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Replacing Storage Heaters - Complete Guide

Upgrade Old Heaters Now & Reduce Your Heating Bills !


Is It Time To Replace Old Economy 7 Storage Heaters ?

Tired Of High Electric Bills To heat Your Home?

We have compiled a  complete guide with lots of frequently asked questions to help you make an informed decision on replacing them like for like or changing to an alternate form of heating.

Remember , if you receive a benefit, you can exchange them for free with a Government Grant

What Are Storage Heaters and how do they work ?

A Storage heater is an electric heater that accumulates heat in special ceramic or clay  bricks during the night (when electricity is at its cheapest ) which then releases it during the day.

The easiest way to understand storage heaters is to visualise them as a big rechargeable battery.

Once the heat has been exhausted, ( usually late afternoon )  you need to use another source of heating for the rest of the day to heat your home.

The heaters are then recharged from 10 pm for use for the next day.


How Are You Charged For Running Storage Heaters?

The heaters are wired up to an economy 7 meter which measures how much power  is used at nighttime and you are then charged at the prescribed rate for night time use.

Night time electricity is approx two thirds cheaper than day rate which makes using storage heaters worth using to heat your home.

As  stated previously ,  you should program your heaters to charge up only when electric is at its cheapest which is during the middle of the night

You can charge the storage heaters in the day also BUT you will be charged the peak rate  which can be 2 thirds more.


Are Storage Heaters Cheaper to Run Than Gas Heating ?

No .

Electricity is one of the most expensive ways to heat your home and we always recommend that if you are on the gas grid, you should convert to gas heating.

Electric Storage heaters are cheaper to run than their counterparts Electric room heaters ( which are plugged in and use statndard rate electric ) but they are still expensive compared to gas heating.

Gas heating is approx 2 /3 cheaper than electric.

Storage heaters – Economy 7 or Economy 10 tariff.

To make the most of having storage heaters as your main heating, you will need to be on an Economy 7 or Economy 10 tariff.

With Economy 7 & 10 tariffs, the electricity is supplied to your home at two rates:

  • Expensive ‘peak-time’ electricity  –  daytime
  • Cheap ‘off-peak’ electricity.  –  Night time usually from 12 until 7 in the morning.

Both tariffs  come into play at night when electricity is cheapest so this is the time you should be charging your heaters up.

You could save two thirds of the price.

Unfortunately, a lot of people are not aware of this and end up charging their heaters at the wrong time which can be very expensive.

are storage heaters being phased out?

Storage Heaters are gradually being phased out due to lack of demand and the fact that they are still one of the most expensive form of heating.

They are also now very old fashioned too and are associated with  1960 s & 1970s homes.

Sales of storage heaters are diminishing year on year  with renewable heating becoming more popular as the UK heads towards a carbon zero future.

are storage heaters expensive to run ?

A 2.5 Kw heater that is charged up at nightime ( using cheaper electric ) will cost you around 13p per hour to run.

This will be payable whether you benefit from the heat or not. Use the heat or lose it is the rule.


To sum up a 2.5kw storage heater may have a running cost of between £1 and £2 per day.

If you have 4 heaters running on a daily basis, this will work out very expensive with a weekly average of up to £70 per week !

What Are Average Storage Heater Running Costs

Modern storage heaters are to 27% cheaper to run than a standard storage heater system and up to 47% compared to an electric convector heater


Power RatingPer HourPer Day*
400W7.42p 400W£0.52 2.8kWh
800W14.83p 800W£1.04 5.6kWh
1100W (1.1kW)20.39p 1100W£1.43 7.7kWh
1400W (1.4kW)25.96p 1400W

£1.82 9.8kWh

Are modern storage heaters more efficient?

All modern storage heaters are now high heat retention ones which although bulkier,  are upi to 30% more efficient at keeping the heat in.

Also Modern storage heaters are now  fitted with timers,  and 24-hour programming, for more control on usage.

Many now have  open window detection too.

These features help to make modern storage heaters a lot more efficient than old ones.

As stated you should achieve a bill reduction of around 30% by upgrading to new ones.

Although new storage heaters are not cheap, they are more efficient than they used to be in a number of ways, so running costs will be cheaper.

If you have old storage heaters, the insulation around the heating core may well have broken down over time and this will affect their efficiency.

How much does it cost to replace an electric storage heater?

A storage heater can cost from around £150 to over £1000 to buy and install, depending on the heat output required.

Generally speaking, the more you spend on a storage heater, the more features your model will have.

New storage heaters need to be installed by a qualified electrician and usually costs from about £70 if there is existing wiring plus the cost of the new heater).

A new installation will require new wiring so you should expect to pay around £50 extra per heater.

The best storage heaters cost to buy more initially but will save you money over time because they will be more efficient and therefore will cost less to run.

What Are The Best storage heaters ?

