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

A chance to meet up with friends and have a chat - a general space with the freedom to talk about anything.

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

Postby diggernotdreamer » Sun Nov 18, 2012 10:49 am

We reconnected our central heating back up four weeks ago. We are on oil here, we only lived in the house for 1 year, before totally gutting the place, and we used the range that was in the kitchen complete with back boiler to keep the rads warm and used the oil for a boost, the house was so freezing cold all the time, we found lots of scrap wood in the barn to burn for some time so we have no idea how much it costs to heat a house with oil. We had gas c/h in our cottage in England, we only put it on sometimes as we had a woodburning stove. Every week we would collect pallets from our local builders merchants and cut them up on the bandsaw to burn. Our gas bill even in winter was at most 60 quid for the quarter including the standing charges. During our house restoration, we dry lined the house and used between 4-6" of insulation in the walls, still got some of the roof cavity to do and you notice in the room where it hasn't been done how much chillier it is.

Since 17th October, we have used about 102 litres of oil, we have had it on for two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening, we have cut that down in the last week to 1 hour am and pm. The cost per litre is euro 1.15 (although we have oil in our tank from 3 years ago which was about 68c litre then) so in four weeks we have used about 118 euro worth of oil. We will also have the woodstove at some stage, but my worry with that is where to get the wood, we still collect a few pallets but not that many, we don't own a woodland and the willow and ash I am planting are still very small. If everyone started burning wood which seems to be the trend at the moment, wouldn't public trees be at risk of being cut down by wood foragers?? The spruce trees in the forestry near us don't produce great heat, if we want to keep the fire in all night, we put some turf briquettes in the stove and a bale of those costs us 3.70 and usually lasts 2.5 days. I heard the other day that if you spend over 10% of your income on heating you are in fuel poverty, 30 euro a week is put on the electric card and 29.50 at the moment a week for oil, we are spending 20 per cent of our income at present. We keep our immersion on all the time now as we found it used less electric that way rather than heating a tank of water when we wanted a shower.

What does your heating cost and what kind do you have, do you think our oil useage is high? how do you cope with heating a house on a limited budget. :scratch:
User avatar
diggernotdreamer
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1003
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2012 10:23 pm
Location: North West Ireland

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

Postby berry » Sun Nov 18, 2012 10:58 am

ive "just" replaced my boiler - previous one was from the 1990's and on that boiler my bill was £400 +the monthly direct debits id been paying at £45 a month. the gas company now want me to pay a £100 a month for my gas as thats what my usage is!! - ive not even taken into account my electricity usage.

i dont know what my usage on my new boiler is as it only got connected up on friday. all i know its an eco combi boiler so compare that to my ancient one and hotwater tank... im hoping the costs drop!

ive decided im now going to replace my gas fire and have an open fire in the living room(actually its more like just a studio space now)

right now i dont know how im going to continue keeping the house warm. woolly jumpers and duvets and hot water bottles when watching films are the way to go it seems.
User avatar
berry
Tom Good
Tom Good
 
Posts: 87
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2012 1:00 pm
Location: devon

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

Postby boboff » Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:07 am

Mate, I feel your pain.
With our LPG on similar times we use about 200 liters a months, but that includes the hob.
I burn coal which costs about £24 a week.
Electric is about £70 a month, so in the winter I reckon we spend getting on for £270 a month on energy.
I find I burn logs in the "autumn and spring" but can't keep it in all day, and overnight, so use coal instead.
I find that you have to with old houses have a low and constant heat applied to warm the walls and stop condensation. Otherwise we get nasty mould everywhere.

So I reckon I spend £2500 a year on fuel, and as a household we earn enough to keep us out of poverty.

This is 100% more than it was say 5 years ago.

So the issue is your income not your heating system!

I sometimes look at 2 Bed new builds very enviously!
Millymollymandy wrote:Bloody smilies, always being used. I hate them and they should be banned.
No I won't use a smiley because I've decided to turn into Boboff, as he's turned all nice all of a sudden. Grumble grumble.

http://boboffs.blogspot.co.uk/
User avatar
boboff
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
 
Posts: 1793
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:29 am
Location: Gunnislake,Cornwall

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

Postby Maykal » Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:32 am

I have terracotta wood stoves in my house in the country, although I'm not living there full time yet as it's still a work in progress. Last time I was there I got the wood stoves going to get an idea of consumption and heating capacity. I fed the one in the bedroom for about 90 minutes, using on average 8 30cm-long logs (or partial logs). This raised the temperature in the room from 14C to 24C and maintained the temp at above 20c until late afternoon the following day with no added wood. I calculated there are about 220 of these pieces of wood in a cubic metre of wood (including airspace).

