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Solar water heating in Yorkshire, England - Page 4

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Posted by Keith D on August 29, 2006, 6:31 am
Just a couple of points!

Mary's original post looks like viral marketing. The meter readers do not
carry all previous meter readings with them. These calculations are done
centrally. As a meter reader, he would have to report suspicious connections
or obvious signs of tampering, not the fact that you had not used much gas.

We have had one of the hottest summers on record (if not the hottest) so
expectations would be high.

Gov approved solar installations in the UK vary from 4000 to 8000. If
there are companies installing for less than this I would love to know.
There are companies selling them for 9000 with a buy it now price of

The grant will pay up to 400 or 30% of the cost provided you use approved
installer and an approved product. DIY does not count towards grant.

To attract the grant, there are criteria like: you must have a properly
insulated loft, have cavity wall insulation, use low energy light bulbs etc.
These are a pre-condition of the grant.

$500 with a $50 rebate is exactly the levels we need in the UK. The
current UK buyers are early adopters who are environmentally mature with no
focus on carbon (and clearly not the economics)

Don't get me wrong, what Mary has done is the answer; I just question the
economics of a market dominated by high pressure sales, high priced
equipment and no national standards. These are all areas that need to be

Posted by Mary Fisher on August 29, 2006, 8:37 am

You seem determined to misunderstand.

I have said clearly that I'm not marketing anything. If you choose not to
believe that it's your problem, not mine and it says more about you than
about me. My integrity is intact, my conscience is clear.

Our meter readings are entered into a hand held electronic device which has
some way of determining a band of normal/expected usage for gas and
electricity. If a reading which is - electronically - entered into that
system is outside that band it is queried. The meter reader no longer writes
down a figure which is taken back to the office! S/he has no control over it
and doesn't know whether the reading is being queried because it is too high
or too low.

Hot water use doesn't change in a hot summer, does it? If anything we've
done more clothes washing because we sweat and we've had more baths for the
same reason.

I gave you the details of the company we used and said that the cost would
be determined somewhat by your needs and circumstances.

I know that. We didn't qualify for the government grant because we did the
installation work ourselves. That's because we are capable of it, we prefer
the satisfaction of doing our own work and because we were doing other
plumbing at the same time which had to be incorporated into the system.

We already have all those, have had for years. Everybody should, it's very
cheap and really WOULD save you money - if you care about that. Anyone who
isn't well insulated etc. is not only wasting his/her own money s/he's
causing more damage to the environment.

You are deceiving yourself. Not that there's anything wrong with early
adopters, some people have to be in the vanguard for the sake of those who
will benefit in the future. That has always been the case in all spheres of
life whether technological, medical, educational or anything else.

There was NO high pressure salesmanship from the company we approached, they
responded courteously to all our requests for information. When we were a
foot short of silicone tubing they sent a complete coil of the stuff f.o.c.
We don't think that their equipment is high priced, if we did we wouldn't
have done it or we'd have cobbled pipes and a black box together.

Oh no - not national standards! The nanny state not allowing people to think
for themselves. What if Nanny was telling you that you MUST have a solar
system so that you were brought up to the national standard?

We didn't think that our equipment was high priced. I'm hoping to attend a
two day falconry course for my husband and three sons which will cost us the
same - with no payback.

What are the economics of buying a new pair of shoes? We don't, Spouse makes
ours. Made to measure.

What are the economics of going out for a meal? We don't, we make everything
ourselves. And it's better.

What are the economics of buying more bells and whistles for your computer?
We don't, we only replace anything when it dies and often not them.

What are the economics of having a television? We haven't got one. We don't
live vicariously.

You are determined to have your own ideas and not to believe others'

You're not worth reading any more. My questions were rhetorical but they
might just give you some food for thought although I doubt it.

Posted by Keith D on August 29, 2006, 4:18 pm

Strange this! I say that it's a good idea but not at any price and somehow
that should not be the case!
I say that when prices are as low as other countries you say forget that,
lets only sell it to those that can afford any price
I say there are no standards (like corgi, FENSA etc etc) and you say nanny
I say that companies are adopting high preasure sales (search under
Advertsing standards rulings and trading standards) and you focus on a
single event and a single company!
Methinks thou protesteth too much

Posted by daestrom on August 29, 2006, 10:00 pm

Shows what you know.  Meter readers in our area used a hand-held device that
looks a lot like the thing professional inventory takers for large grocery
chains use.  It *does* have the last meter reading and the 'nominal delta'.

These speed the data entry for the reader and instantly check for transposed
or erroneous readings.  If the reading isn't equal to last month plus the
'nominal delta' plus/minus some percentage, it beeps and asks the reader to
re-check the meter again.  Cuts down on mis-reads a lot.  And when they get
back to the office, they just plug it in to download the data.

But now the meter reader just drives by in a truck and the radio-link meter
downloads automatically.  Even faster and fewer errors.


Posted by Solar Flare on August 29, 2006, 11:16 pm
 iTron is a large manufacturer of these hand held reading boxes. What
daestrom says is true here also. Ten years ago the meter readers went
around with a notebook of all their readings for the last two years so
they could estimate readings they could not get that month.

The drive around trucks are becoming a reality fast but now superceded
by remote transmission towers that can read the meters withing
10-15km. Each meter has a 2 watt transmitter inside and can talk to
any other meter to relay information in case it can't talk direct.
This system is very similiar to Wi-Fi and uses unused cell phone/pager
frequencies. Big in Alabama right now.

Times are a changin'

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