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  • FIRST POST
    • the-saucepan-man
    • By the-saucepan-man 6th Dec 18, 1:05 PM
    • 16Posts
    • 3Thanks
    the-saucepan-man
    Storage Heaters
    • #1
    • 6th Dec 18, 1:05 PM
    Storage Heaters 6th Dec 18 at 1:05 PM
    Hi, I've recently moved into a house with storage heaters that are on SSE's Standard THTC tariff. I'm considering changing to an Economy 7 meter so I can shop around for better rates as the THTC meters seem to be specific to SSE who appear quite expensive. Anyways, I have a few questions that I hope y'all can help me with...

    1. I've been told by SSE that during winter I should have the input turned all the way up, but I'm concerned that'd use up more energy and increase my bills. Unless turning it up just speeds up the charging process and the heaters stop charging when fully charged?

    2. SSE's THTC seems good for keeping the house warm 24/7, but I feel despite the name, Total Heating Total Control, I have no control over it should I not want the house heated 24/7 and will end up wasting energy. That is, with the exception of turning the dials up and down or switching them off at the wall. Are there any other benefits to THTC or would I be better off switching to Economy 7 or another kind of meter.

    Thanks for your advice.
Page 1
    • Richie-from-the-Boro
    • By Richie-from-the-Boro 6th Dec 18, 1:57 PM
    • 6,435 Posts
    • 4,826 Thanks
    Richie-from-the-Boro
    • #2
    • 6th Dec 18, 1:57 PM
    • #2
    • 6th Dec 18, 1:57 PM
    I have no control over it should I not want the house heated 24/7 and will end up wasting energy
    Control

    You have zero control of any electric night store water & heat anywhere in these islands regardless of who your provider is or what your tariff is other than (1) up/down (2) off/on (3) damper control etc.

    - you have a living area where you spend most of your time and other less used areas
    - decide were you need most/less heat

    THTC/two meters

    - one/off-peak like lights, appliances and sockets. Just so you - --normal meter costs more/cheaper rate
    - one/on peak core/more expensive rate

    The 'damper' should be fully closed and the input set to the highest. An open damper/Output is [BAD CONVECTION] and a closed damper/output is [GOOD RADIATIVE] this will give you a new user starting point where the least heat output is during the night when you don't need it and are under a duvet and not in your living area. Clearly the more night/cheap rate/storage you use the lower you bills - you decide.

    I am .. .. .. example exactly:

    - Day/2,455 kWh = 41.87% Day
    - Night/5,864 kWh = 58.13% Night
    - Total-pa/8,319 kWh

    Adjust the heat input to storage according to need. Best of luck.
    Disclaimer : Everything I write on this forum is my opinion. I try to be an even-handed poster and accept that you at times may not agree with these opinions or how I choose to express them, this is not my problem. The Disabled : If years cannot be added to their lives, at least life can be added to their years - Alf Morris - ℜ
    • the-saucepan-man
    • By the-saucepan-man 6th Dec 18, 3:46 PM
    • 16 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    the-saucepan-man
    • #3
    • 6th Dec 18, 3:46 PM
    • #3
    • 6th Dec 18, 3:46 PM
    Hi Richie, thanks for your input.

    In terms of having no control, I was referring to the fact that SSE control when the power for the "heating control" switches on and off, which varies depending on the weather. I'd like to experiment with the storage heaters to see how much charge they need in order to keep my house warm. With Economy 7, the on/off times are consistent which means if I turn on the heaters at the wall between 1:30am and 7:30am I know for sure that they've charged for 6 hours and I can work out if that's enough to keep my house warm. With TSTC being inconsistent I can't do that. Does that make sense?

    And in regards to having the input all the way up, if my heaters are warm enough with the input dial at 3, would I not be wasting energy by turning it up to 6? Or do storage heaters stop consuming energy once they're fully charged?

    For reference, my Oct - Nov meter readings say I used 1115kWh on the heating control meter and 252kWh on the regular meter, but I can't see how much is from night or day. This is for a 3 bedroom semi-detached house with 4 storage heaters and two small electric heaters.

