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How we reduced our heating gas consumption by 25%

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  • Hexane
    Hexane Posts: 520 Forumite
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    we use a Nu-Flame gas fireplace to warm the immediate area quite effectively, using ~2/3 less gas than the 18 kWh main boiler would
    Do you mean 18 kW, not 18 kWh?

    I don't understand how a boiler limited to 18kWh would function.
    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.
  • Meatballs
    Meatballs Posts: 587 Forumite
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    edited 9 January 2022 at 6:26PM
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    We moved in March, the MI data requested from the supplier said usage for previous year was 44,000kWh for gas and predicted 43,000kWh. 5 bed 1999 build, non condensing boiler.

    We have a few cold months left but currently sat at 12544kWh.

    If we use the same 4,200kWh we used Nov to Dec for Jan Feb Mar it will still only come to 25,100kWh so fairly happy with the reduction so far.

    Have mostly been WFH all year. Steps taken:

    • Smart thermostats effectively zoning off upstairs during the day.
    • Reinsulated dormer room above garage that previous owner was using as main bedroom (one wall completely uninsulated just plasterboard and studwork). This is now guest room and just set to 12 degrees to prevent dampness.
    • Cylinder set to 55 degrees.
    • Lots of draught proofing around windows, garage door. 
    • Some exterior sealing of French doors which hadnt been done.
    • Renewed many of the the rubber window seals with thicker as many weren't very airtight.
    • Have lagged pipework in airing cupboard.
    • More lagging of heating pipes that ran in unheated eaves space, and covered up further with some rockwool.
    • Topped up some of the insulation in attic where it was missing.
    • Chimney balloon

    We were aiming to move to an ASHP but decided not to rush in with current RHI scheme and do some fabric improvements - insulated plasterboard and UFH over the next year or so and then review.
  • Screwdriva
    Screwdriva Posts: 1,211 Forumite
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    edited 9 January 2022 at 8:11PM
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    Meatballs said:
    We were aiming to move to an ASHP but decided not to rush in with current RHI scheme and do some fabric improvements - insulated plasterboard and UFH over the next year or so and then review.
    Same here. Like you, it became clear to us to that ASHP holds some promise but is still a bit early. Our plan is to replace the gas boiler in 2022 when our underfloor heating is installed, before the sale cutoff and wait for HP technology to mature. 

    It's amazing how much of a difference insulation can make! Give those radiator reflectors a try - I'm sure you'll love 'em!
    -  10 x 400w LG + 6 x 550W SHARP BiFacial Panels + SE 3680 HD Wave Inverter + SE Optimizers. SE London.
    -  Triple aspect. (22% ENE/ 33% SSE/ 45% WSW)
    -  Viessmann 200-W on Advanced Weather Comp. (the most efficient gas boiler sold)

    Feel free to DM me if I can help with any energy saving!
  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,043 Forumite
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    Give those radiator reflectors a try - I'm sure you'll love 'em!
    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/6203416/radflek-reflective-radiator-back/p1


  • Toki
    Toki Posts: 288 Forumite
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    I'll see how we get on. I have a few radiators turned off which I can reinstate. I'll have to increase the amount of on-time on the timer.

    Since COVID I have been working at home in the loft. I have just got an AEG portable air-con with heat pump, that I have up here. It consumes around 700w and outputs 2.2 kw of heat.

    ... those figures are a bit miss-leading as it is sucking up the air from downstairs (and ultimately outside). But it basically means that I can have the heating in the house turned off all day. Even today when it has not got much above freezing outside it has on average only consumed 300 w throughout the day and it is 21-22 degrees up here. Most of which is covered by the solar panels (well maybe not today - there is a pea souper outside).
    Thanks for the tips.  I am going to get PV solar panels soon.

    Does anyone know if there is such a thing as an automatic switch that turns on once x amount of kW are being generated?  I was hoping to have a heater plugged in all the time connected to a switch that only turns on in the winter when there is enough power being generated.

    Thanks in advance.
  • Verdigris
    Verdigris Posts: 1,725 Forumite
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    You can get solar diverters that run your immersion heater when there is surplus energy. I suppose you could connect it to a storage heater.
  • paul991
    paul991 Posts: 370 Forumite
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    most solar imersion diverters  have at least  2 outputs so can set  one for water and one for heaters at waterever kw you want.but if your  heater is a purley resistive one,with  no fancy controls just divert any excess power to it
  • 2nd_time_buyer
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    Solaredge do a socket that can switch on based on solar output. You need to have a solar edge inverter and a few other bits and bobs. So it works out quite expensive.

    https://midsummerwholesale.co.uk/buy/SolarEdge/solaredge-socket

    Air conditioners and heat pumps don't like been switched on and off a lot. So aren't really suitable. In our case, the alternative is an oil filled radiator, which would work with such a switch, but would be 3-4 more expensive to run. So timing a heat pump/AC to run during daylight hours is likely to be more cost effective.
  • Meatballs
    Meatballs Posts: 587 Forumite
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    Toki said:
    I'll see how we get on. I have a few radiators turned off which I can reinstate. I'll have to increase the amount of on-time on the timer.

    Since COVID I have been working at home in the loft. I have just got an AEG portable air-con with heat pump, that I have up here. It consumes around 700w and outputs 2.2 kw of heat.

    ... those figures are a bit miss-leading as it is sucking up the air from downstairs (and ultimately outside). But it basically means that I can have the heating in the house turned off all day. Even today when it has not got much above freezing outside it has on average only consumed 300 w throughout the day and it is 21-22 degrees up here. Most of which is covered by the solar panels (well maybe not today - there is a pea souper outside).
    Thanks for the tips.  I am going to get PV solar panels soon.

    Does anyone know if there is such a thing as an automatic switch that turns on once x amount of kW are being generated?  I was hoping to have a heater plugged in all the time connected to a switch that only turns on in the winter when there is enough power being generated.

    Thanks in advance.

    You can wire up a solar diverter to do this as mentioned above for basic heaters which will use up excess solar. 

    Or you could use a smart switch with smart monitoring of your solar export and turn it on fully if you have more export than the heaters full load.

    Tbh both are probably more effort than they are worth considering you would be getting SEG payments for export. You won't get huge or reliable amounts of solar excess in winter for heating the house.

    Diverting to hot water is better as it's useful all year around.

  • Toki
    Toki Posts: 288 Forumite
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    Thanks everyone. I have a combi boiler so I was thinking that any excess energy could be used to turn on a convector heater during the day when at work or WFH in 1 or 2 rooms rather than the gas CH.

    I'll have a read of the diverters and also the solaredge socket which sounds interesting.

    Thanks again.
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