Storage Heater

AWWWWW97
AWWWWW97 Posts: 11
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Hello,

I recently moved into a 1 bed flat (Electric powered only) I'm 26 years old and live alone, I have 1 night-time storage heater in my bedroom, an electric fire fan in the front room and a downflow heater in the bathroom and kitchen, I have yet to use the downflow heaters. I also have an electric shower with an immersion heater. 

I have just moved so not sure really how anything works or who can give me advice.

I am on a 2 rate metre which is economy 7 but my datetime and night time rates are the same, when I fixed my rate I chose to have the rates the same as I was unaware of what I was doing! If I want to change this I have an exit fee of £75 which isn't much if it will benefit me to change my tariff. 

I work from home twice a week sometimes more and I am home most weekends, so I use a lot of electric during the day so I may not even benefit from an Economy 7 tariff. 

My storage heater works fine but its clearly old and very ugly and bulky, should I keep it or replace is with an electric radiator or even newer storage heater? I don't know what will be more cost affective. 

 The flat seems well insulated but I do get cold and like to feel toasty. 

my first bill was £72.99 and this wasn't a whole month and I also wasn't their for a lot of this due to Christmas and new years, I did keep the storage heater on as was told not to turn it off due to the bricks.. The output was off unless I was in and wanted the heat on.

I need help, advice, peace of mind.
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  • QrizB
    QrizB Posts: 13,670
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    Welcome to the forum.
    Your set-up seems quite odd. Normally you'd expect storage heaters in the main living area, where you need to be warmest for longest. Bedrooms can often get away with cheap panel heaters, if you're not using them as home offices or other daytime workspaces.
    Do you own or rent? If you rent, it's unlikely to be worthwhile you spending £1-2k on fitting new storage heaters.
    N. Hampshire, he/him. Octopus Go elec & Tracker gas / Shell BB / Lyca mobi. Ripple Kirk Hill member.
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    Ofgem cap table, Ofgem cap explainer. Economy 7 cap explainer. Gas vs E7 vs peak elec heating costs.
  • nottsphil
    nottsphil Posts: 433
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    edited 8 January at 5:32PM
    " I did keep the storage heater on as was told not to turn it off due to the bricks. The output was off unless I was in and wanted the heat on."

    This makes no sense whatsoever!
    What have the storage bricks got to do with it?
    If the output was off when you were out then you didn't keep it on, did you.
  • frugalmacdugal
    frugalmacdugal Posts: 10,077
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    Hi,
    nottsphil said:
    What have the storage bricks got to do with it?
    storage heaters are a box of bricks, normally heat up overnight, on cheaper rate, store the heat and let it out during the day, if switched off, and miss an overnight charge, they cool down and then cost more to heat up again.
  • Gerry1
    Gerry1 Posts: 9,770
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    edited 8 January at 6:01PM
    nottsphil said:
    " I did keep the storage heater on as was told not to turn it off due to the bricks. The output was off unless I was in and wanted the heat on."

    This makes no sense whatsoever!
    What have the storage bricks got to do with it?
    If the output was off when you were out then you didn't keep it on, did you.
    It could make sense for a modern High Heat Retention NSH.  The switched circuit should be left on so that the bricks charge up overnight and the NSH fan can be switched to blow heat out only at times when it's needed.
    However the OP seems to have the worst of all worlds, an electric shower when there's a hot tank with an immersion heater, an NSH in the bedroom where it's not really needed and a fan heater in the living room, all powered by expensive day rate electricity.
    Huge bills ahead !
  • Gerry1
    Gerry1 Posts: 9,770
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    You won't have to pay £75 to switch from single rate to E7, just ask your supplier.
    However, make sure you're sending monthly meter readings and do the sums first to see which would work out cheaper.
  • Scot_39
    Scot_39 Posts: 1,689
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    edited 8 January at 6:52PM
    nottsphil said:
    " I did keep the storage heater on as was told not to turn it off due to the bricks. The output was off unless I was in and wanted the heat on."

    This makes no sense whatsoever!
    What have the storage bricks got to do with it?
    If the output was off when you were out then you didn't keep it on, did you.
    See no real error in what OP has said.

    Night storage heaters traditionally often had an input and an output control.

    The input controls charging the internal thermal store core "bricks".

    The output control provided varying degrees of how quickly the heat from the bricks is released to the air - edit often used to boost output in afternoon / evening.

    As the air flow through the units can be controlled - via air vents - manual, timed, or even automated thermostatically, to increase or decrease air flow and later models now have fans.

    Hybrid Models like quantums even have their own 24/7 boost heater.

