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Are Storage Heaters Expensive To Run: Understanding the Cost Efficiancy

‘Are storage heaters expensive to run?’, if that is a question on your mind friend, worry not. We have bought you the best and most elaborate guide that one-by-one answers all your questions regarding Storage heaters such as the average cost of storage heaters per month, how they work, and everything in between. 

It really depends on the individual’s needs and the place they are living. They are popular in areas where off-peak electricity rates are available making them energy efficient and easy to use. Especially in buildings where retrofitting a heating system is impractical and rather costly. 

Storage heaters are a form of electric heating systems that are commonly used in household settings, and commercial settings. They are known for their ability to use off-peak energy rates by storing the heat in low-demand periods and gradually releasing it during the day. 

The cost efficiency of storage heaters comes into play when they utilize off-peak energy which is often available at lower rates and they use that store energy without the need to consume continuous electricity throughout the day. 

How do storage heaters work? 

‘Are storage heaters expensive to run?’ In this section, we will explain the fundamental principles of the workings of a Storage Heater and their function, and what makes up for their price efficiency. What exactly goes inside a storage heater in the winter and how they reduce the cost? let’s dig in. 

Function and mechanism of storage heaters.

Some of the fundamental principles behind the workings of a Storage Heater are that they have some high-density materials that are capable of retaining heat such as bricks, concrete, or ceramic. The materials used in the storage heater collect and store a lot of heat. 


Ability to store heat during off-peak hours.

When the charging period occurs during the off-peak hours, electricity is transported to the storage heater’s heating parts, which are responsible for producing the heat, which is then transferred to the storage materials that are ready to receive the heat.

There it is absorbed and stored. The quantity of heat that may be absorbed depends on the capacity and size of the storage heater. So then, Are storage heaters expensive to run? Not in this scenario. 

Release of stored heat during the day.

 Once the charging of the materials is sufficiently complete mostly during the night or the early hours of morning. The storage heater releases the heat gradually into the room.

The whole process is termed a Thermostat, it regulates the amount of heat released and monitors room temperatures. Some storage heaters come with programmable timers that allow users to control when they want to release the heat. 

Factors affecting the cost efficiency of storage heaters 

‘Are storage heaters expensive to run?’ In this section, we will discuss several factors that affect the cost efficiency of storage heaters such as the electricity tariffs and pricing structures, the efficiency and quality of the storage heater, climate and weather conditions, and the insulation and size of the room.  

Size and insulation of the room 

Both factors, the size, and the insulation affect the efficiency and effectiveness of the storage heaters similar to air conditioning, a larger room demands a larger storage heater, and a smaller one for an under-sized room, just make sure that the size is large enough to heat up the room sufficiently. 

Similarly, in a poorly insulated room, the heat will escape quickly and well-insulated rooms will retain the heat for a longer duration

Quality and efficiency of the storage heater itself. 

The storage heater as mentioned before can provide a comfortable and consistent temperature all during the day. even when the off-peak electricity is not available. 

However, unlike other heating systems, they don’t seem to provide instant heating but the heat produced during the course of several hours can help maintain steady temperatures, and that in itself is very advantageous. 

Some of the features of electric storage heaters include a boost function for additional heat, some models combine fans for even heat distribution, many use programmable schedules for heating that provide user customization and larger ones are available for bigger rooms. 

Tariffs and pricing structures of energy providers. 

Are storage heaters expensive to run and how do tariffs impact them? The storage heater is designed to take advantage of the off-peak electricity rates, mostly at night when the demand seems to be low. The affordability and availability of off-peak tariffs directly affect the average cost of storage heaters per month. 

By understanding the pricing structure and monitoring the energy market users can take advantage of the off-peak electricity rates. Especially if you happen to get the electricity on a renewable tariff. That makes running a storage heater even more inexpensive. 

Climate and weather conditions. 

 Are Storage heaters expensive to run in harsh winters? It is important to know if your weather is suitable for storage heater options, in extremely colder climates storage heaters need to work more taking more energy consumption, making it a bit more expensive. 

Similarly high humidity can affect the storage heaters, alongside draughts and air leakages due to poor insulation. Colder and Longer winters can result in extended charging periods and shorter days can limit the heat output. 


Comparing the running costs of storage heaters with other heating systems 

The off-peak nighttime tariffs run on a scale of Economy 10 and Economy 7. If we assume you use a lower rate tariff then the cost of running a 2Kw heater would be around 13p per hour. 

It is cost-effective in the long term. especially if you work from home, the heat is stored for up to 12 hours. The estimated costs are based on October 2022 pricing cap. 


