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Economy 7 Storage Heaters- How To Replace For Free !

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Economy 7 Storage Heaters- How To Replace For Free !

Welcome to our Economy 7 heating guide for 2023.

This blog is all about economy 7 heating and how you may be able to replace old heaters for free or upgrade to an alternative heating source for free.


How To Apply For Free Storage Heaters

Free Storage Heaters

Free Storage Heaters

When Should You Replace Your Economy 7 Storage Heaters ?

We recommend that storage heaters over 20 years old that are faulty should be replaced without attempting to repair.

This is because old heaters will be very inefficient to run with the repair not economical or cost effective.
New Economy 7 heaters , storage heaters will be up to 30% more efficient and will pay for themselves in the long run.

What Are The Best Economy 7 Storage Heaters?



What Brand is the most Efficient Economy 7 Storage Heater?

We have found that Dimplex And Fischer Economy 7 heaters are the most efficient for running costs.

New Heaters have a minimum energy efficiency rating From 1 January 2018, all newly manufactured storage heaters must have certain features so that they comply with Lot20, part of the European Eco-design Directive.

All new electric storage heaters must meet a minimum energy efficiency rating of 38% for a heat output above 250W.

To meet this all new heaters have:

  • Digital programmers
  • Open window sensors
  • Electronic room temperature controls
  • Wi-fi controls

How Do Economy 7 Storage Heaters Work?

Economy 7 heating is where electric night storage heaters are charged up every night with electric heat and then this heat is then released the next day very slowly.

Night Storage Heaters store thermal energy by heating up internal ceramic bricks (effectively, ‘charging’ like a very large rechargeable battery) during the night when electric is at its cheapest.

Storage heaters are primarily designed for customers to benefit from off peak energy which is used to charge up these heaters on a nightly basis.

Storage heaters are usually the best option for households not connected to the gas grid and need to use electricity as a heat source.

You will need an economy 7 meter to get the best use of economy 7 heating.

Storage heaters use much less energy than electric panel heaters in the long run and have controls so you can alter the rate at which the heat is gradually released back into the room.

What Is Economy 7 Heating?

Economy 7 heating is a name for off peak electricity which is cheaper than standard rate electric.

Off peak electricity is around a quarter of the price of standard rate electricity and usually runs between 10pm – 6 Am

Economy 7 heating is still around and is the preferred option for a lot of off gas homes and flats due to the cheap rate they are charged at compared to standard electric heaters which are very expensive to run.
This type of supply was very popular in the 1960s when many homes had dual supplies of electric and of which you were charged a day time and night time rate of electric.
The “off-peak electricity” is normally supplied between 1200-0700 for 7 hours and is what led to the name of Economy 7.
With an Economy 7 tariff your electricity will be charged at two rates – a day rate and a night rate.

What Is An Economy 7 Meter ?

Economy 7 meters, are separate meters which have to be specially installed that track day and night use of electricity separately.

This is the preffered method for night storage heaters. Different kWh rate can be offered via an Economy 7 tariff – a bit like peak and off-peak phone calls.

Night time electric is much cheaper and this is when your storage heaters should be charged up This can be a good way of saving money for energy customers.

How To Apply For Free Storage Heaters

Free Storage Heaters

Free Storage Heaters


What Are The Economy 7 / Off Peak Energy times

You get your seven hours of off-peak electricity sometime between 11pm and 8am.

This might be split up into chunks of time.
You can contact your supplier to find out your exact Economy 7 off-peak electricity hours.

Many energy suppliers offer significant discounts on the use of electricity at night time as demand for power is significantly reduced.

This is called the ‘off-peak’ period and the companies reduce the cost of power between midnight and 7am.

The “Economy 7” tariff is the most well-known. Economy 10 is another one. You get one meter which has two rates.

You pay normal prices during the day, but cheaper rates for seven hours during the night (usually 12pm-7am).

What Is Peak Time Electricity?

The amount you get charged for your electricity depends on the time of the day you use it.

Peak electricity hours are 5pm to 8pm, after most people have finished work and it starts to get dark outside.

Electricity costs more at busier times, as the National Grid has to work harder to provide it. Typically, the quietest periods of electricity use are night times, usually between 10pm and 8am.

You pay a cheaper rate for electricity for seven hours at night (off-peak) and a higher one in the day.

This means the meter will show two different numbers; one set of numbers for your ‘normal’ or daytime electricity use, and another for your ‘low’ or cheaper night time use.

Why is it called Economy 7?

The meter takes its name from the seven hours of cheaper (off-peak) electricity at night.

If you have storage heaters you can make the most of Economy 7 by programming them to charge overnight. That way they charge up at the cheapest time to use electricity.

They’ll keep you warm during the day without using the higher day rate.


6 Top Tips for Using Economy 7 Storage Heaters

Here’s some good tips to help you get the best out of your economy 7 heaters.

  1. Set your appliances for off-peak times

Setting home appliances to come on at night can make a big difference to your bills. Things like washing machines, dishwashers, bread-makers, slow cookers etc can happily run overnight to make the most of off-peak rates. If you have an electric vehicle you could also save money by charging overnight.

