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  • FIRST POST
    absidoodledandy
    storage heater/economy 7 queries
    • #1
    • 7th Aug 06, 10:45 AM
    storage heater/economy 7 queries 7th Aug 06 at 10:45 AM
    This may sound like a stupid question but how do storage heaters know to come on at night time?

    Do they have an internal timer? Does the change in electric supply for normal to ecomomy 7 trigger them?

    I have storage heaters and i find them to be quite expensive (electricity bill is 50-60/m in winter in a one bed flat with just me as opposed to 15-20/m in summer) so i was wondering if possibly they are coming on at the wrong time?

    Is that even possible or if they have an internal timer does switching them off all summer mess up the timings?

    Any advice on this subject is very welcome
Page 2
    • paul_h
    • By paul_h 8th Feb 07, 9:49 AM
    • 1,026 Posts
    • 324 Thanks
    paul_h
    Are storage heaters thermostatic?

    If I use the highest setting will it just charge up at that setting all night? Or will it think "That's hot enough now"?

    I'm trying to work out the best way of using them in our flat!
    by tr3mor
    Not sure if this has been answered, but...

    Yes, storage heaters ae thermostatic, both input and output.

    On very basic (or old) manual ones which have both input and output controls, the input control sets a thermostat governing the maximum core temperature reached during the overnight charge - once it reaches the temperature set, it will maintain this until the economy7 supply switches off. The output control adjusts a thermostat measuring the ambient temperature, this controls the mechanical output damper - allowing more or less heat out as required.

    Newer automatic storage heaters 'predict' the input control needs automatically, by charging the heater according to the ambient temperature overnight.

    The latest systems are linked to a central control unit, which can control the output of individual heaters to provide different room temperatures during the day - for example, turning bedroom heaters down during the day, and back up during the evening. The very latest development in the US is a system which connects to the internet and uses forward weather data to control the overnight input to storage heaters...

    Hope this helps!
    • Lennylegs
    • By Lennylegs 12th Feb 07, 4:15 PM
    • 84 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    Lennylegs
    They are wired directly into a wall socket.

    The controls on them look a bit complicated though - there's a bit which you can turn to change the temperature and a button with a moon on, and another button with a sun on it. On the side, there is a on/off switch.

    They're not big and bulky... they look really small and quite thin. They look tiny for the size of the rooms, and look like they wouldn't be able to produce enough heat to heat the rooms.


    Hi, just thought i'd say these sound similar to my Dimplex panel heaters ? Maybe worth a look at their website (try Dimplex or Dealec) to see if they are them ? Depending on the kwh of the heater they probably could heat your rooms just fine (mine do) however they will prob cost a fair bit to run on peak rate.

    Leonie
  • Dust
    Hi guys, this looked like the best place to post seeing as my problem is pretty much Economy 7 related.

    I've noticed that my electric consumption has, over the course of the last week, gone through the roof (35 for the week, compared to the usual of 35 per month). I took loads of meter readings and contacted my electricity supplier who told me my daytime consumption of 15 units was pretty much average, however my night time consumption is around 39 units (again should be around 15-20).

    I am not an insomniac! Between the hours of 2330 and 0630 the only electrical items that are on are my fridge, freezer, E7 storage heaters and my hot water. I am safely tucked up in bed and not using anything else electrical.

    I'm wondering, last week the booster switch on my immersion heater blew (sounded like a jet engine taking off when I switched it on, then it went BANG!).

    Does anyone know if that, (the fault with the "booster" immersion, which by the way is now switched off at the wall) could be the cause for the continued extra electrical consumption? Could it have tripped something or messed up the supply?

    Many thanks for any advice given.
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 19th Feb 07, 4:15 PM
    • 28,036 Posts
    • 13,884 Thanks
    Cardew
    It could be that the thermostat on the immersion is broken and it is heating continually. However in that case the water would be boiling(literally) and you would probably hear it bubbling. An extra 20+kWh of of heat per night is a lot heat to dissipate,

