What heating option can save European homes from this winter?

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monteville

Feeling the Heat
Nov 23, 2019
434
Dallas
Russia is cutting off more and more of Europe's gas supply.
UK electricity is trading at over $600/MWh, already resulting in affordability issues.
With limited gas and electricity, European homes will be cold this winter.

European refugees will travel to Mediterranean area for the warmth, building homeless encampments.

Homes require a minimal level of heating for habitability and avoiding plumbing freeze. 55F is the lowest temperature.

What energy source and heating system can save European homes from this winter?

Syria is warmer than most of Europe but without energy supply ,Syrians still struggled :
 

Todd

Minister of Fire
Nov 19, 2005
9,660
NW Wisconsin
I’ve heard they are bringing back some old coal fired power plants. Also looks like they will need to start importing liquified NG.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
29,188
central pa
Russia is cutting off more and more of Europe's gas supply.
UK electricity is trading at over $600/MWh, already resulting in affordability issues.
With limited gas and electricity, European homes will be cold this winter.

European refugees will travel to Mediterranean area for the warmth, building homeless encampments.

Homes require a minimal level of heating for habitability and avoiding plumbing freeze. 55F is the lowest temperature.

What energy source and heating system can save European homes from this winter?

Syria is warmer than most of Europe but without energy supply ,Syrians still struggled :

Since when does plumbing freeze at 55f
 
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Frank(WI)

New Member
May 21, 2022
1
Western Wisconsin
Electricity here in western Wisconsin is currently 17.4 cents per kwh about 1/3 of what you are quoting. Our propane bill nearly doubled though. We've got 76 acres of trees, so we can heat entirely with wood if need be - if I'm willing to cut/split it.
 

tlc1976

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2012
1,092
Northwest Lower Michigan
Since when does plumbing freeze at 55f
I gathered that 55F is the lowest temperature in the Mediterranean. Which is habitable with minimal heat and avoids plumbing freeze.

He is thinking of heating options so people don’t have to leave their homes.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
3,035
SE North Carolina
At the individual level I think many will just pay what ever the cost is. How are they going to ration electricity and gas?? I have not read much on the topic. But they will be cold. Get a nice house coat hat and gloves. Good comforter. Hang blankets over Doorways and heat just the room you are in. The issues will arise during severe weather events. I think they will figure out how to get by for an average cold winter but a cold snap will take some figuring out.

Electricity use will be up. Install as many heatpumps as they can. Those who can burn dry wood should burn some. If you have a coal burner get it cleaned and serviced get some fuel for it. Not sure what the pellet supply is but that could help but it’s an expensive purchase. Turning thermostats down to 55 and cutting the fingers of a pair of gloves. Maybe get a dog or two and trim them short. My poodle loves to cuddle right after a good close trim if it gets cold.
 

Poindexter

Minister of Fire
Jun 28, 2014
2,783
Fairbanks, Alaska
As a group they probably have some room to work on air sealing and insulation envelope, though they are effectively out of time. Electricity prices in Helsinki are approaching (with the euro at more or less parity to the US$) what I have been paying in Fairbanks for many years.

https://www.helsinkitimes.fi/finlan...rgest-cities-are-raising-customer-prices.html

With fee this and fee that I was paying 29.9 US cents per kwh last time I had the intestinal fortitude to run the numbers on I think my July 2022 bill. There is nothing quite like high prices to make consumers look at their consumption habits.

I do agree pacific rim LNG is a economical option, but ultimately India and China will benefit if they continue to buy NG from Putin at below market rates; and the workers on the well sites don't have the workman's comp coverage American roughnecks have. Firing up old coal plants should be looked at.

Slamming a bunch of wood stoves into any housing starting August 29 is not going to be a good option any year. I have no idea what excess capacity we have for wood pellets in the US, but the local factory buys green logs, make chips, then dries the chips with natural gas, and then makes pellets from dry chips, so you can see the problem with that.

Make new friends, get a dog, both good options. I foresee a lot of short term demand for soar panels and wind turbines
 
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monteville

Feeling the Heat
Nov 23, 2019
434
Dallas
As a group they probably have some room to work on air sealing and insulation envelope, though they are effectively out of time. Electricity prices in Helsinki are approaching (with the euro at more or less parity to the US$) what I have been paying in Fairbanks for many years.

https://www.helsinkitimes.fi/finlan...rgest-cities-are-raising-customer-prices.html

With fee this and fee that I was paying 29.9 US cents per kwh last time I had the intestinal fortitude to run the numbers on I think my July 2022 bill. There is nothing quite like high prices to make consumers look at their consumption habits.

I do agree pacific rim LNG is a economical option, but ultimately India and China will benefit if they continue to buy NG from Putin at below market rates; and the workers on the well sites don't have the workman's comp coverage American roughnecks have. Firing up old coal plants should be looked at.