    Thanks again.
    • matelodave
    • By matelodave 6th Dec 18, 4:25 PM
    • 3,986 Posts
    • 2,530 Thanks
    matelodave
    • #4
    • 6th Dec 18, 4:25 PM
    • #4
    • 6th Dec 18, 4:25 PM
    You could get yourself a clamp type energy monitor with data logging capabilities to give you some idea of when and how much energy you are using. Like this - https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B008MYXEHW/ref=psdc_949408031_t1_B008SAWQM4

    I've got something similar called EnergyHive - look here for how my household energy consumption varies www.energyhive.com/dashboard/dave The clamp is on the main house feed so monitors everything but if I want to see what the heating is doing then I can put the clamp onto the heating feed and just monitor that.

    I've now had the system for about eight years so I can see what's going on and have a pretty good ide of what is switched on and off. I can download, hourly, daily, weekly or monthy data as csv files to import into a spread sheet if I want to and monitor what is going on in real time.

    I found it quite useful when I was tweaking and setting up my heatpump as I could see what effect adjustments and tweaks hasd on my consumption.
    Last edited by matelodave; 06-12-2018 at 4:35 PM.
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    • Richie-from-the-Boro
    • By Richie-from-the-Boro 6th Dec 18, 7:08 PM
    • 6,435 Posts
    • 4,826 Thanks
    Richie-from-the-Boro
    • #5
    • 6th Dec 18, 7:08 PM
    • #5
    • 6th Dec 18, 7:08 PM
    if my heaters are warm enough with the input dial at 3, would I not be wasting energy by turning it up to 6? Or do storage heaters stop consuming energy once they're fully charged?
    .1.

    A brick is a brick :

    - each brick will hold 1.48kWh of cheap heat and depending on insulation will release it over the next 17 hours
    -
    - each of the (up to 4) vertical 850W elements sits in the gap between 4 of these bricks

    - each brick is 230x190x50 - if you divide the total amount of heat you want by 1.48 you know how much stored heat you need
    -
    - a NSH tin comes in 4 varieties up to a 16 bricker 16 x 1.48kW = 23.8kWh of stored heat
    -
    - equivalent to a 1.4kW heater permanently supply of 'cheap electrical background heat' 24 not 17 hours per day

    If its out of heat by say 5 or 8 or 10pm then its because you have under-specified the tin storage needs and need more bricks or you have the damper open in which case it is not good-radiative but bad-convective.

    Placement of a NSH should where aesthetically possible should be direct-line to your self, the benefit of radiated direct heat is much the same as [felt] IR heat. Keeping the living area at say 15C is from my point of view medically unsafe and socially unreasonable, (2018-19 GOV recommends 18-19C) it's your house, you decide.

    .2.

    I gave you my annual CAC and % counter distribution in #2 your job would be to get to the highest possible % use of the cheap rate and then by definition the lowest possible cost to your home assuming you have already a [non-deemed] contract/online account/submitted [and photographed] meter readings [and do so each month] and have the best tariff you can get with any provider.

    Best of luck !
    Disclaimer : Everything I write on this forum is my opinion. I try to be an even-handed poster and accept that you at times may not agree with these opinions or how I choose to express them, this is not my problem. The Disabled : If years cannot be added to their lives, at least life can be added to their years - Alf Morris - ℜ
    • tastyhog
    • By tastyhog 6th Dec 18, 7:17 PM
    • 550 Posts
    • 1,022 Thanks
    tastyhog
    • #6
    • 6th Dec 18, 7:17 PM
    • #6
    • 6th Dec 18, 7:17 PM
    .1.

    A brick is a brick :

    - each brick will hold 1.48kWh of cheap heat and depending on insulation will release it over the next 17 hours
    -
    - each of the (up to 4) vertical 850W elements sits in the gap between 4 of these bricks

    - each brick is 230x190x50 - if you divide the total amount of heat you want by 1.48 you know how much stored heat you need
    -
    - a NSH tin comes in 4 varieties up to a 16 bricker 16 x 1.48kW = 23.8kWh of stored heat
    -
    - equivalent to a 1.4kW heater permanently supply of 'cheap electrical background heat' 24 not 17 hours per day

    If its out of heat by say 5 or 8 or 10pm then its because you have under-specified the tin storage needs and need more bricks or you have the damper open in which case it is not good-radiative but bad-convective.

    Placement of a NSH should where aesthetically possible should be direct-line to your self, the benefit of radiated direct heat is much the same as [felt] IR heat. Keeping the living area at say 15C is from my point of view medically unsafe and socially unreasonable, (2018-19 GOV recommends 18-19C) it's your house, you decide.

