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Do you have electric storage heaters? Here are some cost trimming top tips

Posted: February 14, 2023

Our recent rent consultation feedback showed that many of you are concerned with the costs of electric heaters within your homes.

We’re currently working through an upgrade programme to replace all old storage heaters with gas central heating where possible or modern Quantum heating where gas isn’t possible. Whatever your situation, here are some handy tips to help you trim costs on your electric heating.

Older-style electric storage heaters

  1. Know your controls: The input control dictates how much energy is drawn in and stored, while the output is how quickly you want that energy released. Turning the input right up will take in the most energy, costing more. Turn the input up at night to make use of the cheaper over-night tariff, and down during the day to limit the heater drawing from the more expensive daytime tariff.
  2. Save your energy for the day: Turn the output function off or as low as possible when going to bed to save all energy for the following day and avoid wasting heat. You should also do this when you leave the house, or turn the output lower to release a low steady heat when you
  3. leave the room for a longer period of time.
  4. Boost sensibly: The boost gives immediate heat, but draws electricity directly from your supply, meaning it often uses the most expensive daytime tariff. ALWAYS use the radiator’s stored heat (output setting) whenever possible and the boost as a last resort.
  5. Be wary of using plug-in electric or oil-filled radiators: These are often more expensive than the storage heaters in your home.

Electric Quantum heaters

  1. Ensure you are fluent in the heater’s controls: This will allow you to properly adjust the heater to be most efficient, including saving energy when you’re out and making best use of the low-tariff overnight energy.
  2. Are the settings correct? Little things like the time or date being incorrect can make your Quantum heater draw energy at the wrong times, costing you more. Ensure the date and time is correctly set, and that you have the heater set to draw and store energy at the right times. [Online version only] A video guide can be found here.
  3. Make sure you’re on the right tariff: The Economy 7 (E7) and Economy 10 (E10) tariffs both feature low-cost periods of the day and/or night. These tariffs will also make things like showering and cooking cheaper too, if carried out during certain times. You’ll need to make sure you’re on the right tariff for your lifestyle though, so you aren’t missing cheaper electricity when you’re regularly out of the house. If you have electric heating, and aren’t on either E7 or E10, then you could be missing out on big savings!
  4. If in doubt, call us out! Our energy advice team can give heating demonstrations – showing you how to use your heater efficiently and get the most out of it for the least cost. Get in touch with the team on 0300 123 2640 or email customerservice@hillcrest.org.uk.