Slamming a bunch of wood stoves into any housing starting August 29 is not going to be a good option any year. I have no idea what excess capacity we have for wood pellets in the US, but the local factory buys green logs, make chips, then dries the chips with natural gas, and then makes pellets from dry chips, so you can see the problem with that.

Make new friends, get a dog, both good options. I foresee a lot of short term demand for soar panels and wind turbines
one dog is not enough for three-dog night. Add 2 friends.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,867
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
If they knew this would happen a year ago then maybe they could have put in place real solutions but there is not enough time now. Instead, it will be short term fixes like burning anything that will burn in any device capable of burning it. Be cold. Relocate. Or buy electric space heaters.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
5,307
Long Island NY
There are (will be) shortages of electricity (or it will be too expensive to use for resistive heat) because much of that is generated with natural gas or coal. The former is in short supply, the latter has issues being moved, given the exceptional drought there, leading to the water level in the main rivers being so low that barges (to transport coal) have to be so empty to make it that it does not make sense to make the trip.

So electric space heaters are not a good solution at this time (in Western Europe).

Also, many in the Western parts don't have burning capabilities in the home.

So it'll be blankets and sweaters (and a birth-wave, presumably, next year ...).
 
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Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,867
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
There are (will be) shortages of electricity (or it will be too expensive to use for resistive heat) because much of that is generated with natural gas or coal. The former is in short supply, the latter has issues being moved, given the exceptional drought there, leading to the water level in the main rivers being so low that barges (to transport coal) have to be so empty to make it that it does not make sense to make the trip.

So electric space heaters are not a good solution at this time (in Western Europe).

Also, many in the Western parts don't have burning capabilities in the home.

So it'll be blankets and sweaters (and a birth-wave, presumably, next year ...).

I tried to actually imagine how this will go down in real life. People will run normal heating systems or their space heaters as long as there is power with no concern about cost. I see a low probability of the utility shutting off service to individual homes even if they can't pay their bill. More likely that the power plant will just shut down if it runs out of fuel. No power is a bigger problem since often times domestic water and sewer need power to operate.

I expect it to go from pretty good to really bad overnight.

Burn barrels or garbage cans to heat rocks to bring into bed at night. Using barbecues to heat the home with bottle gas. Unsafe things will happen.

A more efficient heat pump is not the answer here.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
5,307
Long Island NY
I agree, except for the following: Given the kWh price and the price per m3 of natural gas, they will not be going on as if nothing changed. Heating costs have risen so much that most folks feel it heavily in their budget. Similar impact to what would be experienced here (US) if gas was $7 per gallon.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
3,035
SE North Carolina
I don’t know how they will ration gas. In Texas the increased usage led to a big drop in supply pressure. I rolling blackouts are a disruptive way to reduce consumption but they work. I don’t know what or if there is equivalent for gas customers.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,867
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
I suppose the big difference is whether this is a short term event for a few winter months or if it drags on for multiple winters. Again, cost won’t matter for shorter term events. Human nature.
 

ABMax24

Minister of Fire
Sep 18, 2019
1,617
Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada
The mentality of people in Europe is different. More people are willing to make personal sacrifice for the greater good than we here in North America are. I think it'll be common for households to turn thermostats down as low as they can go, I see elderly folks moving in with their children, children moving back in with their parents. Plastic window film will be installed on windows, extra blankets put on beds. Showers will get shorter and less frequent, bathing in bathtubs may end altogether. Microwaves will likely cook more meals, and ovens will likely go unused. It wouldn't be particularly hard for the average home to reduce energy use by 25%, which on a large scale makes an immense impact on the problem.

That being said it sounds like Germany has reached 85% capacity for gas storage, and France is pushing very hard to restart all 32 currently shut down Nuclear Reactors before winter, with the possibility to export excess electricity to neighboring countries. Maybe it won't be so bad.
 

Shank0668

New Member
May 21, 2022
43
Ohio
Is anyone here in the states at all concerned about a potential large increase in costs of our oil/NG/electricity this winter?
 

GrumpyDad

Member
Feb 23, 2022
232
Champion, PA
So people need to remember that there are so so many people in apartments in europe. Most do not have a fireplace or wood stove. I see the use of mini splits very common, but if people resort to the use of small electric portable heaters, I fear that will be too much of a demand on the system and they may be without ANY source of heat.
Ive been without heat (early on being young/poor having my electric shut off because I couldnt pay the bill and I had no elderly or young living with me, yes they did that back then), and also being in a snow storm at my cabin whereas lines were down and even the buffalo airport sized plows couldnt get through for 2 days.
Heating just ONE room is very difficult. It doesnt work super well but it is better than nothing. You have convection cold coming in through the floors/walls/ceiling from the other areas of a house/apartment.
At my cabin, we have an opening to the rest of the cabin that is about 8' high and 8' wide. I put blankets over that area, and we ran the fireplace pretty high. We did ok, but at night time when you fell asleep and the logs burned down, WOW did the room cool down quickly.

