Comments: 35 hours and counting...

Would properties like yours be expected to have some sort of electric storage heating fed directly from the national grid?

Posted by Darren Rigby on 28 November, 2021 at 2:05 PM

You'd never be able to heat an old stone house with storage heaters Darren. They just could not produce the heat required, at the time it was needed. I'm not even sure they sell electric storage heaters any more.

I tried - in 1984 - to heat an old (but not this old) 2 bedroom semi-detached stone farm cottage with storage heaters. It used to cost £30 a week to run 4 storage heaters in winter, even then.

Our new oil boiler can produce up to 32kWh of heat, and, when the house is finished (and more than 50% of it will have the best possible current insulation by then, and the rest is retro-fitted as much as it can be without digging up the floors), it will be running somewhere up near that for a couple of months every year. With electricity at 26p/unit currently (supplier went bust, 3rd time it's happened, so now on the most expensive tariff possible, thanks to the government's ridiculous price-capping idea) that would be £8.32 per hour to run.

Posted by Blue Witch on 28 November, 2021 at 2:20 PM

And as for estimated time to get back on supply... they now have no idea. Absolutely none.

Whether it is today, tomorrow, next week or never, no-one can say.

They didn't even know of the other properties around that also have no supply or reduced voltage. "Without a postcode we can't add them to the fault!" declared 'Sue' when I tried to give her the details. "I don't know all the surrounding postcodes, and without electricity, I also can't look them up, but I'm sure you have Google on your computer - or even a database of your customers to refer to?!" I said in the most sarcastic tone I could muster.

The problem also is not showing on the website faults map (when the website will load - most of the time it just says 'down for maintenance'), so I'm not even convinced they have it as a job for someone to do.

Knowing the people round here, they just assume that 'officialdom' knows best and won't report problems themselves. It takes many redials to even get a ringing tone and then an hour on hold every time (even in the middle of the night). Livestock farmers just don't have time to do those things in this weather.

What a bloody shower the regional grid compnay is - seemingly no contingency planning for this sort of mass outage event whatsoever. Website falls over, customers have no way of easily getting updated information or reporting faults... but then much of the infrastructure is still the very original put in when electricity first came to the area (anywhere between 1960 and 1980) and has not been touched since... remind me what year this is now?

As I said to 'Sue', I understand there are big problems, but what I don't understand is the total lack of information - for customers, or for advisors on the phones. It is impossible to know what to do if one has no idea of timescales. And someone must know, surely?

Posted by Blue Witch on 28 November, 2021 at 2:34 PM

Don't get me started on the idiocy that is the EPC algorithm!
I hesitate to point this out, but you are getting your Volts mixed up with your Watts! All mains equipment would run on 123V if the current (Amps) was adequate. That's your problem...

Posted by Tim W on 28 November, 2021 at 2:45 PM

I understand, but was wondering if you thought that a storage heater type solution(whatever the modern version would be - maybe that is heat pumps, which you've already explained would not work)would be what the government expected you to use. As usual, you are going to great lengths to try to help your community, coming up against more brick walls and incompetence. I hope you get some success today.

Posted by Darren Rigby on 28 November, 2021 at 2:50 PM

Thanks Darren. I'm not holding my breath or I'd die.

Tim - oh dear, yes, I know, that's what Northern Powergrid's inmpetence has done to me today ...

Posted by Blue Witch on 28 November, 2021 at 4:25 PM

I do hope it's resolved for you soon. Any ideas of getting off the grid eventually?

Posted by Scoakat on 28 November, 2021 at 8:41 PM

Scoakat - thanks. Living off grid is impossible unless one wants a very basic lifestyle. There are only 3 choices - solar power or wind power or generators.

Coven Sud has proved that even with a 7.5kW (25 panels, multi-directional to catch sun all day) array and 6.6kW of battery storage, it is impossible to be totally self-sufficient even in the peak of summer (and that is 300 miles south of here).

We don't have enough land for a wind turbine - they need huge areas of clear ground around them, and, again, it would never be adequately reliable, even with battery storage. They are also very expensive initially, and have high annual maintenance costs. Plus, it is probably too windy for one here a lot of the time, so it would turn off.

And generators... just burn huge amounts of fossil fuel, so are unsustainable and very expensive to run. As one isn't meant to store more than 20 litres of petrol and/or diesel on domestic premises, that's a non-starter, apart from for occasional emergency use.

Posted by Blue Witch on 29 November, 2021 at 8:00 AM