    However if it is now switched of at the wall you should see consumption back down below normal.
  • daverobeo
    Storage Heater
    Hello all. I have a night storage heater which seems to use quite alot of power. I've been checking the meter daily for the last week or so and it uses about 20 units a night does that sound like alot or is that around normal?
    • Ken68
    • By Ken68 22nd Feb 07, 9:58 AM
    • 6,545 Posts
    • 4,181 Thanks
    Ken68
    Hi Dave...as long as it provides the heat you need, not too bad.
    At Ebico rates that is just over 80pence a night, say for 200 nights ..£160.
    Do you know the percentage of night use.?
    • Be Happy
    • By Be Happy 22nd Feb 07, 8:08 PM
    • 1,204 Posts
    • 528 Thanks
    Be Happy
    Hello all. I have a night storage heater which seems to use quite alot of power. I've been checking the meter daily for the last week or so and it uses about 20 units a night does that sound like alot or is that around normal?
    by daverobeo
    Sounds about right, but are you using anything else at night. Eg we have 5 storage heaters, immersion heater, dishwasher, fridge-freezer and sometimes washing machine on overnight. To get a grip of what is using power, I've been reading meter daily for last month and our night use is between 45 and 55 units per night. I know it's a lot, but night rate is only around 4p per unit.
  • stuartsjg
    Hi,

    im in Aberdeen and most of the houses i have been in with electric heating use a tarrif avaliable called "Total Heating and Total Control" or THTC

    I have two meters:
    "domestic standard energy" ie sockets and lights.
    "heating control energy" i.e all fixed hard wired heaters, eg storage, water, shower, panel etc.

    Its like E7 but you are in total control of when and how you use heat. I can put my hot water, panel heaters, electric fire, shower etc on at any time of the day and it costs me the low rate.

    There is a RadioTeleswitch which listens out for a signal.
    This controls the storage heater supply and the hot water element.

    It does have fixed times however most teleswitches are used for grid balencing.

    Sometimes about 4:45-5:00pm the storage heaters and hot water element all go on for a few minutes. This is generally because of a large local industrial load that has been removed so the power needs to go somehwere whilst the power stations wind down to reduced power, or the power has somewhere else to go.

    Likewise, around tea time it will go on just before people are having there tea in the country and off just after most people have finnished tea .

    The teleswitch system is part of the national grid load balencing system. If they need to get rid of power very quickly then they have millions of watts of storage heaters and hot water elements that can be switched on in 5mS.

    it gets more complicated still...
    Most teleswitches can respond automatically to grid changes. if the voltage or frequency are too high for a certain period of time then they will switch on the heater loads to pull the frequcny and voltage down - likewise if they are already on the there is a sag in frequcney or voltage they will shut the heaters off.

    the storage heat system is used increasinly as a place to go for wind energy - as the wind is variable, sometimes the scotland to england interconnector may not beable to take it all to england so the scotish storage heaters will click on.

    The teleswitch system is more common is scotland and the islands as the grids are more prone to over or undercapacity due to there smaller nature.

    ____________________________

    Storage heaters vs. gas boiler
    i have done some detailed calculations based on my heating consumption (an average of 30kWh/day since Apr 06 for 2 bedroom upperfloor granite aberdeen flat)

    If i was to change to gas, it would take about 45 years repay the gas investment.

    Dont be fooled by gas costing 3p/kWh and heating electricity at 5p/kWh, remember that from gas going into your boiler to heat going out you will lose 20% out the flue - this means your gas heating cost is 3.6,/kWh.
    Also, then remember that people use more water and are less worried about replacing heat lost through doors and windows when it gets done quickly with a powerfull gas boiler.

    This all takes the cost diffirence to abouot 1p/kWh - or for me a saving of 110 a year on heating, for a 5000 new cost to remove and replace my electric for gas, you have a 45 year payback.

    Even with price rises, i am looking at 35year payback - in which time i will have replaced by boiler once due to old age!

    It may be more prudent to replace electric heating with gas for environmental reasons, on averge UK electricity produces 430g of CO2 per kWh, as opposed to gas contributing 190g CO2/kWh.

    My carbon saving would be: 2575kg CO2 per year which is the weight of a car!


    Stuart.
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 4th Mar 07, 7:08 PM
    • 28,036 Posts
    • 13,884 Thanks
    Cardew
    Hi,

    im in Aberdeen and most of the houses i have been in with electric heating use a tarrif avaliable called "Total Heating and Total Control" or THTC

    I have two meters:
    "domestic standard energy" ie sockets and lights.
    "heating control energy" i.e all fixed hard wired heaters, eg storage, water, shower, panel etc.