Analyzing the energy consumption and costs of storage heaters 

 Some of the storage heaters that are on the smaller side are able to consume about 1kW energy, while the larger ones can go up to 3kW. The running cost of an electric storage heater is tricky to calculate. As an example, a medium size storage heater consumes around 2kW and fully charges at 7 hours of off-peak hours, and will use 14 kW of electricity. The off-peak rates as of October 2022 are 20p per kW, which rounds off to £2.80 each day for a 2kW heater. 

All of the rates that have been mentioned are presented as a guide to give you an idea, please consult your electricity provider to get a more clear and present picture of estimated electricity costs.

Contrasting storage heaters with gas, oil, and electric heating systems

Are Storage Heaters expensive to run? In this section, we will compare and contrast some of the differences between storage heaters to some of the other heating systems, so we can answer whether they are expensive or inexpensive. 

Energy Fuel (Scotland, and the United Kingdom )

Average costs in Wales, (pence/kWh)
LPG12.1
Gas10.3                            
Oil9.2
Electricity (On-peak)40.09
Electricity (standard rate )34
Electricity (off-peak)20

                                           Source: The Energy Saving Trust


As you can examine the report provided by The Energy Saving Trust. Fossil fuel costs lower than electricity but causes immense harm to the environment. Some of the other options are LPG, Gas, and oil but those are not very reliable in the long term as they cause carbon emissions which are not good for the environment. 

It is always wise to choose clean fuels and renewable-based energy options. Since electric storage heaters use off-peak energy to store and produce heat and warm the rooms, it is by far the cheapest option when going for electric heating options. 

The United Kingdom will always promote more energy-friendly options in the long term. So it is best to use electric-based heaters and heating devices to warm up your home, which is also very cost-effective. Especially the storage heaters which seem to be the choice going in for the long term. 


Examining the long-term costs and benefits of each option

 Storage electric heaters have a long-term service warranty such as a 30-year warranty, which is fairly excellent. They also do not need much maintenance or service after installation, which is also fairly easily done. 

Since it is difficult and impractical to go for central heating solutions which is true for most of the listed properties. Storage heaters make for a good and viable alternative. 

The best part about installing storage heaters is that they use electricity which can be produced by renewable means such as solar and wind or low carbon sources. Heating home in the United Kingdom generates 15% of the United Kingdom’s carbon emissions.

So using storage heaters is not only energy efficient but also good for the environment and the country to achieve its net -zero emissions by 2050. 

Tips for maximizing cost efficiency with storage heaters 

There are many things you can do to make the most of your already cost-efficient storage heater such as maintaining proper output and the input options.

Properly use the built-in controls and the heater timers. Regularly maintaining and cleaning your heating device, and lastly understanding how to utilize the Economy 7 or any other off-peak tariffs. Let’s start with the output.


1. Output and Input

You can turn the output setting off before you go to bed or when you are not in the house or aren’t using the room. If you happen to have a boost setting in your storage heater you can use it for extra heating but be mindful of the expensive day-time tariffs. Always make sure to use stored heat first before the boost mode.

2. Built-in control and timers –

If you don’t want to remember or want to put things on automation some storage heaters come with built-in timers that you can make good use of them. 

If you want to avoid using the plug-in heaters you can turn the input on of your storage heater. Built-in control and timers can give you an edge if you know how to make use of them efficiently. 

3. Maintenance and Cleaning – 

It is very important in case of any device to keep it clean and maintain it regularly, the same goes for the storage heaters. Even during the off-season and especially before you start using it.

Make sure to properly clean the storage heater and have its maintenance done, even though they do not require much maintenance, they are a convenient and clever device.


4. Understanding off-peak tariffs

Understanding your off-peak tariff also plays a big role in how much energy and expenses you can save over the years. It is all bout being on top of your game. This plays as true for everything in your life as it plays for your cost-cutting and saving energy on your electric appliances. 

Especially in the times when the United Kingdom is going through an energy crisis and the prices have surged high-sky. it is now more than ever that being aware of your energy market will help you save up more in the long term.   
 

Conclusion 

Are storage heaters expensive to run? No, they are not in most cases. We have tried to answer this question thoroughly from several angles. We hope that this article helped provide you with the necessary information to make up your mind on your decision whether you want to install a storage heater or not. 

We have also tried establishing the cost comparisons with other heating options available so you may choose the best option that suits your need. You must understand the cost efficiency of storage heaters and other electric appliances in the long term as they can cause a leakage through your electric bills. 

Finally, if you made it this far I am sure you have found this information useful. We hope you would bookmark us and check out the other guides that can help solve your problems and answer your most pressing issues. 

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