    .2.

    I gave you my annual CAC and % counter distribution in #2 your job would be to get to the highest possible % use of the cheap rate and then by definition the lowest possible cost to your home assuming you have already a [non-deemed] contract/online account/submitted [and photographed] meter readings [and do so each month] and have the best tariff you can get with any provider.

    Best of luck !
    Originally posted by Richie-from-the-Boro

    18 - 19 degrees, do you live in a sauna?

    For me that would be a really uncomfortable heating level and 15 - 16 is pushing on it being overly warm.

    You must wonder around the house in the nude to need those those kinds of temperstures.
    • Graham1
    • By Graham1 7th Dec 18, 12:07 AM
    • 440 Posts
    • 167 Thanks
    Graham1
    • #7
    • 7th Dec 18, 12:07 AM
    • #7
    • 7th Dec 18, 12:07 AM
    The THTC tariff concept is a sound one - varying the number of hours the storage heaters charge up according to the local weather forecast. When the weather is not too cold, like a present, it should delay the start time of the charge to the early hours of the morning (e.g. 2 or 3 am) so less heat is wasted between midnight and that time when a regular economy 7 heating would have started the charge up.

    However you would have to look at what cost per Kwh of off peak electricity SSE charge vs a regular economy 7 tariff from other suppliers to see if the consumption savings are outweighed by a higher unit charge.
    • the-saucepan-man
    • By the-saucepan-man 7th Dec 18, 9:57 AM
    • 16 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    the-saucepan-man
    • #8
    • 7th Dec 18, 9:57 AM
    • #8
    • 7th Dec 18, 9:57 AM
    You could get yourself a clamp type energy monitor with data logging capabilities to give you some idea of when and how much energy you are using
    Originally posted by matelodave
    Thanks for this, I reckon this could come in very handy, not just for the storage heaters, but all the devices in my home. It'd help me find the energy hogs and then I can manage my energy use better.
    • the-saucepan-man
    • By the-saucepan-man 7th Dec 18, 10:14 AM
    • 16 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    the-saucepan-man
    • #9
    • 7th Dec 18, 10:14 AM
    • #9
    • 7th Dec 18, 10:14 AM
    .1.
    A brick is a brick :
    - each brick will hold 1.48kWh of cheap heat and depending on insulation will release it over the next 17 hours
    - each of the (up to 4) vertical 850W elements sits in the gap between 4 of these bricks
    - each brick is 230x190x50 - if you divide the total amount of heat you want by 1.48 you know how much stored heat you need
    - a NSH tin comes in 4 varieties up to a 16 bricker 16 x 1.48kW = 23.8kWh of stored heat
    - equivalent to a 1.4kW heater permanently supply of 'cheap electrical background heat' 24 not 17 hours per day

    If its out of heat by say 5 or 8 or 10pm then its because you have under-specified the tin storage needs and need more bricks or you have the damper open in which case it is not good-radiative but bad-convective.

    Placement of a NSH should where aesthetically possible should be direct-line to your self, the benefit of radiated direct heat is much the same as [felt] IR heat. Keeping the living area at say 15C is from my point of view medically unsafe and socially unreasonable, (2018-19 GOV recommends 18-19C) it's your house, you decide.
    Originally posted by Richie-from-the-Boro
    Thanks for the breakdown, this is certainly useful information. Now, once I figure out how much energy each heater needs, how do I know when it's reached that level?
    • the-saucepan-man
    • By the-saucepan-man 7th Dec 18, 10:20 AM
    • 16 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    the-saucepan-man
    18 - 19 degrees, do you live in a sauna?

    For me that would be a really uncomfortable heating level and 15 - 16 is pushing on it being overly warm.

    You must wonder around the house in the nude to need those those kinds of temperstures.
    Originally posted by tastyhog
    To be honest I have to agree with Richie, 18 degrees is pretty standard, especially when you've got young kids in the house, as I have. That said, if I was on my own, trying to save on the electricity bill I'd probably turn off the heat and throw on my selkbag. But hey, we're all different creatures.
    • the-saucepan-man
    • By the-saucepan-man 7th Dec 18, 11:00 AM
    • 16 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    the-saucepan-man
    The THTC tariff concept is a sound one - varying the number of hours the storage heaters charge up according to the local weather forecast. When the weather is not too cold, like a present, it should delay the start time of the charge to the early hours of the morning (e.g. 2 or 3 am) so less heat is wasted between midnight and that time when a regular economy 7 heating would have started the charge up.

