Home Forums General Discussion Heating

  • This topic is empty.
Viewing 9 reply threads
  • Author
    • #341

      Your heating!          

      I notice that several flat owners have removed either their water heaters, or their storage heaters or both. This probably is because, not understanding how to use them, they have decided they do not work. So this information sheet is to explain the merits of the ‘Economy 9’ system and how it can be used best.

      There is no gas supply in Rope Street and therefore the heating is all electric. Economy 9 tariff reduces your bills by about 40% and works by storing heat in a water tank, and in storage heaters with heavy mass heat storage bricks. First you should check that you are on this tariff, because EDF have discontinued it  but our flats were designed (by them) to rely on it, so we can retain it!
      The cheap electricity is at the following times:
      02:00 to 05:00 and 05:30 to 07:30
      13:30 to 15:30
      22:30 to  midnight.
      So to make the best use of it. Your main hot water guzzlers – i.e. the washing machine and the dishwasher, should be put on early during, or after these periods (unfortunately these circuits do not benefit from the cheap rate but the machines take a lot of hot water from the tank)  If you are careful, you can adjust the times that you shower or bath so that the water has time to heat up again during the cheap hours. Of course both the water heaters and the storage heaters have ‘on peak’ override switches so that you can give them a boost. Also note that the little bedroom heaters are not storage heaters but have a timeclock and a thermostat.
      What makes the system not work for some people? If you choose to shower at 6 p.m. every evening, the water is not going to heat up again until about 11:30. If you put your washing machine on at 5:30 p.m. it will use up all the water for the evening!
      The storage heaters cannot be turned off and on again but are designed to heat up slowly during the day so that by the evening they have reached maximum output. Why is this important? Electricity is becoming very expensive but those who have had the storage heaters removed often leave the heating off all day and then whack it up when they come in the evening: a sure recipe for damp, mould growth and an unhealthy atmosphere. The building structure gets cold and then when the air is rapidly heated in the evening, coupled with steamy cooking showering and drying washing, the moist air condenses on the walls and soon that black mould begins to grow. This is a very common problem and a damaging way to save money on your electricity bills. So by using the cheap electricity carefully you will do far better because the building fabric stays warm.

      If you are in one of those flats where the storage heaters have already been removed, the following suggestions will help:
       Dry your washing somewhere else; at the laundrette perhaps, but certainly not on a heater
       Open windows or at the least leave the ventilators open.
       Always run your kitchen extract fan when cooking.
       If possible leave some background heating on with thermostat control all the time.

      Please could you leave any feedback on the web site forum at http://www.rainbowquays.com

    • #808

      Given that Economy 9 is an EDF creation, does that mean that we are bound to EDF as our electricity supplier or that if we did move supplier we would loose some of the benefit?


    • #809

      That is my understanding.  Although how that works in practice I dont know.  A time signal is sent by the energy supplier so that the meters switches to the different tariffs. All other energy suppliers seem only to offer economy 7. So I am guessing you dont get that afternoon boost.

      Only somebody who has switched would be able to tell you how things have panned out with different suppliers.

      I haven't changed from EDF because of this.

    • #810

      This is very timely, as I just received an awful electric bill.

      I am with EOn, not through choice, and they told me my flat is NOT on Economy 9, nor has it been for a long time. They have just switched me to Economy 7, which only provides cheap rates between midnight and 7am (although they actually recommended I may want to switch to EDF!).

      My question is about my boiler and storage heaters – there are no timers on them, although the boiler has a switch marked 'OP' (off peak). Is there a main timer in the building that sets when the heaters / boilers come on? May seem a silly question, but I have no idea otherwise why my heat comes on at some time of the day and not others…

    • #811

      Just called EDF about this – they say it's no problem to change back to economy 9, but the hours they quoted me as off peak were

      3 – 5
      6.30 – 7.30
      14.30 – 15.30
      22.00 – 23.00

      That's only 5 hours! I'd be better off with economy 7, even with the horrible times!

      Charges were a fixed daily charge of 29p, then 12.31p for the first 1500 units per quarter, 12.something p after that, and 5.20p for off peak. Don't know if this is the same for other people.

    • #812

      Those times seem very odd to me, and as you point out they do not add up to the 9 hours that economy 9 is geared around.  I did have a conversation with somebody in the EDF tariffs team about 3 years ago and they told me that economy 9 would not be offered to any further customers as its is the least profitable of the tariffs they offered and had been phased out.

      Anyway for comparison  I am on EDF Economy 9 Tariff DD.

      The daily charge is 27.71 pence.
      The low rate is 4.95 pence.
      The high rate is 11.72 pence.

      The last bill was the winter qtr so always stands out.


    • #813

      The storage heaters and water heater are on a separate circuit that is activated when the supplier sends the time signal for the cheap rate.  You have no control over the times they operate.

      My question is about my boiler and storage heaters – there are no timers on them, although the boiler has a switch marked 'OP' (off peak). Is there a main timer in the building that sets when the heaters / boilers come on? May seem a silly question, but I have no idea otherwise why my heat comes on at some time of the day and not others…

    • #814

      Sorry,  my first post was misleading because the lighting and power circuits are on the full power rate all the time.
      All the same if your washing machine draws hot water off at a time when the immersion heater has just switched on it will cool down all the water. Similarly if you run a bath at 10.05 in the evening the water can cool off rapidly as the immersion heater stirs up the storage tank.

    • #815

      Right – called EDF again. Economy 9 is now called economy 10, but it only operates for 9 hours still! It is sometime between 10pm to 7am, and a top up between 1.30 and 3.30 pm. It will take 8 weeks to switch over but still – yay for EDF!

      Thanks for everyone's help. 🙂

    • #816

      I was also on Economy 7 and they are just confirming but I should be able to switch to Ec.9 or Ec.10.

      Makes me wonder why I have Ec. 7 in my flat as everyone else seems to have Ec. 9 around me…. is it much cheaper?

Viewing 9 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.