Solar Heating / Wind Power / Solar Power / UK Grants

Hi,
I have some questions regarding solar heating / power / wind power and UK grants. I'm interested in experiences rather than straight facts as many of these are on the internet:
(1) We're considering ploughing some money into some a renewable power source for our home. I knew of government grants, but I also recall reading recently that the grants were either being cancelled or cut back substantially. Has anyone taken advantage of such a grant recently? Does the installation company sort it all out or does the consumer have to claim it back themselves?
(2) Of the various options available (I can think of at least three) has anyone any experience across each type? Are some more effective than others in terms of energy return for a UK home? Are some more problematic regards installation?
(3) Installation companies are many, I know that BP have a solar business and will more than likely have a list of contractors on their books. I would feel a little safer dealing with a large organisation but I don't expect they will be as cheap as others. Again if anyone has any experience I would appreciate this.
Thanks, Mark.
--
www.treboona.co.uk

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@googlemail.com wrote:

All I can say is that IMHO the consensus among those here that can count beyond ten without taking their socks off, is that none of them will ever realistically pay for themselves in this country. Even WITH a grant.

Since I can see no significant cost savings in using any technology based on (domestic) wind or solar in this country, I haven't even bothered to see who is painting themselves green by selling it.
It really doesn't matter who you buy it from. Or if it works or not. Its money down the drain. Just a sop to your conscience. And a show off to the neighbours.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

While that's almost certainly true of commecially available systems, if you can make your own solar HW system with scrounged bits you could probably save a bit of money - but it's not going to be a lot.
--
Skipweasel.
Never knowingly understood.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 07 Jan 2008 23:51:34 +0000, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

It might /just/ be possible to make a cost effective solar assisted HW system if /all/ the following are true.
1) You need to replace the HW cylinder. 2) You have the time and skills necessary to make and install solar collectors. 3) You have the time and skills needed to make the control system. 4) You have access to the scrap raw materials needed to make system. e.g. discarded CH pump, discarded CH radiators.
What is clear is that at current prices there is no way that a system can be built using either manufactured parts or professional installation let alone both.
--
Ed Sirett - Property maintainer and registered gas fitter.
The FAQ for uk.diy is at http://www.diyfaq.org.uk
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 8 Jan 2008 19:22:59 +0000 (UTC) someone who may be Ed Sirett

If, for the sake of argument, one takes the claims of the antis of only a 40 saving in gas per year at face value, assume no fuel price increases and ignore the (low) electricity cost then a simplistic simple payback period calculation for the Navitron Budget Solar Kit http://www.navitron.org.uk/pricelist.htm is about 22 years (800 plus 100 delivery, if one doesn't collect it).
--
David Hansen, Edinburgh
I will *always* explain revoked encryption keys, unless RIP prevents me
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
David Hansen wrote:

And assuming you didn't have to borrow the money, in which case its a net loser forever.
Better idea. Put the money on a bank paying 4% and have it earn you 236% return over 22 years.
The ROI of your investment is 2.72% p.a.. I think it would be hard to find WORSE payback for cash anywhere in the financial market..
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

4% ?
a bit NFN
--
geoff

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Annuities. :o(
--
"Be thankful that you have a life, and forsake your vain
and presumptuous desire for a second one."
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 08 Jan 2008 19:50:39 +0000, David Hansen

Oh dear, there we go again with the propaganda. The only thing I'm anti is the dishonesty of the greenwashers.
A single solar panel collects about 1MWh of energy per year if ideally placed - that's real data collected for the DTI. The gas to produce a similar amount of energy cost somewhat less than 40 at current prices.
Why do you feel you can't take such an established fact at face value? Do you have more credible data?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Hello everyone,
I'm pulling the plug on any of our ambitions wrt solar/wind schemes.
Natural Philosopher et al, thanks for the financials - that is disappointing, not your replies that is - just the prospect that (at present) this technology does not pay for the consumer, and we haven't (at present!) got money for just showing off. BTW I read an article about 'solar paint' on a website. I was half suspecting a wind-up. Perhaps that's the sort of advance (if it's for real) that will one day make it pay.
John Rumm et al, I've seen those heat pump arrangements, in every example the garden they are deployed in looks sizeable - which ours is not (maybe 10m square) - so I'm doubtful it is going to work for us.
David Hansen / Huge et al, we are in the UK, we are in a modern house and it has all the quick-wins you mention (even the new three pronged light-bulb housings which are a real pain as hardly anyone sells the bulbs!).
We are atop a small hill and it can get quite windy, so I half suspected a small wind generator might be semi-viable (until reading Peter Parry's post! - thanks Peter). My only additional worry with this was if the thing goes a wrong, the prop spins off and hits somebody - it's quite a densely populated area where we live. BTW Ed / Peter I'm no DIY buff, I half zapped myself with some mains leads once and it put me off for good.
As fossil fuels depleat and the cost of energy increases, perhaps that is the time when these technologies will come into their own.
For now we'll continue with the basics.
Regards, Mark.
--
snipped-for-privacy@googlemail.com
www.treboona.co.uk
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@googlemail.com wrote:

