You lucky Aussies have more potential for domestic solar energy than us poor Brits stuck in the rather dull UK. With global warming hysteria at fever pitch, and the apparent belief that we can contol the weather or climate by attempting to reduce the UK’s 2 per cent contribution to global man-made CO2 emissions, from 1 per cent of the world’s population, we are now required to provide an Energy Performance Certificate as part of a Home Information Pack when we sell our home. Currently this only applies to homes with 3 or more bedrooms (Biggs Towers has 4), but will eventually be extended to cover all homes. There are 8 measures that are needed to secure a rating of A or B, as a opposed to a poor rating of F or G. My home was only built in 2000, so has modern energy saving features such as cavity wall insulation, thick fibreglass loft insulation, double glazed UPVC windows, and polystyrene slab under the downstairs concrete floors. I’ve used compact fluorescent bulbs since they came on the market quite a few years ago, in some of our light fittings.
Today’s Times (13th October) has an article featuring a study by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors about the cost of installing energy saving measures and the time taken to recoup the investment. Apparently, installing solar panels for water heating costs around £5,000 and would save only £24 per year on average. This means it could take up to 208 years to recoup the investment. Installing all 8 measures could cost over £23,000 and take 48 years to recoup.
The Times article is entitled ‘Saving energy at home could take 200 years to repay its cost.’ Thanks to Woody for pointing it out.
What does a 208 year payback period matter when you’re saving the Earth? I wonder what energy resources were required to make the solar panels? The carbon payback period could be just as bad.
If greenies had their way, we would all be using only windmills and solar cells–and all be in the dark. How is possible to power a rock concert for the environment if you can’t use “dirty” energy?
Woody – “Apparently, installing solar panels for water heating costs around £5,000 and would save only £24 per year on average. This means it could take up to 208 years to recoup the investment. Installing all 8 measures could cost over £23,000 and take 48 years to recoup.”
I guess this is a classic case of GIGO. Where on Earth do solar panels cost 5000 pounds???? You can get a retro fit set of evacuated tubes from Endless Solar here for approx AUD$2000, AUD$500 to fit them. Electrically heating water takes about 25% of and average person’s electricity bill. Lets say they use 30kW per day.
Over the last 10 years I have spent approx $6500.00 on electricity and my average is 21kW per day. A person using 30 kW per day could reasonably be expected to spend $10 000 in the same time. In Australia a good solar water heater can cut the electricity required to heat water by at least 85%. So a person installing such a solar hot water system could save in 10 years AUD$2500 * .85 = $2125.00 which would be the cost of the unit. Even in England the evacuated tube systems are much more efficient than flat plate so even if the person’s electricity bill for heating water was cut by 40% then the payback would be 20 years.
A bit different from the 203 years.
This of course does not take into account the infrastructure that does not have to be built to generate the electricity to heat water, the reduction in strain on the generation system at peak times or the savings in greenhouse emissions. In WA generation 1 kWh of electricity releases 0.9kg of CO2. In the same 10 years I have used 60 000kWh of electricity. A person using the same and saving 20% of that power would not release 10 800 kg of CO2.
It is easy to take things like this on face value – did you check the maths Woody???
Could people stop stating the lie that we control the climate.
That claim has never been made.
No, Ender, why should I check the math when tens of thousands of others have read the article without calling the writer a liar or incompetent, and I’m not checking your math either. But, most people can’t find solar panels on mark-down at the thrift store like you. If what you said were accurate, then people wouldn’t have to be brow beaten into buying such “efficient” units.
Any maths designed to confuse Ender are yours, & very farfetched they are.
I have a controlled supply hot water system, with its own metered supply. In the last 10 years it has used just a little under $1600.00 worth of electricity. For most of this time it supplied a family of 5, including 3 long haired ladies, 2 of them teenagers.
Of course I do have water saving showers, & tap washers, total cost $180, & we don’t waste any water, including hot.
Having spent years in the water, & energy saving business, I can save you much more electricity, with simple, cost effective systems, than any solar gear can.
Our costings always proved that solar water heating equiptment required replacement long before it had paid for its self.
Woody – “But, most people can’t find solar panels on mark-down at the thrift store like you. If what you said were accurate, then people wouldn’t have to be brow beaten into buying such “efficient” units.”
