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Storage heater alternative.... Infrared vs lpg vs Air source heat pump
in LPG, heating oil, solid & other fuels
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The supply and installation and commisioning cost of the whole system came to £14k of which the heatpump and associated hot water tank was £7.5k. The rest of the cost was for 140m2 of underfloor heating rather than radiators..
I guess that an oil boiler and associated tank together with underfloor heating would have been around £10-£11k. (we'd already decided that we wanted u/f heating rather than rads whatever the source) An LPG boiler probably would have been cheaper to instal as you end up hiring the tank but there's still the cost of a concrete plinth and piping as there is a with an oil tank.
My estimate for a "like for like" system is that the heat pump cost around £4k more than an oil installation and £5k more than LPG. We've actually just had £5k back fro the RHI so that's cancelled out the cost difference. Running costs are more difficult to compare as we dont have a before and after reference as we moved in and pulled everything out.
However if you assume that the EPC is anywhere close then we should have been using around 12500kwh for heating and 2500 for hot water = 15,000kwh. (the EPC dosen't include other stuff like washing, cooking TV etc).
We actually use around 7200kwh of leccy a year for evrything and I guess half is for heating and half is for the rest , including hot water - our summer consumption is around 300kwh a month. (last year we used exactly 7199). We pay 12.25/kwh plus 13p s/c we are currently paying just under £1000 a year. Compare that with say 15,000kwh of oil at 4p/kwh (heating and hot water) plus around 3000kwh of leccy = £600 + £400 = £1000, so about on a par.
Anything else apart from mains gas (which we cant get) would have been a lot more expensive to run. You could do similar sums based on kwh costs for other forms of heating/fuels
We dont have a big tank in the garden nor tankers delivering (we have squadrons up and down our road at this time of the year) and mainenance costs are virtually non existent although the unvented hot water tank should be checked annually by a registered plumber, we've had it checked over three times in ten years..
I'd still have mainsns gas but it's not and never will be available where we live, so I reckon we have the best solution for us - it may not suit others but it works for our home all day lifestyle.
BTW we've had one problem with the heatpump since we've had it - a sticking flow switch. Reported by the controller and I fixed it myself for no cost.
The u/f system has had two thermal actuators die but cheap and easy to replace at £15 each from Amazon (I've now got a spare, just in case but they dont stop the system from working)
On this forum we have had similar discussions on the cost of gas, oil and electricity over the past 10 years; and here we are in April 2021 still guessing(gambling?) on the best way for the future.
According to Government figures over the last 10 years the price of CH oil has ranged from a high of 68.5p/litre(Feb 2013) to a low of 28.6p/litre. i.e. 2.8p/kWh to 6.4p/kWh.
At the lowest price oil was marginally cheaper than gas for CH when you factor in the daily standing charge. Bear in mind that gas prices have reduced in recent years.
Is your Crystal Ball any better than mine – which is useless – on the way oil/gas/electricity prices will change over the next 10 years?
We can all think of scenarios affecting prices over the next 10 years.
An international crisis could cause oil prices to rocket. On the other hand there are billions of barrels left in producing oilfields and countries will have a strong incentive to sell it at low prices.
The USA/Canada/Russia have enough gas to supply the world for years.
Will electricity companies introduce Time of Use tariffs for our domestic supply? Will that impact heat pumps?
Will domestic batteries to store Renewable energy/cheap mains electricity become practical?
Obviously many more scenarios and over all those scenarios will be the impact of Government taxation policy.
Considering the above, I am surprised at how much capital some people are prepared to spend to reduce running costs.
We are told that the average property uses 13,600 kWh pa for CH and HW. So a reduction of 1p/kWh saves £136 a year.
So if you have Oil CH at prices today it will cost approx. 4.5p/kWh. Gas is around 2.5p-3.0p/kWh and a Heat pump 4.0p – 5.0p/kWh. So even changing from Oil to Gas is only likely to save around £250pa and changing to a heat pump virtually nothing. Yet the outlay for that change is £thousands.
In the UK we generate a lot of wind energy so using electricity is greener than burning oil or gas. Since the climate crisis obliges us to burn less fuel it seems likely that the Government will adjust adjust taxation and policy to favour electricity usage for heating, as it plans to do with cars.
I looked into ASHPs very carefully and it seems like one will suit us and our house. We don't plan on moving any time soon and whatever happens with government policy in the future, it will tend to make direct fossil fuel consumption for heating less attractive.
I'm certainly no eco-warrior though; in your position I would probably have replaced my oil boiler too. But at least having an ASHP makes me feel a bit better about not wanting an EV and liking foreign holidays