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Comment from: Martyn [Visitor]
Dean You've misunderstood the Angela Knight comment, which then feeds through as an error in the whole thread. When she says energy makes up 50% of the bill this does not mean the rest of the Bill is something that can be saved without efficiency. A large part of the other cost is energy distribution - without the grid and gas mains paying for energy would be useless as it wouldn't reach your house. There are also administration costs - the cost of marketing/billing/running the company. A further part is energy company profit - while we'd all like these to be squeezed, some profit remains essential or companies would not invest in the infrastructure we need (unless we renationalise). Another controversial part is the environmental and social parts of the bill - some people object to these but they help others save energy and essentially mean companies are meeting standards in the same way as toy companies meet child safety standards. But the key point is that you can't buy energy without these other costs, and as they are all charged per unit, a boiler that cuts gas use by 60% will cut your energy bill by 60%.
20/11/12 @ 17:44
Comment from: [Member]
Value hunter
Hi Martyn, I don't believe I have misunderstood the comment. As I read it, for every £100 of my energy bill, £50 is for the actual energy I use. (of course this isn't exact but it's pretty close) The remaining £50 per £100 is to pay for all the other costs of the energy company providing it, profit, investment, national grid, etc. Combined, all this is calculated in the unit price charged by the company. 1. The energy company charges a standing charge, fee, etc, on a weekly basis. This is on top of the unit price. 2. What Angela Knight's article did highlight is a discrepancy in the "energy efficiency savings" quoted by the energy saving trust. This tallies with our own experiences in our home. We no longer heat our home using gas central heating, we use a log burner. In theory, our energy bills should drop dramatically, by a conservative estimate of 30% at least - quoting the energy saving trust that estimates that 60% of our bill is made up of boiler use. In reality, the number of units used, without heating, has INCREASED. Only by a couple of hundred units over a year, but an increase none the less. This is a fact that British gas and the energy saving trust not only cannot explain, but they are refusing to answer questions on the issue. For some time now, I have pushed the energy saving trust on their boiler energy saving claims. They have been found sadly lacking in any factual knowledge. They now post to their new style website, that heating hot water "maybe more energy efficient with an old G rated boiler" than with a new A rated energy efficient boiler. So why on earth do they continue to tell all and sundry that "up to £300 a year can be saved by installing a new A rated boiler, if you have a G rated boiler"? Energy saving trust new boiler saving claims simply do not add up. The warmfront scheme final report gave an average figure for new boiler and fitting at £2500 with a new boiler life of 12 years. (The energy saving trust now quote £2300 as the average cost of fitting a new boiler, I have asked for clarification as to why this figure is different from the warmfront findings, I was ignored) Even if energy saving trust's figures were accurate, our own personal experience proves otherwise, the new boiler would never pay for itself. For a basic, cheapest maintenance contract it would cost £108 for a year (£9 month with british gas) This is never mentioned or quoted by the EST. This reduces the "savings" to £192 (remember this is the upto figure that EST claim can be saved per year from an energy bill) £2500 for the new boiler would take over 13 years to pay for itself. Warmfront final report figures state that new boilers fitted have a life of 12 years. As you can see, even with the very best scenario that the new boiler will last it's 12 years and maximum bill savings quoted by EST, the new boiler would never pay for itself, over it's lifetime. The consumer would be left out of pocket. I could also go into the extra years costs being subtracted from the EST's figures, but there is little need to do so. Even without them, the costs involved to the individual show that fitting a new boiler and "saving money" is an energy industry marketing myth! Further proof exists as I posted. British gas' own engineer has told us that an old boiler will use the same amount of gas as a new boiler. As I post, we have added considerable measures to insulate and save units of energy from our bill, at considerable expense to ourselves. - Full "energy efficient" double glazed windows and doors throughout - New A rated boiler & heating controls, replacing our 1972 G rated back boiler with no heating controls - Thermostatic radiator valves in 4 of 6 rooms - Exterior double coat of render - Cavity wall insulation, both spray in and in panel form - All new copper pipework, fitted by myself and pressure tested by two different company engineers, one from british gas, one independant (both got the same results) - Fitted a multi fuel burner, which is now used as our sole source of heating the home - Brand new gas meter, old one was found to have no fault and be accurate, new one installed and checked - Extra loft insulation After each measure was fitted, in the next two months our unit use of energy remained the same and in some cases increased. We have recently installed a brand new cooker to see if this would be causing the high energy use, however the units used have now been removed from customer statements... how convenient. With all these measures fitted you would think that we would at the very least, see a small reduction in energy units used? Sadly not. Thanks for taking the time to post.