Really Woody – How about Hills Solar
I would hardly call Hills a thrift shop.
“No, Ender, why should I check the math when tens of thousands of others have read the article without calling the writer a liar or incompetent,”
I am not calling him this I am just saying that if you make incorrect assumptions then you will get the wrong answer. 5000 pounds in AUD$11 250.00 at current exchange rates. I recently got a quote for a SolarHart top of the range system sized for 4 people (330l) and it was AUD$4000.00 installed. If I was replacing an electric heater I would get rebates of about $1000 so it would cost me $3000.00 installed not $11 000.00. I cannot imagine that in the UK it would cost 4 times as much to install a solar hot water.
For the grid tie solar electric system I recently obtained from Energy Matters, again not a thrift shop, a quote for the following:
8 x 123W Sharp solar panels = $940 each x 8 =
1 x Latronics PV Edge inverter = $2,069.00 inc GST.”
Add $1500 for installation and it comes to $11 000 installed. Take off the $8000.00 rebate and it costs $3000.00.
My system once installed will generate its power mostly when I can sell the power for $0.25 per kWh and I calculate that it will save me $500 per year. So I will get a payback in 6 years not 230.
If you do the research and can add up you can easily dispose of such inaccurate and misleading figures like you posted. However if you prefer to ignore simple mathematics to preserve you views then you are welcome.
Very affordable ender. Especially when every taxpayer in the land subsidises you.
Ender – with these guys it’s all just an excuse to not do anything. They’re essentially protectionist and anti-innovation – therefore anti-capitalist, anti-choice, anti-new markets. You’ve exposed the shallow depth of their argument.
Mucko – “Very affordable ender. Especially when every taxpayer in the land subsidises you.”
So of course you would be in favour of dropping the taxpayer funded diesel fuel rebate that costs you 2 billion per year.
Hasbeen – “Any maths designed to confuse Ender are yours, & very farfetched they are.”
So show me where it is wrong. It is certainly better that the 230 year crap.
“Our costings always proved that solar water heating equiptment required replacement long before it had paid for its self.”
So it should be no problem for you to detail these costings as you have done it a lot.
Hey Ender, tell us about solar water heaters and frost protection in cold climates….
* sound of ice cracking *
Paul Biggs says
There are grants available in the UK for improving energy efficiency – I’ll be investigating because we’re helping our daughter buy a 33 year old 2 bedroomed property – it has double glazing, but won’t have cavity wall insulation, and probably has inadequate loft insulation.
I’ve read that grants for the likes of solar panels are somewhat harder to obtain.
5000 pounds eh? It does seem as though perhaps someone (perhaps not the article writer) got solar hot water heaters mixed up with solar-electric (photovoltaic) panels.
Wouldn’t be the first to do so.
5,000 pounds sounds like a better ballpark for photovoltaic panels, but seems exorbitant for a solar hot water system.
THat 200 year payback is a joke. In a country with sh1tty weather like england, insulating your house would pay for itself reasonably quickly I would think (they said 13 years in the article). Efficient lightbulbs pay for themselves in under a year, as do hot water-saving showerheads.
I can only imagine they got such big numbers by including solar hot water, but costing a photovoltaic system by mistake. I can believe a 200 year payback for buying photovoltaic panels, but other energy efficiency? No way.
OK, evacuated tubes are suitable for cold climates
rog – “OK, evacuated tubes are suitable for cold climates”
Thank you for the link – I have not seen this company before. Evacuated tubes are very popular in frost prone areas because they perform well in cloudy conditions and they are almost freeze proof.
Steve – “5000 pounds eh? It does seem as though perhaps someone (perhaps not the article writer) got solar hot water heaters mixed up with solar-electric (photovoltaic) panels.”
Sounds like it to me. Woody accepted it uncritically however and that what I was trying to point out. House insulation and low energy light bulbs do pay for themselves really quickly.
Even if certain people do not believe that reducing greenhouse gases is worthwhile I am sure that they would approve of reducing the money that they spend on electricity and gas.
Conventional solar hot water comes in frost-proof varieties too, doesn’t have to be evacuated tube.