Electric Storage Heaters, let’s keep costs down!

We are currently in the midst of a ‘cost of living’ crisis, with many facing the choice between ‘heat or eat’.

Energy prices increased dramatically towards the end of 2021, with most people being covered from the soaring prices (initially) by the energy price cap and capped tariffs with current energy providers. However, in April 2022, the UK saw the biggest increase in energy prices since records began in 1950 with bills increasing on average by 54%.

The wholesale energy prices saw an increase when Russia invaded Ukraine and haven’t stopped rising since, leaving many to speculate that the cap could increase by a further 30-50% in October 2022. With recent announcements now suggesting average household bills could rise more than £3300 a year this coming winter.

UK Parliament stated that ‘electricity prices increased for much of the last decade. Average bills were £760 in 2021 compared to £450 in 2020, a 36% real increase’. Although the Government have announced their support for households who have been most affected by this recent increase [including £150 council tax rebate for 80% of households and £200 up front discount off bills in October 2022], this isn’t enough for most.

Therefore, we have been looking for ways in which to help save our consumers money on their energy bills. Below is a brief overview of the Eco Scheme and the role our company plays in providing homes across Britain with modernised and energy saving insulation and heating installations for free.

This blog then continues and looks at Electric Storage Heaters (ESH). Including what they are, when you need to replace them and advise on checking your eligibility for a free replacement via us.

A brief overview of the ECO scheme and our role

The ECO Scheme helps to cut carbon emissions and reduce fuel poverty within the UK. The scheme obligates energy companies with more than 150,000 customers to offer energy efficient solutions to those who need it most. The number of measures the companies install all depends on their market share, meaning some smaller companies may have limited availability. However, British Gas, Eon, Octopus, Bulb and EDF are all a part of this scheme and will have more readily available accessibility.

The ECO scheme doesn’t permit consumers to only use or contact their own energy suppliers. Instead, there are smaller companies that work with these bigger energy suppliers to offer this grant and provide the surveying, installing and continued maintenance of the insulation and heating measures offered.

Eco Home Insulation works as a trusted fitter for these bigger energy companies. Our role involves checking your eligibility for funding, sending our trusted surveyors out to your home to see what measures are required, accessing the funding from the Government for these measures on your behalf, installing the necessary products and helping with any maintenance needed after.

What is an Electric Storage Heater?

An ESH is an electrical heater that typically stores energy during the evening/ night when electricity is available at a lower cost and releases the energy stored slowly throughout the day. They use electricity to heat up ceramic or clay bricks inside them overnight and gradually release them throughout the next day to heat your home.

However, due to this electric storage heaters can’t be scheduled to turn on or off like most other household heating systems meaning they can be a costly way to heat your home.

Why may I need to replace my ESH?

There are several reasons why your Electric Storage Heater may need replacing. From increasing efficiency in both energy & cost, to providing more control throughout the months.

For many families, storage heaters provide most of their heat during the day meaning most of the heat provided is lost by the evenings. Meaning, the house is usually heated when the inhabitants aren’t primarily occupying the property.

Another reason is that storage heaters do not typically ‘know’ when to come on, meaning it is down to the occupier to manually switch the heating on and off.

As well as the manual constraints, many dated ESH heaters pose health risks to tenants – as they can contain Asbestos as a fire prevention technique. In which case, it is crucial the council are informed and the ESH are replaced in the correct manner.

Do I qualify for funding?

The focus of the ‘ECO’ scheme is primarily towards HHCRO customers (Help to Heat Carbon Reduction Obligation). If you have received a form of qualifying benefit, you fall into the category of HHCRO.

However, not everyone receives a qualifying benefit but may receive either a low income or reside in a property in which the energy consumption is considerable.

If the household spends in excess of 10% of the combined household income, per year, on its heating requirements, then you could very well be eligible via another route to ECO funding.

This is called LA FLEX, which stands for Local Authority Flexible Declaration.

Eco Home Insulation works closely with numerous County Councils across the Country. If you don’t receive a qualifying benefit but you receive a low income or reside in a hard to heat property, your local authority can refer you to ECO funding via the LA Flex route.

So don’t despair – no benefits doesn’t mean you don’t have access to the benefits of ‘ECO’ funding.

Still not sure you qualify? Contact us today and we can talk through your eligibility.

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