Electricy bills and the coming winter.

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Not your average framer
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Electricy bills and the coming winter.

Post by Not your average framer » Tue 06 Sep, 2022 8:42 am

It's very hard to know how much the electricity bills will be for my shop this winter, so I plan to limit my hours which I will spend in my shop so that I won't spend too much money on heating. I am thinking that this may not be easily to work out how much to allow in my prices, to cover any increases to my overheads due to extra electricity costs this winter. How are others allowing for this? I am expecting to be wearing warmer clothing, some nice thick socks and maybe even a wooly hat, if it gets cold enough!
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Re: Electricy bills and the coming winter.

Post by iorek » Fri 09 Sep, 2022 10:11 am

My back of fag packet calculations are horrific, so I've decided to invest in a wood burner. Dirty, but much more cost efficient than out current 9kw heater. We're fortunate that we can put one in and have access to wood for burning. We are also a gallery, so it needs to be pleasant for customers but at least it's all one space - we do our framing in full view of the gallery (like a fancy restaurant with similar amounts of swearing).

I'll be replacing old fluorescents with LEDs.

Outside of that we just run the computer, router, charging cables, kettle, fridge and CCTV so not too sore on electricity.

My bigger concern is customers having disposable income...

I don't want to alter opening hours if I can help it.

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Re: Electricy bills and the coming winter.

Post by Not your average framer » Fri 09 Sep, 2022 1:48 pm

The previous tenent in the shop had all the florescent ligkts replaced with LED striplights, so that sounds helpful unfortunately she had them all wired to a single light switch in a rather badly placed cupboard. which is not helpful. I am only able to use some electric heaters, plugged into 13 amp wall sockets, so again maybe not ideal. I inend to be very frugal with any use of heating and mostly to keep warm by dressing up in warm clothes. I want to get a coffee machine to use in the shop, where the milk comes in the coffee pads, so that I won't need a refriderator for the milk.

Keeping a regular eye of my electricity metter might perhaps enable me to guess how much my electricity bills are likely to be, but trying to work out how that needs to affect my prices charged for framing is likely to be not very easy. Not knowing what level of sales to expect from one day to another, I don't have any reliable basis to know how to spread my electricity costs over the prices of framing jobs.

It seems sensible to me to reduce my opening hours and thereby to reduce the number of hours that I need to be using electricity while I am in the shop. I tend to get angina when I get cold, or asthma when I get cold so I'm not sure about working in a colder shop, so I am still n two minds about what I need to be doing. I guess that a lot will depend upon how cold things become and for how long!
Mark Lacey

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Re: Electricy bills and the coming winter.

Post by prospero » Mon 12 Sep, 2022 10:04 am

I had an e-mail from my current supplier to notify me that when my fixed-rate contract ends in November I will automatically
go on to a 'flexible' rate. 148p Kwh daytime rate. And £1 a day standing charge. Est. annual bill £25,473.
Unless I sign up for another fixed rate period. They didn't say what the rate would be.
I don't like these 'panic' sales tactics. :evil:
Fortunately, I signed up with another supplier back in March for an 18 month fixed rate which was dearer than what I'm on now
but not too bad. :D

I have been using oil-filled portables + a coal effect fan heater which are a tad hungry. Back in March I invested in a couple of
storage heaters to replace my old ones (which didn't work - I bought them 30 years ago and they were secondhand then). I used
them for a couple of weeks back in Spring and they work well. Time will tell the economics.

I replaced all my old striplights for LEDS a while ago. I have 13 spots in the front of shop. They did use 60w bulbs. Replaced them
with 5w LEDS which are not only just as bright but last longer.
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Re: Electricy bills and the coming winter.

Post by Justintime » Mon 12 Sep, 2022 11:03 am

148p/kwH are you having a giraffe?? You must have read that wrong... Mine is currently 28p/kwH and expected to rise to 58p kw/H.
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Re: Electricy bills and the coming winter.

Post by Not your average framer » Mon 12 Sep, 2022 11:15 am

I am almost certainlt not going to be using any electricity, or at least very little in my shop this winter. but that still leaves me with the standing change to pay. My shop is a very old building with old fashioned Cobb walls, which are very thick and seem to provide a bit more insulation than convensional walls. I will limit my opening hours in cold weather and wear plenty of warm clothing while I am in the shop. My guess is that finances are likely to be difficult for the entire population, so what customers are still spending money are likely to be some what frugal. I have quite a lot of old stock of mouldings and as a result I am likely to be in a good position to offer some worthwhile alternatives to my frugally motivated customers if necessary. Stacked mouldings will definitely be one way of making some of my old mouldings, which I have in stock look attractive to today's customers. I don't know how long these difficult times may last, but my rent and overheads are very low and if I take care I should be able to hang on for ages.

I am well practiced at making use of much of my otherwise waste materials and have a pretty good stock of sheets of backing boards of various different levels of specifations. All of my current stock was paid for at least two, or three years ago, so I'm not going to be needing to spend much money any time soon. Outside of my future opening hours, I will also be able to open by appointment as well. It is likely to be at it's coldest first thing in the morning, so I won't be opening in the cold weather until about mid morning and I will be closing before it starts to get dark, which will hopefully save electricity. My bench top band saw only uses upto 350 watts and will now become my primary electrically powered saw. Any use which I make of my other electrically powered tools will from now on be strictly limited. I will be operating at speadsheet to regularly record my electricity meter reading and to calculate my electricity bills as I use any electricity.

