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  • FIRST POST
    • Will of the forest
    • By Will of the forest 29th Nov 17, 12:43 PM
    • 12Posts
    • 0Thanks
    Will of the forest
    Anyone content with storage heaters?
    • #1
    • 29th Nov 17, 12:43 PM
    Anyone content with storage heaters? 29th Nov 17 at 12:43 PM
    My wife and I are about to move in to our first home and it has no gas so its got the dreaded night storage heaters. Neither of us have lived in a property with out gas before so we're a little worried about how warm it'll be. Ive only really heard and read negative things about them so my question is, is there anyone out there who lives in a reasonably warm house with reasonable electric bills from a regular supply?
Page 2
    • Trivia
    • By Trivia 26th Feb 18, 1:25 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Trivia
    Does anyone know of Night Storage Heater stockist in South Devon have tried googling but so far not a lot of joy !
    • halogen
    • By halogen 6th Mar 18, 12:50 PM
    • 116 Posts
    • 148 Thanks
    halogen
    I have 2 semi-working storage heaters in a 3 bedroom house. (Well 3 but I never use the 3rd as I can't reach the dials and they need pliers to turn anyway) I assume they date from the 80s when it was built. I did get the local green deal people to assess the house when I bought it and I was advised that it wouldn't be worth getting more insulation. I also have no hot water as even the plumber couldn't work out how to make the boiler come on. I have an electric shower and there is no gas main.
    Most of the year I have the heating off completely. It generally goes on from Nov to April and generally it's ok but there's maybe 10 days during the winter when it's slightly chilly. My electricity bill is currently £105/month. No idea how many KW/hr that is as I'm with a rubbish supplier and can't work out how to make their website tell me.
    I'm was thinking of getting proper central heating installed but I don't think I could take the chaos of having people in putting pipes under the floor etc, so now I'm leaning towards replacing one of the storage heaters as they both seem to have only on/off modes now and I am too short sighted to read the dials anyway so can only get adjusted once a week when someone with better eyesight is round to visit.
    Ideally I'd wanr something with some kind of phone control, even better if I could turn it up by phone 1/2 hour before I get home :-)

    Does anyone have any advice or recommedations.
    Oh and getting tradesmen where I live is a nightmare. I had to contact 5 local plumbers last time I needed work done and none of them got back to me. In them end I had to ask someone from 3 hours away who took pity on my plight. I say this as any solution that involved 'ask your local heating engineer' is going to fall at the 1st hurdle.
    thanks in advance
    • CashStrapped
    • By CashStrapped 6th Mar 18, 2:26 PM
    • 1,286 Posts
    • 720 Thanks
    CashStrapped
    @halogen
    I realise you posted this in another thread and no one directly responded.

    But, the advice contained in that thread is the same.

    1) If electric is the only option available, then storage heaters are the only option you should consider. They are the cheapest way to heat an all electric flat.

    The only time where they may not be suitable is if you do not spend the vast majority of the day and evening at home.

    In your case - replacing the broken one with a modern storage heater should be considered.

    Learning how to use them efficiently is also key to getting the best out of them.

    There are more fancy modern (expensive) storage heaters but I do not feel they offer that much of an advantage of the simple manual ones if you use them correctly.

    2)You say you have a boiler that does not work? You need to identify a make, or what it is exactly. Do you mean a hot water tank with an immersion? If so it should be a very easy fix as they are very simple devices. However, if you are not likely to be using all the water in the tank,it may be cheaper for you to avoid using it anyway and stick to the kettle and electric shower.

    3) Considering central heating is only a viable option if you have a connection to the gas mains. Do you?

    If not, you need to explore the cost of connecting to the mains, which can cost between £500-£1000+. You need to contact the local Gas network to explore this.

    You also need to consider the cost of installing a Gas central heating including boiler piping and radiators. This could cost anywhere between £2000-£4000.

    Running such a system would be more convenient (in terms of operation) and more cost efficient to run. But you always have to factor in the initial installation costs.

    One benefit is that having Gas central heating may subsidise itself by increasing the value of the property and it's desirability. But that doe snot help with the installation costs and is a long term factor to consider.

    4) Ignore anyone selling fancy radiators with "special cores made of clay" or any company that requires a salesman to visit. These radiators will be the same as any other instant heat electric radiator and will use day rate electricity only (not like a storage heater) and will be the most expensive way to heat a flat.

    A 3kw radiator with special cores costing £1000 will use the same amount of electricity as a 3kw electric radiator for B&Q costing £45.

