Electric Heating for a house

I have a friend who has asked me advice on his heating. The house has no ga s, and has a mixture of storage heating and a wood burner back boiler drivi ng some radiators for the rooms that don't have storage heaters. The house had economy 7 but the current supplier does not support it, though it still has a dual meter and teleswitch. The back boiler needs a constant supply of wood which is proving onerous. He needs a more controllable heat, he has an aging mother there too, and wo uld like to be able to turn on the storage heaters when he needs them, whic h involves bypassing the teleswitch but i am not sure if the bricks in the storage heaters would delay any heat output, we are trying to do this as ch eaply as possible. We could replace the radiators with electric ones or remove the bricks from the storage heaters and bypass the teleswitch and use the same wiring?
Replace the back boiler with an electric boiler and more rads? Any ideas for the cheapest option.
Thanks
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well that's a it dumb isn't it
given that you have a free choice in who supplied you

without buying a duel supply radiator tuning on the heaters during the day will be very slow to react. But it will keep the heat output a bit more constant.

will be very much more expensive to run
or would be if you were on the right tariff for the SRs

No don't do that. they are not designed to be used that way

can you not get bottled gas or oil?
tim
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On Mon, 20 Nov 2017 10:38:53 +0000, tim... wrote:
<snip>

Back in the day IIRC the cost for energy used to be (cheapest first):
Mains gas.
Mains electric.
Bulk gas or oil or solid fuel.
Bottled gas.
Wood is a bit of a funny one because it used to be dirt cheap but with all the trendy wood burners it is now very expensive in most areas.
If the list above is reasonably accurate then electric heating (of almost any sort) would be cheaper than bottled gas.
So one way would be to switch to a supplier with an Economy 7 tariff and run the storage heaters as normal, then top up during the day using fan heaters, oil filled radiators, whatever. Electric heaters for the rooms without storage heaters - storage radiators would be good if easy to fit.
Immersion heater for the hot water.
Run the wood burner for pleasure when there is cheap wood available, and get bonus hot water and radiators. Don't rely on it for the primary source of heating.
Cheers
Dave R
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On Monday, 20 November 2017 14:40:47 UTC, David WE Roberts (Google) wrote:

It depends what you get. Logs command a premium, but scrap wood is still free. The problem with wood is the amount of labour involved, but if you're chronically unemployed there's usually free wood available in most places.
NT
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I think you have oil in the wrong place
no-one would ever install an oil CH system if electric were cheaper
what would be the point?
tim
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On Mon, 20 Nov 2017 18:32:18 +0000, tim... wrote:

Good point; costs vary a lot over the decades.
From Which? - note the use of "gas even for oil."
"Annual cost of LPG The average annual cost for heating and hot water using LPG in the UK is £780* when consuming around 12,000 kWh of gas a year.
Read more: https://www.which.co.uk/reviews/home-heating-systems/article/ home-heating-systems/lpg-central-heating - Which?"
"Annual cost of heating oil The average annual cost for heating and hot water using heating oil in the UK is £466*, when consuming around 12,000 kWh of gas a year. £466 Average annual cost of heating and hot water using heating oil.
Read more: https://www.which.co.uk/reviews/home-heating-systems/article/ home-heating-systems/oil-central-heating - Which?"
"Annual cost of electricity The average annual cost for heating and hot water using electricity in the UK is £2,456 when consuming around 13,100 kWh a year*. This cost is just a guide to help you compare costs of different types of fuel. There are a number of factors that affect energy bills, including the age of a house and insulation, the efficiency of a hot water and heating system, and where you are in the UK. £2,456 The annual cost of heating and hot water using electricity
Read more: https://www.which.co.uk/reviews/home-heating-systems/article/ home-heating-systems/electric-central-heating - Which?"
OUCH! Interesting that oil is so much cheaper than gas at the moment. It throws your point back, I suppose. Why would anyone install LPG when oil is nearly half the price?
I wonder if oil and LPG prices don't track each other?
Revised answer - install an oil boiler and get payback in just a few years?
Interestingly
"Annual average cost of gas The average annual cost for heating and hot water using gas in the UK is £548 when consuming around 12,000 kWh a year*. Remember, this cost is just a guide to help you compare costs of different types of fuel. There are a number of factors that affect energy bills, including the age of your home and insulation, the efficiency of a hot water and heating system, and where you are in the UK. £548 The annual cost of heating and hot water using gas.
Read more: https://www.which.co.uk/reviews/home-heating-systems/article/ home-heating-systems/gas-central-heating - Which?"
Gurgle. This suggest that (if the figures are correct) that is currently cheaper to heat your home and hot water with oil than with mains gas. Which then prompts the question "why would anyone buy a gas boiler when oil is cheaper?". Yes, convenience and less price volatility, and no issues over storage, but still.....
Cheers
Dave R
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Oil cost great deal more a few years ago. And oil boilers cost about twice as much as mains gas boiler.
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Roger Hayter

