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Electric heating

Electric heating is more expensive than gas or oil, but if you use it correctly you can reduce your costs. Unlike gas heating, there are different tariff types with electric heating. More information on tariffs are provided below.

There are also several electric heating types in the UK, most installed in Fife are:

  • Storage heaters (usually Dimplex)
  • Electric Wet Radiator Systems (such as Electric Heating Company)
  • Infra-red Panels (such as Logicor)

Storage Heaters

Storage heaters are the traditional type of electric heating. They work by storing heat at night, when the cost is cheaper, and then releasing the heat during the day gradually. Each heater is individually controlled by an input and output dials:

  • Input dial - controls how much heat is drawn in. It helps to check the weather forecast to decide how high to set this. The colder it is, the higher it needs to be.
  • Output dial - controls how much heat is released. The higher the control, the more quickly the heat is released. Leave this low through the day to preserve enough heat for the evening, or you risk using up the heat too quickly.

Storage heaters work best on Economy 7 or Comfort Plus White Meter tariffs. See the Electric Tariffs publication, for more information.

Electric Wet Radiators

Modern electric radiators are controlled similarly to gas central heating; the heat isn't stored up like storage heaters. Because of this, they can be controlled more easily by either adjusting the temperature on each radiator or through the room thermostat.

Electric wet radiators work best on Economy 10 or Comfort Plus Control tariffs. See the Electric Tariffs publication, for more information.

Infra-red Panel Heaters

Infra-red panel heaters are a relatively new way of heating your home. They also work differently to traditional heaters because the radiation from the panels heats the people, the walls and furniture in the room, rather than the air itself.

By heating this way, less electricity is used because the panels are not attempting to heat the entire room. The objects store heat and release it slowly which keeps the building warmer for longer. It is important that furniture is not covering the panels to allow the infra-red radiations to work properly.

Electric Tariffs

Electric tariffs can be complicated to get your head around, but it is important that you understand them to make sure you’re on the most cost-effective tariff for your heating type.

If you provide one-meter reading to your energy supplier, you have a single meter. If you provide two-meter readings, you will have two single meters.

The main difference between different electric tariffs will be the period that you get cheap electricity:

  • 'Off Peak' - electricity is cheaper at times where the demand is lower, for example early morning or late evening. This is known as 'off-peak'.
  • 'Peak' - this is when there is a higher demand for electricity from the grid, for example in the morning when a lot of people are using electricity to get ready for school or work.

Below you can see some common electric tariffs. Not all electricity suppliers will provide all of these tariffs, so it is important to choose carefully.

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