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"ban gas in new homes"
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vtsnowedin



Joined: 07 Jan 2011
Posts: 5101
Location: New England ,Chelsea Vermont

PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2019 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Striking thing is that it's totally affordable. It only costs around £5k extra for a new build to be built to Passivhous,

Which on a thirty year mortgage will cost the owner £10k with the interest. The question then becomes how much energy cost is saved by the standard to achieve a break even point. It depends of course on the future cost of fuel or electricity over the next thirty years so any number of estimates are possible. Anyone have a plausible study at hand with some figures?
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2019 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That, of course, is the standard question where money is master. There are other benefits.

If one has the money to save pollution and resource use, this can actually make for a healthier life in more ways than one.

For instance, I gain psychological health knowing my summer hot water is solar-generated, even while knowing I may not recoup my actual spend.

This philosophy, often ignored, can be extended.
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clv101
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

vtsnowedin wrote:
Quote:
Striking thing is that it's totally affordable. It only costs around £5k extra for a new build to be built to Passivhous,

Which on a thirty year mortgage will cost the owner £10k with the interest. The question then becomes how much energy cost is saved by the standard to achieve a break even point. It depends of course on the future cost of fuel or electricity over the next thirty years so any number of estimates are possible. Anyone have a plausible study at hand with some figures?

My point about affordability here was that the housebuilder CEO took a personal bonus of many millions, enough to have, instead, built Passivhous - the buyers would not have needed pay a penny extra.
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 12:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

clv101 wrote:
vtsnowedin wrote:
Quote:
Striking thing is that it's totally affordable. It only costs around £5k extra for a new build to be built to Passivhous,

Which on a thirty year mortgage will cost the owner £10k with the interest. The question then becomes how much energy cost is saved by the standard to achieve a break even point. It depends of course on the future cost of fuel or electricity over the next thirty years so any number of estimates are possible. Anyone have a plausible study at hand with some figures?

My point about affordability here was that the housebuilder CEO took a personal bonus of many millions, enough to have, instead, built Passivhous - the buyers would not have needed pay a penny extra.


Rolling Eyes

Quelle surprise!!
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adam2
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 12:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

IMHO, mortgage lenders should consider very slightly relaxing the rules on the amount that they loan, relative to the borrowers income, if the mortgage is for the purchase of a low energy house.

The reduced energy bills should make SLIGHTLY larger mortgage repayments affordable.

If the new homeowner is saving say £700 a year in running costs, then they should be able afford another £350 a year in mortgage payments.

Any such relaxation should be very modest, we don't to see the "sub-prime mortgage crisis" being replaced by the "eco-house mortgage crises"
I would suggest that the extra mortgage payments, beyond the normal affordability criteria, should not exceed one half of the energy bill savings.
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vtsnowedin



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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 12:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

clv101 wrote:
vtsnowedin wrote:
Quote:
Striking thing is that it's totally affordable. It only costs around £5k extra for a new build to be built to Passivhous,

Which on a thirty year mortgage will cost the owner £10k with the interest. The question then becomes how much energy cost is saved by the standard to achieve a break even point. It depends of course on the future cost of fuel or electricity over the next thirty years so any number of estimates are possible. Anyone have a plausible study at hand with some figures?

My point about affordability here was that the housebuilder CEO took a personal bonus of many millions, enough to have, instead, built Passivhous - the buyers would not have needed pay a penny extra.

Even if the board of directors cut the CEOs pay by the millions they would not turn around and hand it out to customers as a freebee. Just not the way life or business works.
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vtsnowedin



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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 12:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

adam2 wrote:
IMHO, mortgage lenders should consider very slightly relaxing the rules on the amount that they loan, relative to the borrowers income, if the mortgage is for the purchase of a low energy house.

The reduced energy bills should make SLIGHTLY larger mortgage repayments affordable.

If the new homeowner is saving say £700 a year in running costs, then they should be able afford another £350 a year in mortgage payments.

Any such relaxation should be very modest, we don't to see the "sub-prime mortgage crisis" being replaced by the "eco-house mortgage crises"
I would suggest that the extra mortgage payments, beyond the normal affordability criteria, should not exceed one half of the energy bill savings.

A nice sentiment but unlikely to be realized in practice. The buyer has to look at the total cost of owning the home vs. renting or buying some other property. That includes down payments ,closing cost, property (council) taxes, mortgage payments, utilities including fuel, and repairs and maintenance. Drop any one and the then available money can and will be applied to the others on equal basis. They will not pocket the change just buy a bit more house.
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The government sets the standards for new house building in the UK in the Building Regulations. They are the minimum standard that you can build to and as far as the national house builders are concerned, the maximum also. As a few big builders hold a virtual monopoly on large scale housing through the land supply they are going to break ranks and suddenly get a conscience as Gordon Brown expected of them. Their lobbyists have the government and civil service in their pockets so the government aren't going to do anything to upset their paymasters.