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On 20/11/2017 22:02, Roger Hayter wrote:

And might the tank need replacing?
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I'm assuming that installing an oil heating boiler (and oil storage tank) is more difficult that an LPG gas boiler and storage shed for the "bottles".
but perhaps LPG when used as a CH fuel isn't delivered in bottles
tim
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[76 lines snipped]

No 'perhaps' about it. Big tank in the garden. Although you can bury them now, if you want.
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Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.
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On Mon, 20 Nov 2017 18:32:18 +0000, tim... wrote:

Just fond this! <https://www.confusedaboutenergy.co.uk/index.php/domestic-fuels/fuel- prices> my answer now is get a multi-fuel grate for the wood burner and burn coal - by far the cheapest fuel.
[Perhaps someone should tell the power generators.] ;-)
Cheers
Dave R
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Even burning an anthracite based smokeless fuel that is more expensive than plain coal we find it is much cheaper than electric and our Winter electric bill is considerably less than the summer one. The stove heats the domestic water during the winter months where as in the warmer months it is an immersion heater is used. And often a stew or other meal is cooked on it and a kettle is kept warm at the side ready to be heated up to temperature on the top so that is some more electric not used. No mains gas here so changing to oil or stored gas would involve a reasonably outlay. I also like the simplicity of the gravity HW system and dump radiator as if the electric fails it still works. Always buy the solid fuel ahead in the middle of Summer as our coal merchant discounts quite considerably. Did try some plain Kellingly coal a couple of years back delivered on a pallet from a merchant near the colliery but although we are far from smokeless zones it did stink outside a bit much to be acceptable and the ash disposal was a lot greater.
For the odd fire on a cool "summer" evening free wood gathered around while out walking is used, tend to have enough that it is seasoned for a least 2 years before use . The pile had got large enough that we did not start on the purchased solid fuel till about a week ago.
G.Harman
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wrote:

though unless things have changed
solid fuel boilers lack the automated control of liquid/gas fuels
tim
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wrote:

I don't know enough about them to comment how reliable they are in service but were there not hopper feed boilers available at one time, possibly still are. Need a fine fuel sold as beans, and wood chip/pellets are a solid fuel at the end of the day even though they may be wrapped in up in some eco description such as Biomass and full automatic boilers are advertised for that. But I would not dispute that once you start into needing reliable automatic fuel feed systems and ash removal the costs would rise considerably and liquid/gas appliances will be easier to maintain and nor ash to dispose of either. My reasons for having a simple system hinge on what is an other wise all electric house means relying on no damage to the overhead lines , rare but some parts around here were off for 3 days about 2 years ago. And I'm able to be around to run the multifuel stove as appropriate which would not be practical for many people who go out to work or like some nearish neighbours who having seen our stove started to think about installing one in a covered over fire place, I discouraged them as being a decade and a half older neither are really up to the manual work required anymore, a point we may well reach ourselves in time of course but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.
There is also enough reason I like it as running a stove/fire is just enjoyable and satisfying.
G.Harman
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Despite the alleged strategic value in covering most of North Wales with conifers, the only commercial use of locally produced timber seems to be firewood, and there is much publicised lobby to set a wood chip industry for wood fired boilers of all sizes from domestic to power stations. Very little actual commercially available hardware seems to have materialised, especially at the domestic end of the market.
--

Roger Hayter

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On Tue, 21 Nov 2017 13:00:57 +0000, snipped-for-privacy@hayter.org (Roger Hayter)

