I’ve always had relatively high electricity usage (averaging over 1000 kWh per month) and even that is probably less than it was 5-10 years ago when I ran many devices 24/7 including a Mac Pro that would have served as a small room heater as well as a media server/media encoder for video!
As prices have gone up over the years I’ve cut back on many electrical things I used to take for granted.
Over the spring/summer we were probably using 25-30 kWh/day when I identified a few items such as multiple fridges/freezers as high consumption devices.
Log burners have kept us relatively warm during the mild autumn, but solid fuel costs have gone up significantly.
I think we’d got accustomed to wearing more layers in recent months or had simply acclimatised to 18-19C.
This cold snap has really put the cat amongst the pigeons as we’ve suddenly needed to supplement with electric heating which is naturally expensive.
Unsure if it’s because the fabric of the house had already dropped to much lower temps than normal but it seems to have taken ages over the last few days to get to a comfortable ambient temperature.
Electric usage has jumped from 30-40 kWh/day to 99 kWh in the last 30 hours
I’m hoping I’ve patched a significant potential draft source earlier tonight but we’ll have to see, it may just be that the place has now reached an acceptable baseline temp.
So just wondering, how much would you estimate heating is costing you currently?
Until the last few days it’s been maybe £10-15/day during November, I’d now estimate the last 24 hours would have been around £35 Hardly what I’d want to pay and there will be millions who will be considerably worse off or won’t be able to heat their homes at all, but crikey these energy costs are crazy. We knew it was coming, but you have to wonder how much worse it might get.
It is certainly getting expensive. We’ve taken measures to keep costs down, to the point where our total energy use is significantly less than last year. Unfortunately it is significantly more expensive.
However, we anticipate we will still be spending less than 12 years ago when we were living in the rural and using LPG for heating and Calor Gas for cooking.
Anyway, what’s it costing us now? For a reasonably large 5 bedroom house in the suburbs, October was less than £10 a day, November was less than £15 a day, and so far December is £17 - £21 a day.
We feel very blessed to be able to soak these costs up, but could cry for those faced with horrible choices.
It’s not just you guys in the UK that are having to deal with skyrocketing energy costs think it’s a world wide issue. Hopefully when we start building some time next year we’ll be doing all we can to keep energy costs down. Apart from making sure that everything is well insulated we’ll be installing solar and more than likely include batteries. As gas costs are also increasing I’m going to forgo my beloved gas cooktop in fav of an induction model although I’m still to find one I like.
Costs are just crazy. And not everyone has renewable options available.
I had set aside a sizable sum for solar on a new build only to find that with a town house in an extremely snowy climate, it’s just not doable. Panels have to be angled to remove snow. And you cannot just have the snow slide into the neighbour’s property or roof. And you cannot angle it forward or it blocks the street and the council take you to court.
The best we could manage was a gas electric nexus that allows us to generate our own power from mains gas at times the grid power per Kwh is more than we can generate on-site. But neither is ever cheap and certainly not eco-friendly.
I poured all the money from the scuppered solar project into very high end German insulation and triple glazing.
@Pete_the_painter I swore off IH hobs like they were the devil’s invention and gave my wife years of “real cooks use gas blah blah blah”. On our last property we had a Panasonic all metal IH (works with any type of metal not just iron or steel) and I had to eat my words. It was so much better than gas in every conceivable way I was just gutted when 6 years later we moved to temporary accommodation with gas hobs - which I curse every day for the crappy heat control, difficulty cleaning etc. My advice is make the plunge.
We’ve gone for a Miele IH hob that is shallow and very wide for the new place so all the pots go in row and you never have to reach over a hot pot to the back burner. But set the whole thing back a bit so handles never poke over the counter.
We have a particularly heavy annual draw of 18,000kWh to run a server and datacentre backup site for my business. A couple of years ago I put in 20 panels and a Tesla battery and upgraded with another 14 panels and another Tesla battery. Over the really poor winter we had this year my grid power draw was down to about 900kWh a month and from October the power company has been paying me for my exported power. Although the investment of about $45k NZ Dollars is heavy, I have only ever seen power prices go up and never down despite all assurances that tax payer mega infrastructure expenditure will bring prices down. So the hope is that after 12 years the investment will be repaid.
I’ve often wondered how colder climates manage to reduce their energy consumption/costs. You’d have to rely on good insulation and other methods which I’m sure are about, but it’s like all these things it’s the initial cost that most people bulk at.
As for the induction cooktops I’ve heard all these recommendations but to date the only 2 I’ve used were painful. We have one in the house we’re currently renting and I’ve found it either full blast or it’s off. A friend just built a house and he installed an expensive option and I found that externally hard to regulate as well.
Unfortunately I can’t tell what our heating / hot water cost is at present, our boiler uses oil and tank only filled up once or twice a year - the shock will come when we next fill up maybe about late Jan or Feb - I just hope the cold snap doesn’t extend to become a colder than average winter, especially for those worse off than we are.
Recent electricity bill (cooking + fridge/freezers and leisure things) was the highest ever on recent bill, at £360 for quarter to mid Nov.
One telling thing on local buy and sell site, someone offering something, not for money but in exchange for food.
In our last house our average power bill was around $1,000 per quarter, we installed 27 solar panels and the bill came down to around $280. With increasing energy costs these options are paying for themselves a lot quicker than 5 or years ago.
Although in Australia we blessed with a lot of sunlight (mostly) and the winters aren’t as cold or long as you guys in the UK or Canada.
