marsman t1_jae9xhh wrote

It wasn't. There was a misleading table of spot prices published that seems to have done the rounds covering 30 minutes of high demand/cost in the UK, but unless you have some source or some info that I haven't seen, the UK doesn't have anything like the highest energy prices in the word, nor in a European context and certainly not if you are looking at consumer prices (given the Government interventions and subsidy)


marsman t1_j1icvh0 wrote

Not so much with housing because the materials and approach to building have changed and that has had a very real impact on longevity (older houses are not over-engineered as such, but they did tend to be built out of heavier/more solid materials because the alternatives didn't exist and using far more labour intensive approaches). That still leads to issues but they tend to be different.

Take UK housing stock, a 100 year old house is not particularly unusual (about 25% of the total stock), most is more than 60 years old. Many of those 100 year old houses are built from solid engineering brick, actual stone, have stone lintels, joists tend to be far thicker/larger than they would be if built now to support thicker/heavier wooden floor boards than would be the norm now too, albeit not as well finished. You'll likely still have a slate roof and heavier rafters to support it. They have/had lime plaster on the walls, lath and plaster ceilings etc.. And would have had internal plumbing/gas/electricity retrofitted at some point in the last 60 years.

That means that the structures tend to be incredibly solid (until someone tries to take out a chimney and fails to support things properly etc..), but also have lots of rough edges, walls aren't quite parallel, nothing is level, insulation (beyond the plaster and ceilings) is poor because the expectation was that the house would need to breathe and would have open fires internally..

Newer builds on the other hand tend to be built using a minimum of material, and using processes that are as light on labour as possible. You have far more complex materials involved, and plumbing, wiring and so on are embedded. The downside of that is that things can go wrong quickly when they do, weathering can be pretty catastrophic, a roof might be expected to last 15-25 years rather than 50-100 years for example, but broadly there is simply less room for wear before it becomes a problem.

There is probably a sweet spot (in the UK at the moment it's likely a 60's built semi/detached house) that balances a decent finish with a solid structure.


marsman t1_izj00gg wrote

>These are all expressed in percentage points but they have wildly different ranges and magnitudes. It would make no sense to use one single axis for two or more of those.

And importantly, there is the potential for trends to be highlighted by that sort of chart that wouldn't otherwise be visible, and that are accurately reflected in the data (so its not a manipulation).


marsman t1_izizrmv wrote

3 is fine if the period covered is the relevant period, it's not fine if you are trying to display a continuous trend. It could be problematic, or fine if you are showing a point of change where the previous period isn't relevant (so you aren't after a change in trend from a previous period).


marsman t1_iy45jv5 wrote

Often your issue is pretty much the opposite of what you might expect. Older houses were built with an expectation that there would be airflow, and usually with lime plaster walls that are breathable (and lath and plaster ceilings that insulate relatively well - heat and sound), and often without cavity walls (so single skin) etc.. So they act differently from later construction. A lot of the time that plaster ends up either being replaced by gypsum, being skimmed with gypsum, or being wallpapered/painted with materials that aren't breathable, and people block off the various ways you used to have airflow..

When people insulate, especially if they do it relatively cheaply/simply add insulating material to cut air flow, you end up in a situation where you don't lose heat, but you do retain moisture and you end up with condensation. The result is then really commonly wet wall areas (spots if you have bits of patched plaster for example, or corners where external walls are cold), and then mould. It can be more of an issue if you have lots of layered crap on the walls (think multiple layers of wallpaper and then paint...), especially if you also end up with damp between layers...

That said, if you are stripping the wallpaper (and good luck with that if it hasn't been done in a while, I think the record we had was two dozen layers...) take a look at what is behind it. You should be able to spot lime plaster (it'll look more like concrete), if that's what you've got, and its in good condition, then let it dry out before you do anything else. If it does dry out nicely then you are on to a winner and I'd suggest taking a look at the wallpaper you use, some are permeable/breathable, some are not, you'll likely want something more permeable.. If however you can't dry the room out (without using a dehumidifier...) when you have the wallpaper off, you'll probably want to talk to someone about balancing insulation with airflow, if that's even possible.

Although if its a rental, speak to your landlord first..


marsman t1_iss6jeo wrote

> I can see unnecessary features being added just to set themselves apart from the competition (add more checkboxes to the packaging). This will also add complexity (something that the elderly (including me) don’t need). All these “extra features” may add additional costs.

For a lot of younger people with hearing issues, things like bluetooth connectivity and app control have made a massive difference with current gen hearing aids, I'd suggest it's more likely that you simply end up seeing more choice, with devices targeted at specific markets. I seriously can't see more suppliers of hearing aids resulting in an increase in the price tbh.. Certainly not from where they are already..