How Economy 7 Heater is The Effective Way to Reduce Energy Consumption

The best way to think of a storage heater is to imagine it as a large rechargeable battery that needs to be charged before it can discharge the energy it contains. Electricity is delivered to your home at two rates with Economy 7 tariffs: expensive ‘peak-time’ electricity and inexpensive ‘off-peak’ electricity. The cheapest option to recharge the storage heater is to use cheap ‘off-peak’ electricity, but this is only accessible in the middle of the night. And the another option is free replacement economy 7 heaters.

If you charge your storage heater in the middle of the day, you’ll be charged the peak rate, which quickly adds up to a highly costly way to heat your home.

In many respects, the storage heater is the prototypical baby boomer, having been born into a world of supply and demand at a time when the relevance of clean energy was not fully appreciated. Storage heaters were billed as a creative way of capitalizing on otherwise squandered energy – birthing a new, frugal way of life. They were invented with the sole purpose of making use of the UK’s leftover nighttime power supply.

Storage Heaters and Solar PV

Some individuals wonder if it’s worth it to power their free storage heaters with solar PV electricity. The solution isn’t as clear as you may expect.

For starters, you use more heat in the winter, when your solar panels aren’t producing as much electricity as they are in the summer. Storage heaters use a lot of electricity, and if you used them during the day instead of at night during the winter, the extra peak rate grid electricity you’d need to support the solar panels would be prohibitive, unless you had an extremely massive 10kW+ system (40 panels).

To run the storage heaters in the most efficient (and cheapest) way possible, make sure you don’t use the peak electric power switch unless absolutely necessary – obviously, you don’t want to get cold, but try to avoid using it unless you’re in desperate need of a heating boost in the middle of the winter. The goal is to charge the storage heater only when it is not in use.

During the winter, you should set the input control to the maximum to allow the storage heater to receive the most charging power. Because you won’t need much heat in the house in the summer, you may be able to reduce the input control down (or even off).

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