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How can I use storage heaters without going into dual tariff with my smart meters?

  • 5 January 2019
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Hi, I live in a small all electric flat and have one of your Liberty 110 smart meters, I don't really want to go onto a dual tariff as I am such a light user of the heating.

Can I use the storage heaters on my standard tariff? If yes what needs to be programmed into my meter?
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Best answer by Tim_OVO 7 January 2019, 17:29

Hi, I live in a small all electric flat and have one of your Liberty 110 smart meters, I don't really want to go onto a dual tariff as I am such a light user of the heating.

Can I use the storage heaters on my standard tariff? If yes what needs to be programmed into my meter?


Great question @Mick_Tilley

From OVO's perspective, I'd suggest keeping it all the same in the property, and changing the prices for the Day/Night to the middle rate used on a single rate tariff. So you'll still have two readings etc but you'll be charged as if it's a single rate meter.

I suggest this as otherwise it will need a different type of meter (Liberty 100) and reconnecting the heating to avoid the 5th port and all this kind of stuff. Is that right @PeterR1947 @Abreaders @TerryE 🤓
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Userlevel 7
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Hi, I live in a small all electric flat and have one of your Liberty 110 smart meters, I don't really want to go onto a dual tariff as I am such a light user of the heating.

Can I use the storage heaters on my standard tariff? If yes what needs to be programmed into my meter?


Great question @Mick_Tilley

From OVO's perspective, I'd suggest keeping it all the same in the property, and changing the prices for the Day/Night to the middle rate used on a single rate tariff. So you'll still have two readings etc but you'll be charged as if it's a single rate meter.

I suggest this as otherwise it will need a different type of meter (Liberty 100) and reconnecting the heating to avoid the 5th port and all this kind of stuff. Is that right @PeterR1947 @Abreaders @TerryE 🤓
Userlevel 2
Traditional storage heaters ran of a separate heating circuit for the E7 meter. This circuit was only live during the off-peak period, these were really optimised for back-in-the day when 90%+ of our power was coal or nuclear so there was general over production ovenight and so off-peak rates were dirt cheap in comparison to peak rates.

This is no longer the case as the energy backbone is now gas-based and gas generation can be shaped to demand.

You simply need to do the sums to determine whether you will gain or lose by going onto dual rate, and you need to get the single and dual rate tariffs and plug in the numbers. ATM depending on your contract is on fixed term vs flexi-pricing, the dual rate tariff is around 10.5p off-peak and 16.15p peak per kWh, with a daily charge of 27.4p. The single rate value is between these with the break-even of roughly 35% off-peak -- that is you need to expect to use roughly 40% or more electricity overnight to justify switching.

Just as a point of comparison the current wholesale price (what OVO buy the electricity at from the generators) is under 6p / kWh which just shows how bloated and inefficient the whole energy supply chain is in the UK.

I suspect that year-round averaged you won't hit that 40% threshold in a flat unless you are on a top floor corner location, so it's not worth switching. And if you are not using E7, then there is absolutely no point in time-shifting your consumption for heating: generate the heat when you need it.

If I were in your situation, I would be seriously tempted not to bother with old-fashion storage heaters; just go out and buy a few 1kW and 2 kW heaters, and both being roughly 4 and 8 A respectively these can run off your normal 30A main circuits on simple timer switches. As these are consumer appliances, this is a simple self install with no need for Part Ps or expensive electricians fees.
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@Mick_Tilley Mick, as @TerryE said, you first need to carefully check your usage and do the sums.

My first question would be how old are your storage heaters? Modern storage heaters are far more efficient than old ones. Also, what's the insulation like in your flat and would it be possible to increase the insulation.

Actually, thinking about it my first question should have been do you own the flat? If you do then what I said above is valid.

If you did take up @TerryE's suggestion about seperate heaters, there are some very efficient panel heaters available such as these from Fischer https://www.fischerfutureheat.com/ which allow you to have individual wireless thermostats. You could either fit them separately or use them to replace the storage heaters which might need some rewiring of the E7 circuit if you decided to change to a sinngle tariff.

Hope this is food for thought.
Peter
Userlevel 2
there are some very efficient panel heaters available.

Not quite accurate. All electric element heaters (unlike heat pumps) have a coefficient of performance (CoP) of 1, that is 1 kWh of electricity generates 1kWh of heat. If you need to put 24 kWh heat / day into your flat, then in principle a 1kW heater on 24 hrs a day will use 24kWh of electricity to generate 24 kWh of heat and do this.

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