Ok, so from now on it's mostly predictive as I've yet to spend a whole winter there and when it gets really cold (like -20C outside) the consumption will be double. But if I run 4 wood stoves per day heating the pertinent parts of the house (the kitchen one doubles as a cooker - great for stews, roasts and soups in the winter) for a period of 3 months, averaging 12 pieces per stove per firing, I would need about 20m3 which would cost about 175 pounds. The chances are that I wouldn't have all four stoves going every day but I might fire the kitchen twice per day when it's cold (once in the morning and once late afternoon/tea time).

Hot water will come from an electric boiler, so they'll be that to factor in too, although in the future I might get a combi wood/electric boiler for the hot water system.

Back in the city I live in a block and the heating is metered and comes from a boiler facility down the road. It's not a bad system really as there are no maintenance costs, just a standing fee (about 2 pounds/month during winter), a communal heating fee (cos you benefit from communal areas being heated and the flats around you (about 5 pounds/month)) and then your own consumption which is measured by a little gadget attached to the front of each radiator which is then read remotely by the metre reader guy without him having to knock or enter the flat. It's normally turned on in Nov and off in March, so 5 months, and I pay an average of about 12-15 pounds per month (I don't like it too hot inside, 19-20C is perfect). Again, hot water is completely separate.

Mike
User avatar
Maykal
Barbara Good
Barbara Good
 
Posts: 185
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2012 4:36 am
Location: Romania

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

Postby demi » Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:45 am

We heat our house with wood. No contral heating. We have a wood burning cooker in the kitchen/livingroom and we keep the door shut and spend all our time in there. We have other wood burners in the bedrooms but we are trying to save wood so we aren't lighting them right now. It's not that cold yet so i think we can probably get away with it till December and the first snow falls.
Just now we've moved the baby's cot into the livingroom and im putting him to sleep in there because it's too cold for him in the bedrooms. We are sleeping togther with our 5 year old daughter in our bed in the unheated bedroom.
There's not been any sun this week so the solar pannels aren't heating the water and i'v got a gient pot of water keeping hot on the stove and i bath the kids in a bucket on the kitchen floor in front of the fire. I had to wash my hair in the bucket yesterday too. It's possible to switch the electric boiler on but electricity here is a rediculous price, the government own a monopoly on the electricity so there's no competition to drive prices down and they just keep putting it up and up. We also have a plug in electric oil radiator but again we don't use it because it cost too much to run.
We've got quite a bit of wood from the orchard and from clearing the land and my husband is going to go looking for wood to 'forridge' up the lane towards the lake because there are forestry commision trees up there that they are allways cutting down and re planting.
We buy in logs too, need to ask my husband how much they cost but i know it's by cubic meter.
I can go through quite a lot of logs in a day because cooking on the stove takes a lot of wood. I maybe go through up to 10 logs plus lots of wee bits to get it really hot for cooking.
I remember my husband saying 5o euros a month would cover all the logs. We 'earn' 200 euros a month from property we rent out plus whatever we sell from the orchard which would maybe work out as somthing like another 10 euros a month. I think we are living in fule ppoverty, but so is everyone else here! It's just somthing you have to deal with. And even if we couldn't afford to buy any logs we still have some from our orchard and we are planting more fast growing trees for fire wood in the future. I'd love to be self-sufficient in wood, that would be brilliant and its somthing we should aim for :flower:
Last edited by demi on Sun Nov 18, 2012 2:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Tim Minchin - The Good Book
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kr1I3mBojc0

'If you just close your eyes and block your ears, to the acumulated knowlage of the last 2000 years,
then morally guess what your off the hook, and thank Christ you only have to read one book'
User avatar
demi
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
 
Posts: 1124
Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 6:03 pm
Location: Prilep, Macedonia

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

Postby Odsox » Sun Nov 18, 2012 12:59 pm

diggernotdreamer wrote:Since 17th October, we have used about 102 litres of oil, we have had it on for two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening, we have cut that down in the last week to 1 hour am and pm. The cost per litre is euro 1.15 (although we have oil in our tank from 3 years ago which was about 68c litre then) so in four weeks we have used about 118 euro worth of oil.

