Storage Heater

What is a storage heater and how do they work?

A Storage heater is a heater that only uses energy at night (off-peak) which is stored as heat and gets emitted during the day

Storage heaters consume energy at night which gets transformed into heat and emits it during the day. As electricity is much cheaper at night, they run on an economy tariff known as, Economy 7 and this starts from midnight to 7 AM in the morning. Storage heaters are usually connected to an individual fuse box which is known as an Economy 7 switch which can tell when the tariff changes and knows when to come on and off.

Economy 7 and storage heaters

To make the most of a storage heater, you need to be on an Economy 7 tariff. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t know how to best utilise this and end up charging their heaters at the wrong time.

The easiest way to understand storage heaters is to visualise them as a big rechargeable battery; they require charging prior to discharging the energy contained within them. With Economy 7 tariffs, the electricity is supplied to your home at two rates: expensive ‘peak-time’ electricity and cheap ‘off-peak’ electricity. The cheapest way to ‘recharge’ the storage heater would be to do so using the cheap ‘off-peak’ electricity, but it just so happens that this is only available during the middle of the night – usually from 12 until 7 in the morning.

If you charge the storage heater during the middle of the day then you will be charged the peak rate, and this quickly becomes a very expensive way to heat the home.