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UK RICS report says solar takes 208 years to repay...nonsense! Help needed! - Page 2

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Posted by Andy Hall on October 14, 2007, 9:43 am
On 2007-10-14 10:38:43 +0100, Eeyore

Mainly to politicians like Hilary Benn, who as has been said,  have
never done a real job in their lives.

Posted by Eeyore on October 14, 2007, 9:41 am

Jonathan wrote:

That's clearly nonsense.

I can certainly believe that one with today's health and safety requirements.
Maybe 300 in materials
and 455 labour ?


Posted by Derek Geldard on October 14, 2007, 10:27 am
 On Sun, 14 Oct 2007 10:41:45 +0100, Eeyore

If VAT was charged at the standard rate the chancellor would get
113.40 of that.

Probably not. If they are going to save the earth with a hot water
cylinder they will need to achieve the best result possible (no point
settling for any less)  probably replacing a cheap builder's quality
cylinder with a high spec. high recovery cylinder, IME some of the
pipes will need to be moved and access might be difficult in a small
cylinder cupboard.

Around here a plumber would charge 230 / day. Also for this sort of
costing exercise the cost of making good / redecoration would have to
be factored in, even though a D-I-Y er might leave the redecoration
until the next routine redecoration.


Posted by Eeyore on October 14, 2007, 9:45 am

Jonathan wrote:

Actually it said "heating controls including thermostat and radiator valves".
There are some high end
'intelligent' control systems out there that might just cost that much
installed, at least in the high
labour cost South East.


Posted by Mike on October 14, 2007, 11:12 am
I opened my paper yesterday to see the following wildly inaccurate,
misleading and sensationalist report regarding home energy saving and
renewable energy. It was in several of the papers, here are some

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_idH7394&in_page_id 70
http://www.building.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode (4&storycode097491&c=0

There was a graphic in the Times, illustrating some figures.

The figures in the graphic are in cloud cuckoo land.
761 to lag the tank? 755 for loft insulation?? 2,240 for
thermostatic radiator valves? At 9 per valve that's a pretty big
house!. All of the costs are between 5-20x exaggerated over real world
prices. I'd be interest in seeing the actual report, but of course,
there is no link to it.

It depends on where you live in the UK.  I recently arranged for cavity wall
insulation and loft insulation, tank insulation AND a new boiler to be
fitted.  It was through the Warmfront Grant and never cost a penny, it also
includes two years of free services/checks.  They only allow up to 2800 and
even give some of those awful low energy bulbs that take 10mins to warm up
and stay dim!
The wall insulation and loft insulation only cost a few hundred pounds.  The
radiator valves were not changed but wouldn't take long, including draining
the system and refilling.  There was still a lot left over from the 2800
and all work was by 3 local companies.
The lagging jacket for the tank wasn't expensive, you can get them in B&Q or

What struck me in particular was this paragraph:

"But the study from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors shows
that some of the measures, such as solar panels to heat water, would
cost 5,000 to install but reduce average bills by only 24 a year and
would take about 208 years to pay back."

I looked at solar heating and electric panels.  Unfortunately the companies
selling the equipment have inflated prices after publicity, even B&Q.  I
would like a solar water heating system right now and contacted a few
companies then shopped around.  The cheapest was 3000 to install, if I
tried to do it myself it would would out about 500 less.  I would need to
alter the loft to take the weight of the solar panels too, so that is added
cost from a builder and it would need to be inspected.  You also need
planning permission.  A new tank would be required in the bathroom for the
hot water as a further heating coil is required.  To get one with two coils
inside is more expensive.  So add the cost of that and fitting.  I would say
a TOTAL of 5000 is very realistic when everything is added to make a
working system.
Considering the weather in the UK and where I live, I doubt the system would
provide even warm water apart from during 4 months of the year.  Probably
when I don't need it.  So it wouldn't be used for most of the year anyway.
I might aswell save the 3000 and put it towards bills.

I work very hard to market ethically, using the "safest low figures"
as provided by the Energy Saving Trust and guidelines from the Solar
Trade Association

The very, very minimum saving on an appropriate solar thermal
installation is 75 per annum per panel, in the real world it's many
times more. I'm sure even the most sceptical person in this group can
see all of the figures are utter nonsense. But what to do about an
ignorant public?

I asked about this at the Alternative Technology Centre in Wales.  They have
a number of systems on display is actual houses.  They don't get anywhere
near those savings, even with 2ft of insulation on the walls.  My gas
heating system was already fitted but the bills add up to approximately 275
after changing from British Gas who doubled their prices a few years ago,
then reduced them slightly.
If I was to pay 3000 to fit a solar heating system and it only saved me 75
a year, you need to look at how many years I would need to save 75 in order
to pay back the 3000 initial cost.  I get it to about  40 years and
probably longer owing to future increases in costs of gas and inflation.
If as I think, and the Technology Centre seemed to suggest, around 30 per
year per panel - if hot water ws normally required -  is more sensible, that
would take around  100 years.  You can't say it will save money if you
wouldn't normally be using gas heating on hot summer days.  I've never seen
a solar system heating water to an acceptable temperature on a winter day or
when it's freezing, raining or snowing outside.

Nonsense like this ruins years of hard work rebuilding the reputation
of an industry which has already had hard times due to mis-selling.

It doesn't.  If companies would stop trying to rip people off by getting
rich quick and vanishing when products fail it might be better.  Everyone
hates a sales person as they know most will lie to get the most commission.
That is why most people only buy from a company direct - when they want to.
People who need to lie for a living can't be trusted.

I've written to the RICS asking to the see full report, where the data
came from, and how they worked their figures out. But meantime, does
anyone have any thoughts on what the agenda of this report might be,
apart from to spread lies and mis-information?

It's to make people aware what the real position is and not to fall for wild
claims and/or false advertising.  By the time you add up the saving the
company will be trading under a different name.

I would fit a solar heating system if it was a reasonable price and it
worked all year - and offered immediate noticeable savings.  Sort that out

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