Sign of the times

esoxlucius

Alligator Gar
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I liked the one about social media.
I can't really comment on the social media aspect as I never bother with it. But apparently, from everything I've read on the forum regarding social media, it is a huge platform for misinformation, which doesn't really surprise me to be honest.
 

Ulu

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Our energy prices are insane and I live in a situation where I do not want to put up solar panels on my roof, because I have a concrete tile roof, and because I don’t have the correct exposure.

That is to say, decades ago I planted trees around the property, and they shade my house from the sun.

Anyhow we are lucky enough that we can afford what we are using, but there’s no guarantee that this will continue. We might have to cut back or we might have to come up with more money.

This is what I am betting on.

Portable energy production technology is going to take off like you’ve never seen it before.
 
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esoxlucius

Alligator Gar
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solar panels
My wife's mother and our next door neighbour both have solar panels. I've never even looked into it, but the situation as it stands regarding spiralling costs, will no doubt have me picking their brains very soon.

I do know there is an initial purchase and installation fee, it's a fair chunk of money too I believe. And there after you basically get free electricity, and any "spare" energy you can sell back to the grid.

That sounds extremely attractive at the minute, though like I said I've never looked into it, in detail anyway. It might not be quite as simple as that, things seldom are.

From a gas perspective, since we had our wood burner fitted last November our central heating has never been on! All through winter the house was red hot, uncomfortably so at times, heated by free wood from work. That has turned into a fantastic investment.
 

jjohnwm

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Does solar even work in England? I mean, it requires the sun to shine once in a while...:)

The problem IMHO with solar, or any "new" technology, is the fact that the state of the art advances so quickly nowadays that the stuff becomes obsolete almost before you finish installing it. You can do a calculation that gives you some idea how long it will take for something like this to pay for itself in savings; you don't actually save any money until after that point. But...odds are excellent that by that time, there will be something better available which makes your new system obsolete...and then the pressure from the socially/environmentally-conscious loudmouths will begin anew.

How about an example, you ask? Okay...wait, you didn't ask? Tough; here it is anyway: Not many years ago, the Canadian gummint did its level best to make you feel like a complete caveman if you still used incandescent bulbs in your home; what kind of amoral moron would do so when CFL (compact fluorescent) was obviously the wave of the future? In an effort to maintain their position on the cutting edge of social consciousness, many folks bit the bullet and bought a bunch of these much-more-expensive new "bulbs"; others heard only the words "more efficient" and that was enough to sell them on the idea. The powers-that-be even had numerous incentives and rebates available to those who "upgraded"...which of course means that even the Neanderthals who didn't buy these lamps wound up paying for everyone else's, since it was everybody's tax dollars that fueled these incentives. Depending upon usage, it could take years for that expensive CFL bulb you bought to actually save you any money over replacing a number of incandescents.

And then, not many years later, before many of those original CFL lamps had even burned out...LED's took off. They (Light Emitting Diodes) are even more efficient, last even longer, produce even less heat...and, at least at first, cost even more. Suddenly, CFL's were anathema; what kind of amoral moron would use them when LED's were obviously the next wave of the future. Somehow, the high mercury content of CFL's...which had been a known quantity all along...was now able to morph into the next looming environment disaster. Look! He's still using CFL's! Burn the witch!!!

And throughout all this nonsense...incandescent lamps continued to be manufactured and sold. If the government really wanted to save the world, why are those old bulbs still legal to make and sell? LED's screw right into the same fixtures, and are undeniably better in every meaningful way; they've even dropped dramatically in price. And, this is Canada...everything here is illegal!...and yet the store shelves are still awash in incandescent bulbs, still the cheapest to buy, but still burning up energy and requiring replacement at frightening rates...and still 100% legal.

So, be very careful, Esox, before you dive into the solar quicksand. My wife asks me about it periodically; but between the panels, the equipment, the banks of batteries, the storage of all that equipment (certainly no room in my little house)...plus the labour to install all that crap...I simply don't see myself living long enough to pay for all that stuff and do all that work and then run it long enough to hit the break-even point and only then actually see any benefit. And, of course, there looms the ever-present spectre of the next big thing, better than the last rearing its "woke" head and turning you back into a social dinosaur, newfangled solar panels notwithstanding. Buyer beware! :)
 
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esoxlucius

Alligator Gar
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Does solar even work in England?
You'd think that solar panels in Blighty would indeed have an extremely obvious flaw as you quite rightly mentioned. Apparently not though, they seem to be working very well for my mother in law and our neighbours.

But like I said, I haven't even began to scrape the surface as far as research goes or getting quotes etc. I have no doubt there will be some hidden catch somewhere though.

And rest assured, I won't be diving into anything where the initial outlay cost is going to be as much as I think it will be.
 

esoxlucius

Alligator Gar
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I had a rather enlightening chat with the neighbour today regarding his solar panels and whether it's worth me getting some on our roof.

He currently pays around £200 per month for gas and electric combined, we pay....wait for it....just shy of £200 per month gas and electric combined!!! WTF!

Admittedly we are due another increase with our supplier, my neighbour has already had their increase a few weeks ago. So ours, realistically will go above £200, though probably not by a great deal.

I was flabbergasted that there isn't a great deal between us. I thought the difference in bills would be shocking.

He went onto say that they aren't what they're cracked up to be, and it's certainly not the case that you get free electric plus a surplus too which you sell back to the grid, not by a long shot.

So, it would seem that solar panels are a non starter.
 

tlindsey

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I had a rather enlightening chat with the neighbour today regarding his solar panels and whether it's worth me getting some on our roof.

He currently pays around £200 per month for gas and electric combined, we pay....wait for it....just shy of £200 per month gas and electric combined!!! WTF!

Admittedly we are due another increase with our supplier, my neighbour has already had their increase a few weeks ago. So ours, realistically will go above £200, though probably not by a great deal.

I was flabbergasted that there isn't a great deal between us. I thought the difference in bills would be shocking.

He went onto say that they aren't what they're cracked up to be, and it's certainly not the case that you get free electric plus a surplus too which you sell back to the grid, not by a long shot.

So, it would seem that solar panels are a non starter.
A couple of weeks ago had a young guy looked like he just finished high school ring the doorbell. He said Sir would you like free electricity red flag. I don't believe anything is free lol. He was trying to sell me solar panels.
 
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jjohnwm

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A couple of weeks ago had a young guy looked like he just finished high school ring the doorbell. He said Sir would you like free electricity red flag. I don't believe anything is free lol. He was trying to sell me solar panels.
If he's going door to door selling solar panels...there's a good chance he didn't finish high school...

Esox, your neighbour's experience with solar is similar to that of many people I know who jumped on the bandwagon. Now, to be fair, you have to factor in a lot of other things to truly get an accurate comparison; size of house, electricity usage, etc.

But I have literally never met anyone who switched over and then a year later felt that solar lived up to its bloated promises...even before you consider the cost of switching.

"Free"...no such thing...
 

esoxlucius

Alligator Gar
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Imagine this one. He said that in winter when it snows the solar panels won't work at all, even with just a sprinkling of snow!

He said you have to go up a ladder and wipe the snow off the damn things!

That fact alone is enough to steer me away. Who the hell in their right mind wants to precariously climb up a ladder resting on an icy/frosty/snow covered guttering and then clamber onto an icy/frosty/snow covered roof to sweep their solar panels?

Next time you see that young dude trying to sell you solar panels tlindsey tlindsey , give him a kick up the arse!!
 
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