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Oil to electric


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I've done a few (including my own place). But, as Albert says, the cost depends on any number of factors. Get some devis from local Electricians.

That apart, if your oil system is working and even with oil at $150/barrel, it willl take a long time to recover the cost of changing - despite the fact that electric heating is bound to be cheaper (per KwH) than oil soon (if it isn't already) and the price of electricity doesn't rise as quickly...

Another point (that I always make to my customers) - before you think about installing any heating; Insulate, insulate, insulate....

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As a ballpark figure what sort of improvement in efficiency might one reasonably expect from a modern condensating oil boiler against an early 70's Ferroli behemoth which is about 1/2 cu/m in size and has a separate replaceable burner !

 

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Buying into a NEW oil fired system........ madness madness, madness   - obviously the price rise of €0.15 per litre in the last week hasn't filtered out to the campagne.

Look at Solar and life looks brighter and more comforatble and more affordable no matter what the Barrel price is.

.......  Or am I missing the all important view of reality.

Andrew

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[quote user="ErnieY"]

As a ballpark figure what sort of improvement in efficiency might one reasonably expect from a modern condensating oil boiler against an early 70's Ferroli behemoth which is about 1/2 cu/m in size and has a separate replaceable burner !

 

[/quote]

I would be very interested in this as well. Not only do we have a giant old inefficient oil fuelled boiler, I would love to take down the chimney breast that runs up through the middle of the house that it is connected to. I have asked our plumber about a condensating boiler and he says it is not a good idea, our house is too big for this, in fact I had difficulty explaining to him what a condensating boiler is.[8-)] Our house is not very big at around 200 meters.

I wonder perhaps that condensating boilers aren't that common in France or is it just our plumber? Does anyone here have a suggestion about what sort of boiler we should be looking at and would it need a chimney? I have asked similar questions here before and as with the OP it does seem to be a real conundrum at the moment because of the price of oil. [:(]

By the way, we have iron rads and our plumber has suggested that we look at an external above ground heat pump in the future to subsidise our current huge red duel fuel (wood and oil but have never tried using wood based on what others have said about not trying it) to run the central heating and hot water.

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I'm Plod (on my wife's log-in!). The house has 3/4 bedrooms, two baths and hot water and central heating come from oil. I had thought that the cost of conversion would make it not viable financially but wondered if anybody had done it. I think we have a relatively limited time in this house so the cost of any major expenditure (eg solar) may not be recouped.
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[quote user="foxyloxy25"]I'm Plod (on my wife's log-in!). The house has 3/4 bedrooms, two baths and hot water and central heating come from oil. I had thought that the cost of conversion would make it not viable financially but wondered if anybody had done it. I think we have a relatively limited time in this house so the cost of any major expenditure (eg solar) may not be recouped.[/quote]

Your original (alter-ego) question was oil to electric and I reckon my point above is still valid. HOWEVER, I also reckon that you would be hard pushed to recoup the cost of virtually any alternative system. Especially short-term.

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[quote user="foxyloxy25"]I'm Plod (on my wife's log-in!). The house has 3/4 bedrooms, two baths and hot water and central heating come from oil. I had thought that the cost of conversion would make it not viable financially but wondered if anybody had done it. I think we have a relatively limited time in this house so the cost of any major expenditure (eg solar) may not be recouped.[/quote]

 

'recoup'... 'pay-back'.... amortisation.... get your money back'.....!!!!!!

I hear this all the time when anyone is looking at renewable energy systems.

Its really funny that I never read it or heard anything like it when a renovator is talking about fossil fuel systems which are by far the majority of installations. Its a curious piece of psychology I think ,that in the past we've been ripped off,  dumped on, lied too, polluted out of or health and generally taken the mickey out off by energy giants for generation and we just accept it.... 'OK well if that's what it cost then I guess I just have to pay it... 've got no choice after all'.

Now that there are viable choices... that actually work, and are better for comfort, health, purse, environment community, its 'that's all very well my son with your fancy renewable energy gizmo but when am I going to get my money back? What…! 8 years!!!!! Can't wait that long... you're joking! Its ugly too....!

(never seen a pretty oil boiler in my life)

Its going to be the next generation that will have the foresight to understand and act on the consequence of their individual choices for home energy consumption because its sure that this generation is too pre-occupied with keeping the 'home (oil) fires burning, and keeping those carbon emission coming',  maintaing the staus quo to change anything even if the price climbs faster than a rattle snake up a drain pipe.

I don't think that anyone should have to be a crusader to consider these technologies seriously,…… just awake and with an elementary grasp of arithmetic will do.

