Don't answer that....
This sleek beast is our new boiler. It cost the same as our first house did in 1975. Gulp.
Over the course of the last 6 years our fuel bills have risen astronomically - each time the LPG tanker refills our gas tank we have to go and have a lie down to get over the shock of the bill. That bill for gas last year came to nearly 1/3 of the cost of that same house in 1975. Gulp indeed.
We've spent a lot of time mulling over those facts - thermostats have been turned down, log burners lit and vests tucked in in order to save burning gas. We know that the house is insulated to a high spec - (don't like to think what it would be like if it were not) - and we'd like to think that we are not too profligate energy-wise but the bills were getting a bit hard to stomach.
The Glam Ass investigated sustainable alternatives - alternatives which, if we'd had the benefit of a crystal ball, we should have installed when we built 7 years ago. Hindsight is a wonderful thing is it not?
His first proposal was a log burning 'furnace'. This was not top of my list as it looked as if it needed too much stoking and poking and daily attention - the sort of contraption that attracts the male of the species. Don't men like fires? There must be an inner stoker in every bloke. Me, I'd go for something that ran on fairy dust and could be maintained by giving it a passing thought once a year - a sort of girly thing with a cute little pink button or two to press....
For expert advice we consulted Llani Solar, renewable heating specialists who had fitted a couple of solar panels for us a few years ago. They are obviously in business to make a living but their remit does seem to be a profound belief in renewables and in providing the best service for their customers. There was no hard sell - no pressure to buy the biggest, the shiniest or the most expensive. Instead there was advice to wait until the right boiler became available and to wait until we could take advantage of any government grants coming on stream. So we waited - with only a bit of a nudge to remind them that we were still keen and committed. Last week their recommended system arrived and with quiet efficiency was installed - the transition from money-burning to wood-burning almost seamless. Well done Llani Solar.
Our new boiler burns pelleted wood - which seems easy enough. One loads the hopper with as many as necessary and those pellets trickle through to burn as the boiler calls for them. We receive a grant of £950 for installing it and a generous annual payback under the Renewable Heat Incentive. We hope to have covered our initial outlay in approximately 4 years. Fuel, in the form of pellets is half the cost of LPG. Sounds pretty good to me.
Time will tell I suppose. We've had a particularly mild November (unlike this time last year) but I imagine cold weather will hit us sooner or later. Excuse me while I go and turn up the thermostat a notch or too. Warmth. Bliss.