When we first moved here 18 years ago I installed oil central heating, oil at that time was 16 Irish pence a litre. I ripped it all out about 6 years ago and sold the oil fired Rayburn for nearly what I paid for it (nice!) and not regretted it at all.
All the windows have now been replaced and 4 years ago I had cavity insulation and loft insulated courtesy of SEI.
The thing that works really well here is night storage radiators, although I know a lot of people hate them. We have a large one in the hall/passage that links all the rooms, one in this computer room and a small one in the bathroom. All of them are fixed to inside walls and more or less heat the structure of the house as well as the air.
In the sitting room there is just a small woodburner which in really cold weather also burns ecobrite, but at other times burns our own wood but is usually only lit for a couple of hours at most and then allowed to go out and it stays warm for the rest of the evening. To be fair, the storage rads do the work as the whole house never drops below 18 degrees.

Do some research on storage radiators, our last year's ESB bill for night heating was €507 from September 2011 to May 2012 and for probably 6 bags of Ecobrite @ €17.00 per 40Kg bag makes our monthly heating bill about €73.00.
(Night heating rate with Airtricity is 8.41c per unit (just gone up from 8.04))

Edit; If you do research this, make sure you specify "Night Storage Heating" and NOT "off peak". Off peak has a separate standing charge where NSH has no extra charge.
Tony

Disclaimer: I almost certainly haven't a clue what I'm talking about.
User avatar
Odsox
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3881
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 2:21 pm
Location: West Cork, Ireland

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

Postby The Riff-Raff Element » Sun Nov 18, 2012 4:29 pm

We heat using wood. This is a big old farm house - four bedrooms, three large downstairs rooms. We have a big range in the kitchen that does the bulk of the work and that feeds ten radiators and the hot water tank as well as being used for cooking. We have solar panels feeding the hot water tank too.

For when things get really cold we have a woodburner in the living room. Overall we get through about €1050 worth of wood per year. We had oil burning until 2007 and at today's prices for oil for heating and hot water we would be paying at least €1800. We've done a fair bit to improve the insulation and will do more.
User avatar
The Riff-Raff Element
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
 
Posts: 1650
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2008 8:27 pm
Location: South Vendée, France

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

Postby merlin » Sun Nov 18, 2012 4:39 pm

We buy ten cubic’s of oak a year, that comes ready cut and split to what we want. That more than does us because out of that comes the wood for the still man and the wood for canning. That is 65 levs a cubic, so 650 levs per year (£270). The hot water is heated through the fire - boiler as well as the solar tubes on the roof. That set up was about £800 in English money, and I am so pleased with that. We estimate our electric bill is between £16- 22 a month. We have a gas hob with runs really well on the bottle gas we buy for it. We use two ish, say three bottles of gas per year, a bottle is about 15 levs (so about £18 a year for gas). So I recon we are about £500 a year.
Last edited by merlin on Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
A few short films of us making home made food and drink in Bulgaria
http://inbulgaria.co.uk/
User avatar
merlin
Living the good life
Living the good life
 
Posts: 243
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2012 9:52 am
Location: Bulgaria

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

Postby Minnesota » Sun Nov 18, 2012 7:02 pm

Minnesota can be cold. Lakes are usually frozen over for 4 months of the winter. Winter fishing, through a hole in the ice, is a big sport here. Anyway, I burn wood that I am able to get for free from various sources, the easiest is from the City's compost site, after a storm people cut up downed trees and bring them there to get rid of them. ALSO when the city cut's trees from the boulevards, they haul them there. I usually cut enough for myself... 3 cords (or 11 cubic meters), that'll last the winter, I usually sell any extra I get, that helps pay for chainsaw chains,gas, and oil. My house also has a central natural Gas furnace...if I keep the wood stove going most of the time, my Gas bill is usually about $20 per month during the cold months. I also cook with natural gas and run the clothes dryer (on rainy days).
User avatar
Minnesota
Living the good life
Living the good life
 
Posts: 246
Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2009 7:59 pm
Location: Minnesota, USA

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

Postby wabbit955 » Sun Nov 18, 2012 8:36 pm

gas cental heating and the odd real fire
gas cost me £16 in summer months and between £25 and 45 in winter do have a real fire but that only get lite weekends and hoildays
and normal a burn logs and bricks made from paper
Darn that Wabbit
User avatar
wabbit955
Living the good life
Living the good life
 
Posts: 415
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:49 am
Location: essex

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

Postby me-o-matic » Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:57 am

When we bought our house it had an oil tank and boiler.

A few years later, mains gas came to our area and I decided to hook up to it and replace the oil boiler with a gas one, even though it was working perfectly well. We find it convenient (no tank filling) and efficient.