How very strange. Are you sure you aren’t somehow triggering boost on and off without properly turning the ring on? Ours is fully controllable 9 settings from very low to high, two of the four having a boost function (from memory giving something like 5.5KW per ring) at an additional touch. Other people’s we’ve seen in use much the same. Ours must be about 15 years old now.
I’m pretty sure the one here isn’t very expensive and more than likely has an issue. However my mates place was more worrying as it’s new and expensive. It may have been operated error but I did struggle to regulate it. Very frustrating.
Indeed. Ours had 10 power settings for each hob and they were totally linear. They gave near instant change in heat with setting 1 mild enough to not scorch a cat’s whiskers (or milk in a saucepan).
I once had a non IH electric hob that had the problem @Pete_the_painter described though. It was totally all or nothing.
I find witch gas, turning heat up or down also changes the heat area. Turn it down to lowest setting and you still git this hit little ring in the centre and the outside edge of the pan is cold. Turn it up high and you get a big hot ring around the outer edge and a cool spot in the middle. With IH, the heat is even across most of the surface at all settings.
Our house is electric only, reasonably large (3500sq foot or so) and has very large original single pain windows. We use about 25,000 kWh electricity per year.
Despite putting in 2 ASHP instead of electric radiators, an 8kW solar array and 13.5kW, usage in November was about £750. December will be higher I suspect. Doesn’t help that my inverter has gone offline, so the batteries have been “off” for a few weeks (I have them set to charge up overnight at 22p kWh, then discharge during the day to replace the 35p kWh rate). New inverter being fitted today, fingers crossed.
I’m using £5-6 per day with the gas central heating during this cold spell. That’s with it on 24/7, living and dining at 21C, rest of house a few degrees cooler
Three bed semi with 9 rads (TRV’d), 18mm double-glazing, a bit of extra loft insulation including the hatch.
As part of my recent move, I changed from a gas hob to an induction hob. It was a bit of a learning curve to adjust to it but once I did I am really pleased I did and wouldn’t go back now. I bought a fairly expensive John Lewis cooker that has a boost function on the rings which I really like and is great for boiling water for pasta and veg, it is also good for stir-frying. Whilst I had some pans that were induction ready I did need to replace several.
As for the cost of heating, I seem to be likely to be spending double what I spent last year but this is hard to judge as I am in a new home, so do not have the historical data to go by, just the estimate of what my usage will be from the gas and electricity supplier.
Given all the advice over many years, at least in UK, about making homes more thermally efficient, with repeated availability of government grants to assist, I’ve been surprised at quoted figures showing the number of homes with negligible or none, not even a basic level of loft insulation.
Some friends and family didn’t understand why when I moved into this house 12 yeas ago We had triple glazing fitted throughout and lined the walls with 50-75mm of PIR/Phenolic insulation board, 100mm PIR under floor as well as having cavity wall insulation, and put 450 mm fibreglass in the loft. They called it the Kingspan house.
When this time last year we started working out how to do much the same to my son’s old Victorian house he’d just bought, though with solid walls we planned an air gap and 75-125 PIR for walls, and not changing the double glazed windows, my wife and I were called the Kingspan King & Queen!
My answer to all the gentle mocking was that one additional thing that is certain in life as well as death and taxes is that energy costs will always rise. Little did I know how fast and sharp that could be. I never considered payback time, just long term financial stability and comfort. Payback time at prices even a year ago would have been decades - but if energy prices remain at levels they are reaching now that would be reduced by a large factor. I can only commend to anyone insulate, insulate, insulate (it will reduce heat gain in hot countries, too). Interesting the UK government’s recent commitment, given the pressure group demanding that just a few months earlier, that was being put down a few months ago and demands ignored.
Triple glazing is wonderful, too, for comfort as well as energy efficiency, but is a lot more expensive than double. Most particularly for anyone with single glazing, if too expensive to change for at least double, or limited scope for practical reasons, then surely advice has to be to add secondary glazing to make double. Even 50 years ago you could buy simple DIY DG kits to fit clear acrylic sheets over windows, removable when not needed.
It is bad over here as well, with costs per Kwh probably even higher than in the UK. But it really pays off to have proper insulation. We live in a passive house of some 190sqm (or 2050sqft) and pay little over €1,000 for energy - per year. This will rise to €1,600 in 2023, but still OK. Of the 4,200Kwh we use in total some 60% go into the heat pump, the bulk of the rest goes into cooking and hifi.
We are upgrading insulation in our 26 meters of eves cupboards (chalet design) because when built in 1989 only 100mm of fibreglass was used between the rafters. The loft was upgraded under a Government scheme. The company doing the eves said that many people reject their quotes not wanting to pay the £100 contribution required under the scheme! No doubt many were eligible for free loft and cavity wall insulation.
Hand in hand with heating costs is air conditioning. Not as vital in the UK but that can change pretty fast.
To that end, insulation to keep heat in and reflective cladding to keep heat out. Much harder in areas with brick or stone aesthetic I admit. Our climate swings pretty far between winter and summer so the energy bill only gies down in soring and autumn. I had to toss up between “tasteful” and “sod it. go all out on lowering energy” and went the latter. Silver reflective cladding. Probably about as undesirable as you might imagine but the cost to saving ratio couldn’t be ignored.
So many modern new homes are built without eaves too which, from an energy saving perspective, seems nuts. They really have a dramatic impact on energy consumption.