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  • FIRST POST
    • friday440
    • By friday440 10th Jun 17, 11:54 PM
    • 2Posts
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    friday440
    Scottish Power Weathercall system - worth keeping?
    • #1
    • 10th Jun 17, 11:54 PM
    Scottish Power Weathercall system - worth keeping? 10th Jun 17 at 11:54 PM
    We've moved into a new all-electric flat (built in the early 1990s) recently, which, according to Scottish Power, has the "ComfortPlus with Weathercall" system, which seems to be some sort of proprietary three-rate system which varies the supply of power to the storage heaters in the property depending on the weather. I thought this sounded pretty clever, and if it works I'd be happy with it.

    However, the fact remains that it's supplied by SP (who I've had the misfortune of dealing with before, and I've had umpteen problems with them) and also that the unit prices seem pretty high compared to a plain old Economy 7 tariff. I've been tempted to have the meters changed for a single two-rate E7 meter, but I'm not sure whether it's worth the hassle. Obviously the meter replacement would cost money - but there also seems to be two sources of power going to each storage heater, which I've not seen before, and presumably this would need changing? Do you think it's worth it? Thanks
Page 1
    • CashStrapped
    • By CashStrapped 11th Jun 17, 3:34 PM
    • 1,086 Posts
    • 598 Thanks
    CashStrapped
    • #2
    • 11th Jun 17, 3:34 PM
    • #2
    • 11th Jun 17, 3:34 PM
    This is a simple case of doing the maths manually.

    As this is a legacy tariff specific to your supplier, switching is not an option as you know. This means that the lack of competition often renders these tariffs uncompetitive.

    So, you have to manually calculate the cost over the three rate period. Then work out your annual use and cost.

    Then you have to work out what your likely split will be on a more traditional (and available) two rate system (E7). Then do that calculations for that to compare.

    Depending on when and how you use your current set-up you may find the cost difference minimal.

    ----

    If you were to switch to an E7 meter, you would indeed need to check the set-up on your side of the meter. The storage heaters may have two feeds as they may be dual use heaters i.e they have a daytime heating element and a storage heating element. But it may also be due to the three rate set-up.

    You need a electrician to look into all that for you.

    So...

    1) Do the maths.
    2) Compare with an E7 tariff.
    3) Work out the change over costs including any remedial work

    4)...Decide

    Do not fall into the trap of changing to single rate tariff with instant use panel heaters. There is lots of marketing bumph advertising this set-up. This includes underfloor heating. Although the tariffs can be more competitive, this can be the most expensive way to heat an all electric flat.

    Used properly, an E7 set-up should be the cheapest method of heating an all electric flat. This does depend on your living habits and when you are actually in the property, how well uou use the controls and things like that.
    Last edited by CashStrapped; 11-06-2017 at 4:14 PM.
    • molerat
    • By molerat 11th Jun 17, 3:51 PM
    • 17,062 Posts
    • 11,222 Thanks
    molerat
    • #3
    • 11th Jun 17, 3:51 PM
    • #3
    • 11th Jun 17, 3:51 PM
    The 2 supplies going to the storage heater are usually either for a normal on demand heating element, just like an ordinary electric heater, or possibly a fan. The switches on the storage heater should show what is available.
    www.helpforheroes.org.uk/donations.html
    • friday440
    • By friday440 11th Jun 17, 11:23 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    friday440
    • #4
    • 11th Jun 17, 11:23 PM
    • #4
    • 11th Jun 17, 11:23 PM
    Thanks for the info. Compared to the cheapest provider I could find, it seems the ScottishPower rates for my arrangements are about 1p per kWh higher for peak electricity and 1.5p per kWh higher for off-peak electricity. I understand that the "off-peak" rate is also used for a period during the day if the forecast calls for it - but I'm not sure how useful that will be at this point. Maybe I should just wait it out and see how things work once the weather gets colder. I'm not sure how much heat the flat requires, for a start, and I haven't even worked out how much electricity the immersion heater consumes, but I've heard 8 - 9kW is fairly standard.

    Also - I don't have any plans to switch to fancy panel heaters - they seem like a total swizz! Definitely keen on keeping the storage heaters.
    • CashStrapped
    • By CashStrapped 12th Jun 17, 10:23 AM
    • 1,086 Posts
    • 598 Thanks
    CashStrapped
    • #5
    • 12th Jun 17, 10:23 AM
    • #5
    • 12th Jun 17, 10:23 AM
    If the cheapest (e7 I assume) was only 1p and 1.5p lower, then your tariff is not too bad it seems.

    I assume from your post that you have recently moved in and therefore do not have any historical use figures.

    A typical E7 flat for typical use can range from 5000 - 9000kwh per year. It is quite a wide range. If you assume minimum night rate use of 55% (that is 55% of your annual use at night) when comparing, for both those figures (5000 or 9000) that will give you a good guide as to annual cost.

    Then you can do the same based on your current tariff. If you just have 2 rates spread over three time periods, again just assume an overall cheap rate use of 55%.

    Then do the same with a more optamistic cheap/night rate of 75%.

    At least then you can get a rough idea as to cost. and the comparison between E7 and your tariff.
    Last edited by CashStrapped; 12-06-2017 at 10:38 AM.
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