    Also avoid wet electric heating. Again, this will normally use day rate electricity, so more costly to run. It is a more complicated installation process with little benefit over direct electric heating (separate electric radiators).

    ---

    You may have issues with plumbers at the moment as they will be running round fixing leaks and repairing/replacing combi boilers that have kicked the bucket.

    You do need to start looking at your use in kwh. Ring your supplier, work out how their website works. Not knowing what you are using will lead to eventual problems.
    Only when you know your annual use in kwh can you accurately compare suppliers.

    If you are on an e7 tariff, knowing your use is even more important because you need to know your % night use. This is very important for comparison.
    Last edited by CashStrapped; 06-03-2018 at 2:58 PM.
    • jk0
    • By jk0 6th Mar 18, 8:07 PM
    • 2,313 Posts
    • 24,823 Thanks
    jk0
    Halogen, why don't you get one of these weather sensing storage heater controllers? Then you won't need to touch them.

    http://www.pactrolsolutions.com/403901-weather-watcher-including-external-sensor-54-p.asp
    • halogen
    • By halogen 7th Mar 18, 2:59 PM
    • 116 Posts
    • 148 Thanks
    halogen
    @halogen

    You may have issues with plumbers at the moment as they will be running round fixing leaks and repairing/replacing combi boilers that have kicked the bucket.
    Originally posted by CashStrapped
    Actually that was last summer.

    How do I know if I'm on an E7 tariff? My last electric invoice was a ridiculous £300- that's for Jan, before the cold snap.
    Used to only be £150 with british gas and I thought that was silly
    • halogen
    • By halogen 7th Mar 18, 3:01 PM
    • 116 Posts
    • 148 Thanks
    halogen
    Halogen, why don't you get one of these weather sensing storage heater controllers? Then you won't need to touch them.

    http://www.pactrolsolutions.com/403901-weather-watcher-including-external-sensor-54-p.asp
    Originally posted by jk0
    Lovely idea but it looks like it only works with gas...
    • CashStrapped
    • By CashStrapped 7th Mar 18, 3:21 PM
    • 1,286 Posts
    • 720 Thanks
    CashStrapped
    First, you really need to work out how to interpret your bills and bill history..

    This really is key to understanding your use. Ring or email your supplier or try to explore their website again, with them on the phone if you have to if you are having trouble accessing your bill history. Download or check as many of your past bills that you have.Easy if you have kept paper copies.

    If you want to avoid telephone bills, email them requesting a call back. Or, ensure that you dial a regional number which will use any free allowance you may have.

    If you have an E7 tariff it will say so on your bill. You will normally have two rates on your bills too. You meter will also have two sets of numbers, but this does not always mean you are on an E7 tariff, hence why checking your bill is important.

    -----
    You bill, at the least should give you an indication of your annual use in kwh. While this is normally an estimate, it should be in the ball park and suffice for now.

    The best thing to do is go through your bill history and write down all the confirmed readings (those with a C or A next to them) and the dates they were taken. From those you can work out your annual use by looking for two meter readings that are a year apart and calculating the difference between them.

    If you have issues doing this, post all the figures here and we can help.

    ---
    Last edited by CashStrapped; 07-03-2018 at 4:03 PM.
    • halogen
    • By halogen 7th Mar 18, 4:03 PM
    • 116 Posts
    • 148 Thanks
    halogen
    I switched from BG in september and I'm having trouble logging into thier site to get data from before that but



    OCTOBER

    Register Start date Start read Read type End date End read Read type Units
    1 01/09/2017 14278.8 D 12/10/2017 15319.5 E 1040.7
    2 01/09/2017 1886.1 D 12/10/2017 2009.8 E 123.7
    Read Types: C = Customer, E = Estimate, D = Deemed, O = Opening, F = Final

    Register Date kWh Rate Price
    1 12/10/2017 1040.7 0.11152 116.06
    2 12/10/2017 123.7 0.11152 13.80
    Total 129.86

    November
    Register Start date Start read Read type End date End read Read type Units
    1 13/10/2017 15319.5 E 05/11/2017 17038.0 C 1718.5
    1 05/11/2017 17038.0 C 12/11/2017 17278.8 E 240.8
    2 13/10/2017 2009.8 E 12/11/2017 2112.5 E 102.7
    Read Types: C = Customer, E = Estimate, D = Deemed, O = Opening, F = Final

    Register Date kWh Rate Price
    1 05/11/2017 1718.5 0.11152 191.65
    1 12/11/2017 240.8 0.11152 26.85
    2 12/11/2017 102.7 0.11152 11.45
    Total
    229.95


