Why isn't electricity cheaper?


Ah yes, the famed falling costs of PV. I swear they are the same price since forever for home installations
When they drop to 1/2 there current price ill bite


Someone (probably Coles2) provided materials costs a good while back. I think they were a lot lower than the typical installation cost. That suggests a classic “Irish” component of the price which is resistant to cuts, especially with SEAI grants to mop up.


Smart meters to be rolled out across Ireland in 2019-2024
*The first 250,000 smart meters will be installed in 2019.
We will pay €5.50 pa for 20 years in order to cover the costs of smart metering.

Anyone know who first qualifies for this Big Brother tech next year? Is it geographic, demographic, or what?


Why are we paying for the smart meters? Surely not having to pay loadsa lads walking around taking readings will save the cost of the meters.


Because no doubt the ESB will still employ the meter readers. Nobody will be let go in such a unionised org.


Is the meter reading unionised? I knew a lad who used to do it on a casual basis when he was a student and his father worked in the ESB. The last time I saw my own meter being read it was done by a guy in his own car with no uniform who was in and out like his life depended on it. I just assumed he was a private contractor being paid by the reading given that impression.


nytimes.com/2018/09/26/busi … p=WT.mc_id

Zinc-Air batteries look promising and cheap


Not independently verified.
Many claims such as this before…


Private nuclear fusion research quietly continues to make strides in the background. It’s probably a good thing that it’s not shouted from the rooftops as fusion research has promised big in the past and delivered nothing so far. The good news is that it’s not a case of repeated abject failure, but steady progress. Most people will know about the huge (and hugely expensive) ITER project at Cadarache in France. Less well known are the twenty or so private companies with a billion dollars of funding that are aiming for net power from fusion using a wide variety of different approaches.

Fusion is established science, and net power from fusion is definitely technologically feasible. ITER and its successors will do that for sure. That does not guarantee economic success, though, as limitless energy from a free source sounds great until the amortised cost of the plant turns out to be more expensive than conventional electricity. That is why research into compact fusion is important, and why small players are just as important as the huge public projects.

A recent article gives a half-decent round up of the main contenders:

medium.com/theengine/knowledge- … 51c551cef5

This video, although ostensibly about one backyard project in Colorado (albeit a very serious one by a very clever individual) also alludes to some of the other contenders:


The CER says that average household uses 4200kwh electricity pa, ~€800 on current prices
However in 2016 it was 5300kwh pa

Why did the Regulator lower the Kwh electricity average usage figure?


I don’t know the answer to your question but maybe I can pose a few semi-educated guesses:

  1. That was 2016, this is 2018?
  2. There is a desire to demonstrate some of our 40% by 2040 reduction towards less CO2 for our international global warming targets
  3. There was an actual reduction and they have the real facts that you may not have.
  4. Increasing efficiency brought about by new technologies and better performance and insulation has all brought about an average improvement.

As I look at these numbers though it does show me that some houses still have a long way to go to reduce their consumption.


It looks like there were a few reasons -

  1. There was misinterpretation of the phrase ‘average’ in the past when they had calculated ‘typical’.
  2. They haven’t looked at it for a long time
  3. Switching websites may have been overestimating savings for people who switched by using a too high average usage value

Anyway, here’s a link to the relevant part of the Commission for Energy Regulation consultation and decision…
and a few extracts -




Two other possibilities:

  1. Global warming meaning milder winters, so less power usage for heating.
  2. Oil prices are low, so people have been using oil rather than electric for heating?


I’m surprised that no one has mentioned the change to CFL and then to LED lighting, both of these had a considerable impact on electricity consumption.
A house full of 100W bulbs replaced by 20W LEDs would slow down anyone’s meter.


CFLs have been around for 20 years. But TVs also use a lot less energy now, and most domestic appliances like washing machines and dishwashers, so you would expect average usage to be in decline. A big uptake on EVs could reverse that, though they generally charge on night-rate.


Yes, CFLs have been around since the 1990s, but they were only widely adopted in the early 2000s and then largely replaced by LEDs in the past decade.
The replacement of transformers with switched mode power supplies in most electronics has made a significant reduction to consumption.
Another thing to consider is that there are quite a now a large number of households that have PV solar installed, so daytime consumption (on sunny days) figures for many are zero.
My system exports some power most days. Unfortunately, I don’t have any batteries yet so I can’t store it.

EVs will change that of course, I expect smart meters and current limiting chargers will be deployed to avoid overloading the grid at times.



I’ve been looking at solar panels for the roof but can’t find any a reliable estimate on how many years to break even?


Whats a current limiting charger? I understand the words, but what would the feature / function do that an appropriately sized charger wouldn’t do? Throttling output based on grid capacity? Doing this at a granular level like laptop chargers?


Smart chargers…

“Sorry Dave, I can’t let you drive to work. You wouldn’t believe the loads last night, it was crazy man. Anyway, work from home, yeah? Oh, you’re a paramedic? Can’t you just offer support over the phone? Hey, I have some information on CPR. Would you like me to read it to you?”