Here's hoping that I have put this audience to sleep!

Andrew

 

 

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ZZZZzzzzzz  [:)]

I do tend to agree that pinning ones colours to the fossil mast, especially for a new install, is, at very best, a risky strategy. However, even though the medium to long term prospects for oil look grim, the unfortunate fact is that for many the capital outlay for alternative solar or geothermal systems, or WHY, may be well beyond their means so it's a case of making the best of a bad job, even if ultimately it does cost considerably more.

Having been a long time fan of oil heating I must admit that I never though the day would come where I even entertain the thought of electric heating but I'm seriously thinking about some sort of hybrid solar/electric/oil solution to the present dilemma.

 

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We bought a place with a central heating wet radiator system and an oil fired boiler.

 

The boiler was defunct (though the etsate agent had 'sold' the CH system, another story) and we took some time to rework it.

 

The costs for a replacement Oil Boiler seemed silly, even though the existing radiator system had been pressure tested and was sound.  We were on the point of tearing out the wet system and putting in a mixture of electric radiators and electric convectors.

THEN we changed our thoughts and put in an electric boiler serving the wet CH system. It works well and was a lot cheaper to install than an Oil boiler. We gained several cu meters when we took out the oil tank as well.

Using electric to serve a wet system seems weird but is more 'comfortable' than direct electric. However, If I hadn't had the wet sytem in place I wocould not justify putting it in (go for underfloor instead !).

If I was adding to the property (or starting from scratch) I would also consider the air to air heat exchangers which can also be aircon in summer.

 

Good luck

 

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Something I have come across recently is a "pompe à chaleur" which although expensive to install, is much cheaper in the end. I know several people who are in the process of installing these but ..... can anyone explain what they are (in simple language, please) ?

We, too, are on oil CH. We have a large house and often there are only 2 or us. Our bathroom and downstairs loo hot water are supplied by the 150ltr tank in the boiler, and in summer, we have run the boiler just for our hot water. BUT we have just put in an electric water heater (150L tank) and hope that with heures creuses it will dramatically reduce our oil consumption...and fuel bills.

The longères that are the style of our region are one room deep, very long long buildings which are difficult to heat economically. Perhaps if we had known then what we know now we would have done things differently....... underfloor heating in the bathroom etc....
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To address the initial question: electric heating can present the lowest up front cost, electric UFH works extremely well and is the lowest to install (and run) if you work on around 10 years. It should last forever and if you can possibly produce some of the electricity yourself then can make good economic sense.

If you are thinking about longer than 10 years this opens up many possibilities which have been eluded to here.

Geothermal - yes probably, highest initial cost but CoP of 4:1 makes payback possible within 10 years - the more you use it the quicker the payback, i.,e. if you use it for domestic hot water and swimming pool heating and air conditioning (yes it can be done with fan coil units) then your payback is likely to be within say 8 years compared to current fuel solutions.

Air source heat pumps - okay but probably not worth the investment. Most have low CoPs during the colder months despite what the manufacturers specs say.

Solar hot water - yes, budget between 2500 - 4000 Euros. Payback is probably around 6 - 10 years.

Mains Electric plus say Solar PV - can present good value but depends how far you go. Its the law of diminishing returns but if you opt for net metering then buyback rates are good.

You have lots of options - suggested place to start is time you may spend in the property and therefore how long you will benefit plus payback time.

Second, what kind of budget you are willing to commit. I suppose it's a case of invest up front or spend little and pay the monthly bills which of course is interelated to time.

Good luck

Marc

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I'm not technical at all (hence the "wet" question) I talked to a friend and he suggested that it should not be too costly. Everything is in place - pipes, rads etc, all that should be needed is an electric water heater plus some pipework changes at boiler level. Or am I naive?
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This is an interesting thread for me too.

We have a longere as a second home ( 10 wks max a year) and when we had the oil fuelled boiler serviced last year (20 yrs old) we were told it had a life-span of 2-5 yrs left as he merrily chipped off the rust[:-))]

That leaves us with 1-4 yrs now.

( and it's bound to blow in the middle of winter....)

The roof is south facing so solar panels seem a good option- although I understand there are a new type coming on the market which are only avaiable to businesses at the moment.I understand they're not panels as such but roll like thick foil.

Surly sell-back electricity is the way to go for someone like us?????

Oil prices????......................I'm now having serious concerns about replacing the boiler and converting to electricity..........this time last year it would just have been an automatic replacement.........amazing what changes a year brings eh????

Need to plan ahead.......

