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Everything posted by dgul

  1. It isn't the actual 'geographical' centre, but the centre of London (that all sign posts measure distance to, the centre for legislative purposes, etc), is the Charles I statue in Trafalgar Square.
  2. I agree that it probably is (was) a good investment provided you don't want to see the original money at any point. But again, this feeds the pensioner / boomer - a younger person can't invest in the equivalent of a perpetual irredeemable bond because they'll probably need the cash at some point. [And I do agree that there will be a whole pile of moaning about 5 years from now when the cheaper installations (most of them) start failing.] [The stupid thing is that prices have dropped massively in only a few years. The UK could (should?) have waited it out until about 3-4 years ago, and only then offered the subsidy. It would have given all of the advantages going forwards, but would have had relatively lower impact on energy bills]
  3. You're thinking the wrong way. In fact that is exactly the sort of mindset that plagues property in the UK - looking at it like an investment rather than a simple expenditure and the value gained. Say you've got the house you want to live in, there are enough bedrooms for the kids and a big enough garden. You plan to stay for 10 years plus. Factor in cost of nice shed (lets say £10k) - so the question becomes 'will I get £1k of value per year from having this' - if you spend a reasonable time in it working from home, doing your hobby, allowing kids to do homework away from the noise of the younger children, and perhaps use as an extra bedroom for the occasional visitor- then it could be worthwhile. Certainly much cheaper than moving to a larger house (just in costs, let alone extra money for the house). But note, of course, that this only works because houses are so expensive... Change the model to rural France and you'd be mad to put up the shed - You could buy a lot more actual property for the extra 10k.
  4. Ah - that would be more like it. Should be doable, but the turbine for that level of power would be quite expensive... as would the time spent putting in the dam / digging...! Keep it under 10,000 m3 and you don't need approval (I think).
  5. Not worth it. The money has moved on. My cousin has moved onto big wind (for farms) and biomass. Same deal as solar - mugs customers have to pay through the nose to have an accredited installation, but then get money back through FIT or RHI. Amazingly, the deal always works out as about 5% roi. Yup. Mandated through ofgem for the life of the contract (25 years)
  6. Water storage systems need vast amounts of water to work: The energy stored = (litres of water) x (height difference in metres) x 10 joules, or litres x height x 3 / 1,000,000 kwh. So if you have a a pair of ponds with 10,000 litres (really quite big for a garden) and a decent slope, say a height differential of 10 metres, the energy stored = 0.3 kwh. If you could convert 100% of that into electricity (lucky to get 50% for a small system) that would be worth 4p. You'd never recoup the cost of installation. Might look pretty though.
  7. My cousin runs a company that installs solar. She was well into 6 figure income for the last few years.
  8. The feed in tariff is paid by the electricity distribution companies. They get the money back by 'slight' increases in the cost of electricity for everyone (sanctioned by Ofgem). They also get a cut for administering the scheme. Everyone is a winner - except it is all paid for by those people who don't have panels installed. [who, by the way, are more likely to be younger and/or renting] [just in case it isn't obvious, generating more energy increases bills if that energy is costing about 55p per kwh (early adopters, who, by the way, are still being paid 48p per kwh, and a bit more again for actually exporting the stuff), 30p (or so, mid 2012), or even 18p per kwh (these days). Note that these costs are much higher than the price your supplier pays for electricity - around 4p/kwh at the moment - the difference with the 12p or whatever you actually pay is the price of distribution and management.]
  9. Ah - I understand. A company generously put some solar panels on your roof - and you get all the electricity they make! Excellent. Oh, and the subsidy (feed in tariff) goes to the installers. Who make an absolute packet - way more than you've made in reduced electricity bills. And this money is made by increasing the energy bills of everyone else. But of course, they deserve the money - they put up the investment. You know it cost £12k/£20k/£25k to install the panels - they're only getting 4% return on their investment. Only it didn't cost £20k - that is just what they were charging the poor mugs who paid up front (back calculating the costs so that panels always work out at about 5% roi). The panels were costing £1k per kw, plus a few days on the roof putting it all together. I understand that you are happy with a reduced bill through no upfront payment from yourself - but the installers have made out big time from these schemes - and will continue to be paid by a % on all of our energy bills for years to come.