Spend your money on thermal underwear and turn the stat down two degrees.
Its the most cost effective thing to do.
And I must be off to divorce my wife, having woken up with a splitting headache to once again find that she has opened the bedroom window and the hot air heaters are flapping full bore..
Cost benefit analysis shows its cheaper to be single ;-)

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I find it's when SWMBO *closes* the bedroom window that I wake up with a splitting headache that lasts all day. Fresh air is wonderful!!!

Yup, research confirms that men live longer if married so being single will involve less expenditure due to your earlier demise.
--
Si

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 09 Jan 2008 08:56:03 +0000, Si wrote:

You sure it doesn't just *seem* longer?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Careful!!! - SWMBOoS! (cf. Monday's Panorama)
--
Si

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Luckily mine doesn't object to having the bedroom radiators off and the window open except on /very/ windy nights. She just has a thicker duvet than me.
Does everyone else have their heating off over night? I used to think this was fairly normal, but looking out over the rooftops on a not particularly cold night recently I noticed that many houses still had plumes from their chimneys. Now, if they were houses with grannies in, I could probably understand it, but several of them I know have families with a couple of fit adults and a few school age kids.
I wouldn't like their gas bills.
--
Skipweasel.
Never knowingly understood.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Ours goes off every night about an hour before we go to bed. Comes on half an hour before we get up, then off again once the edge has been taken off the cold and we are off to work a bit later.

Gas bills are OK, especially since the new condensing boiler, all the sludge cleared out, the pump-over finally fixed, and TRVs on some radiators.
We have to save there...electricity bill is still horrendous what with all the computers, some 24/7...!
--
The information contained in this post is copyright the
poster, and specifically may not be published in, or used by
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 9 Jan 2008 09:55:32 GMT, Bob Eager wrote:

Aye, I'm thinking of replacing the ones here with mini ATX based things. The 750VA UPS is normally running at a good 80% capacity for 18hrs/day. Call that 600W * 18 = 10.8 units FECK ME! Naw that can't be right, can it?
Where did I put my plug in power meter...
--
Cheers snipped-for-privacy@howhill.com
Dave. pam is missing e-mail
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Did you mean mini ITX? I'm using two of those in always-on servers, and one in the small communal PC in the living room. I'll be converting the Asterisk box (to-be) to one soon; currently it's running voicemail for the dedicated PBX.

Haven't added it up on all the UPSes, but the other always-on machines are mostly 300MHz PIIs (the most economical PII CPU). One of the mini-ITX machines runs off a CF card and has no hard disk. Another, at 30 watts, replaced a 150 watt machine on 24/7.

Never without mine right now...
--
The information contained in this post is copyright the
poster, and specifically may not be published in, or used by
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 9 Jan 2008 11:37:56 GMT, Bob Eager wrote:

Yes, the current machines that are perfectly useable are 1GHz Athlons. It's a a while since I looked at ITX based stuff so I expect I can get something at double the speed and 1/4 the power requirement.
--
Cheers snipped-for-privacy@howhill.com
Dave. pam is missing e-mail
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

I have:
The 800MHz fanless version of the Eden, for the desktop The 800MHz fanless Luke CoreFusion, for the firewall The 1GHz fanned Luke CoreFusion, for the house server
These are all VIA chips on VIA boards, and all work fine. The first is an XP machine, the other two are FreeBSD.
--
The information contained in this post is copyright the
poster, and specifically may not be published in, or used by
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.