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New house has no gas... what are our options?

(18 Posts)
wishfulthinking1 Fri 08-Nov-13 20:36:14

We've had offer accepted on a house- needs a lot of work- but it's in glorious location.

Currently no water (used to be an old well) so connecting to water is a no brainer.

Also no gas. DH and I talked about installing gas for heating / cooking (there is a pipe in the road not too far away so it's a sensible option). Currently there are some night storage heaters. There's also an open fire.

It really is a blank slate at the moment. With the rise in gas prices is installing gas a no-brainer? Or are we missing a trick? Should we seriously consider solar / ground source for heating? It all seems so expensive at the outlay. Would welcome any advice. TIA.

MisForMumNotMaid Fri 08-Nov-13 20:46:35

Check out renewable heat incentive (RHI) for groundsource and airsource grants and ongoing payments.

Solar water heating is quite economical if you're doing a full overhaul.

If its a biggish house with heating/ fuel prices the way they are you could consider zoning the house. Why heat all the rooms if you find you live in one or two?

Multifuel burners are far more efficient than an open fire but quite pricy to install.

Also check out all the insulation deals around at present from the utilities. Some are paying you to do your insulation - cavity and loft.

Liara Fri 08-Nov-13 20:53:06

In your situation, I would go for solar hot water for the summer and a wood burning stove with a back boiler for the winter.

It is my ideal solution, and I fully intend to install it in my next house (currently have solar and gas combination).

There is no nicer way to heat a house than with a log burner, and you can get some which you cook on as well. We have this and it makes the winters nice and cozy. If you add a back boiler, you can use them for your hot water and even some radiators if the house layout would make that sensible.

GobbySadcase Fri 08-Nov-13 20:55:05

Electric £££

Oil £££

So I'd plumb the gas, personally

WhatWillSantaBring Fri 08-Nov-13 21:22:36

Unless you've got the money to invest in the eco thing - massively upgrading the insulation, u/f heating and a ground source heat pump, wood chip boiler etc, I'd go for gas every time. Oil is massively expensive and other options aren't really viable options. Have you ever lived without central heating? It's in humane, IMHO!

specialsubject Fri 08-Nov-13 21:23:52

oil is only very slightly more expensive per unit than mains gas, and both will go up. But oil boilers are much pricier, and oil can be stolen.

make some calls and get a rough idea of the cost of connecting to mains gas. Also install a multifuel burner - massively more efficient that an open fire.

don't know much about solar, although have the impression that kit prices are dropping so will soon be worthwhile again. Should be possible to link to your main boiler.

SimLondon Fri 08-Nov-13 22:10:42

Gas bottles for hobs are quite cheap to run. Ours lasted 18 months cost £60. We use oil / woodburner with a modern boiler as well. Do not go for a stupid temperamental inefficient Rayburn.

Talkinpeace Fri 08-Nov-13 22:31:49

ground source heat pump to do the heating
solar thermal for the hot water
pv fo part of the electric
no need for gas
if you have the acreage, look into windmills, but ground source and solar are the most reliable

induction hobs are excellent things

didireallysaythat Sat 09-Nov-13 07:35:00

Mains gas is always going to be attractive to a future buyer, even if they have a similar mindset to you regarding greener options. A wood burner sounds like a non brainer but not having had one with a back boiler I can comment on how low input they are. Our neighbours had one and chopping wood in the dark on a Sunday evening seemed to be a regular thing (I assume so it could be stoked up on monday morning before they left for work getting back around 8pm).

Whatever you choose, you need to insulate more than you can imagine. There are grants/kick backs for some renewable routes but you're only going to get somewhere if you are insulated to and beyond current standards. Is the EPC informative here ?

didireallysaythat Sat 09-Nov-13 07:38:18

Solar thermal would supply all water in the summer but in the winter would probably need supplementing (maybe the back burner). Unless you live south, nearer the equator.

NoArmaniNoPunani Sat 09-Nov-13 07:56:10

We live in a house with no gas and no option to install it. When we moved in we had night storage heaters which were shit. Now we have modern electric heaters which are great. Our house has good insulation and we haven't found them any more expensive than storage heaters. Modern ones have a thermostat, timers etc so they are very similar to gas central heating

SqueakdeSqueak Sat 09-Nov-13 07:59:59

What would you do if you didn't install gas and then had a power cut, I have gone for houses with gas hobs every time for this reason, then at least you can still heat one room (albeit the kitchen) and have hot food and drinks.

7to25 Sat 09-Nov-13 08:10:55

My inlaws live in a rural location and power cuts go with the territory. They have oil central heating, but that will not run during a cut. They have a gas cooker connected to bottled gas, an oil fired range, a coal fire with a back boiler. So they will always have a source of heat and hot water/cooking.
A wood burning stove with a back boiler sounds great.

TwoJackRussellsandababy Sat 09-Nov-13 08:12:15

If you can't install mains gas you might still have the ability to install Calor gas, you'd need a tank in the garden which the tanker can reach to fill up, but in more rural areas it is definitely an option, although it is more expensive than mains gas.

I grew up without central heating, it is possible but fairly unheard of these days, I still remember putting socks and a jumper on to go to bed and still even now sleep better with heavy bedclothes on rather than a light duvet whilst my DH always lived in a warm house and finds the idea of single glazing and no ch medieval (soft thing that he is!)

OnePlanOnHouzz Sat 09-Nov-13 09:56:33

We have oil - costs a flipping fortune ! So maybe go for LPG ! As less easy to steal if you have a really large tank that's filled once or twice a year !

Alwayscheerful Sat 09-Nov-13 10:02:28

We have a wood pellet boiler, runs like a gas or oil boiler, heats a large cold barn conversion, I didn't want an oil tank or LPG tank & the oil is too expensive. We also have 4kw of solar panels.

Talkinpeace Sat 09-Nov-13 14:06:49

Connecting to gas can be VERY expensive - setting the pipe is up to £200 a metre because only one company does each area.
You could be hundreds of metres from the main.

Our house is all electric but we have a woodburner for power cut heating and I've done BBQs in the snow (during building work) - one copes.
THen again if you have PV, you are less reliant on the mains ...

WhatWillSantaBring Mon 11-Nov-13 08:36:55

Oh, a wood chip boiler would be a good alternative. If you have the space for an auto feed hopper as well (and the space to store wood pellets) then that could work out the best option. Expensive to get started but with the renewable heat incentive, it will break even sooner.

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