  10. and wasn't Nationwide down yesterday... Lots of problems recently...
  11. The stupid thing is they could help the 'green crap' by doing really simple thing without needing subsidy - make anything remotely green zero VAT for a start.
  12. Sorry to break it to you but the subsidies once installed are fairly much guaranteed - it is the subsidy for new installations that is reducing. Those that have already had it installed are the ones who are laughing. Oh, and the subsidies are paid from your power bills, not the government.
  13. Nail-on-head. The benefit is mainly for people who own their own homes - so people who owned their own homes from about 15 years ago to nowish get the benefit, but new entrants can't. That said, the subsidy has moved the market in the UK - if you buy your own panels and stick them up yourself, you get a return of about 5% on the cheaper electricity bills. No subsidy, no extra payments and to rub salt into it all have to pay VAT on the purchases. - The installers work to a return for the householder of around 5% - so calculate the subsidy the householder will get, multiply the FIT by 20 or so, and you get the installation price. When the FIT reduced in 2012 the installation prices miraculously reduced markedly. No doubt they'll do so again. You see the same with heat pumps - You can get a really decent branded heat pump for a couple of k, and installation is trivial. The installers ramp up the costs because the householder needs an accredited installation to get the subsidy. [What I really hate is when the installers moan about 'killing off the important UK renewables industry' - they're just installing foreign made black-boxes] I'm sympathetic to your friends jobs but you should always be careful when you have a job which is dependent on government largess - they'll happily change the setup and leave you destitute*. That said, the Government will likely mandate that all new builds will have solar, which will keep people employed - only the construction industry will bill on a day-rate for the job, so the pay won't be so lucrative**. *Apart from the financial services industry.
  14. Yes. If the UK economy starts to slide it will come. As I've said before, I think the current lot will do tax relief on debt payments first... If it comes it will be announced v. late 2017 for FY2018-19 (so that the benefit will be seen in the tax return just before the election).
  15. I wonder if we'll start to see limits on investments from the east westwards - sort of an 'our QE good, their QE bad and we need to protect ourselves from it'. I can't see it at the moment (as it is a case of eastern money propping up asset prices), but the whole system is unpredictable at the moment.
  16. I think the reasoning goes that at 2-0 China have some catching up to do. But surely China will invade the Republic of China first? (as it is occupied territory at the moment)
  17. And if it was the actual relief, then the interest would have to be much larger than £6Bn. About 1/2 of properties are held with debt, so £6Bn out of £15Bn sounds about right, as opposed to (assuming an average of 30% tax rate) £18Bn out of £15Bn which is clearly not the case (well, until interest rates rise, anyway). 10% of landlords own 1/3 of properties to let. 3/4 of landlords have a single property. I think '2 or 3' covers the majority of the rest. But there are the 1% of landlords who do own a sizeable portfolio. These 1% skew the results somewhat. If they entered the market recently (certainly since 2007) then the recent budget might well ruin them. By the way - the '3/4 of landlords own a single property' is the cause of the pain in the rental sector in the UK - all these amateurs are causing havoc with people's lives.
  18. It is worth making explicit that the 6 Billion isn't the 'loss' to the HMRC because the relief is allowed - it is the total expenditure on interest. So even in all the relief were removed then the extra tax would only be between 20% and 40% of this (£1.2Bn to 2.4Bn). As the loss of relief is only to the base rate (rather than all of the relief above a certain income, say), then the most they could bring in (if all landlords were higher rate payers, and very few upper rate payers) would be about £1.2Bn. The fact that they hope to bring in £655m is a very large proportion of this - suggesting around 1/2 landlords are higher rate taxpayers. However HMRC themselves claim that it will only affect 1 in 5 landlords - this suggests that a relatively smaller number of landlords actually contribute the bulk of the 6Bn.