20/11/12 @ 21:42
Comment from: Martyn [Visitor]
Dean I'm sure you understand I can't explain what is going on in your house, though it seems very unusual. But is is unrelated to Angela Knights comments on the percentage of your bill that is made up of paying for the raw energy that is included. Imagine Tesco said that only 50% of the cost of your £1 loaf was made the cost of the flour it was made with, the rest of it was energy costs for trasnporting, making, baking, packaging and marketing it. None of that would change the fact that if you cut your bread consumption by 50% then you would cut your costs by 50% - because you would not be paying for the marketing, making, transport etc of the loaves you were no longer eating. On the matter of your house, I can only suggest that you get some specialist advice from someone who can examine the measures you have fitted and check them out. Your experience is very different to ours. Martyn
23/11/12 @ 16:45
Comment from: [Member]
Value hunter
Hi Martyn, That is exactly how we thought before installing the new boiler, 17% efficiency savings = 17% lower gas use = 17% lower bills. Sadly, it doesn't work like this. For example, currently, British gas on their "clear and simple" tariff for prepayment customers charge a daily standing charge rate of 25.99 pence. This is payable regardless of whether I use 1 meter unit or 5000 meter units. In a 30 day month this costs me £7.80 per month, regardless of gas use. Angela's 50% of bill is energy use comment reveals that the percentage of energy used in our bills, is shrinking. Confusing I know. So the 17% "efficiency savings" for new boiler, if taken literally to mean 17% lower bills, would only be on the £52.20 of the £60 a month I pay. (if you get my drift?) Efficiency savings on the £7.80 are impossible. The energy saving trust base their "upto savings" for a new boiler being fitted, on 100% of the bill. In our case, if we were on British gas' tariff listed above, their figures can't possibly be accurate, the standing charge costs alone, show their figures to £93.60 per year out. (12 times £7.80 a month standing charge) There are questions over the energy saving trust process for giving a boiler A ratings. Some ratings only test for heating, others test for heating and hot water. This is perhaps why the efficiency rating system is being substantially changed to a more generalised format. This is for another time though. With standing charges (as listed above) plus the £108 for a basic service contract each year, this straight away takes the perceived savings quoted by the energy saving trust, for replacing a G rated for an A rated boiler, down to just £99 per year. Average life of boiler = 12 years (warmfront final report figures) and the new lower purchase/fitting figure of £2300 (was £2500 in the warmfront report) result in a new A rated boiler taking over 23 years to pay for itself. With the boiler having a lifespan of just 12 years on average, I think we both can agree, that financially, the consumer will be left out of pocket?
24/11/12 @ 04:52
Comment from: Jeff [Visitor]
1 stars
I'm sorry to say, but you don't understand your bill, how energy works, central heating systems, how companies work, or basic mathematics. You're comments are dangerously inaccurate, and you're doing a great disservice to anyone else who reads this and is as misinformed as you. And I fear there are many. You've said yourself that 87% of your bill is charge at a per unit rate. Fine. It doesn't matter what that unit rate consists of from an energy accounting standpoint. If you install a boiler that is 30% more efficient, you will save 30% of the 87% (26% savings in the end...close enough). With regards to EST's estimate of £300 savings, this is based the fact that the average UK gas heating bill is approximately £1000 per year. Heavy users will save more in monetary terms because their consumption is higher (e.g. 30% of £2000 = £600). You seem to have a comparatively low bill, so well done you for being so energy efficient in the first place. It's true. You will not receive as much of a benefit in absolute terms. I'll let you try to work out if it was really the best decision to change boilers in this case. As for your assertion that your maintenance plan eats into your savings, no one's making you purchase one of these. It's a choice as to whether or not you think you'll have the funds available if your boiler breaks down. And it's an entirely independent choice and has nothing to do with whether or not you have an old G- boiler or a new A- one. So get that out of your head. As for your BG friend who told you that new boilers use the same gas, but produce less CO2. Did that really make sense to you? Basic chemistry would tell you that when you burn a hydrocarbon, mostly methane in this case, you primarily get CO2 and water vapour. It doesn't matter what you burned it in. New boiler. Old boiler. The result is the same. If a new boiler produces less CO2 than its predecessor, then it uses less gas too and vice versa. That's how it works. End of. Finally, like Martyn, I can't tell what's gone on in your home, but if you've taken all those measures and your energy bills are the same, then you've done something terribly incorrect or there's a much larger issue that you haven't address yet. A common mistake people who install energy efficiency measures make is to take advantage of the extra comfort those measures provide. In other words, a previously cold home had it's occupants wearing lots of clothes in the winter to stay warm. But once the new measures were put in place, they cranked up the heat and shed the extra layers. Well, sorry to say, that's going to have an impact on your energy usage. It's the difference between the outside temperature and the inside temperature that determines how much heat energy you use. The greater that difference, the larger your bill. So, if you were used to wearing the cardie and slippers all winter long in the past and don't any longer, try it again this winter. I'll bet you'll see your bill drop. And, again, to reiterate Martyn's point, if you're still stumped, get a specialist to come in and have a look. You've get several other mistakes in your arguments above, but this takes care of the big ones, and I've already spent enough time here. Good luck.
12/09/13 @ 21:52
Comment from: [Member]
Value hunter
Hi Jeff, First off, thanks for your input. All input is welcome, whether against or for the post (or any other on this website). It was that thought provoking, I have done a full post on the issue, your post and my response. Thanks again for taking the time to post. Here's a link to it: New boiler post reply
17/09/13 @ 20:02
Comment from: [Member]
Value hunter
If you're still around Jeff, have you seen the latest DECC figures and related article on the Energy Saving trust "Down grading figures" in the press? This misleading practice has been going on for years under both Labour and the coalition. Am I still "Dangerously inaccurate"?
18/01/14 @ 10:17

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