I don't think that the coming months are not necessarily going to be easy times for many of us!
Mark Lacey

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Re: Electricy bills and the coming winter.

Post by prospero » Tue 13 Sep, 2022 1:41 pm

Justintime wrote:
Mon 12 Sep, 2022 11:03 am
148p/kwH are you having a giraffe?? You must have read that wrong... Mine is currently 28p/kwH and expected to rise to 58p kw/H.
That was my take on the subject. This a part of the e-mail. :evil:

leccyquote.jpg
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Re: Electricy bills and the coming winter.

Post by Fruitini » Tue 13 Sep, 2022 6:40 pm

Prospero, that is ridiculous. Are they for real?! I got incredibly lucky with my renewal which commenced in April. I have used Love Energy Savings as an agent for years and they contact you right at the start of the renewal window to try and secure your business for the next period. Usually it’s a faff and I keep putting off talking to them until much closer to the contract expiry. However back in July ‘21 they offered me a slightly better deal than I was on before. Something at the time made me go for it and commit for 3 years at 17.2p/kWh and 25p standing charge. Fortune favours the brave and I have a cushty deal until April ‘25. Hopefully that’s long enough to weather the storm and things are a touch more reasonable at next renewal.

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Re: Electricy bills and the coming winter.

Post by Not your average framer » Tue 13 Sep, 2022 10:22 pm

I am not sure that this may be the same for all of us, but it seems to me that if it is going to be a cold winter, the coldest months will often be after december. For me business is always a bit quiet in January , with February only marginally better. I hardly ever need to be open too early in cold weather and I will probably close a little earlier, which will reduce the hours that I need to be burning electricity. Listening to the BBC radio 4, there is some suggestion that the govenment is not expecting these highier energy costs to last very long, hopefully this might be the truth.
Mark Lacey

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Re: Electricy bills and the coming winter.

Post by prospero » Tue 13 Sep, 2022 10:27 pm

I know what they are trying to do. They are expecting me to go :shock: and pick up the phone and call them to
sign up for a more attractive fixed-price contract at about 40p Kwh. Which would seem a bargain. :lol:
They don't know I already nailed down a much more reasonable deal with another company. :clap:

I won't say who my current company are but it begins with E and ends with ON. :wink:
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Re: Electricy bills and the coming winter.

Post by prospero » Tue 13 Sep, 2022 10:37 pm

Not your average framer wrote:
Tue 13 Sep, 2022 10:22 pm
I am not sure that this may be the same for all of us, but it seems to me that if it is going to be a cold winter, the coldest months will often be after december. For me business is always a bit quiet in January , with February only marginally better. I hardly ever need to be open too early in cold weather and I will probably close a little earlier, which will reduce the hours that I need to be burning electricity. Listening to the BBC radio 4, there is some suggestion that the govenment is not expecting these highier energy costs to last very long, hopefully this might be the truth.
It's not just about keeping yourself warm though. All your stock and equipment likes to be at a not-cold temperature.

The upheaval in the market has brought all the vultures out of the woodwork and I can see a time when we will all be
claiming cash back in the same manner as the PPI scandal. :ninja:
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Re: Electricy bills and the coming winter.

Post by Not your average framer » Wed 14 Sep, 2022 9:26 am

Hi Peter,

Cutting glass at low temperatures is usually a bit of a problem. I have a rack for storing glass, which can have as many as 35 sheets of glass and that amount of glass takes quite a long time to warm up, if it is cold. It may become necessary to remove one sheet from the rack as one sheet will warm up much quicker by it's self. I suspect that the blades I use for cutting mountboard and backing board become blunt fractionally faster in cold conditions. I always use top quality blades anyway, because they stay sharper for longer and are therefore better value for money.

I have a dehumidifier which I can bring down from my flat into the shop to keep the humidity from affecting my mountboards, if I need to. Also PVA glue does not like to get excessively cold as this can severely damage the glue. I'm not sure if there are any other items that I need to be worrying about getting to cold. My backing board are still kept in the corrugated cardboard packs in which they were originally delivery, but they are kept in my side passageway which is completely unheated. I am hoping that the cardboard packs will provide some degree of protection.
Mark Lacey

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Re: Electricy bills and the coming winter.

Post by Tudor Rose » Wed 14 Sep, 2022 10:32 am

Most tapes and adhesives need a minimum of 16C or 61F to work effectively.

A dehumidifier is not only very useful at ensuring materials don't get affected by moisture, but less moisture in the air means the air around you heats more quickly too.
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Re: Electricy bills and the coming winter.

Post by Not your average framer » Wed 14 Sep, 2022 11:40 am

I only rarely use self adhesive tapes, so that's not much of an issue for me. I don't cope very well myself with low temperature any way., so I won't be wanting too much of that!
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Re: Electricy bills and the coming winter.

Post by Tudor Rose » Wed 14 Sep, 2022 11:51 am

Apologies if my previous post wasn't clear for anyone who might have read it - I was not referring to self-adhesive tapes, but to ALL tapes and adhesives.
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Re: Electricy bills and the coming winter.

Post by Not your average framer » Wed 14 Sep, 2022 2:14 pm

I did not know that! Does that include water based adhesive tapes? If so, can you please explain that, as I have not heard about that before!
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