    So it's perfectly possible to leave input setting - and reduce output - by switching output boosting off  - although probably not eliminate losses completely even on best models.

    My NSH take days to charge and balance running costs after switching on, or discharge fully when switch input off  - they are high inertia stores.

    So it makes perfect sense to leave input but minimise output - if only a way short term.

    And with no output boost - e.g. in evenings- the bricks stay hotter - so they take a lower charge on following nights.

    And often the minimum settings will be enough to keep rooms frost / damp free.

    On return the op would have been able to take immediate advantage of stored heat - if switched input charging off - he would have no heat stored.

    So would / may have needed another heater e.g. plug in.

    That's arguably more important on e7 - as that days heat at cheap rate - but OP isn't on e7 anyway.



    But with only 1 nsh in bedroom and immersion heater - but I guess a cold fed electric shower - could explain why op not on e7 split- as may struggle to get to 42% +/- x% breakeven vs single rate.

    E7 doesn't work for everyone.

    The cheapest form of electrical heating - short of reverse air con / ashp tech - is e7 based nsh - but only above that 42% +/-x breakeven.

    And with living room fan  heater - the op would be paying peak rate 17 hrs a day wfh if working in living room / weekends etc.

    The OP has a dual rate meter - so can monitor his current peak off-peak splits.


    There's no real advantage of nsh cf programnable (timer temp etc) panel heater if not on e7. Their main purpose is to time shift energy stored at lower off peak rates to daytime use.


    A tapo on the fan fire in living room etc would perhaps give the possible amount a new nsh in room could shift to off peak etc to see if worth investment and a switch to e7 if current use doesn't currently justify.

    Even the £75 fix fee could need a lot of units to pay back.



    Op also doesn't say if owner or renter - and even if owner- the payback could be many years.

    So look at splits now (and potentially in past by previous occupants - if meter has swap out date label / tag and readings have not wrapped).

    What we're the peak vs off peak units used in Dec days for last bill ?

    But heating makes e7 splits very seasonal.   My off peak split drops below 50% in summer, peaks over 90% in winter with 3 nsh - used to heat to fairly low temps cf many - but over yearvaverages c75-80% - so cheaper than SR.  Everyone's will be different.


    And see how total costs on sr vs potential e7 may compare - and even if e7 would make a switch cheaper then need to ask if savings will give a good enough return compared to costs.

  • frugalmacdugal
    frugalmacdugal Posts: 10,077
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    Hi,

    Sounds as though the flat was once set up for E7/NSHs, as it's unusual to only have a NSH in bedroom,

    So, you may find that there is still a NSH outlet in front room, you could then install a NSH there, maybe even move the one from the bedroom, though doubt if it would be big enough heat output.

    You would need to change back to E7 tariff and ensure that time switch was at correct settings, you could then have immersion heater on a timer to take advantage of night rate, only needing it on for last couple of hours of night rate.

    Could you stick up a photie of your meter/time switch setup please.


  • AWWWWW97
    AWWWWW97 Posts: 11
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    Thank you all for the replies, the set up is weird, it was built in 1991 and hasn't been changed since then. 

    I own the property but will only likely live her for 3-5 years then sell so I don't want to put a load of money into this property. 

    The tariff is Economy 7 but I am on the same 2 rate metre so its not cheaper at night, they said the only way I can change my night-time rate is is to pay the 75 exit fee and amend my tariff (OVO) 

    I have read up a bit more on storage heaters and now know a bit more on how they work, I have currently got the input on a low number and only use the output when I need the heat and again at a low number so it doesn't release a load of heat at once. 

    I have checked my bill today and not to my surprise it has increased a great deal, some of this may have been from having the storage heater input on the highest number so my error. 

    Do you think I should opt for a newer Storage heater, keep the old one I have that works or if a bedroom Ecostrad iQ Ceramic WiFi Controlled Electric would work instead? 

  • frugalmacdugal
    frugalmacdugal Posts: 10,077
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    Hi,
    if you are going to get a new heater go for the modern Quantum and get a size suitable for your front room, as I said before there is probably a heater connection there.
    You can leave heater in bedroom, for comfort, or if you do your WFH there.
    But, you would really need to shift to E7 to benefit from night rate, are you sure they charge you £75 to change tariff or is that to change supplier?
  • Gerry1
    Gerry1 Posts: 9,770
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    edited 9 January at 4:33PM
    Ovo are awkward, they will no longer start billing an E7 meter at single rate so it's probably related to that.
    Do the sums and switch supplier if you're on the SVT and E7 would be cheaper.  Don't heat the main property with day rate electricity.
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