    December


    Register Start date Start read Read type End date End read Read type Units
    1 13/11/2017 17278.8 E 12/12/2017 18223.7 E 944.9
    2 13/11/2017 2112.5 E 12/12/2017 2224.8 E 112.3
    Read Types: C = Customer, E = Estimate, D = Deemed, O = Opening, F = Final

    Register Date kWh Rate Price
    1 12/12/2017 944.9 0.11152 105.38
    2 12/12/2017 112.3 0.11152 12.52
    Total
    117.90
    January



    Register Start date Start read Read type End date End read Read type Units
    1 13/12/2017 18223.7 E 28/12/2017 17020.0 C -1203.7
    1 28/12/2017 17020.0 C 28/01/2018 20855.0 C 3835.0
    1 28/01/2018 20855.0 C 31/01/2018 20986.5 E 131.5
    2 13/12/2017 2224.8 E 31/01/2018 2421.8 E 197.0
    Read Types: C = Customer, E = Estimate, D = Deemed, O = Opening, F = Final

    Register Date kWh Rate Price
    1 28/12/2017 -1203.7 0.11152 -134.24
    1 28/01/2018 3835.0 0.11152 427.68
    1 31/01/2018 131.5 0.11152 14.66
    2 31/01/2018 197.0 0.11152 21.97
    Total
    330.07





    Hope that helps :-)







    • CashStrapped
    • By CashStrapped 7th Mar 18, 4:33 PM
    • 1,286 Posts
    • 720 Thanks
    CashStrapped
    Woop Numbers!

    What was your closing reading with British gas.

    Can you take a reading today, now?

    How many displays does your meter have? What type of meter is it?

    Edit: You should be still able to log into your British gas account to view past bills. You need to go back through those bills to get confirmed or actual readings from last year. This will help calculate you annual use.
    Last edited by CashStrapped; 07-03-2018 at 4:40 PM.
    • halogen
    • By halogen 7th Mar 18, 5:36 PM
    • 116 Posts
    • 148 Thanks
    halogen
    I think the BG site is just having an off day. I don't have a closing reading as I was never told to take one. I can give you meter readings taken this weekend?
    2352
    20039
    22391.
    • CashStrapped
    • By CashStrapped 7th Mar 18, 5:42 PM
    • 1,286 Posts
    • 720 Thanks
    CashStrapped
    So you have three readings on your meter? Do they have details next to them as to what each one refers to? Like Day, Night..or high Low..etc

    Did you not give an opening reading to your new supplier? It looks like your opening reading is an estimate.
    • halogen
    • By halogen 7th Mar 18, 6:27 PM
    • 116 Posts
    • 148 Thanks
    halogen
    So you have three readings on your meter? Do they have details next to them as to what each one refers to? Like Day, Night..or high Low..etc
    Originally posted by CashStrapped
    Not as far as I am aware, but I do have to rely on other people to read it for me.

    Did you not give an opening reading to your new supplier? It looks like your opening reading is an estimate.
    I wasn't asked for one no.

    BG site is still saying 'technical errors' when i try and log in.
    • CashStrapped
    • By CashStrapped 7th Mar 18, 7:04 PM
    • 1,286 Posts
    • 720 Thanks
    CashStrapped
    hmm - they may have stopped you being able to accessing it. Sometimes you can log in but it says account closed but you can see previous bills.

    ---

    Back to you meter readings.

    First thing that stands out is that you are on a single rate.

    All the rates you mentioned state that it costs 0.1152 per kwh

    This is 11.52pence per kwh. This appears to be a single rate.

    ---

    However your meter appears to have two readouts. You bills mention "two registers" (1 and 2). So it seems like there are still two readings.

    Now, if you are on a single rate tariff, then they normally combine the meter readings to make one reading. It is hard to say if they are doing this.

    What is apparent is that you are only submitting readings for one register. All register 1 readings have at least come Confirmed readings. Apart from the opening ones which are Deemed (which still infers estimation) all of register 2 readings are estimated.

    ----

    The fact you cannot access the meter yourself complicates things.

    ----

    One thing is apparent to me. If you have storage heaters, you should not be on a single rate tariff. This will cost you a lot in the long run.

    ----

    These are the things to do.


    1) First, you need to take a picture of your metre, or see it foryourself. You need to find out how many readouts it has. One or Two....

    Then.....

    Ring British Gas, ask them to access your old account.

