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AliG last won the day on September 20

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  1. Sorry. Commenting while jet lagged! I didn’t realise the other drawing was a revision as it looked so different.
  2. As you are making a lot of changes, I think I would go further and do more with the space. I personally would never ever have a WC open onto the kitchen, it is not good for privacy. I am not clear what that space outside the pantry and WC is supposed to be used for. Also why would the pantry be so far from the rest of the kitchen Do you need a pantry, it looks like you have plenty of kitchen cabinets. Is that space behind the stairs a study at the moment? I would think you have room for a study and with everyone working from home now that's would be good to have. Did you consider having an entrance to the kitchen at the back of the stairs so you can go straight there from the front door instead of through the lounge? Maybe that space is too tight. If you had a more central door in the kitchen, I would take the area behind the stairs and make half of it utility room and half of it WC. Then I would make the whole WC/Pantry/Entrance area a study or even downstairs bedroom/en suite. IF you cannot get the kitchen door into that area then it might be too far to get to the WC from the kitchen.
  3. Not quite. The three phase guy can’t do gas and they forgot to organise a separate gas meter install.
  4. That’s right. We used to have butchers block effect laminate in the utility room that I really liked. But as I’d tell my daughter a stone worktop is “swanky”. Apparently this is a word only old people use.
  5. I am perfectly happy with our Silestone. We had black granite then white/grey granite in our last house and I liked them too. Granite is more heat resistant than quartz and harder to stain. I think most of the staining issue with quartz though is that people go for lighter colours. You wouldn’t have known if the black granite was stained. We have a small amount of Dekton that our BBQ is set into and objectively it seems to have the best qualities for a worktop in that it is heat resistant to 500C I think as well as stain resistant. There seemed to be less variety available and less polished surfaces but looking now it seems that there are more choices. I think though all of these are quite durable and I would go with what you like the look of and price of. Corian to me seems too easily damaged and stained, the same with wood.
  6. Thanks for the shoutout @Ferdinand I’m on a plane for the first time in two years so not as easy as normal to comment. Lots of things I can say that might be worth thinking about as general design points. 1. I too live in Scotland. I don’t like porches but you should always have a canopy at the front door to avoid visitors getting soaked whilst you come to let them in. 2. We also have a covered area outside, a sitooterie as our architect calls it. We often end up out there even though it is raining. However they do shade the windows quite badly which you might want to think about with that being the largest window in the lounge. 3. You are right not wanting the hot water cupboard in the kitchen. Also, and I see this all the time, architects should not be allowed to design kitchens. They seem to have no idea. The pantry is on the other side of the island away from where you will be cooking. That is an awful design. Also the kitchen door opens up into a tiny little space and you have to squeeze past the breakfast bar to get into either the lounge or the kitchen. Really poor. My rule is that you should always try and keep the area entering a room as open as possible and place fixtures far away from the door. This will stop your house feeling cramped even if it is not. I also doubt understand why you would want a breakfast bar right next to a table with the chairs bumping into each other. Do you really need both in what is a relatively modest sized room. 4. It sounds like you are quite flexible on space. Why not attach the garage to the house. It makes it a lot easier to store stuff in there and you can get in and out of the car without getting cold and wet. 5. Hard landscaping is very expensive and can be quite harsh. I would break up that area in front of the house. 6. Again, living in Scotland, you want to maximise the light available. I don’t mind too much the house facing north for the views, especially the bedrooms. They have less need for light during the day. However the real error is putting the kitchen and lounge on the east end of the house. My wife likes to sit outside in the morning and even on a nice day it is often freezing early on. Our old house faced east and the back and it was dark in the kitchen by 1pm. The afternoons and evenings are much more pleasant in Scotland. You can sit outside until midnight on a nice summer day. What we find is that the paving soaks up heat over the day keeping it warmer in the evenings. The architect has shown a lack of imagination. The house does not have to line up with the plot at all. It can be at any angle. I think it might be better to have the lounge and kitchen at the other end of the house. But I really think the T shape is poor at capturing the light and need to think about it
  7. I assume that the market believes that the spat with Russia will be over eventually so gradually prices this in. The price is lower again for 23 and 24. The BBC News website had a quite outrageous headline on Thursday, I have copied the link to the whole story. This problem is mainly being caused by Russia and the BBC actually printed that Putin had stepped in to help with no mention anywhere that Russia had created the problem in the first place. I am appalled. I just made a complaint to the BBC, the article makes out Russia is helping us out when in fact they are costing millions of British consumers a fortune.
  8. If they are connected properly the panels will generate electricity irrespective of being "registered". Is the hot tub actually connected to the ASHP or it it using its own resistance heater? Is it inside or outside and how well insulated is it or the room it is inside?
