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Cost of Caving Crisis

Ian Ball

Well-known member
Excellent, I went to a briefing on solar panel placement a while ago for solar farms and they calculate the angle based on the sun positions through the year and bolt it fixed. They were looking at a two angle arrangement for winter and summer with a rear leg rack system but it meant a loss of cash as they cost more but also they would have been installed a few weeks later and lost the good sun.

16 panels is a lot! From a bang on north facing roof owner I'm gutted.


Active member
We've turned off the hot water cos it's based on an immersion heater (no gas). It's saved a ton off the electricity bill - the shower is electric and just use the kettle for really stubborn washing up. I guess if the electricity gets really bad I will shower at work.


Well-known member
Rob, I have a steel D maillon you can have FOC or an almost new Omni for £20 posted....... don't use a krab for that!!!
That's very kind of you, but i'm perfectly happy with this solution for now. But I suggest you offer them to someone else who can't afford them.

In fact, now's a great time for us all to get selling our unwanted gear. Good to get some extra income, plus good for the buyers to get a deal. (y)

cap n chris

Well-known member
My central maillon spring recently failed and the thing kept undoing whilst hanging(!). However a replacement Omni is £30! So i finally found a use for a steel karabiner. I'm surprised i've never seen this before, seems to work fine so far.
View attachment 14193
Your cowstails, if/when loaded, will stop you being about to open your croll if you need to change to ascent.


Active member
We had major problems with cavity wall insulation in our last house - not only mould in various places but polystyrene snow all over the garden. in the current house we've put in interior insulation which seems to work (but shrinks your rooms)


Well-known member
I've got a system so the immersion heater is powered by the solar panels. When they are generating, the immersion comes on until the water is hot. The boiler also comes on later on, but only fires if the water is not sufficiently hot.

Net result is free hot water for most of the year.



Active member
The UK has had very cheap gas for power and (especially) heating for a very long time. UK domestic production went negative 20 years ago and will be near zero in another 20. I was buying gas at 3p per kWhr recently. If you do the maths on even ground source heat pumps you will find it is double that price at least.

It’s not unreasonable to think that this price cap of £2500 is a more realistic projection of the future and people need to accept that. It could be worse. A big problem is that the very high cost of storage is yet to be factored in to wind/solar as that function is entirely provided by gas at the moment. Hence nuclear is attractive because it‘s long term competition is wind+storage, not gas. The government mentioned 24 GW of nuclear yesterday which is not unreasonable (about £200bn). The whole thing is going to cost well north of a trillion.

Will make your own solar somewhat more attractive, but unfortunately it dies just when you need it (winter heating).


Well-known member
Beware the energy companies and their 'monthly plans', which I dont need and never asked for.
I spent lockdowns insulating my loft and secondary glazing my big but nice bow windows, plus all the others. Costs plummeted, but eons wonderful system kept increasing my monthly payment. Now its £415 a month!. Spring I was over £1K in credit, got half of it back, now I am £1400 in credit. So I am their free bank.
I am leaving it until next spring to see how it goes, then maybe the big knife comes out.
One thing that these wondeful algorithms or whatever cant do is second guess the weather, all we need is a mild winter.

Ian Ball

Well-known member
Blimey! Roy, £1400 isn't enough?! I suspect the NHS will be finding chill blains and frostbite on the up at this rate!
Spend all night in the pub because it's warm!


Well-known member
Last year I removed £900 credit of eon this took 9 phone calls and many hours, be warned took about 4 months of attempts and waiting. At moment still £196 in credit to date

Joy of hugging to the tv to stay warm

Ian Ball

Well-known member
I was with Ovo getting 5% for years, I moved cheaper a few years ago and then that company went bust so have been moved to Shell, will probably go back to Ovo because I don't like the big companies, though Ovo are getting to be one of the big ones if I'm honest.


New member
If you are in credit by a large amount, you can ask for a refund, if they refuse put in a complaint. If they haven't given you a refund in 8 weeks, make a complaint to OFGEM.
They will ring you within 24 hours and you will get your refund.
But do remember some credit is needed to get you over winter, though £1400 is a bit much if you are paying over £400 a month.

Jenny P

Active member
I had a hefty credit with Eon and they reduced my DD payments without me asking. I still am in credit but am happy to let that ride because it means I won't have to up the DD's when I start to use more energy in winter. (Interest from bank acounts is so low it almost isn't worth bothering now.) I set up a fixed 2-year contract ending in March 2023 and that still hasn't been changed by increasing prices. I do get a large FIT payment from Eon for my PV roof panels, which were put in very early on, so I'm still getting the highest rate and will continue to do so for the rest of the 25 years the contract lasts. That income has very neatly completely offset my energy bills up to last year so I'm waiting to see what the winter brings. Guess I'm just lucky so far.
For reducing the cost of my caving, with the (likely permanent) increase in the cost of fuel, i'm thinking of investing in a dray and pony to transport my gear. I live 200 miles from the Dales but i'll simply have to travel up in the spring and live off the land in the hills for the summer before returning to my overwintering location in the autumn. This should reduce my outgoings while maximising my caving return, i think its a solid plan and I can't see any issues with it.

In all honestly, i've just generally been reducing my out goings for a year or so, little things like meals out and takeaways, shopping trips, etc, to allow me a little more stretch to indulge when it comes to my caving (which is the most important thing, lets face it).
  • Haha
Reactions: Rob


Well-known member
Only slight issue with your plan, i would reverse the seasons. That way you can overwinter in a hut that someone else is paying to heat.

In fact, i bet some hut fees are lower than some rents/mortgages, can't we just sell our house (and dray and ponies) and move in?!? :):beer:


Well-known member
Why invest in a pony? If you already have a dog, you can use that to carry you and your caving gear too and from your caving region of choice.


By not specified (except those with signature on image) - W. E. Mason - Dogs of all Nations, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6800891