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Future Proofing a newish home.

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Green & Ethical MoneySaving
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tori.ktori.k Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Green & Ethical MoneySaving
We purchased a 15 year old semi- detached house last year, this will most likely end up the last home for DH&I.
The house is well insulated but ready for a bit of refurbishment, a few of the double glazing units have blown on the south facing side, Baxi gas combi boiler now works fine but could be more efficient ( takes a while for the hot water to come through) the house has water efficient toilets ( probably too efficient)

We have done the small jobs fitted LED light bulbs and a water saving shower head.
Now planning the big jobs Kitchen and bathroom refit and new double glazing.
while we are both working full time seemed smart to see if we can reduce our home energy/water use and costs as much as possible to make our possible retirement a little easier.
All the websites I find is about making older houses more efficient I do fully understand we wouldn't make anywhere near the savings an older house would expect, but would it financially long term be a benefit coming off mains gas having a solar and ASHP set up or are we better off just upgrading to something like a viessmann boiler.
Any ideas on making newer houses better.
Many thanks :)
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Replies

  • MojisolaMojisola Forumite
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    Not to with energy but when you do the kitchen, put in drawers instead of cupboards.
  • Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
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    Hiya, I've just started researching ASHP and the RHI subsidy.

    I assume you have a recent EPC (from the house purchase), so it might be worth making a few inquiries to see what the cost might be, especially if you are planning a boiler change anyway.

    PV is great, but I'd suggest considering it on its own merits, then seeing any daytime winter generation excess as a bonus for the ASHP. I'm considering adding some extra PV (south facing and steep pitch) simply to boost winter generation.

    So I think there are three issues here, the ASHP, the PV and the crossover benefits of ASHP & PV.
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
  • tori.ktori.k Forumite
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    Thanks martyn I never even gave thought to the EPC recomendations
    We have a C rated EPC of 72 with recomendations to change lighting ( already done) and upgrade boiler to a new condensing and solar water heating.
    It then gives additional alternatives ASHP, biomass and solar PV
    Pricewise looks like solar thermal and a new boiler is the right way to go for us.
  • HexaneHexane Forumite
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    tori.k wrote: »
    Thanks martyn I never even gave thought to the EPC recomendations
    We have a C rated EPC of 72 with recomendations to change lighting ( already done) and upgrade boiler to a new condensing and solar water heating.
    It then gives additional alternatives ASHP, biomass and solar PV
    Pricewise looks like solar thermal and a new boiler is the right way to go for us.
    If you're replacing the boiler anyway then installing solar thermal (water heating) at the same time sounds sensible. But on the other hand, I believe quotes for solar thermal installs are currently coming in around the same total cost as an average sized solar PV system, so I'm not sure the EPC people are correct to put solar PV as the lowest priority.
    7.25 kWp PV system (4.1kW WSW & 3.15kW ENE), Solis inverter, myenergi eddi & harvi for energy diversion to immersion heater. myenergi hub for Virtual Power Plant demand-side response trial.
  • pile-o-stonepile-o-stone Forumite
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    I wouldn't touch solar thermal with a bargepole. Much better to fit solar PV with an iboost immersion system to divert unused electricity to the tank immersion heater. No stagnation, no loss of pressure, no freezing, just fit and forget.

    I'd also never replace a gas condensing boiler with a heat pump. Gas is far cheaper than electricity and so you'll be paying installations costs of fitting the heat pump and oversized radiators for the dubious pleasure of higher running costs.
    5.18 kWp PV systems (3.68 E/W & 1.5 E).
    Solar iBoost+ to two immersion heaters on 300L thermal store.
    Vegan household with 100% composted food waste
    Mini orchard planted and vegetable allotment created.
  • tori.ktori.k Forumite
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    That was my mistake a 2.5kw system is actually the last on the recommended list, not the alternative.
    until the finer details of the smart export guarantee are known think PV would currently be too hard a sell for DH now the FITs have ended.

    It doesn't help that our bills are currently quite low £800 PA for gas and electricity but £840 PA for the 160 cubic meters of water we use.
    Water waste is high due to the time it takes for the hot water come.
    I know the simple solution is a bucket to catch the run off for use elsewhere, but it doesn't happen, I've tried.

    At minimum it will be 10years before we start ramping up the energy usage from being home more, but will have scaffolding up to replace the windows so seems smart move to add PV or thermal panels at the same time as hopefully it will be another 15years before we are looking at a roof replacement .
  • tori.ktori.k Forumite
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    Pile o stone you really have put the cat among the pigeons :)
    I see I have a lot of reading and learning ahead of me
  • edited 4 June 2019 at 3:40PM
    HexaneHexane Forumite
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    edited 4 June 2019 at 3:40PM
    tori.k wrote: »
    That was my mistake a 2.5kw system is actually the last on the recommended list, not the alternative.
    until the finer details of the smart export guarantee are known think PV would currently be too hard a sell for DH now the FITs have ended.

    It doesn't help that our bills are currently quite low £800 PA for gas and electricity but £840 PA for the 160 cubic meters of water we use.
    Water waste is high due to the time it takes for the hot water come.
    One note that you will find in the FAQ, although perhaps slightly less relevant now that feed in tariffs are gone, is that solar PV is generally worth getting a quote for significantly more than the 2.5 kWp that the EPC people recommend. (See my signature, although most people would consider that rather excessive, and there are complications around DNO approval once you go over 3.68kW at the inverter.) This is because payback time on a larger system is often shorter. And who knows, ten years from now, you might be trying to charge a battery electric vehicle off it.

    Regarding those bill figures and the reason for them, this may not be the best advice from an environmental point of view, but are you sure the boiler thermostat doesn't need setting higher?

    If you do end up installing solar thermal, it would make good sense to have solar PV installed at the same time. And if you're installing solar PV then maybe you don't need solar thermal. Yes it can all be rather confusing :)
    7.25 kWp PV system (4.1kW WSW & 3.15kW ENE), Solis inverter, myenergi eddi & harvi for energy diversion to immersion heater. myenergi hub for Virtual Power Plant demand-side response trial.
  • tori.ktori.k Forumite
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    Think I have to find solar for dummies or someone in RL who can dumb it down for me I just didn't want to call a firm in thats just looking for a sell, im so confused over so many options.

    Boiler is fine its just an inefficient baxi combi 105, im told its normal. I've never had mains gas before so not used to the lag in hot water previous houses were electric immersion or oil boilers with a tank so instant hot water.
    water is high as its South West Water we use just under the national average for a 4 person household but I feel morally we should be using less as we are out of the house a lot.
  • pile-o-stonepile-o-stone Forumite
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    tori.k wrote: »
    Pile o stone you really have put the cat among the pigeons :)
    I see I have a lot of reading and learning ahead of me

    You could do worse than starting here:

    https://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2013/09/solar-hot-water-which-is-better-pv-or-thermal.html

    This is the article that sent me down the path from Solar Thermal to PV (and thank goodness it did). The sentence that had the biggest impact and stuck in my mind enough to help me find the article again on google was:

    "The Achilles Heel of solar thermal is that if the system stops working, it does not just fail to produce energy: it sets about its own self-destruction."
    5.18 kWp PV systems (3.68 E/W & 1.5 E).
    Solar iBoost+ to two immersion heaters on 300L thermal store.
    Vegan household with 100% composted food waste
    Mini orchard planted and vegetable allotment created.
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