Alternatives to Storage Heaters

I have had many customers come to me seeking an alternative to storage heaters.  Many of the blocks of flats in the Sutton and Croydon areas don’t have a gas supply so electric heating is the only option.  That said I have had a few people convert from gas to electric as they don’t want the ongoing maintenance costs associated with gas.

The comments I often hear from clients about storage heaters are:

  • The daytime rate on Economy 7 or Economy 10 tariffs is higher than on standard single-rate electricity tariffs.  So while you’ll get a cheaper rate for your heating, running an appliances during the day – particularly if you need to use an electric heater to provide extra heat – could be expensive.
  • If you get a good unit rate from your electricity supplier it is not much more than E7 or E10 and you can use it at any time.
  • You don’t have instant control over storage heaters: older models give out heat as long as the bricks remain warm – day and night. If you switch on your night storage heater, you won’t get heat until the following day.
  • If your storage heaters don’t have an automatic charge control (which measures the temperature in the room and adjusts the amount of heat stored overnight), you’ll have to set this yourself – so keep an eye on the weather forecast for the following day.
  • Replacement storage heaters are costly and need to be floor mounted often causing problems with laminate/carpet.

Alternatives to Storage heating

I would recommend the following steps:

  • Getting a qualified electrician to convert the supply from economy 7/10 to a standard peak supply, this will require some adjustments to the consumer unit.
  • I would recommend you enquire with your electricity supplier about the best deals for a peak supply, this can be done online or by phone.
  • You may be able to use the same cables for new heaters. The cables may need replacing as they are old/dangerous, your electrician will be able to verify this with tests. If the cables need changing or you wish to alter the positions of the heaters some rewiring will be required.
  • Remove the storage heaters, this is hard work!! Your electrician(or his mate!) can do this or some customers prefer to do it to save cost.  Some storage heaters contain some not very nice stuff so make sure you use protective gear/masks etc.
  • Select the type of electric heaters you require, there are a few options listed below. If you would like a free quotation and some advice on which option may be best for your property/lifestyle then please give us a call on 020 8914 8297 or email

A brief rundown of the main types of electric heaters:

  1. German clay heaters: Robustly made heaters that operate on a peak supply and heat the clay inside which then gives out heat.  Manufacturers claim they are more efficient than storage heaters.  They look like conventional radiators.  Some makes of them carry a 30 year guarantee.  Expensive to buy, but a good long term option.
  2. Panel/convector heaters: There are a lot of different makes on the market and they vary a lot in price and quality. Dimplex are a renowned make and usually carry a 5 year guarantee. For most people this type of heater with a thermostat and timer is the best option.
  3. Infra-red heaters: This type of heater, heat objects rather than space so whist effective in some scenarios they can leave heat ‘shadows’ in some rooms.
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Your Local Electrician

Anthony Jones

I'm an electrician based in Surrey. I run two small family business called Wandle Electrical Services  and The London Electric Radiator Company. I'm also a MCS certified solar panel installer.