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Improving electric systems
Electricity is the most expensive and carbon-intensive heating fuel available in the UK. The preferred option for anyone with storage heaters is to replace them with a boiler or heat pump, with radiators or underfloor heating. This can cost a considerable amount to install but can save money in the long term.
You could switch to a conventional fuel like gas. A new gas boiler will typically cost around £2,300 plus the cost of the radiators, but you could cut the cost of your heating bill by nearly half and save over £600 a year.
If you don’t have a gas supply to your house but it is available nearby, you may be eligible for a grant towards the cost of having a connection put in. Otherwise you could install an oil boiler and fuel tank.
Or you could switch to a renewable heating system like a heat pump or wood boiler. This will cost you more than a conventional system but you could get payments from the government over the lifetime of the system. Find out more about renewable heating systems.
Controls for electric storage heaters
If you cannot replace your storage heaters right now, then you need to get a good understanding of how to use the controls, so that you can keep warm without wasting energy and making your bills even higher.
If this all seems a bit too complicated, you might prefer a more advanced control system. For that you will need to think about…
Upgrading your electric storage heaters
If you cannot install a whole new central heating system, then you could install new, more controllable storage heaters, together with improved controls. New storage heaters can be quite pricey, but can be cheaper to install than central heating, and you don’t have to replace them all at once.
Modern slimline fan-assisted storage heaters are better insulated, so are better able to store heat until you want it. Their heat output is more controllable, so you can heat a room up more quickly or keep it cool if you’re not using it. And modern controls can automatically set the input and output settings, based on your preferred room temperature, the actual room temperature and even the temperature outside. Systems that do all of this are sometimes known as Celect type controls.
Modern storage heaters vary considerably in price, but expect to pay between £200 - £500 each. Once you have replaced all your old heaters with fan assisted models and Celect type controls you could expect to save between £120 - £180 per year on your electricity bills.