Storage heating is designed to take advantage of low cost, off-peak electricity. When set correctly storage heaters should enable you to keep warm and comfortable without spending too much on your electricity bill.
Storage Heaters are composed of an electrical element inside a thermal brick. They use low cost electricity to heat up the brick, which can retain the heat for some time. The stored heat is then given off by opening the grills on the heater and can occasionally be fan assisted.
Most storage heaters are wired separately from the electrics in the rest of the home, this means they use the off-peak electricity supply.
You get charged different amounts for on-peak and off-peak energy – this is called an Economy 7 tariff, where you get cheaper off peak energy at night.
You will usually need to be on Scottish Power’s Comfort Plus tariff if you have storage heaters in Fife. This is due to the electrical wiring of homes built with storage heaters where there is a 3-rate meter, as opposed to a 2-rate economy 7 meter. The 3-rate meter divides your energy use between Heating, On-Peak Day Rate and Off-Peak Night Rate.
It is vital you are on the correct tariff if you have storage heaters, otherwise you will not benefit from the off-peak electricity rates and you will have expensive bills.
Making the most of your controls
Most storage heaters have two controls: INPUT and OUTPUT, they can usually be located on the top-right hand side of the heater under a flap.
Due to the nature of storage heaters and variations in outside temperature, you may need to check and adjust your heaters each night to get the most benefit out of them.
INPUT controls the amount of heat that is drawn into the heater. It should be set higher, the colder the weather is.
OUTPUT controls the rate at which the heat is released from the heater. The higher it is the quicker it is depleted. In order to make the heat last longer it should be turned down lower. If you struggle to make your heating last into the evening, keep it low during the day and then at night turn it up to a higher setting.
Some storage heaters may have additional controls such as a fan to help push the warm air into the room.
If you find that, your heating is not matching up with your routine you may need to adjust your controls. In addition, if there are variations in outside temperature from day-to-day you may need to adjust your controls each night.
If you need help setting your storage heater controls, or advice on tariffs, you can book a home energy advice visit with one of our advisors.