Electric Central Heating

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Electric central heating can mean two things: upgrading your old gas boiler to an electric boiler, or upgrading your old radiators to smart electric radiators. These simply heat your entire house without boilers. It is like central heating, but designed for a modern lifestyle.

The term central heating was originally used only in the literal sense. Central heating meant any heating system powered by a single heating source - usually a system of pipes and radiators powered by a gas or oil boiler. The central electric heating in this regard is the same as a conventional central heating, but with an electric boiler. However, when we talk about central heating in a more general sense as a complete house heating system, there are many more possibilities.

If your home doesn't have network gas, you can use electricity to heat it, as almost all households in the UK have access to the power grid. However, electric heating can be expensive. One of the greatest advantages of electric power plant heating over conventional central heating is the energy efficiency inherent in modular design. In each really "central" heating system, the water is heated in a central boiler and pushed around the house by a piping system to each individual radiator. This is inevitably ineffective because in the time it takes water to reach each radiator, a significant amount of heat is lost through the pipes - the heat supply where it is not necessary. A traditional central heating network also has the disadvantage that you need to activate the entire system if you want to use a single radiator - so you will consume a lot more electricity than you really need if you just want to heat a single room.

heating: radiator


The most cost-effective form of power plant heating uses night storage heaters. These heaters use electricity supplied at a cheaper "night" rate to heat special ceramic bricks that preserve heat. These bricks heat your home 24 hours a day with the heat stored in them.

Night heaters release heat slowly and are designed to stay warm the next day. Once the heat is running out, you will have to wait until the next night for them to heat up again; This means that your home is the coldest at night. However, there are some storage heaters that allow you to turn on the immediate heat at any time of the day. Read on to learn more about the pros and cons of electric heating.

Modern electric heaters and radiators

Technology has evolved since storage heaters were first installed in the 1960s. Modern storage devices can now be supplied with:

  • Thermostats
  • Remote Wi-Fi controls
  • Programmable timers
  • Fans help with heat distribution
  • Open window detectors


As of January 1, 2018, all new electric radiators with thermostats, 24- and seven-day programmed buckets, temperature controls and fans must be available. Older models that were made previously can still be sold, so check carefully before buying. High heat storage systems can absorb more heat than conventional models; 45% 24 hours after the last charge. This means that it will cool less frequently at night.

You can also customize electric radiators that work with standard power prices so you can turn them on and off to heat your home whenever you want. However, this will cost more, as explained below.

Economy 7 and Economy 10

If your home has night storage heaters, you will usually use it with a special electricity rate that offers cheaper electricity prices at night. Electricity rates that supply cheap electricity are commonly known as Savings 7, as they give you seven hours of cheaper electricity at night.

Economy 10 works the same way and gives you three extra hours of cheap electricity - usually in the middle of the afternoon.

Other types of meters, including white and gray meters, are installed along with certain types of electric heating and offer specific prices. Smart meters also charge electricity in time of use, and some companies have introduced rates that offer lower rates at times when electricity demand is lower. Learn more about installing a smart meter. Cheap electricity can also be used to provide hot water through a water heater submerged in your hot water tank. You can also operate electric radiators at a standard one-priced electric rate. However, due to the relatively high price of electricity during the day at these rates compared to Economy 7 and Economy 10, these can be expensive to operate and should only be considered if you have a very well insulated property and do not need to use it regularly.

Pros and Cons of power central heating


  • Electric night heaters are much cheaper to install than gas central heating systems, as they do not require pipes or fireplace.
  • With very few moving parts, storage heaters require very little maintenance and do not require annual maintenance.
  • Unlike gas, electricity is available almost everywhere in the UK.


  • Electricity prices are about three to four times higher than gas prices per unit of energy. Gas and electricity prices have risen over the past year and are expected to remain high.
  • About 40% of UK electricity is generated by gas-fired power plants, so any increase in gasoline prices will also be reflected in electricity costs.
  • The daily rates of Economy 7 or Economy 10 fares are higher than the standard electric rates of a price. So you'll get cheaper heat, but the appliances running during the day could be expensive.
  • If you haven't turned on the heater lately and turned on your night heater, you won't have the heat until the next night.

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