2 -Set your input to midway

See how you fare for heat the next day. If you run out, turn it up; if you’ve got plenty left over, turn it down to the next setting. By experimenting with your heaters, you’ll eventually find the ‘sweet spot’ for the settings and won’t need to adjust them quite so frequently.

3 -Set your output to its lowest setting

Set your output to its lowest setting before you go to bed to prevent heat loss and wasted energy overnight.

4- Keep the seasons in mind

turn input down during the warmer months and up during the colder months. If it’s very warm, save money by switching your storage heater off at the wall. Once your room is a comfortable temperature, turn output down again to prevent overheating the space and to retain as much heat as possible for the evening.

5- Zone your heating effectively.

Zone your heating effectively. Infrequently used rooms should have input and output set low to save energy.

6 -Keep Output Setting on Low All day

The output regulates how much of the stored heat is released. It does this by opening and closing the flap behind the front grille.
The higher the output level, the more the flap opens, releasing more heat back into the room.

How To Apply For Free Storage Heaters

Free Storage Heaters

Free Storage Heaters


Safety Tips For Economy 7 Heaters

  • Do not place things on top of your storage heater
  • NEVER use your heater to dry clothes!
  • NEVER cover the surfaces of your heater or obstruct the air grilles
  • Ensure no furniture is directly in front of the heater as this can stop the heat spreading
  • Fit a guard to your storage heater if young children are going to be around them unsupervised. The front covers and vents at the top can become extremely hot to touch
  • Ensure there is a gap of no less than 6” between your curtains and the top of your storage heater
  • If your heater has been switched off for the summer, it is a wise idea to run a vacuum cleaner over the front of the vents to remove any build up of dust or fluff within that could burn when the heater is switched on.
  • Make sure your heater is securely fixed to the wall for stability. Storage heaters are extremely heavy, even small ones can weigh over 50Kg due to the storage bricks used within.

Are Economy 7 Storage Heaters Cheap To Run ?

Storage heaters use off-peak electricity which is supplied from the national grid to your house, usually overnight when demand for electricity nationally is low. It makes good economic sense for storage heaters to be charged up at this time hence the term night time storage heaters.

Typically, a storage heater will lose most of its stored heat over 12 hours but you can control when the heat is released by selecting a tariff and adjusting the storage heater’s controls.

Economy 7 Storage Heaters – Common Faults

If your storage heaters are not working here is a few things you can try to get them up and running again.
The most common causes of a broken storage heaters are within the scope of a competent diyer and are relatively cheap to replace.

Do check the circuit to find faulty components / switch / circuit breakers or measure resistance to check for failed elements in order to eliminate other possible problems. Usually when a section of a storage heater turns cold, it means that an element has failed. Spare parts that commonly cause a broken storage heater include (in order of occurrence):

  • Faulty Thermostat – (Thermostats & elements commonly fail in 6-8 years )
  • Broken Heating Elements
  • Terminal block which causes loose connection
  • Blown fuses and overheating causing the thermal cut-out to become activated. Be sure to check for these before deciding your storage heater might be broken
  • If one side (or the middle of larger storage heaters) is cold, it is possible that one of the elements has blown.
  • This is not something you will be able to check yourself, so do call a local electrician.

Should I Try To Fix?

If you are a competent diyer, you may want to have a go yourself. This involves taking off the front panel (remove the fuse / turn off the power first) and replace the thermostat. Try to do a thermostat manual reset.

  1. Turn off the power supply and remove it.
  2. If you are skilful, go inside and take off the front panel.
  3. At the top of your storage heater, look for three round polo-like items.
  4. The black cap nubbin with a red dot is the thermostat. Push it down to reset it. If you hear a click, it should function on the next charge period. If not, then the thermostat could be faulty and needs to be replaced.
  5. Put back the front panel and turn on the power.
  6. Wait until the next off-peak charge overnight to see if it takes the next charge.
  7. If not, call an engineer for a quote of his services or see if you should buy a new one.

What is the best heating and hot water system for Economy 7 ?

It depends what kind of heating and hot water system you have.
Electric storage heaters and a hot water tank are the best combination for Economy 7 heating .
That’s because you can charge them up during the night when electric is at its cheapest and then use the heat and hot water in the daytime.


Economy 7 Electric Storage Heater Running Costs.

The cost of running a storage heater depends on a range of different factors, including:

  • Room size and size and number of windows in the room.
  • The insulation in your home
  • The age and type of glazing of your windows
  • The temperature you are comfortable with
  • The severity of the weather in your area


Do storage heaters have to be on Economy 7?

Yes – It is the best practice. Storage heaters are usually used by those using an ‘Economy 7’ electricity tariff which reduces their running costs.
This tariff, means you will pay a different price for the electricity you need when they are recharged at night.
Using storage heaters during the day ( without recharging at night ) will be very costly.

Is it cheaper to leave storage heaters on all the time?

Not really. Once the heat has been discharged ,you will be cold usually in the early afternoon.
If you’ll be out during the day, remember to turn the output control right down before you leave, to avoid using up more energy than you need.
Always turn the output control down to 1 before you go to bed.
Heating up your house overnight will cost more money.

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