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View Full Version : Are storage heaters VERY expensive?



dekaspace
05-03-2010, 19:08 PM
Reason I ask is I moved to a new flat last Friday, and left one storage heater on at the minimum setting and after 2 hours of being in flat went away for 6 days visiting family and came back to find the £9 credit in meter gone and about £1.80 into emergency!

I worry that perhaps I am paying the debt off from a former tenant since the standing charge is set at £1.61 a week which seems very high to me and even then it means almost £11 has gone in 6 days for just a small under desk fridge and a storage heater on lowest setting(which I estimate to be about £1 a day on average!)

Am I being somewhat niave to expect the storage heater on lowest setting to use £1 a day? Since this is my 4th flat and my other ones used about £5-£8 a week maximum electric and that was with electric heating on for a few hours a week at minimum and running a plasma and quad core pc and a digibox etc.

mind the gap
05-03-2010, 19:12 PM
Reason I ask is I moved to a new flat last Friday, and left one storage heater on at the minimum setting and after 2 hours of being in flat went away for 6 days visiting family and came back to find the £9 credit in meter gone and about £1.80 into emergency!

I worry that perhaps I am paying the debt off from a former tenant since the standing charge is set at £1.61 a week which seems very high to me and even then it means almost £11 has gone in 6 days for just a small under desk fridge and a storage heater on lowest setting(which I estimate to be about £1 a day on average!)

Am I being somewhat niave to expect the storage heater on lowest setting to use £1 a day? Since this is my 4th flat and my other ones used about £5-£8 a week maximum electric and that was with electric heating on for a few hours a week at minimum and running a plasma and quad core pc and a digibox etc.

Even small fridges can up to 2 units of electricity per day to run, so the combination of that, the standing charge and and a storage heater may clock up £11 in six days. Use this site to work out how many units your appliances use, then work out probable total weekly cost (yu will need to know the unit price for electricity from your supplier ;http://www.newcastle.gov.uk/core.nsf/a/energyrunningcosts

dekaspace
05-03-2010, 20:23 PM
Even small fridges can up to 2 units of electricity per day to run, so the combination of that, the standing charge and and a storage heater may clock up £11 in six days. Use this site to work out how many units your appliances use, then work out probable total weekly cost (yu will need to know the unit price for electricity from your supplier ;http://www.newcastle.gov.uk/core.nsf/a/energyrunningcosts

Thanks for that, quite shocking really how much they use, especially since when I came back the house was still freezing cold(thought id leave it on to warm up house whilst it was empty)

Just shocks me how having just a normal size storage heater on the lowest setting for 6 days costs more than I use an entire week with a plasma, pc, monitor etc all on at once and using a microwave etc and having normal electric heating on short term.

islandgirl
05-03-2010, 20:46 PM
It all depends on whether they are on the correct tariff. We bought a new property with storage heating and the electricity bills were enormous. When we looked into it, the settings were wrong - we were being charged "normal" rate for the storage and cheap "off-peak" for everything else...we got the error corrected and received a cheque for over £1000. The storage should run on cheap overnight electricity - check the meter and the tariffs!

irishgem1
05-03-2010, 23:06 PM
Prepayment meters are notoriously expensive! I suggest that you check out the best rates on a comparison site and negotiate free removal with one of the electricity suppliers and pay monthly by direct debit.
I live in a 3 Bed house, have gas central heating, hot water and cooking facilities. During the winter of 2008 I was paying £30 per week for gas and £10 for electricity on prepayment meters with NPower.
I changed to E-on, had the meters removed, and now pay by monthly direct debit. my most recent accurate bill covered Oct to Jan and I paid £79 electric and £229 gas. Massive reduction.
Make sure you check your tenancy agreement for clause regarding changing suppliers.
Check that you have a white meter (formerly known as economy 7) this will give you a cheaper night tariff (although it does up day rate slightly). Buy a plug-in timer and use your washing machine on night rate.
Hope this helps.

dekaspace
09-03-2010, 14:12 PM
Thats for that, theres definately something wrong here as I went away Saturday night with about £4 left in meter and came back 8.30pm last night to find about £1.80 left and all that was on the entire time was an under counter fridge and no heating, then it has taken about £1 in about 12 hours(checked at 9am this morning) and another £1 had been taken off despite last night just watching my portable tv/dvd player for 4 hours then going to bed, that wont cost £1!

I do now have a reset code from provider so using that when I top up in a few hours(as have about 15p left of emergency!)

islandgirl
09-03-2010, 20:35 PM
We've got an OWL - you set it to the rate you are on and it tells you exactly how much you are spending at any time - you should see it jump when you put the kettle on! It cost about £30 but it must have saved us that already - you soon get used to what it should read and can see if lights have been left on somewhere because you are paying too much!

dekaspace
09-03-2010, 23:55 PM
We've got an OWL - you set it to the rate you are on and it tells you exactly how much you are spending at any time - you should see it jump when you put the kettle on! It cost about £30 but it must have saved us that already - you soon get used to what it should read and can see if lights have been left on somewhere because you are paying too much!

