Electric heating

Electric heating
Energy Factsheet 2
Know about…
Economy 7 and electric storage
For more information and advice call the
Gloucestershire Energy Efficiency Advice
Centre 0800 512 012
Energy Advice
Heating with electricity
If electric night storage heaters are the main means of
heating your home, you should be on an Economy 7 tariff.
This means that you benefit from a cheaper tariff for the
electricity you use at night.
It is important to use this cheap rate to a) heat up your
storage heaters and b) heat up your hot water with your
immersion heater. The low tariff applies for seven hours
overnight. The exact times vary so check with your supplier
to confirm. The low tariff is less than half the price of the
daytime normal rate.
How do electric night storage heaters
Night time storage heaters are designed
to store heat from electricity supplied at
the cheaper night time tariff and then
release it during the following day.
Berry storage heaters have a switch on the lower right hand side of
the casing that can switch between Manual or Automatic
Input control. It is better to keep it on Automatic rather than
Manual as a thermostat will determine how much heat energy to
store overnight.
The output control will work as normal so keep it set on low during
the day and turn it higher when you need the heat.
And finally...
“Remember to turn the output
down to its lowest setting when
you go to bed at night”
The ‘core’ of the heater is made up of
electrical elements embedded in
insulating material. These elements
switch on during the off-peak period.
The insulated core stays hot after it is
switched off, cooling down gradually as it
gives out heat throughout the following
Common makes of storage heaters
Automatic Models
Set the right hand automatic dial to between medium and high. Adjust as
necessary, but once you have found a comfortable temperature leave it in this
position and don't change it (even when the weather gets colder).
The left hand dial controls the room temperature boost. Set it at ‘1’ and
increase it as you need more heat. This dial opens a damper and releases more
Manual Models
Turn the right hand dial to set how much heat energy you wish to store over
night. Set it higher over the winter months and then lower in autumn and
Your storage heaters will usually have two controls: one
that controls the amount of ‘electrical’ energy going in
overnight (the input) and one that controls the amount of
warm air coming out (the output). However, as long as its
warm, the heater will radiate some heat from its outer
The ‘Input’ Dial (sometimes called ‘overnight charge’)
This sets how much heat to store during the night. Your input will either
be manual or automatic...
Manual Input
You can vary the setting to store more heat when the weather is
colder. It is generally recommended that you follow the seasonal
changes rather than trying to reset them on a daily basis. Set it
high in the winter and medium in the autumn and spring.
Automatic Input (sometimes called ‘Auto-Set’)
Automatic Models
Use the trial and error process to find the right temperature for the input
control. Once set correctly it shouldn't need changing.
Automatic or ‘Auto-Set’ means that the input is controlled by a
thermostat. In this case you do not need to change the setting when
the weather changes. Try out different settings to find out which
gives the most comfortable temperatures the following day and
evening. Once you have decided on the right setting, leave it at that.
Manual Models
Set the input dial to medium (1-3) for autumn and then higher as you need it
through the winter.
Use the output control to minimise heat release during the day and increase it
when you need it. Remember to turn it down at night.
IMPORTANT! - If you have ‘top up’ heat from a gas
or electric fire late into the night it could affect the
automatic thermostat. It will make the thermostat
think the weather is warmer than it actually is and
the storage heater won’t store up enough heat
The ‘Output’ dial
(often labelled ‘room temperature’ or ‘boost’)
This controls the amount of heat given out by the heater.
It does this by opening and closing a flap in the heater, controlling the
amount of warm air given out. However, as long as it is warm, the heater
will radiate some heat from its outer casing.
It is most economical to set the output control to minimum during the
night, when the household is sleeping, and to keep it low for as long as you
can during the day. That way you will keep as much heat as possible for
use later when you may need it the most. When you begin to feel cold,
turn up the output a little.
If you find that you are still running out of heat, try turning the input
control higher for more heat the next day.
Electric water heating
If you heat your water using Economy 7 electricity, you will have a hot water
storage cylinder fitted with an immersion heater. This is an electrical element
which works like the element in a kettle to heat up the water in the cylinder.
The water heats up at night and is stored for use during the following day and
A thermostat in the immersion heater prevents the water from overheating.
It will switch off the immersion heater when the set temperature is reached.
It is for safety (and energy efficiency!!) and should be preset to 60oC (140oF).
Immersion Heater Timer
There should also be a timer, normally found near the hot water cylinder,
which is set to heat a cylinder of water during the cheap period. This means
that you will have a full cylinder of hot water at the beginning of each day.
Informing the family
“Once you have set the
input controls correctly
make sure that other
members of the family
don't change them”.
It is very important that the controller is showing the correct time, otherwise
it will heat up at the wrong time.
You may have two immersion heaters in the same cylinder: in this case the
lower one is to heat up a whole tank of water, and should be on at night, while
the upper one heats only half a tank and will come on when you use ‘boost’.
IMPORTANT— Remember that when you use the boost during the day you are
using expensive rate electricity!!
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