Regarding the economics of the level of insulation, we don't have an economic problem we have an environmental one so the problem should be looked at from an environmental point of view. If economics worked any where near properly account would be taken in the calculation of what is affordable insulation of the cost of rising sea levels on the poor sods who live near the sea, the loss of agricultural land world wide on the cost of food and the cost of extreme weather events on people. But economics is broken so we don't and we continue to build shite houses that will need billions spent on them in the future to make them "economically" and environmentally liveable.
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vtsnowedin



Joined: 07 Jan 2011
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Location: New England ,Chelsea Vermont

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2019 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kenneal - lagger wrote:
The government sets the standards for new house building in the UK in the Building Regulations. They are the minimum standard that you can build to and as far as the national house builders are concerned, the maximum also. As a few big builders hold a virtual monopoly on large scale housing through the land supply they are going to break ranks and suddenly get a conscience as Gordon Brown expected of them. Their lobbyists have the government and civil service in their pockets so the government aren't going to do anything to upset their paymasters.

Regarding the economics of the level of insulation, we don't have an economic problem we have an environmental one so the problem should be looked at from an environmental point of view. If economics worked any where near properly account would be taken in the calculation of what is affordable insulation of the cost of rising sea levels on the poor sods who live near the sea, the loss of agricultural land world wide on the cost of food and the cost of extreme weather events on people. But economics is broken so we don't and we continue to build shite houses that will need billions spent on them in the future to make them "economically" and environmentally liveable.

Well that is all pretty depressing especially that "minimum is also the maximum" part but I suppose that is just the way it is there. Here for years the Min/max was FHA standard to get a loan or VA loan on a house. Again nothing to brag about. In my appraisal work I am seeing little if any current work that is that low standard today and about fifty percent of new houses or renovations is to a standard equal to your passivhaus level. Even factory built modular homes come in with eight inch finished wall thickness and eighteen inches in attics. It has become what owners want to brag about instead of an in ground pool or four car garage.
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stumuz1



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very interesting.

Seems that new builds can/will be ok. As per Vortex,CLV, Ken. They can and do work and the tech is scaleable.

What about the existing stock of crappy (from an energy viewpoint) houses. How could they be brought up to standard?
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adam2
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bringing EXISTING housing up to standard is very challenging indeed, and in the case of listed buildings is virtually impossible.

Some improvements are easy, loft insulation, double glazing, cavity wall insulation, and more efficient heating equipment. The trouble is that many properties have already had these done.

We may have to accept that many older properties, despite some energy saving retrofits, will still use a lot more fuel than those built to the proposed new standards.
Those living in such properties may have to accept higher running costs and/or lower standards of thermal comfort than those in more modern homes.
It would of course be preferable for this greater heating demand to be met in a lower carbon way. Sustainably sourced wood, and renewably generated electricity are the obvious choices, together with thermal solar for hot water when weather permits.
Older homes tend to be much larger, which permits of large scale thermal storage for example, or large sheds full of fire wood.

The challenges regarding older properties should not be allowed to distract attention from the need to greatly reduce energy use in new homes.
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PS_RalphW



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Living in a listed building myself, the options for further improvements are indeed limited. (I bought it because, unlike the other buildings I was looking to buy, I wasn't immediately outbid by property developers who intended to flatten the house and replace it by a McMansion)

I have secondary double glazing, a condensing boiler, 4 different wall constructions and 3 different roof types. I also have an efficient wood burner which heats the old part of the house very effectively, which has a very snug 18 inches of reed thatch and very low ceilings. The worst heat loss is through the solid concrete floor. The coldest room in the house is the most modern, cavity walls and heaps of roof insulation.

Recently got our overgrown hedge cut, enough firewood for at least one season.

We mostly heat the core of the house, mornings and evenings only. A cold house in daytime is a good incentive to get out and get active.

The house is not large and is not practical for thermal stores, etc. Options do not exist for local renewable energy.
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PS_RalphW wrote:
A cold house in daytime is a good incentive to get out and get active.


Well said. It wouldn't go down well with 99% of the population though.
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

adam2 wrote:
Bringing EXISTING housing up to standard is very challenging indeed, ...........


A 1970s house



The same 1970s house but now using 82% less energy from the grid and with an extension on the back


image uploader

Tiles, battens and felt taken off and 200mm Celotex over the rafters and 100 between and breather membrane, battens and felt refitted.
Triple glazed windows and doors.
125 Celotex external wall insulation fitted down to foundation over ready insulated cavity walls.
Input/extract ventilation unit with heat exchanger.
Wood burning stove.
PV.
Solar hot water.

Cost about £30k from client's pension lump sum but he gets a better rate of return from the energy saving than if he had bought an annuity with the lump sum.

One of the neighbours threatened to sue me, as the designer, for the loss of value to his house because of the changed exterior treatment of this house. The planners took some persuading and we had to substitute hanging tiles for the lighter weight cedar cladding that we had originally proposed to get it through. Hanging tiles were a feature of some of the houses locally.

It can be done but would be better on a nationwide government scheme (sorry VT - program) paid for by QE seed money and thereafter financed on a Green Deal type basis but with no interest charges. It is essential that the whole house is treated in one hit to ensure that the whole perimeter is closed and sealed and that the insulation levels are the maximum practical, i.e 0.08 W/m2/deg C for the roof, 0.1 for the walls and floors (where floor insulation is practical), 0.6 for the windows and doors and less than .6 air changes per hour.
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stumuz1



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is there any milage in district heating?

It has long bothered me that most boilers take cold water from the ground and heat it up in the house.

Wouldn't be more efficient to take water from the ground to a covered reservoir (first increase in temp) then throw the renewables at it (second increase in temp) then finally top up what heat is required at the efficient boiler in the house?

Should make a considerable saving on emissions.
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