  9. Gas markets have been insane in the last two days. The 240p price from Friday hit a high of over 400p today before closing at 265p when Russia said they would add to supplies.
  10. From this your water heating energy use is 2598 kWh/year. Note they assume that you also use 1720kWh to top it up with the immersion, something many people on here do not do. Anyway that is 7kWh/day from the ASHP. The space heating need is 4908kWh. This is likely only over around 6 months, so 27kWh a day. Peak days would probably be around twice this, so 50-60kWh a day. Thus your maximum requirement from the ASHP is likely around 60-70kWh/day. A 5kWh pump could do this comfortably. Often the pump will be oversized to 8kWh to give more capacity for heating hot water and to help it run at a slightly better COP.
  11. It goes in on Thursday. I have been worried will it be cancelled if my provider goes out of business but I’m ok so far.
  12. Yes these contracts are for physical delivery. You can either take delivery of the gas or you can sell the contract before it expires. Usually people buy futures on "margin" which means that they do not have to put up the whole cost up front but they have to put up margin as the price changes. This makes sense in this market as you pay for gas in arrears so the gas company does not have cash that they can use to buy gas you have not yet used. As prices move around and get more volatile margin costs can get very expensive, another cost that has to be factored into the cost of gas. I don't recommend turning up at the National Balancing Point to collect your gas! One more thing. Normally the futures market is higher than the spot market. Thus to lock in a cost in the future you pay more for a commodity in exchange for certainty of price. The UK market relies more on spot commodities as it is normally cheaper, but carries the risk of getting into the situation we are in now. When the futures prices in below the spot price this is considered unusual and called backwardation.
  13. Had a bit more time to look at the futures markets. Last summer prices were around 40p/therm. A therm is 29.3kWh. Thus the wholesale price of gas was around 1.3p/kWh. My fix was at 2.1p. So basically 0.8p above the cost of the gas to account for transmission costs, overheads, hedging costs and profits. Thus we can probably use a rough rule of thumb that the price to a consumer is going to be around the wholesale price of gas plus 1p/kWh. The spot price hit 241p on Friday. The November-February and Q1 22 futures prices are all around the same. Thus if you had not hedged your prices by buying in the futures market last year, your wholesale cost of gas in the next five months would be 8.2p/kWh and you could have to price gas at around 9p/kWh to breakeven. This compares to the current cap of around 4p! The summer and winter 22 prices are around 120p. So you would need to sell gas at around 5p/kWh. Just a week ago these prices were around 25% lower so you were looking at 4p. If I took out a fix today it would be at about 5.5p to the end of next year which aligns with this. The 23 price is around 80p and the 24 price around 60p. Equivalent to 3.7 and 3p per kWh to consumers. All these prices have increased by around 1/3 in the last week. 24 months fixes also seem to be priced at around 5.5p/kWh. This is not a good deal looking at the 2023 future. You could lock in a price of less than 4p for 2023 in the futures market. As i say futures markets do not act as you might expect. Theoretically they should be the price that you expect something to be at some point in the future. In reality the biggest driver is what is happening today and futures markets go up and down based on this albeit with less volatility than the spot market. If you wanted you could of course hedge your own gas price using the futures markets! Not something I would recommend and this is a highly simplified example and there would be all kinds of things to take into consideration such as financing costs and matching the contracts to your actual usage. For example you could buy 75000 kWh of 2024 gas at the current 60p/therm price. This would cost roughly £1500 today. If gas prices do not fall and are still 240p/therm in 2024 then you would make a profit of £4500 and this would offset the increase in you gas bill. On the other hand if gas prices went back to 40/therm then you would lose £500 on the futures but gain from a lower bill. Basically you could locking a price of about 3p/kWh today (Note you could have locked in closer to 2p a week ago)
  14. For the past year the grid has been roughly 23% renewable and 17% nuclear, 42% fossil fuels. It is also 7% biomass, but I would argue against its credentials as being low carbon. The other 10ish percent comes from interconnections which are mainly low carbon from French nuclear, with Norwegian hydro being added. The renewable percentage will continue to increase and I would expect it to be around 50% in 7 or 8 years, by which point we will be at around 70-80% zero carbon.
  15. A year ago the price of my electricity was 7x the price of my gas. Thus an ASHP did not make sense. This was a particularly good deal though the normal ratio is probably closer to 5x at which point I still would think mains gas is a better option but less clear. The cap currently has electricity over 5x the price of gas. Gas, however, is more volatile than electricity (the commodity is a larger percentage of the end price I think) and it is gas prices that are rising more at the moment. Still it is best not to make long term decisions like gas vs ASHP based on short term fluctuations. At the moment mains gas still seems cheaper. I don’t see this happening in the next few years but longer term I would expect a carbon tax on gas as more electricity is produced renewably to push people towards ASHPs.