballroom and don't live in squalor like blow-ins) :lol:

We have now insulated the rest of the roof space and it has made a big difference to the two rooms that were without.

Now the spare room is a bit warmer, I can go back on the game in there to earn enough money to pay for the heating oil.

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Re: What do you heat your home with and what does it cost??

Post: # 269893Post KathyLauren »

gregorach wrote:
KeithBC wrote:We have electric heat for backup. It is $0.10 a kWh, but I don't know how much of the electric bill is heat and how much is other use.
It's pretty straightforward to work out if you take your own meter readings... Take a monthly (or even better, weekly) reading, then you can see what your average baseline is during the summer, and how much it increases during the winter. OK, some of that increase will be down to extra lighting, but that will be relatively insignificant compared to heating and hot water.

If you want to get a handle on your energy use, taking your own readings regularly is probably the most important first step. Once you've got a decent baseline, you can then see how much effect any changes you make have. Tracking improvements to heating or insulation is a little trickier, as you need to compensate for how cold it is, but once you've got the data, there's a lot you can do.
I don't take my own meter readings, but our electric bill shows a histogram graph of electricity use per billing period for the last year. I did this calculation recently for real estate purposes, assuming that the difference between the summer low and the winter high was due to heat and hot water. Some of it is also due to running lights longer in winter, but that should be a minimal part of the total.

The total came out to $1200 per year in electric heat. Plus about $600 per year for wood.

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Re: What do you heat your home with and what does it cost??

Post: # 270183Post clare »

We used to use 2 fill ups a year in oil which is £1000+ but we had to cut back when Hubby was in and out of work.We have got it down to 1 and a half but reducing the hours it is on (1.30h in the morning and 3 hours in the evening 5 till 8pm) all other times we light the woodburner with free wood from work(hubby is in building) and pallets and off cuts from a local company it is a waste product for them.a few free logs too here and there.We could reduce it more and just have hot water and 3 hours a day but we are managing ok so will look again when we are due our next oil in Feb.We are away over christmas for the first time ever to My parents so will save by turning it all off then.I can see how people just don't turn on atall as it is getting harder each year to afford.
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Re: What do you heat your home with and what does it cost??

Post: # 272133Post GeorgeSalt »

Just had a shock.. bought some anthracite to try firing the multifuel 24/7 and really make a dent in the gas bill. Looks like it swallows about 25kg/day, or about £10-worth and I don't think I'm firing it that hard. Looks like I'll be on the scrounge for more wood. We've managed to fill the wood shed with mostly-free greenwood (mostly by accosting on the street anyone we see up a tree with a saw) that we're cutting and splitting. Greenwood is certainly cheap this way, but we're going to have to sit on it until next year at least to dry it out. It's not helping that a failure by the Woodland Trust to develop/communicate a response to Ash dieback has meant we've lost a season of our volunteer coppicing.
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Re: What do you heat your home with and what does it cost??

Post: # 272137Post Maykal »

Just ordered my quota of wood. Probably won't need much more this year, although I'll use some for the bread oven, wood range and BBQs during the year. For 10m3 stere of wood I'll pay £100 plus £40 for transport and probably another £10 for someone with a chainsaw to cut it up into shorter lengths (it comes in 1m logs) and stack it neatly. I reckon that'll last me a couple of years.

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Re: What do you heat your home with and what does it cost??

Post: # 272144Post doofaloofa »

We burn wood from the wood lot. 1.5(?) acres of mixed.

Last year it cost me about €85 in fuel, lube, wear and tear

50 hrs of labour estimated

We will also burn about €30 in peat brickets, to keep it in at night etc.

I also built a well insulated house
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