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The roof is south facing so solar panels seem a good option- although I understand there are a new type coming on the market which are only avaiable to businesses at the moment.I understand they're not panels as such but roll like thick foil.

Surly sell-back electricity is the way to go for someone like us?????

Oil prices????......................I'm now having serious concerns about replacing the boiler and converting to electricity..........this time last year it would just have been an automatic replacement.........amazing what changes a year brings eh????

 

The type of PV you mention is thin film technology – very in-efficient but lower initial cost and generally difficult to source at present as the main lower cost source has the manufacturing process quite well wrapped up in patents.

Given current products available also important to choose an efficient system – there are mono crystalline, poly crystalline, amorphous etc etc. All have pros and cons but don’t just plump for the lowest price. What you save initially will be eroded by the poor performance.

For buy back (net metering) rates I can send the info from EDF if anyone wants it (French only).

 

One word of caution though – the rates may well be dramatically reduced in the near future as is happening in Spain, Cyprus, Greece and the USA. Speculation whether France will reduce and ADEME  are saying nothing but my feeling is that France will follow. So, if you intend on doing something then sooner rather than later whilst the contracts are still available.

Debateable whether net metering is financially viable, around 1200 Euros for EDF to install the new meter/s and high capital cost. Possibly worth thinking about starting smaller and extend if you feel the system is performing well. Insolation levels ate your location also need to be considered.

 

Will EDF’s prices for electricity go up as a direct result of Oil etc prices? Possibly Oil will not dramatically affect EDF as much of the energy produced is nuclear. Take a view I guess?

Gut feeling vs payback, investment etc – maybe electricity with your mains supplemented by PV or Wind / Water turbine is a good compromise?

 

So many choices so good luck.

Marc

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Sorry

 

When I said 'wet' I meant that the pre-existing radiators and pipework stayed in place - so the effect in the rooms was the , largely radiant heat, from radiators using hot water as the heat distribution. Nicer than the fiercer (drier ?) heat you get from electric convectors.

 

AFAIK the difference was significant. Electric boiler less than a quarter the price of the oil one - and we freed up space by getting rid of the oil tank.

 

John

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  • 1 month later...
[quote user="Owens88"]

AFAIK the difference was significant. Electric boiler less than a quarter the price of the oil one - and we freed up space by getting rid of the oil tank.

 

John

[/quote]

And if you spent what you saved on some sort of renewable energy product (wind, PV etc) then maybe it makes financial sense in the long term as well?

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And still nobody's answered Callie's question as to what a heat pump is...

It's any device which by a combination of mechanics and chemistry manages to shift heat from one place to another. A fridge is the example of a heat pump we are most familiar with: it extracts the heat from the interior and dissipates, it via the mesh of pipes on the back, to the kitchen.

Their use in space heating is the exact same principle, with the 'cold' part outside the building, and the 'hot' part inside. The source of this low grade heat can be:

the ambiant air,

collected via a long run of pipes buried in the ground, or

a coil of pipes in a bore-hole. The distribution of the heat can be either blown hot air, or hot water circulating in pipes under the floor, or in radiators.

It's reckoned that the most efficient systems can derrive (sp?) 4kw (equiv) of heat, for every 1kw of electricity used to power the heat pump .

paul

PS     C. has just gone off clutching an empty coke bottle to fashion a water-proof 'shoe' to go on the end of Ted's plaster. He claimed it was an example of his capacity for lateral thinking !

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[quote user="Gyn_Paul"]And still nobody's answered Callie's question as to what a heat pump is...

It's reckoned that the most efficient systems can derrive (sp?) 4kw (equiv) of heat, for every 1kw of electricity used to power the heat pump .

[/quote]

It is easy to digress on these forums as the threads develop - Paul makes a good point and just to add:

Yes a heat pump is a fridge - either air or ground source. Air source are much easier to install but tend to be less efficient - if you live in an area prone to high humidity then it may not prove the best option. The main work involved in installing for ground source is usually digging the trenches for the groundloop but most people seem to know a 'man with digger' which tends to reduce cost substantially.

The efficiency is known as Co-efficient of Performance (CoP) and this can exceed 4:1 by some margin with the right product, air source tend to have a lower CoP.

If you opt for a heat pump use it to its maximum, i.e. heating and domestic hot water plus dump the excess heat into a pool if you have one. The more you use it the better the return.

They can work with radiators for retrofit, and it surprises most people that in fact the antique style cast iron type work better than most existing alternatives. Low temp rads are available, otherwise double the area so the heat pump is not running at full throttle.

It is fairly common now to couple these to a solar system and the additional cost in doing so is relatively small.

Hope that helps.

Marc

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