Monday, May 28, 2007

Renewable Energy Show


Show Report

I attended the renewable energy show in Killarney yesterday Sunday 27th May 2007.

So what did I see you ask. Well apart from a bunch of sellers selling alternative energy product at mainly well above European prices, and a few of the at double the average, I saw Kedco selling their boiler and wood pellets.

Get this! Kedco Have Two 2 that's two Prices for Pellets

I find it strange that a company selling wood pellets had two VERY different prices for their products. The 2 prices for wood pellets are:

(a) €165 incl VAT per ton for bulk wood pellets and

(b) €270 incl VAT per ton for bulk wood pellets.

Now you ask why the huge difference? The (a) price is for customers who purchased their re-badged OPOP boiler. The (b) price is for all others. That is a differential of €105 per ton. Take a house that uses say 4 tons a year that €420 a year.

When I see this sort of rubbish I start asking questions straight away. Like:

1. that's one hell of a differential, there must be masses of profit on that old boiler of theirs! Or,

2. there must be one hell of a mark-up on their pellets, or indeed both, or,

3. maybe they are not interested in selling wood pellets at all - just using the supply to help hook some customers for the boiler.

Either way I think they are a bit foolish to mark it uplike that - it just shows up the manipulation of costs for what they are. If you want pellets try Balcas. (see last post)

Apart from the Prices what else did I see?

Duncan Steware gave the first and main lecture, and as far as I could see, the only non-commercial lecture on the programme. The others appeared to be connected with sellers and therefore I could not take them too seriously.

Duncan was very balanced and very knowledgeable on all the subjects touched in his talk. However what I found most interesting were his views on the macro energy situation for Ireland and especially his distress at the almost total lack of understanding and planning or joined-up-thinking for future energy supplies by the government and the national disgrace which we call the ESB.

He also spoke at some length on proper insulation, as perhaps being a better investment in energy savings in terms of return. Proper attic insulation could pay for itself in only 1 to 2 years, and thereafter for ever provide savings free of cost.

Some of the geo-thermal and wood pellets systems costing €7000+ would take many, many years to pay for themselves even if oil prices were to double.

Duncan gave a mini workshop afterwards in the lobby. If Duncan Stewart had not been present at this show I for one would have counted it a complete waste of time.


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