Thanks for that but I havent even used a kettle till today after I checked meter havent even used the cooker as been eating sandwiches and snacks, it really has been just a laptop, or a laptop and portable tv, or sometimes a pc but not all at same time.g

jayc001
10-03-2010, 07:57 AM
You (well a qualified electrician will) need to check they are correctly wired to the off peak circuit and that the time switch is working properly (the heaters will use electricity during the off peak period usually between 12am and 7am so expect your credit to go down at night).

When i purchased my home several years ago the previous owners told me they were paying in excess of £250 per month for electric. They assumed this was right as everyone had told them electric storage heaters were costly to run.
I took a look at the electrics and found that when the cowboy sparks they had used to fit a power shower had crossed the off peak and peak supplies and as such the storage heaters were being charged 24/7. After sorting the problem our bills are now around £70 per month! Previous owners had lived that way for 5 years so had paid £3500 extra all because they likely saved £50 on a cheap electrician.

If your on a pre pay meter you should contact the supplier and have it registered in your name. They will issue you a new payment key/token just incase you are paying off a previous tenants debt.

islandgirl
10-03-2010, 08:09 AM
the above post just shows that mistakes happen - if you are using too much get it checked out. The energy company may owe you a fortune - I got over £1000 back

dekaspace
13-03-2010, 23:19 PM
Since resetting meter on Tuesday with code my usage has shot right down! I watched about 4 hours tv on Tuesday night and went away Wednesday to Saturday and in that entire 4 day period only 60p was used! That sounds more correct than £1-£2 a day using nothing!

unhappydisgustingWOW
14-03-2010, 09:23 AM
Double check with the electricity company what tarriff you're on.

My mate started renting a new place and by default when he took over the electricity account he was without being told (or even labeled on the bill) put on Economy 7. However the whole flat had been converted to gas central heating many years before, and there wasn't 1 storage heater in there. It's just no-one had ever told the leccy company. Your situation could well be the reverse of this.

Pobinr
14-03-2010, 12:51 PM
With properties I've bought recently, I've had utility companies trying to get me to pay previous owners/tenant's bills. What happens is I email the utility company with date I bought the place & meter reading. Then red bills appear addressed to current occupier or current owner for amounts I don't owe. Then I read the small print & it says the period the bill is for before I owned the place.

The utilities companies are sharks. They know full well the person has left the property, but they hope I'll pay the bill without reading the small print on the reverse. As BBC Watchdog showed recently they even try & scare old folk to death by demanding money from them that they don't owe.
Yet they've never been prosecuted. I got no where with the regulator when I complained. Just beaurocracy.

So just like the banks, the utility companies aren't properly regulated. No doubt due to that corrupt bunch of slimeballs 'Lord this' or 'Sir that' being bribed to turn a blind eye to the problem by making sure the quangos like Ofgem etc are just pretend regulation. In other words just a front to make the public believe the utility companies are properly regulated when in reality they aren't.

As for storage heaters. If you have 'Economy 7' tarif, then try & get meter changed by electricity company to 'Economy 10'.
It gives 5 hrs at night, 3hrs pm & 2 hrs evening. Much better tarrif. When you come home in evenings the place is warm.
With 'Economy 7' all the heat from the previous night is lost through the daytime so the evenings are cold unless you use expensive peak electricity to keep warm in the evening.

All my flats are now changed to Economy 10 meters & tenants say much better & less risk of mildew from condensation as places are warmer.

dekaspace
29-03-2010, 21:56 PM
Ok another update, its gone back to being strange again, went away for 4 nights and £4 vanished out of meter despite again only thing being on was undercounter fridge.

However I just realisedthat I left the water heater on so I guess this uses a lot even though I just wash dishes about twice a day and wash hands after toilet and have about a 15 minute shower a day(though the 4 days I was away I didnt) and I only get about a minute of hot water then have to wait 10 minutes for about 10 seconds more!

mind the gap
29-03-2010, 21:58 PM
Ok another update, its gone back to being strange again, went away for 4 nights and £4 vanished out of meter despite again only thing being on was undercounter fridge.

However I just realisedthat I left the water heater on so I guess this uses a lot even though I just wash dishes about twice a day and wash hands after toilet and have about a 15 minute shower a day(though the 4 days I was away I didnt) and I only get about a minute of hot water then have to wait 10 minutes for about 10 seconds more!


dekaspace, please go to bed. It will all make more sense in the morning. This is turning into a bit of a blog and we don't do blogs on LLZ :D

Not ones about storage heaters and undercounter fridges, anyway.

islandgirl
29-03-2010, 22:44 PM
Yes but how many times does he wash his hands after the toilet MTG. It matters.

wilfred
29-03-2010, 22:50 PM
Yes but how many times does he wash his hands after the toilet MTG. It matters.

Er... Islandgirl, I hope that isn't a personal slur on all men?

mind the gap
29-03-2010, 22:52 PM
Er... Islandgirl, I hope that isn't a personal slur on all men?
No, wilfred. I think you would find that would be a general slur.:rolleyes:

islandgirl : I think your theory is correct about the handwashing!

islandgirl
29-03-2010, 23:16 PM
That General Slur - now he was a bad 'un

jeffrey
01-04-2010, 16:12 PM
And his mate Tottenham Hotslur.