    However you would have to look at what cost per Kwh of off peak electricity SSE charge vs a regular economy 7 tariff from other suppliers to see if the consumption savings are outweighed by a higher unit charge.
    Originally posted by Graham1
    I do agree, the concept is sound. And if I was given a daily notification of when my heating would switch on and off or if the storage heaters could be set to switch off once they reach the desired energy level it would be ideal.

    In regards to comparisons with other suppliers, I've found that Bulb would save me a considerable amount of money on their Economy 7 tariff, see below:

    My actual usage between Oct 31st - Nov 28th:
    Standard: 252kWh
    Heating Control : 1115kWh
    On SSE's Standard THTC Tariff:
    Standard: 252kWh x 22.08p = 55.64
    Heating Control: 1115kWh x 12.81p = 142.83
    Standing Charge: 28 days x 26.5p = 7.42
    Total Cost: 205.89
    Now because Bulb's Economy 7 tariff is day/night rates as opposed to heating control and standard rates I need to do a little guessing. I was told on the phone from SSE that my day/night usage is pretty much 50/50 which makes this easier, but still, it's a guestimate.

    So given,
    252kWh + 1115kWh = 1367kWh
    / 2 (day/night) = 683.5kWh
    On Bulb's Economy 7 tariff:
    Day: 683.5kWh x 16.17p = 110.52
    Night: 683.5kWh x 10.28p = 70.26
    Standing Charge: 28 days x 24.56p = 6.88
    Total Cost (estimated): 187.66
    So I could potentially save some money, but I won't know whether my storage heaters can store enough heat during the off-peak hours to continue heating the house in the evening without actually changing the meter and trying it. And if they do, I'd most likely have to use more energy to make up for heat loss during the day without any top-ups which in turn would increase that bill and possibly use up the potential savings. And if I discover it that's the case or that the storage heaters can't store enough head for the evening, there's no way to switch back to THTC. As such, it's a terribly difficult decision
    • coffeehound
    • By coffeehound 7th Dec 18, 11:31 AM
    • 2,149 Posts
    • 3,382 Thanks
    coffeehound
    I think in your position t-s-m i would just start with the suppliers advice to turn the input controls to max and see how that goes (and following R-f-t-b’s good advice re keeping the damper fully shut).

    You can then turn input controls down if you find you need less heat in particular areas. Once you build up meaningful usage readings you’ll be better placed to compare tariffs

    .
    Last edited by coffeehound; 07-12-2018 at 11:33 AM.
    • the-saucepan-man
    • By the-saucepan-man 7th Dec 18, 11:59 AM
    • 16 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    the-saucepan-man
    I think in your position t-s-m i would just start with the suppliers advice to turn the input controls to max and see how that goes (and following R-f-t-bs good advice re keeping the damper fully shut).
    Originally posted by coffeehound
    Thanks, this does seem to be the standard advice, but wouldn't turning up the input control just use up more energy? For example, if the house is warm with the input control set to 3 wouldn't setting it to 6 just double my energy usage and my bills? Or am I misunderstanding how the input control works?
    • coffeehound
    • By coffeehound 7th Dec 18, 12:03 PM
    • 2,149 Posts
    • 3,382 Thanks
    coffeehound
    The heaters are designed for seven hours’ charging time. The variable then is whether they have been adequately provisioned in terms of size and number your home.

    You could get a heating engineer to do a survey and check the calculations and confirm whether you have enough capacity for E7. Or you could do this yourself if you want to do the calculations.
    • coffeehound
    • By coffeehound 7th Dec 18, 12:36 PM
    • 2,149 Posts
    • 3,382 Thanks
    coffeehound
    Thanks, this does seem to be the standard advice, but wouldn't turning up the input control just use up more energy? For example, if the house is warm with the input control set to 3 wouldn't setting it to 6 just double my energy usage and my bills? Or am I misunderstanding how the input control works?
    Originally posted by the-saucepan-man
    Basically yes (although i dont know whether the control is linear, so it might not be double). But yes, higher input setting equates to more electricity used.