  19. To be fair to them, most people don't get tax. They just pay PAYE and perhaps fill in a tax return and pay what is calculated. Currently they sort of get the 'if you put in your costs then the amount you have to pay goes down', but the details aren't that important. Of course, this doesn't fit in with the whole 'I'm an entrepreneur' bit, but we all know that is nonsense. I'd say that the table posted by Freetrader looks about right: 4m properties, minus 0.85m (holiday lets) gives about 3.15m properties to let by private individuals - I think the real value is about 2.5m, with the difference possibly being due to commercial property. 2.2m landlords - sounds about right given that 80% of private landlords own a single property. 31Bn in rent over 3.1m properties gives an average of about £10k per property - a bit low, but not crazy low. (Dunno why this would be, though. I suppose there will be a small number of 'other' property such as fields, say, which will skew the averages down a bit - and larger properties are much more likely to be structured as a limited co.) 6.5Bn in mortgage repayment - Total BTL loans are about £200Bn, and at an average of 4.5% (apparently) gives 9Bn in interest. The £2.5Bn difference could be explained because 10% of properties are held in a limited company or other 'hands off' structure, and that these are more likely to be newer larger players (and these won't report in this part of the tax return).
  20. So is Tsipras being clever here - promise to behave, get the loans sorted and then quit - allowing an elected (=representative of the people) replacement to reverse some of the changes made to get the loans? A complex bluff orchestrated by Varoufakis... Or is as it is being played - he no longer has a mandate, therefore back to the people (unusual approach for a politician). I guess we'll get more of a picture as we approach mid September.
  21. Yes - seems like post-hoc rationalisation to me... I think her irrefutable reasons seem fine, until they're not. At which point property won't still be a valid investment. The point of 'until they're not' is not well defined, and could be relatively soon (although I'd guess at least 12 months before anything actually happens). But when it does actually happen (whatever 'it' is) it will be too late to do anything about it. [and #3 is stupid unless you also state that 'people who currently live in houses are continuing to die', but the births outnumber the deaths by a bit]
  22. Thanks Suntory. That is an interesting article. An interesting line in it: the status of Britain as a haven for foreign investors looking for decent returns in housing in the wake of the economic crisis was coming to an end and London property now represents a “risky” buy. The current markets are all about risk management - the UK was a safe-haven, but if the UK is risky then money will leave. [i have wondered for some time whether we won't get (much) house price correction in the next crash - instead we'd get a crash of sterling] [and if the markets think the UK is risky now, I wonder what will happen if JC gets elected leader-of-the-opposition in 3 weeks time] I think (the original point of the post) that we might be entering a global crisis - and what is so very painful is that instead of suppressing speculative interest from abroad it was left until too late - so we'd get the effects of an international crisis as well as a the hammering effect of lower asset prices - which will probably blow up some UK banks. I still don't understand how the 'independent' BoE wouldn't be insisting on countercyclical measures (5 years ago, let alone 10, 20 years ago), rather than just saying 'we don't get involved in a free market (and anyway we see no signs of a bubble)'
  23. I think that was his point - as fuel was expensive people invested in fuel efficiency. This leads to a drop in demand and resultant decrease in fuel price. I'm not entirely sure - world crude consumption has increased year on year since forever, except for a small dip in 2008-2009. But I agree that Shale redefined a few things - and I might be able to accept the argument that the price of crude currently reflects the ambition of opec to kill the shale producers (and, too a certain extent, deep water oil). But they can't as shale requires a relatively low investment so will come back the minute prices rise again.
  24. well, vehicle fuel sales were down by about 10% in volume - the reduction in petrol was partly offset by an increase in diesel. And fuel sales were up significantly in £ over that period.
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