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Neal is a retired Civil Engineer keen on minimising utility bills while not compromising comfort. Of course any carbon reduction resulting could help but any contribution made in the UK pales into insignificance when you look at what’s happening world-wide with a continual increase in energy consumption and carbon output everywhere.
Selfish really, primarily I want to minimise my utility bills as far as possible with the secondary benefit of reducing my carbon output.
The house was built in 1926 and I bought it in 2011. Their were no particular problems but the house had a poor standard of insulation and an old combi boiler. In addition to this the house was drafty due to the open chimneys and fireplaces.
Wood burning stove is wonderful in the winter and helps heat the whole house. Watching the flames is a lot more interesting than most programmes on television!
Condensing boiler minimises gas use and the addition of the PV panels on the roof earn £1300 a year while my gas and electricity bills are only £600 per annum.
The house is now more comfortable and utility bills have been vastly reduced. Now I get a smug feeling from using electricity from the roof to run my house during the day and for a large part of the year.
Morso woodburning stove and the PV solar panels
Now have over 4 years of solar panel generation records. Prior to installation the gov assessment formula estimated 1925kWh annually.
The actual annual average I have recorded is 2737KWh.
Just noticed that my Dec/Jan/Feb generation was the lowest of the last five years. Not much sun in the northeast this winter; 24% less than same period last year!
Updated on 09/03/2016
I went for the Morso (Squirrel 1412) after some internet research – based on the reputation of company, their experience over many years in Denmark and at that time not many manufacturers were able to supply Defra approved for use in smokeless zones. The stove was also appealing in that it is traditional cast iron rather than pressed steel. When the fire dies down cast iron keeps its heat for much longer than steel.
I choose the 4kw output based on the size of my room (the smallest stove they produce) In actual use it heats the whole house somewhat with the room door left ajar.
I bought it in 2011 from ‘Stangate Stoves and Cookers’ who are based in Lemington, Newcastle upon Tyne and it was installed by one of the contractors they recommended ‘Fire & Stove Solutions’ (Dave Anderson Mobile: 07891544740). Yes I would recommend them.
I get my wood from a mental health charity based in West Sleekburn, Northumberland – ‘The Woodfuel Centre’. £85 per cubic metre of hardwood. I use about 3 cubic metres per year. Not that cheap but its sustainable! Clearly if you can get your own wood for free the running costs will be around zero! And watching the flames through the stove window is a lot more relaxing and entertaining than staring at the TV!
It is a terraced house with a passage way between so wood stores nicely there in a good through draft.
My current annual bill for gas and electricity should be about £570 on the Cooperative Energy tariff.
I switched to a water meter on purchase of the house so don’t have a reduction cost but current useage about 42 cu metre annually.