    Ask them for:

    1) The type of tariff you were on when you were with them. Was it a single rate tariff? An Economy 7 (E7) tarrif?

    2) Ask them for your estimated annual consumption when you were with them.

    3) Ask them to give you all the confirmed or actual meter readings and the dates they were taken.

    ----

    Ring your current supplier (or email).

    Again:

    1) Ask for the type of tariff you are on, E7 or single rate?

    2) Ask for all the confirmed meter readings that were submitted and the dates.

    ---

    Finally- are you sure you have storage heaters? These are usually identifiable by having an input and output controls. They are normally fairly large and fixed to the wall.
    Last edited by CashStrapped; 07-03-2018 at 7:07 PM.
    • jk0
    • By jk0 8th Mar 18, 12:02 AM
    • 2,313 Posts
    • 24,823 Thanks
    jk0
    Lovely idea but it looks like it only works with gas...
    Originally posted by halogen
    Did you even read the page I linked to?

    The Pactrol "Weather Watcher" automatically adjusts the amount of heat stored in an off-peak heating installation in response to changes in weather overnight. It can be used in conjunction with a suitable load-switching contactor to control storage radiators, fan assisted storage radiators, electricaire, or underfloor heating installations supplied with off-peak or white-meter electricity packages.
    • CashStrapped
    • By CashStrapped 8th Mar 18, 12:14 AM
    • 1,286 Posts
    • 720 Thanks
    CashStrapped
    Did you even read the page I linked to?
    Originally posted by jk0
    To be fair, it sounds like the person is very very unsure of their set-up, how it operates and how much energy they use.

    From what I can infer, it sounds like they may have storage heaters, some of which do not work, with an E7 meter but on a single rate tariff.

    So they really need to figure everything out and their usage. Additional devices at this point may be running before they can walk, hence their confusion as to how it works.

    They seem to be very confused....and may need actual physical help to get everything sorted.

    Perhaps contacting citizens advice maybe a good place for them to start.
    Last edited by CashStrapped; 08-03-2018 at 12:18 AM.
    • halogen
    • By halogen 8th Mar 18, 6:11 AM
    • 116 Posts
    • 148 Thanks
    halogen
    Did you even read the page I linked to?
    Originally posted by jk0
    Yes i did. It said you needed a gas safe registered jnstaller so i assumed from that.
    • halogen
    • By halogen 8th Mar 18, 6:19 AM
    • 116 Posts
    • 148 Thanks
    halogen
    To be fair, it sounds like the person is very very unsure of their set-up, how it operates and how much energy they use.
    Originally posted by CashStrapped
    lol. Yes. It was easy with BG. Submit readingss when they asked, direct debit takes the money.. should never have switched.


    Perhaps contacting citizens advice maybe a good place for them to start.
    Not really an option where i live. Last i checked they visit once a month on a Thursday


    The one thing i am sure of is that i do have storage heaters. :-)
    • Katie-Kat-Kins
    • By Katie-Kat-Kins 8th Mar 18, 3:18 PM
    • 1,675 Posts
    • 1,779 Thanks
    Katie-Kat-Kins
    I have night storage heaters, and when I first moved in I thought that they were awful however there is a lot of scaremongering and misunderstanding out there and they really aren't that bad.


    Our house is a bit on the cool side (but we could turn the heaters up higher if we were happy to pay a bit more) and we do top up with some other heaters at times.


    Our bills are higher than if we had gas central heating BUT we do not have the cost of boiler servicing and replacement, or the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, taking this into account it is probably pretty equal.


    Gas prices are only likely to go up in future as supplies run lower so electric heating is likely to become more competitive.


    Renewable energy may also become more accessible which could help to lower electricity prices. In future smart meters may make time of use tariffs more attractive and more cost effective. If you can get solar panels or a turbine then this would offset the costs nicely.


    My advice would be, get familiar with how your storage heaters work and your tariffs so that you can make the most of them. We have an E10 type tariff so get more time to charge the heaters on cheap rate, but the rates are more expensive than basic E7. Make sure your house is well insulated and that you have enough of the right size heaters, if your house is getting cold in the evening consider adding an extra heater or increasing the size of an existing one.


    Make sure that you have top up heat available, and suitable heaters in the kitchen and bathroom. We have a small fan heater in the kitchen and bathroom which we can use to take the chill off when you first go in the room in winter and a spare heater to use elsewhere if necessary.
    • halogen
    • By halogen 10th Mar 18, 4:42 AM
    • 116 Posts
    • 148 Thanks
    halogen
    Brilliant. Thanks for your help everyone.
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