Sunday, 20 March 2011
Although I have electric central heating, electricity costs thanks to EON's virtual monopoly are extortionately high, far higher it feels (I must do a proper comparision) than in the UK and let's face it electricity prices in the UK aren't exactly low. A friend was telling me recently about the difference in EON's electric prices in the Czech Republic and neighbouring Germany, a ratio of 2:1 she reckoned. It's not as though the Czechs are as wealthy as their teutonic neighbours, the average wage here is still comparatively low. Hence energy makes up a significant proportion of the average monthly bills. One reason the prices we are paying such high prices apparently is the disastrous solar energy subsidy - more of that in my next blog.
But back to my heating, although my heating system is the most cost-effective that can be bought, using only off-peak power and although the house is well insulated with walls at least two feet thick, in order to keep the bills manageable I only use the central heating to maintain a basic level of heat and boost it with wood burning stoves. My stores of firewood were getting badly diminished and so it was time to order fresh.
My experience and those of friends is that you don't always get what you pay for. There are quite a few cowboy suppliers who will charge you a very reasonable price, but then when they deliver somehow there isn't quite as much as you expected. The worst example of this were some local gypsies who sold me 6 cubic metres and delivered 1! I had to admire their cheek and put it down to experience. Of course if they had supplied what they promised, they could have been supplying me for years, but such long-term logic did not enter into their calculations. This time I turned to a neighbour and a friend to organise the supply and I decided to order ten metres on the basis that I would get less.
Last weekend a small lorry turned up and emptied its entire contents on to the road outside my house. The man waved away my money saying I would pay him when he came back on Monday with the next lot. Another lot! The pile was larger than a car. I set to throwing the logs through my open gate to form the heap you can see some of above. It took me two days to move them all into the yard, where they sat (and still sit) waiting stacking. True enough on Monday he returns with a second lorry load - another pile on the road outside the gate. I start to clear away a space so that my neighbours can park their car. Then the following morning I wake to find I can hardly move.
So the pile is still outside my gate, with the other still in the yard. My back is a lot better, but I am nervous of doing any major log moving. My husband and son are arriving at the end of the week, we were going to have a short-break in Prague but instead we may be doing something a lot less pleasant. I blame EON!