    Its like E7 but you are in total control of when and how you use heat. I can put my hot water, panel heaters, electric fire, shower etc on at any time of the day and it costs me the low rate.

    There is a RadioTeleswitch which listens out for a signal.
    This controls the storage heater supply and the hot water element.

    It does have fixed times however most teleswitches are used for grid balencing.

    Sometimes about 4:45-5:00pm the storage heaters and hot water element all go on for a few minutes. This is generally because of a large local industrial load that has been removed so the power needs to go somehwere whilst the power stations wind down to reduced power, or the power has somewhere else to go.

    Likewise, around tea time it will go on just before people are having there tea in the country and off just after most people have finnished tea .

    The teleswitch system is part of the national grid load balencing system. If they need to get rid of power very quickly then they have millions of watts of storage heaters and hot water elements that can be switched on in 5mS.

    it gets more complicated still...
    Most teleswitches can respond automatically to grid changes. if the voltage or frequency are too high for a certain period of time then they will switch on the heater loads to pull the frequcny and voltage down - likewise if they are already on the there is a sag in frequcney or voltage they will shut the heaters off.

    the storage heat system is used increasinly as a place to go for wind energy - as the wind is variable, sometimes the scotland to england interconnector may not beable to take it all to england so the scotish storage heaters will click on.

    The teleswitch system is more common is scotland and the islands as the grids are more prone to over or undercapacity due to there smaller nature.

    ____________________________

    Storage heaters vs. gas boiler
    i have done some detailed calculations based on my heating consumption (an average of 30kWh/day since Apr 06 for 2 bedroom upperfloor granite aberdeen flat)

    If i was to change to gas, it would take about 45 years repay the gas investment.

    Dont be fooled by gas costing 3p/kWh and heating electricity at 5p/kWh, remember that from gas going into your boiler to heat going out you will lose 20% out the flue - this means your gas heating cost is 3.6,/kWh.
    Also, then remember that people use more water and are less worried about replacing heat lost through doors and windows when it gets done quickly with a powerfull gas boiler.

    This all takes the cost diffirence to abouot 1p/kWh - or for me a saving of 110 a year on heating, for a 5000 new cost to remove and replace my electric for gas, you have a 45 year payback.

    Even with price rises, i am looking at 35year payback - in which time i will have replaced by boiler once due to old age!

    It may be more prudent to replace electric heating with gas for environmental reasons, on averge UK electricity produces 430g of CO2 per kWh, as opposed to gas contributing 190g CO2/kWh.

    My carbon saving would be: 2575kg CO2 per year which is the weight of a car!


    Stuart.
    by stuartsjg
    Welcome to the forum - excellent first post!

    That THTC system(which I have never heard of) would go some way to overcoming the biggest criticism of storage heating - namely running out of heat in the evening and the requirement to boost heating at daytime rates.

    There are some factors in your analysis of gas v electricity heating that you haven't mentioned; some a 'plus' , some a 'minus'.

    You haven't mentioned the extra price you pay for daytime electricity if you are on Economy 7. That extra can be 20%-30% and will affect the savings calculations. That said I think 5p kWh is on the high side.

    I am also not sure it is reasonable to factor in an element for people not shutting doors etc.

    However there are 2 major costs for Gas CH that support your conclusion that you haven't mentioned.

    Firstly that gas needs an annual service or at least a safety check and many of us pay 180 a year for an annual service contract.

    Secondly modern condensing gas boilers, although their efficiency is greater than the 80% you suggest) are stuffed full of electronics and many experts believe their life will be no more than 10 years before an expensive replacement is required.

    In fact there was an article in the Daily Telegraph(that was posted on this forum) that came to the same conclusions as yourself. This particulary applied to smaller properties or those where topping up was not needed.
  • Sinned666
    Scottish Power
    Hey,

    Well this is my first as ive been looking frantically for information about Economy 7 Heaters.

    We moved into our property in October 06, at the time we had an actual reading done and then the following month estimated and again estimated in December and January. Our bill was set up for 61 a month.

    The heaters are fairly old ones and have the Input - Output dials on.