I found the best way to stay warm is to wear a ton of clothing. Be your own space heater (it's safer too). Big ole pair of wool socks, long underwear, pants and long sleeved shirt, then a sweatshirt on top of that, then a blanket over the legs, wearing a hat if you are really cold. That's gotten me through even sub zero days without heat, and minimal heating source (small space heater).
 
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Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,867
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Is anyone here in the states at all concerned about a potential large increase in costs of our oil/NG/electricity this winter?

Not even a little bit. First of all, nothing happens that fast as far as utility costs for the bulk of the US. Lots of process for rate changes due to the monopolistic nature of a utility. I understand some odd things happen in certain places like Texas.

Then, well, most of us on this site heat with wood and that insulates us from short/medium term energy cost fluctuations.

Also, most of us live away from cities so NG is not available. Propane and oil tanks should be full heading into winter.

Finally, this is a website about wood heating so it's pretty safe to say that most of us are relatively well off financially such that doubling or tripling of our energy costs is not a big reason for concern. I certainly understand that some folks are not so fortunate but most of us will be fine for the winter.

A good example is gasoline. It's gone up nearly triple in price recently. We still hook up to an RV and tow on camping trips and get along just fine. The roads are still full of commuters.

If you want to worry, worry about shortages. When you just can't get what you need. Toilet paper, car parts, HVAC parts, certain foods, etc.
 

Shank0668

New Member
May 21, 2022
43
Ohio
Not even a little bit. First of all, nothing happens that fast as far as utility costs for the bulk of the US. Lots of process for rate changes due to the monopolistic nature of a utility. I understand some odd things happen in certain places like Texas.

Then, well, most of us on this site heat with wood and that insulates us from short/medium term energy cost fluctuations.

Also, most of us live away from cities so NG is not available. Propane and oil tanks should be full heading into winter.

Finally, this is a website about wood heating so it's pretty safe to say that most of us are relatively well off financially such that doubling or tripling of our energy costs is not a big reason for concern. I certainly understand that some folks are not so fortunate but most of us will be fine for the winter.

A good example is gasoline. It's gone up nearly triple in price recently. We still hook up to an RV and tow on camping trips and get along just fine. The roads are still full of commuters.

If you want to worry, worry about shortages. When you just can't get what you need. Toilet paper, car parts, HVAC parts, certain foods, etc.
I understand your statement. I guess my concern isn’t about my heating costs doubling or tripling (which they are going to I am pretty sure). I am certain I can pay that, as well as most here.

The bigger concern is as you said, supply issues. All these things are quite interconnected. If your heating costs triple, the cost of a lot of goods will go up as well. Plus, if the cost of necessary items is driven so high, the labor force may very well stop showing up to work.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
5,307
Long Island NY
I don't think the majority here is as well off as you and me. Isn't the idea of getting your own firewood that it is lower cost (because sweat equity) than other forms of heat?

Well-off people do ambiance fire, most here do heating. Big difference imo.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
94,620
South Puget Sound, WA
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EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
3,035
SE North Carolina
Is anyone here in the states at all concerned about a potential large increase in costs of our oil/NG/electricity this winter?
I think increases compared to last year are inevitable. How big and at what level of increase is concerning is debatable. Just look at the natural gas futures. At least with propane you can play the market utilizing on site storage. Not so with natural gas.
 
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monteville

Feeling the Heat
Nov 23, 2019
434
Dallas
So people need to remember that there are so so many people in apartments in europe. Most do not have a fireplace or wood stove.
A wood stove can be installed in an apartment. The flue pipe could reach out from a window or the balcony.
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stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
5,307
Long Island NY
Oh man, now it's going to be fun.

A wood stove canNOT be installed like that. It violated many safety codes. It's a great way to get a problem into a flaming disaster. Possibly a good way to get out of life itself.


Moreover, apartments don't allow wood stoves, in general.
 

Shank0668

New Member
May 21, 2022
43
Ohio
I think increases compared to last year are inevitable. How big and at what level of increase is concerning is debatable. Just look at the natural gas futures. At least with propane you can play the market utilizing on site storage. Not so with natural gas.
Partially the reason I am installing a pellet stove (mainly it is to have the feeling of stove heat) but also the idea that I can have my fuel stored on site vs paying whatever the rate may be at any given time. I somewhat doubt the pellets will be more economical over natural gas, but who knows anymore.