It’s bloody freezing here. It’s almost like travelling into another time zone or something – the weather can be perfectly fine in County Meath and then as soon as you’re over the border into Cavan, wallop: the wind howls, the rain lashes down hard enough to dent your head and a frost can last all day. We did have a bit of a panic about the heating oil, though. I’m somewhat trigger happy with the heating controls (I like it warm: think Majorca – no, think the Maldives) and although we’ve got one of those houses that was built with energy efficiency in mind (or we could just be really gullible and the builder is currently residing tax free in the Bahamas), which means that we’ve got some sort of special, really thick insulation in the walls (makes hanging pictures a bit difficult – tap too hard with the hammer and you’re up to your elbow in insulation) and a weird bio-flow system that converts your poo into…er…something else less pooey. Look, I’m not an expert, okay? Where was I? Oh yes, the oil. So this heating system is supposed to be energy efficient, but since we haven’t brought any oil since October, we were starting to panic that we might suddenly run out. We had all sorts of arguments about who should go out into the rain and find something that we could stick into the oil tank (keep it clean, people) to find out how much we’ve got left. Anyway, Hubby lost (ha) and went out to find something that would make a suitable dipstick in the garden. He found a bent one and after an argument about whether his reading would be affected by having a bent stick (all very technical), it turned out that we’ve got half a tank left! How good is that? We were very impressed, and this started a chat (along the lines of our previous chats about growing our own veg and the yes/no/yes/no chicken debate). No, not the one about Felicity Kendal’s bottom, the one about self-sufficiency and renewable energy and solar panels and wind turbines and all that stuff.
I need to bring J into this because I know that C and her were looking into having solar energy in their new house but not sure what happened. I think it was looking rather expensive, but then I also heard that you can get grants for such things. Friends of ours got a grant for their pellet boiler, but it’s turned into a bit of a pain as the pellets keep getting damp and clogging up the system and our poor mate keeps having to dive in and free up all the soggy pellets. Yuck. I’ve also been having a little email chat with Moon about such things as well (he lives in California and Arnie’s very hot on renewable energy, oh, and he happens to be married to a solar panel engineer – Moon, not Arnie, that is).
So. Homework for today then chaps: anyone know anything useful about solar energy, how much it costs, if it’s possible to get a grant and…er…I think that’s it. Off you go then.