    I phoned up last weekend to re-set up a Direct Debit which had been cancelled the previous month. During the phone i was asked to read my meter, on reading the meter the women on the phone told me that it appears we were on the wrong tariff and have been for quite some time. We live in a block of flats of 15 by the way. She said to me that our bill should be more and said she would be sending out a revised statement.

    The revised statement arrived. The 320 includes 89 which was outstanding so in total 230 for January 23rd to 28th February.

    Looking at my units, me and my partner are both out 5 days a week 8 - 5.30 as we both work. For the 23/01/07 - 31/03/07 My day readings are. 1015 Units @ 10.301 - 104.56 and for the 1st February - 28th February my day readings are 1266 @10.740 = 135.97.

    I cant understand what has happened here as far as am aware we leave the heaters on by the plug, but we were told by the landlord that they only use electricity from 12-7am.

    Why has this bill gone so through the roof, have they made a mistake, have we made a mistake, or been given misleading information..

    If the bill is correct why wasnt this spotted when the inital reading was taken in October? Can anyone help here as this amount and the usage is ridicilous for 3 heaters, as there is nothing else on in the day as we're both out?

    Anybody any ideas im expecting a call from Scottish Power at lunch time about this so would appreciate any feedback at all...
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 9th Mar 07, 12:56 PM
    • 28,036 Posts
    • 13,884 Thanks
    Cardew
    Welcome to the forum.

    For the first reading for 1015 units you say from 23/1/07 to 31/03/07 - presumably you mean 31/01/07? But it hardly seems possible to use 1015 units in 8 days?? Especially when yo used 1266 in 4 weeks in 28 days in Feb.

    Firstly you need to see if the previous bill reading was an estimated reading - that is the possible reason for the 1015 units.

    Secondly you are obviously not on an Economy 7 tariff as you should be paying about 3p or 4p for a unit not 10P+

    The storage heaters should come on around 12pm-7am but their electricity should be on a separate meter and charged at the low Economy 7 rate.
  • Greenr
    I`ve had storage heaters before and I was very happy with them.

    They will have an input and an output. The higher the input the more heat is being stored and the higher your bills. Start off at the lowest setting and if the room is cold the next day then increase it. I used to always check the weather forcast for the next day and set my heaters accordingly. I very rarely used to have it at the highest setting, generally it would be at the middle setting.

    The output switch..You should always have it at the lowest setting when it starts heating up, ie between 12-8am. If you have the output button on any higher than the lowest setting you are releasing the heat at the same time as storing the heat which will cost you much more money. I used to leave mine at 1 then when I came home I would turn it up by half, then later on in the evening if it felt cool in the room I would set it to the maximum output. But I would not forget to turn it back to 1 before I went to bed.

    If you have very old storage heaters, ie the ones that look really bulky it will cost you much more to heat. You can replace them at a cost of about 140 per heater which will pay for itself.

    Any other questions just shout out.
    Originally posted by space rider
    where can you buy night storage heaters from for 140??
  • peteg
    1.00 a day
    I've been in my 2 bed mid terrace (link house, as some estate agents call it), in Exeter, since Aug '01, and was well advised by a neighbour to run the heaters on minimum input, minimun output, and keep all doors and windows closed. Though the cat flap probably spoils that effect a little.

    I have economy 7, and, Living on my own, I pay less than £30 per month in the warmer months, and £1:30-£1.50 when it's colder.
    This is probably affected by the fact that I work a late shift. And the mid terrace effect is that I am insulated by the properties on either side. I have top quality double glazing front and back, the loft is fully insulated, has a chipboard floor, and loads of my stuff in boxes ect up there.

    The house and storage heaters are just over 20 yrs old, I have no fancy controls, just the input/output on the heaters and automatic switching of the eco7. I think the immersion heater is switched on auto as well, but am not certain, as it has no indicator light.
    I'm appalled to hear that some folks are having £650 bills for a quarter! That's 5.5 times my bill!!

    I hope you got a refund somehow.
  • Laura1975
    what should I do?
    Hi!
    I recently bought a 2 bedroom flat and i'm scared of this economy 7 system.
    3 of the heaters installed are "storage", the others are not; 1 storage has 2 wires straight in the wall, the others have just 1 (actually one of them has an extra normal plug...):confused:
    Considering that I guess all of them are ~10 years old and that i don't want to be a slave of this turning up, turning down input output daily manual crazy thing....
    what is the most convenient way to replace them all? Is the radio controller programmable? Anyone knows a good place to go to buy and ask for advice?
    Also, does anyone know if there are electric towel rails with a fitted TIMER?