    So really you need to experiment and find input setting for each heater that gives you enough heating capacity.
    • the-saucepan-man
    • By the-saucepan-man 7th Dec 18, 12:56 PM
    • 16 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    the-saucepan-man
    The heaters are designed for seven hours charging time. The variable then is whether they have been adequately provisioned in terms of size and number your home.
    Originally posted by coffeehound
    Okay, so provided they are adequately provisioned, if I switch to Economy 7 I'd need to have the storage heaters input turned up to 6 and on for 7 hours each night to ensure I still have enough heat in the evening?

    Let's calculate this...

    In my living room I have a 3.4Kw Creda Supaslim Combi
    3.4Kw x 7hrs = 23kWh
    In my kitchen / dining area I have a 2.55Kw Creda Slimline
    2.55Kw x 7hrs = 17.85kWh
    In one bedroom I have a 1.7Kw Creda Slimline
    1.7Kw x 7hrs = 11.9kWh
    In my hall I have another 1.7Kw Creda Slimline
    1.7Kw x 7hrs = 11.9kWh
    Total kWh
    23kWh + 17.85kWh + 11.9kWh + 11.9kWh = 64.65kWh / day
    Now if I go by the 28 days between Oct 31st and Nov 28th which had a heating control output of 1115kWh and I divide it by those 28 days I get a daily usage of 39.82kWh and that includes the hot water and the two electric panel heaters in the other two bedrooms.

    By those calculations I'd be better staying with SSE's TSTC tariff and keeping my inputs where they are until such time as the house isn't staying warm. Unless my calculations are wrong and/or I'm missing something?
    • the-saucepan-man
    • By the-saucepan-man 7th Dec 18, 12:58 PM
    • 16 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    the-saucepan-man
    Basically yes (although i dont know whether the control is linear, so it might not be double). But yes, higher input setting equates to more electricity used.

    So really you need to experiment and find input setting for each heater that gives you enough heating capacity.
    Originally posted by coffeehound
    Thanks I really appreciate this answer, no-one else had quite confirmed it yet and I was worried I was missing something. This helps me understand things a little better,
    • coffeehound
    • By coffeehound 7th Dec 18, 1:04 PM
    • 2,149 Posts
    • 3,382 Thanks
    coffeehound
    Sorry we cross posted there.

    No, it is not necessary to have your input controls on maximum for Economy7, that might just be necessary in the coldest weather.
    • coffeehound
    • By coffeehound 7th Dec 18, 1:10 PM
    • 2,149 Posts
    • 3,382 Thanks
    coffeehound
    Looking at that tariff, thay say you can have various heaters and other appliances on the cheaper rate 24 hours a day. Do you have this set up at your place? It does sound like a good tarrif to have in the colder north.
    • the-saucepan-man
    • By the-saucepan-man 7th Dec 18, 1:25 PM
    • 16 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    the-saucepan-man
    Looking at that tariff, thay say you can have various heaters and other appliances on the cheaper rate 24 hours a day. Do you have this set up at your place? It does sound like a good tarrif to have in the colder north.
    Originally posted by coffeehound
    Yes, showers, hot water and a couple wall heaters, so I'm leaning towards sticking with the THTC tariff at least for now. I've just spoken to someone from the Electric Team at SSE and he's reassured me that despite the daily on/off times varying between 5-12 hours depending on the weather if it only takes 7 hours to charge the storage heater it will stop taking in electricity. Assuming that's true, it makes more sense to stay with SSE.

    Thanks for your help. I've still got some calculating to do to see if I can manage my energy use a bit better, but this has been very helpful. I really appreciate it.

    And now that that's pretty much out of the way, I don't suppose anyone has any idea how much electricity a Philips Thermotube (VOLTS 240 WPF 60) 41633S uses up? I have one in my downstairs toilet which is pretty cold, I've guessed that it might be to stop pipes from freezing in winter time, but if I switch it on it stays on regardless of temperature, so I'm wondering whether it's got a broken thermostat or if it's just meant to be a wee heater. I've been thinking of keeping it on during the night as the weather gets colder, but don't want to be burning a hole in my wallet.

    In the bathroom I have a heated towel rail which says Terma Technologie, but it doesn't seem to work, when I turn it on the lights flash and I can set it higher or lower, but no matter how long I leave it on, the lights continue to flash and it doesn't heat up. I'm not sure whether it's ever been used so could've been installed incorrectly or perhaps something inside it is broken. Any suggestions?

    Thanks again for your help.
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