  1. Automatic: These are the new standard type, and can detect the temperature of the room and set themselves.
  2. Combination: These allow you to turn up the heat on demand combining charged heat with standard daytime electricity
  3. High heat retention: These offer the latest in storage heating technology, with highly-insulated cores and quiet fans to spread the heat around the room more effectively. 

The best known makes that have been around for years  and have been approved to be fitted on Government schemes are below.

  • Dimplex
  • Creda
  • Elnur
  • Fischer
  • Heatstore

All heaters will have been thoroughly tested  for fitting on Grant schemes so will be highly recommended.

What Types of electric heaters are available?

Electric storage Heaters – These  are storage heaters that are  full of bricks or ceramics, which are used to store heat, typically collected overnight when electricity is at a cheaper rate. 

Electric Panel Heaters  – Panel heaters are essentially oil filled radiators that use electricity to produce instant heat but, due to the fact that they are filled with oil, they still retain heat when turned off.

Combi Storage and Convector Heater – Storage heaters with a convector built in can give you the best of both worlds.

These heaters will store heat during the night at the cheaper rate but if you need a boost during the day it has the ability to supply the extra heat when you need it.

Combination storage heaters are usually installed in large rooms where a storage heater alone isn’t sufficient.


Fan-assisted storage heaters that distribute heat further into the room by blowing warm air from the bottom of the heater.

Manual storage heaters are the cheapest to buy, but are gradually being phased out and replaced by more efficient, automatic models

They are very basic and don’t allow much control over the heat output. This can lead to wasted energy and overheated rooms.

An automatic storage heater will save you money in the long run, but you will pay a lot more.


Panel Heaters Vs Storage Heaters - Judge For Yourself

Panel Heater Positives

  • Heat up faster
  • Only use electricity when you’re using them
  • Better temperature control
  • Lighter and easier to install

Panel Heater Negatives

  • Loose heat faster
  • Can be more expensive to run

Storage Heater Positives

  • Slow to lose heat
  • Can be Cheaper to run

Storage Heater Negatives

  • Slow to heat up
  • Less heating control
  • Usually more expensive to buy
  • Heavier and more work to install
  • Can be bulky

are panel heaters cheaper to run than storage heaters

Definitely not.!

On a like for like basis. you will be paying 2  times more for  the same amount of heat as panel heaters . This is because storage heaters benefit from cheaper electric at night whilst plug in heaters will be charged at the day rate.

Panel heaters do have the benefit of you can turn them on and off at will whereas with storage heaters, you need to use up the heat or lose it.

What Size heater should I buy

This depends on the size of your room and how much heat you need.

Very important to correctly size your heater for each room as a small heater in a large room will not be able to heat the room effectively and ultimately won’t be efficient.

Please ask your local installer to work out the best size for you using a special matrix.

Can storage heaters make you ill?

Electric space heaters and storage heaters can make the air inside of your home extremely dry and unpleasant.

Some of the newer models also blow out air which is not suitable if you are suffering from asthma

This won’t make you ill, but it may  irritate your skin, eyes, ears, and even nose.

Can storage heaters overheat?

 Old heaters do get a build up of dust over the years  inside the heater casing. This will affect the distribution of heat and you may get a smell. This can be easily brushed off by removing the inner casing.

If there are items of furniture or curtains within 500mm of the heaters, this too will restrict the flow of heat and we recommend you leave adequate space and airflow  around the heater.

Faulty thermostats &  charge controllers could also cause overheating too.

can i leave storage heaters on all the time

If you do need heat over the summer, you may only need to switch the storage heaters on to charge every other night. … You can save more heat for the evening by keeping the setting low during the day, such as when the room is warm enough or you are going out.

As  storage heaters will only charge up at night, so you can leave the input setting without danger of using expensive day-rate electricity.

Once the heat has been exhausted , it will not charge up again until its preset charge time which is usually around 10 -11  oclock.

Are old storage heaters dangerous?


Some old storage heaters contained asbestos sheets which as you know is a hazard to health.

If your heaters are damaged in any way, asbestos dust and fibres may be released into the room.

If this dust is  inhaled into the lungs, they may give rise to an asbestos-related disease such as asbestosis and mesothelioma.

What is the average lifespan of a storage heater?

The life expectancy of a typical storage heater is  15 -20 years old.

Models older than this should typically be replaced with modern automatic models.

In recent years ‘automatic models’ have been introduced as standard since they offer small gains in terms of efficiency and economy.

Do  Storage Heaters Leak heat?

Unlike a battery that retains a lot of its charge until used, the storage heaters will begin to leak heat almost immediately due to convection of heat that is stored in the bricks.

As a rough guide, a storage heater will lose the majority of its stored heat over a 12 hour period.

This means that if you get in from work at 7pm, the majority of useful heat will already have dissipated into the home leaving you to be cold in the evening.