Well there is domestic and domestic I've seen some being demonstrated at Agricultural shows but what may domestic to a land owner with possibly access to forestry will not be quite the same as somebody living in a semi detached in Surburban areas. The former compared to the latter must be quite small so its understandable that at the moment it is quite a niche market. One firm I saw at a show seems to have domestic sized ones but looking at the Domestic properties section under case studies on their web page does show a leaning to the type of dwelling featured on "Homes in the Country". http://www.windhager.co.uk/
No costings I can see though which usually means Costa a Lot.
OTOH you could the same about an Agra cookers though and look how they spread from where their use could be practical to where they became a lifestyle accessory despite the high cost.
I also notice the firm appears to be keen to associate itself with the green eco brigade,not sure that is a good idea as it means they may be limiting themselves to that market and putting many others off , and real eco warriors will be living in a yurt and burning damp sticks.
G.Harman
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So well below the market penetration that would make distribution or stove sales anything like competitive. I would have thought the green brigade, being basically pastoralist (or whatever is the animal free version) fascists with luddite and anti-scientific tendencies, would be somewhat suspicious of the rather high tech machines needed to handle wood chip.
--

Roger Hayter

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On 21/11/2017 15:27, Roger Hayter wrote:

One of my friends from university looked seriously at getting an auger based wood chip burning hopper based system (ISTR Austrian maker) but was put off by the huge volume and high costs. It became clear that after super insulating his house a tiny wood burning stove could easily do the job. It has sophisticated heat exchangers on the air inlets and vents and an array of very high tech features. It amuses me no end that his base electricity load is responsible for all the waste heat that keeps his house warm (ie several powerful computers on 24/7).
It might have been these (or a very similar model) http://www.rika.at/en/rika/
Similar ones but more industrial http://www.firebird.ie/images/Downloads/Wood_Pellet_Brochure_1.pdf
ISTR thanks to NI government incompetence their farmers are heating barns with them to claim subsidies that exceed the cost of the fuel!
http://www.irishnews.com/news/2016/10/27/news/rhi-scandal-biggest-since-devolution--757584/
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Regards,
Martin Brown
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On 20/11/2017 14:40, David wrote:

Has that ever been true even in the dim and distant days of white heat of technology "electricity too cheap to meter" ? My recollection of electric storage heaters (my parents were early adopters) were insanely ugly boxes that got mad hot in the middle of the night and lost their heat during the day when no-one was home and provided precious little useful heat in the evening thus ensuring the expensive electric fire and fan heater got run as well. They were basically a waste of space. The firebricks came in handy for making a small kiln after we scrapped them.
Blocks of flats designed for all electric heating with a brick core in the centre of each flat and under floor heating seemed to work but were still pretty expensive to keep warm in winter.
Mains electric can only really win if you combine it with ground source heat pump technology (and even then when all the mechanical maintenance is included it is pretty borderline).

It might perhaps be cheaper than bottled gas (particularly if you only keep one room in the house warm) but I doubt if it will beat oil now for an equivalent amount of energy delivered. If you compare like for like then I think the order is :
Mains gas (big gap) Oil Bottled Gas Coal (big gap) Electricity
The position of wood burner depends on whether you are burning scrap wood or kiln dried splinter free designer logs. Either way it is bit of a faff smashing stuff up to burn almost every day.
Our village hall is entirely electric and costs the earth to keep warm in winter. If there was any way to heat it some other way we would do.

Or get an oil boiler installed to power the existing radiators.
--
Regards,
Martin Brown
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On 21/11/2017 08:08, Martin Brown wrote:

The flat I lived in before had a (single) storage heater for the general living area and it worked OK. It looked quite old and probably dated from when the flats were built (probably late 80s). It had a slider on the top that allowed more hot air to come out, but by the time you might have needed it there wouldn't be much heat left in the core. There was an instant heat circuit to provide heat if it ran out of heat in the evening, though I very rarely needed it. I learnt to check the weather for the following day and adjust the heat input accordingly. I didn't bother to heat the rest of the flat (bathroom and bedroom) and closed the communicating door to concentrate heat in the living area as required.
The (Economy 7) electricity bill was £700 a year (in 2015), including an off-peak immersion heater for hot water and instant electric shower.
--
Max Demian

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