I sold the oil boiler.

We also have a multi-fuel (wood) stove in our living room. It is more of a secondary heat system, but generally we use the gas to heat up the house for a while, then turn it off about 5 or 6 and use the residual heat.... but put on the wood burner and just all congregate in the living room.

I am starting a willow coppice (1 acre) to provde "free" fuel for the burner.
User avatar
me-o-matic
margo - newbie
margo - newbie
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:28 am
Location: Dublin, Ireland

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

Postby merlin » Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:30 pm

We were interested in starting a willow coppice, does anybody have any idea what the yield would be per 1000m2
A few short films of us making home made food and drink in Bulgaria
http://inbulgaria.co.uk/
User avatar
merlin
Living the good life
Living the good life
 
Posts: 243
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2012 9:52 am
Location: Bulgaria

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

Postby GeorgeSalt » Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:33 pm

Gas central heating.. but this year we've added a woodburner in the living room which puts out enough heat so that of the doors are all open most of the house has been warm with the central heationg on for only a couple of hours before we get up in the morning. How it will cope with the winter remains to be seen, but given the constant rise in price in gas it's nice to have an independent source of heat for warmth and cooking. Through a conscious effort (and a slightly milder winter) we reduced gas consumption last year by 30% compared to the previous winter, yet the price remained the same.

I was reminded to post on this thread just now.. a local tree surgeon rang the bell looking for business. Whilst I have no work for him (we'll top the birches he can see from the road ourselves) he has noted out address so that he can drop off any logs from trees he fells in the area. As a business he has to pay to take wood to the tip - even though they'll chip and compost it - so without a yard to sell logs from (or space to season them) it's cheaper for him to have a network of folk with woodburners that are happy to take unseasoned wood for free.

The planned extension to the woodstore just doubled in size in my mind..


Merlin - how long a rotation are you planning? Are you going to chip and burn, or do you need a decent sized log for burning?
Curently collecting recipes for The Little Book of Liqueurs..
GeorgeSalt
Living the good life
Living the good life
 
Posts: 425
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2012 10:21 am
Location: West Norfolk, UK

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

Postby Stonehead » Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:44 pm

We use about 1,500 litres of heating kerosene a year. The heating runs for two hours in the morning, two in the evening. House temperature is usually around 13-14C in winter, although the kitchen drops to 8-9C overnight. The bathroom pipes freeze in the coldest weather. The main house is stone, but with a modern roof done nine years ago. The dining room, kitchen and bathroom are in modern cavity wall extensions. However, the dodgy builders who did the work didn’t put insulation in even though it was required—they used a bit around doorways, windows and inspection holes where the council inspector would see it and that was it. The council signed the work off as up to spec and our surveyor didn’t pick it up when we bought the house so we get to live in a cold house. (I knew about the roof but only found out about the walls two weeks ago when I opened one up.)

Our heating costs are lower than the previous owners, though, as we put solar hot water in as soon as we bought the house and that works well from April/May through to October. The last owners used 6,000 litres of kerosene in the year before we bought the house, but they had the thermostats set to 24C. (That would be around £3,500 a year based on current prices!)

We’ve had the flue repaired for the Victorian cast iron range, too. It burns wood and keeps the eastern end of the old house very cosy as well as being a useful backup cooker.

The cavity walls can be filled with sprayed in insulation. The rest of the house would need to be gutted to insulate it, due to upstairs rooms being directly under the rafters with no loft space and the walls being solid stone.

GeorgeSalt, the tree surgeons up here sell the wood—no freebies even if they haven’t the space for seasoning and have to pay for disposal.
Image
User avatar
Stonehead
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
 
Posts: 2432
Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2006 2:31 pm
Location: Scotland

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

Postby KeithBC » Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:02 pm

We heat mostly with wood. We burn about 4.5 cords per winter. We buy about 2/3 of it at $200 a cord; the rest is salvaged from blowdowns or pruning.

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.

We have solar for hot water. In summer, it is almost 100% solar. It came on last week briefly when we got a thin spot in the clouds, but that doesn't happen much this time of year. For the next couple of months, it will be shaded by trees. Our backup is electric, at the same $0.10 per kWh.
User avatar
KeithBC
Living the good life
Living the good life
 
Posts: 336
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2009 11:57 pm
Location: East Coast of Canada

Next

Return to The ish Local - (Chat)

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


.






Ishers books

Adverts (paying the bills)


Find Selfsufficientish on facebook