Storage heaters and tariffs

Hi all 

We've moved into a new electric only property with storage heaters downstairs and regular electric heaters upstairs.

We signed up ti a fixed tariff with British gas.

But wer wondering if a day and night rate would be better for us.

We're in two minds as obviously the storage heaters when working properly will be using more electricity at night.

But mt partner and I are home much of the day, as she is unable to work and immher full time carer.
We also have a baby on the way so again will be home a lot of the day.

I'm just wondering if anyone had any thoughts on what would be best for us 

Comments

  • QrizB
    QrizB Posts: 13,630
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    Welcome to the forum.
    Storage heaters are intended to be used on a dual-rate tariff, typically Economy 7. They often won't work at all on a single rate tariff.
    What make and model are your storage heaters? Hopefully, if this is a new property, they are High Heat Retention ones? They might even be "smart"!
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  • sammyjammy
    sammyjammy Posts: 7,291
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    Can you still cancel the fixed tariff?  Now is not the time!  Rates are due to go down around 14% in April and further again in July
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  • Reed_Richards
    Reed_Richards Posts: 3,982
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    I'm afraid electric heating like you have is the most expensive way there is to heat a property.  But you can cut the cost by using an electricity tariff that gives you cheap electricity at night, like "Economy 7".  Storage heaters working properly should charge themselves up with heat overnight using a lot of cheap electricity and then give out the heat during the day using very little more electricity, so they should meet your needs.    
    Reed
  • Gerry1
    Gerry1 Posts: 9,738
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    edited 10 January at 10:19AM
    Are you sure you're not on a two-rate tariff already, e.g. Economy 7?  It's virtually certain that the property had a two-rate meter when the NSHs were installed.
    However, the previous owner may have changed to single rate.  Most suppliers including BG (but not the unhelpful Ovo) will happily bill a multi-rate meter at single rate.
    If you have multi-rate meter just check your meter readings and do the sums.  E7 will almost certainly be cheaper (at least in the heating seasons) so just do the sums.
  • EssexHebridean
    EssexHebridean Posts: 20,808
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    I'm afraid electric heating like you have is the most expensive way there is to heat a property.  But you can cut the cost by using an electricity tariff that gives you cheap electricity at night, like "Economy 7".  Storage heaters working properly should charge themselves up with heat overnight using a lot of cheap electricity and then give out the heat during the day using very little more electricity, so they should meet your needs.    
    Not really, so long as an appropriate meter/tariff is put into play. If the OP just had panel heaters throughout, or potentially even worse, a wet-electric heating system, then they would be a lot worse off! 

    OP - it might be worth you posting a photograph of your meter. Be sure to include the cabling leaving the meter underneath in clear view. (And cover over the meter serial number panel). 
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  • Reed_Richards
    Reed_Richards Posts: 3,982
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    I'm afraid electric heating like you have is the most expensive way there is to heat a property.  But you can cut the cost by using an electricity tariff that gives you cheap electricity at night, like "Economy 7".  Storage heaters working properly should charge themselves up with heat overnight using a lot of cheap electricity and then give out the heat during the day using very little more electricity, so they should meet your needs.    
    Not really, so long as an appropriate meter/tariff is put into play. 
    That's exactly what I meant; I'm sorry if I did not make this clear.  Perhaps I should have written "electric heating on a single rate tariff like you have, is the most expensive way there is to heat a property".
    Reed
  • Scot_39
    Scot_39 Posts: 1,674
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    edited 10 January at 11:47AM
    Can you give us models details for storage heaters.

    And as above meters and consumer unit arrangement photos - serial numbers etc redacted - often the meter model and whether has 4 or 5 main tail (thick c 25mm2 wire ) connections enough info though if dont want to send photos.

    Is the property new or just new to you ?

    With nsh and hw immersion it would be strange not to be capable of supporting a fixed time of use tariff like E7.


    Did you choose SR fix - did you consider / they offer an e7 fix - or were you told that SR was only option by builder / previous occupants or BGas etc.

    E7 with edf in em (one of few who publish full set)  - EM region  just top of their list - sits around 16p off peak vs c35p peak whereas SR c28p in the region.

    That 16.3p iirc still a lot more than 7.4p for gas heating, but a lot less than SR - but comes with the day penalty 35p vs 28p.

    So off peak mix needs to be c40%+ to beat single rate on average.

    Use a reasonable amount of off peak - it works out cheaper.

    say 75% would give an average rate of 21p - a saving of 25% on single rate.  I average 75-80% annually - but on e10 but then at low heat settings cf many(*).

    In winter - with only moderate heating (*) and hot water use from immersion het tank (my shower, washing machine are cold fed)  - I use over 90% off peak on coldest days - using 2 downstairs nsh and one small upstairs nsh. 

    On that e7 rate above  - if hit same 90% would drop average to nearer 18p etc vs SR 28p.

    Your heating needs (rooms, water and washing etc) - with partners health and then post baby  - are likely to be much higher than mine (*).

    So it pays to get it as cheap as can.

    And with all electric - unless willing to look at ashp (wet more expensive upgrade than many as have no radiators etc at present) or air to air units etc - that traditionally typically means getting as much heat stored in your nsh and hot water tank on a cheap e7 style tariff.

    (*) only 1, heat to c15-17 lr / c14-15 rest - and layer up to cope  - not hardcore - but vest and long johns etc. - and that makes a big difference - 100s kWh annually if not 1000kWh + per degree C for larger less energy efficient homes.


    Re existing nsh downstairs.

    Can you confirm if have 2 power feeds to each NSH -  or just one.

    Typically old models had just one OFF PEAK only - most newer need 2 - the off peak for main charge and 24/7 live for control and fans or secondary heater elements on hybrid / boosted models etc. 

    Although a few like latest Dimplex Quantums can be installed with just one - the 24/7 live (but then need careful setting to match meter off peak times if have e7 or e10 etc TOU tariffs).

    Even paying the fee to end fix might be recoverable in a month or 2 over winter or so with a decent e7 rate and reasonable off peak e7 use for heating / hot water if meter / configuration allows (many here would expect it should).


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