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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

PLEASE NOTE: A download link for Volume 1 will be sent to you by email and Volume 2 will be sent to you by post as a book.

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    • CommentAuthorDiarmid
    • CommentTimeFeb 8th 2021
     
    Thanks for your responses...green issues are in my thoughts obviously but not at any cost.

    The house is well insulated <5 years old, a rubble stone converted farm building with additions Single storied. It's south facing and sits about 550ft - very exposed to the SW, in West Central Scotland. We've got triple glazing. This is a second home but we plan to retire here in a year or so's time. My estimation for energy use is a guesstimate based on the consumption now (we're here most weekends). We have a wood burner too. Water is heated by LPG. Shower only no bath. Electric hob.

    I am minded to include some PV on the south facing roof, to run an air pump on the sewage system (80W) but runs 24/7 and put the rest to heating water. I've no idea of costs really but ASHP or GSHP + PV might be a good investment of my retirement fund given the poor return on savings/investments etc.
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeFeb 8th 2021
     
    I my case when I looked at good quality appropriately large sized A2W heat pumps they were somewhere between
    £ 8-10K plus fitting additions etc, and if I'd gone down the split route there's the "F" gas fitter fees. I imagined waving goodbye to £12K +, hence my current number crunching exercise.
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeFeb 8th 2021
     
    Posted By: Diarmid…PV might be a good investment of my retirement fund given the poor return on savings/investments etc
    Indeed, I'd say they're one of the few index-linked pensions most of us can buy.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeFeb 8th 2021
     
    Posted By: Ed DaviesIndeed, I'd say they're one of the few index-linked pensions most of us can buy.

    The state pension is the bargain of this or last century. Definitely pay that to the max.
  1.  
    How is PV "index linked"? FITs have long since ended.The price of electricity can go up as well as down.

    When I looked it would cost £4k to install panels to generate 4000kWh/a which currently pays 5p/kWh, so £200/a. So it takes 20 years even to recover the cost of the panels and break even, nevermind make any return on the investment, and that's if the inverter lasts that long and you don't move house. If PV were a goldmine then there would be a goldrush of goldminers, but I haven't seen that for last few years...

    State pension is a bargain for the generation claiming it, possibly less so for the generation who are paying for it with not much prospect of getting it themselves, but let's not get too political on GBF 🙂

    I advise everyone not to take investment advice from my comments on this internet forum, or any other...
    • CommentAuthorDiarmid
    • CommentTimeFeb 8th 2021
     
    Seems I've opened a can of worms apologies.
    • CommentAuthorJeff B
    • CommentTimeFeb 8th 2021
     
    Posted By: Ed Davies
    Posted By: Diarmid…PV might be a good investment of my retirement fund given the poor return on savings/investments etc
    Indeed, I'd say they're one of the few index-linked pensions most of us can buy.


    I'd say it WAS one of the few index-linked pensions most of us can buy but not any more for the reason WillinAberdeen has stated. I was one who was lucky enough to have enough savings to invest in PV solar at the very beginning of the FIT scheme (2011). It currently pays 55p per kWh and our system generates approx 3100 kWh p.a. However my system (4.2kWp) cost a hefty £16,000 (21 x 180W panels and 21 x microinverters), so the system has not quite paid for itself yet - another year or so I think. The next 14 years or so will see a return on the investment, assuming I'm still alive and kicking by the end of that period! If we sell up in the meantime and downsize then the next occupant will reap the benefit. Hopefully that may be an additional selling point for the property. As I understand it at the moment it doesn't make a ha'pence of difference to potential house buyers. But then most people are only interested in the size of the kitchen and whether there is a hot tub on the patio!
  2.  
    No worries Diarmid!

    If your house does consume about 16000kWh each year as Ed worked out, and if the price for LPG remains 7p/kWh and for ASHP heat is 5p/kWh (midpoint of figures above) then you can save 2p x 16000kWh over seven years*= £2,000

    Plus RHI of 10.85p x 16000kWh for seven years = £12,000

    So you could get some quotes and see whether a ASHP costs no more than £14,000 more than a new LPG boiler. Remember to include for a hot water cylinder and bigger radiators or UFH if you need them.

    Then factor it against your other investment opportunities! 🙂 Good luck,

    *Seven years is the lifetime of the RHI
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeFeb 9th 2021
     
    Posted By: WillInAberdeenHow is PV "index linked"?
    Because you still have energy, even if there's hyper inflation. Nothing to do with the FiTs.
    • CommentAuthordereke
    • CommentTimeFeb 9th 2021
     
    Posted By: Jeff BIf we sell up in the meantime and downsize then the next occupant will reap the benefit.


    I was lucky enough to buy a house that had solar installed on the original FiT. The payments pay for all our electricity usage and that is with an ASHP (non RHI) and electric car. The solar wasn't the selling point but it was definitely appreciated.

    ASHPs can be installed quite economically, you just have to forgo the RHI and manage the project.
  3.  
    Posted By: Ed Davies
    Posted By: WillInAberdeenHow is PV "index linked"?
    Because you still have energy, even if there's hyper inflation. Nothing to do with the FiTs.
    But that's not index linked? If the price of off-peak energy continues to fall in the future or frequently goes negative, then an investment in PV was a big waste of money....?

    Whereas if you had FITs, they'd keep on paying in real terms, irrespective of electricity prices or RPI, so your investment is more certain to pay back.

    It would be 'index linked' if what you pay for energy varies in proportion to an index, such as RPI/CPI, ideally the same index that your pension is linked to, if you have one. You can do this if energy forms the same proportion of your spending as it does of the inflation 'basket' - so don't own a house or car that imports a lot more energy than everyone else, or a lot less.

    Edit to add: we recently sold a house, rented a house and then bought a house, and energy efficiency made not a jot of difference to any of the prices :cry:
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeFeb 9th 2021
     
    Posted By: WillInAberdeenBut that's not index linked? If the price of off-peak energy continues to fall in the future or frequently goes negative, then an investment in PV was a big waste of money....?
    My original comment was some tongue in cheek so let's not get too technical but the point is that the value of PV is linked to price of energy. Fair enough, if energy prices go down then their value goes down. How many think that's likely long term and overall (not just for periods of a few hours now and then until the energy system adjusts to the amount of renewables)?
    • CommentAuthorphiledge
    • CommentTimeFeb 9th 2021
     
    With a significant migration to electric power where that power can be consumed off peak, I cant see the low off peak rates lasting more than a few years. I certainly wouldnt be personally planning any power usage schemes based on cheap off peak rates.
  4.  
    Yes, it's a bit of a gamble!
    If you bet that off-peak prices will get higher, then buy solar PV.
    If you bet that off-peak prices will get lower, then buy a big thermal store and an electric car.

    If like me you'd rather not gamble with your pension then buy dereke's house with FITs! Or buy an ashp and claim RHI. Both are index linked.

    We discussed a few times recently that people will not build enough storage unless off-peak prices stay low, and if not enough storage is built then off-peak prices will get lower. I think they'll get lower, but I wouldn't bet on it.
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