You usually will need to switch on panel heaters or other heating to supplement this.

For this reason, storage heaters are not good for people who are out at work during the day unfortunately.

Best Practice For Running Storage Heaters

  1. The most effective and cheapest manner is to ensure is that you don’t use the peak electricity power switch unless absolutely necessary.
  2. Try to avoid using this unless in the middle of the winter when you need a heating boost.
  3. The idea is to make sure the storage heater only charges during off-peak hours.

During the winter

Set the input control to maximum to allow the most charging power to the storage heater.

During the summer

You may get away with turning the input control right down (or even off), since you won’t need much heat for the home.

Turn the output to zero when you are not at home or when you go to bed.

How to set up your storage heater controls

Most storage heaters have 2 key controls:

  1. Power switch – this determines whether you are using off-peak or  peak electricity to charge the storage heater

Off-peak is considerably cheaper!

Input and output controls  

  1. The input control determines how much electricity the storage heater will use to charge

The output control controls the rate at which the storage heater releases heat into the room.


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Do You Qualify For A FREE Storage Heater Grant ?

To Be Eligible  for FREE STORAGE HEATERS you must have  :

  • Old Electric Storage Heaters Fitted
  • Electric Plug-in Heaters Fitted
  • You Receive a Qualifying Benefit As Above
  • You Are A Home Owner Or private  Tenant


What Is Included With The Storage Heater Grant ?

Included In This Grant As Standard *

  1. Free Fitting
  2.  Top Premium Heaters
  3. 5 Years Full Parts & Labour Warranty
  4. Up To 4 Premium Radiators Fitted
  5. Wireless Programmer & Thermostat
  6. Free home Insultion Check

Warm Front uk- working hard to end fuel poverty

Which Benefits Qualify For The Storage Heater Replacement Grant ?

  • Child Benefit *
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Employment & Support Allowance
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Job Seekers Allowance
  • Pension Credit – Guarantee
  • Pension Credit – Savings
  • Universal Credit
  • Working Tax Credit

See Our Complete List Of Grants Available

Why A Government Storage Heater Scheme

The UK Government’s Energy Company Obligation Scheme (ECO) was introduced to help vulnerable homeowners and tenants across England, Scotland and Wales with the reduction of their energy bills.

Many people know it as the Warm Front Grant Scheme.

This Free Storage Heater Grant has been very well received  with the general public  and over half a  million old economy 7 heaters  have now been replaced. Many applicants have received  brand new heaters worth over £2000 for FREE!. Free Home Insulation has also been installed where needed.

To learn more about the Storage Heater Scheme, please visit the GOV WEBSITE

Warm Front Grants - Help To Reduce Heating Bills

Warm Front Government  Grants  do combat fuel poverty and help all people on a low income to reduce their heating bills.

Warm Front Uk has helped many thousands of homes over the last 9 years to benefit from reduced heating bills as a result of upgrading their heating & insulation.

 This Fantastic Home Improvement Grant  is usually 100 % fully funded apart from boilers  and all applicants will need to pay a contribution.

If you receive one of the qualifying benefits as above and your home heating & insulation needs upgrading. you should make an application today.

Warm Front Grants are worth thousands and are funded by UK energy companies so do not need to be repaid.

Apply Today and see if you are eligible for a grant before the winter sets in.

Is There A Grant to Replace Storage Heaters With Central Heating ?


If you have gas in your street, you may be eligible to change from Storage heating To First Time Central Heating. For many properties, the grant will be 100% fully funded.

Please indicate on our survey form if you wish to try for FREE Central Heating


Free Central Heating

Are There Storage Heater Grants For Landlords ?



Landlords can apply for Free Storage Heater Replacement  if they have a tenant in residence that claims a benefit.

Private tenants ( in receipt of benefits  who have permission from their landlord) are  also eligible to apply for the FREE STORAGE HEATER REPLACEMENT GRANT too.

See Our Landlords Page For a full list of grants available to the private rented sector.


Help With Heating Bills

Are There Storage Heater Grants For Disabled ?

Yes – Disabled people in receipt of Personal Independance Payment, Disability Living Allowance ,  Careres Allowance , Attendance allowance are all eligible to apply for one or more Warm Front Grants to make their home much more comfortable.


This will change in March 2022 as the Government are removing many disability benefits from the scheme to save money.

We recommend you apply now or you will miss out.

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Are free storage heaters available to everyone on benefits?

 Council owned or a Housing Association properties do not qualify for Eco Funding unfortunately.


To qualify for a free storage heater grant you must be living in a private property or a private rented property


Free Storage Heaters

How To Apply For Free Storage Heaters.

To  Make a Free Application  Please Call

01902 753404

Or Click The Button Below and Take a short survey

Warm Front uk- working hard to end fuel poverty


Funding For All Warm Front Heating Grants Are Set To End At The End Of Each Month and May Not Be Renewed.



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