    Thanks for any help you'll give me!
  • blindperson
    I have a problem manual storage heaters, the fuse light comes on at the socket but the storage heaters do not heat up. Help please much appreciated.
    • foolsgold99
    • By foolsgold99 8th Dec 07, 2:10 PM
    • 393 Posts
    • 73 Thanks
    foolsgold99
    Help
    Hi,
    I have a big storage heater in my flat living room which no longer seems to work.

    Can anyone recommend a good replacement and how much it will cost?

    Thanks very much for your help. I really don't know anything about them
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 8th Dec 07, 3:27 PM
    • 28,036 Posts
    • 13,884 Thanks
    Cardew
    Hi,
    I have a big storage heater in my flat living room which no longer seems to work.

    Can anyone recommend a good replacement and how much it will cost?

    Thanks very much for your help. I really don't know anything about them
    Originally posted by foolsgold99

    There is very little to go wrong with a storage heater; it is basically a big pile of bricks with an element and fan.

    There is a internal 'link' like a (fuse). Any reasonable 'handyman' could have a look and see if it the supply or something wrong internally.

    I believe Dimplex make good quality Storage Heaters if it needs replacement.
  • ACEELECLTD
    Storage heater Problem
    Having been in the electrical industry all my working life I have supplied and installed all types of heating makes and systems. The answer to your problem is to get energy smart and make sure what you choose is not just for the short time but for the life of the system. If you want to go for another storage heater Glen Dimplex make some nice looking units but they are still soooooooooooo Ugly! The philosophy behind them is so backward....put a lot of energy into them at a cheaper rate but waste alot of that heat output whilst noone is getting the benefit. When you return home you supplement the heat output with peak rate electricity. We have now been using and installing Kalirel heaters for the past 8weeks and all the results are positive. we heated a mid terrace all insulated with d/glazing house the other day as a challenge for 3units (24hour test period) maintaining uniform temperature of 14 degrees (about 0.30) we used the heaters set to 24degrees and used 30 units (about 3.00). having played around with the settings we are very impressed and have now moved away from recommending or installing anything else. If you want to save money our advice would now always be to get a kalirel system (but installed by an approved installer) regards
    • Firefly
    • By Firefly 8th Dec 07, 5:51 PM
    • 2,936 Posts
    • 4,206 Thanks
    Firefly
    Hi,
    I have a big storage heater in my flat living room which no longer seems to work.

    Can anyone recommend a good replacement and how much it will cost?

    Thanks very much for your help. I really don't know anything about them
    Originally posted by foolsgold99

    I heat my house with storage heaters as there is no gas to my road. On occasions when DS has put something over the top of the vent, the storage heater will switch itself off and you need to turn of the electricity, take off the front cover and press the reset switch inside the heater. I guess it's a safety thing.

    We have 6 heaters all together, 5 of which are set to the Economy 7 tarrif and one that has to be put on manually. When I first moved in I didn't realise the heater upstairs wasn't on E7 and I had a shock when the first bill came in. Now it has been changed so that the conservatory one, that I don't use often, is the "manual" one instead.

    In ten years of living here they've been relatively maintenance free and I heat a large mid terrace with 4 beds with 5/6 heaters for a total bill of 100 per month. Our house isn't hot, but adequately warm. I often struggle with hot centrally heated houses, but at home a pair of slippers and an extra jumper does the trick if we don't want the log fire lit.
    Do not allow the risk of failure to stop you trying!
  • ACEELECLTD
    Changing E7 tariff
    one of the spin offs of consumer power is that the Electricity suppliers have to get sharper with the tariffs on offer. The cheapest way to start to increase savings is to consider switching to an economy10 tariff. Scottish and Southern energy offer this tariff which gives you 5hours from midnight to 5am, 3hours 1pm to 4pm and 2hrs 8pm to 10pm. If you are disciplined enough to use the heavy power usage in those times or fit timers to tumble dryer, washing machine, dishwasher etc then this can be a real money saver. For storage heaters it also gives you extra heat capacity when you require it more regards
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