If fioul oil is being phased out what are people converting to?

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If fioul oil is being phased out what are people converting to?


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Old 20th September 2019, 01:55 AM
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Default If fioul oil is being phased out what are people converting to?

Hello,
I've learned through this forum that as an energy source for home heating, fioul (fuel oil) is being phased out. If this is the case what are people who have homes fitted for this type of heating energy converting to? Wood pellets, electric, solar, heat pump (electric) and will the costs for making these conversions be terribly expensive? Lastly, what is the time line for fioul being phased out?

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wvdthree

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Old 20th September 2019, 02:36 AM
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You're asking how long is a piece of string.

A cheap small air to air heat pump can be bought for less than €400. Big enough for a studio apartment or large bedroom. Bad investment if you intend to use it for heating because those low end units aren't very efficient. A high end unit starts at almost twice that amount.

An in ground multi room setup starts well into the thousands.

Pellet stoves also vary in price. Small basic air only units aren't very much. OTOH a large pellet boiler isn't cheap.

Finally the best course of action is to minimize your heating needs. Insulate. Fix drafts. Aka new doors and windows. Even things like putting up heavy drapes you close in the evening.
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Old 20th September 2019, 02:40 AM
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Thanks for the response Nick!!!

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Old 20th September 2019, 05:56 AM
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The government hopes to phase out fioul oil within the next 10 years and to help with the cost, is planning tax rebates which may reach 1/3 of the cost involved in changing your heating system (CITE : crédit d'impôt à la transition énergétique). However nothing has been definitely settled yet and this being France, it could take twice as long.

Wood is at present cheapest for domestic use, followed by natural gas and then fioul.

The solution which best suits you will depend on the size of your house/apartment and where it is situated.

https://www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs...1_4355770.html

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Old 20th September 2019, 06:49 AM
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In the reports I've seen, the "preferred" approach is to go for a heat pump system. Which is odd, because those use considerably more electricity and generating electricity can cause all sorts of environmental problems, especially given the prevalence of nuclear power plants here in France.

I think one consideration is that we don't have the severe winters in much of France that they do in other places (I'm thinking the US Midwest here), so you need to evaluate what your heating requirements really are in a given residence. Many homes here in the Paris area outer suburbs have no central heating system, but rather use electric heaters in specific rooms, or fireplaces and/or wood burning stoves. It was something of a shock to me when I first arrived, but since then we replaced our open fireplace with a wood burner (which burns logs far more efficiently than the open fireplace) and that works out perfectly well for our needs.

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Old 20th September 2019, 07:18 AM
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It's basically an EU wide push for heat pumps.

1) They're actually highly efficient today. My unit claims about 700 kw/h per winter heating season in an average weather area. That would be places like Paris . Here where it's warmer the power use is half that. One unit is big enough for a studio apartment. Two or three for a three bedroom apartment.

2) Europe can produce electricity from renewal means. Solar and wind being the most obvious. That means the push is to switch people to electric everything. Heating and cars being the big ones.

To a certain extent you're seeing this even in North America. In extreme weather cases you might needed backup heat but for most of the time using the heat pump.

My air to air small unit is I think rated down to below -10C. Which means it won't freeze solid at those temperatures. People living in homes with a bit of garden could instead install an air to ground system and those are being installed even in cold areas like Canada.

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Old 20th September 2019, 09:46 AM
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Given that France has just this week had to stop 2 of its nuclear power stations for safety reasons, and given drought and the cooling required for nuclear power stations, with a bit of luck the French government might just start to make a serious effort in terms of renewable energy

For now, wood is definitely the best low-cost option for many and (I'm sad to say) the price of firewood should hold because our forests have started to die because much of that timber is now only suitable for firewood.

In most of France solar panels will provide you with additional free (after installation costs) power pretty much all year round.

Financial assistance mentioned by Vérité is most likely going to be limited to residents who have a French tax notice for the previous tax year and subject to income limits (this is currently under consideration).

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Old 20th September 2019, 12:11 PM
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1) Insulation, insulation and more insulation.

2) Buy lots of fleeces.

3) Invest in wood.

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Old 20th September 2019, 02:19 PM
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Thanks everyone for all of the informative responses. For those who use wood what percentage of those are using actual cut wood and what percentages are using wood pellets? Advantages/costs of both types? I'm guessing that maybe wood pellets take a specific type of fireplace/burner?

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Old 20th September 2019, 02:36 PM
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Fyi, pellets encourage timber companies to completely clearcut when they "harvest" forests. Scrawny trees too small for lumber, which should be left to regenerate the forest, are taken, as is much of the slag, which should be left to decompose and replenish the soil. It is shipped to China (or wherever) on container ships (using petroleum for fuel), turned into pellets (in factories (using probably coal-generated power), then shipped around the world, again in petroleum powered container ships...

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