Electric Heating

Get more from your electric heaters

We all want our homes to be warm, and to heat our homes as cost effectively as we can. Here are a few tips to help you do just that..

Electric storage heaters

Storage heaters charge up with heat when the price of energy is cheaper. To get the most from the system:

  • Make sure your Input and Output controls are at the correct setting and give you the amount of heat you want - remember, a high setting means that you'll use more energy.
  • Try to keep furniture away from the heaters to let the heat circulate around the room.
  • If your storage heater has an inbuilt convector, check with your energy supplier if you can use this at the cheaper rate as well.
  • Remember to reset the output control to low before you go to bed.

Find out more

Speak to our Energy Efficiency team FREE on
0800 33 22 33
Monday to Friday 8:30am - 4.45pm


Download our guide to getting the most from your electric heaters

Download the guide

Wet electric central heating systems

There are two main types of system:

  • Electric storage boilers - are systems with thermal storage. This means they can supply heat and hot water on demand, as long as sufficient hot water is stored in the system.
  • Flow boilers - don't have thermal storage. They give you heat and hot water on demand but need a 24-hour electricity supply. Flow boilers do not supply domestic hot water so your hot water will still be provided through your hot water tank.

Make sure you control the times and temperature your electric heating system comes on and off, so you don't spend more than you have to.

  • We recommend that living rooms are set to 21C, and 18C for areas like bathrooms and halls.
  • Your hot water temperature should be a maximum of 63C.
  • If you're not using a particular room, keep the temperature there a little lower, but not freezing, especially in the winter.
  • Use thermostatic radiator valves to control the temperature in each room - and remember that you might have to 'bleed' water filled radiators to keep them working efficiently.

Ground source or air source heat pumps

These systems can provide heating and hot water to your home. Though they don't use energy to 'heat up' they still use electricity to operate. However, the amount of energy they use should be less than the amount of heat they produce.

Make sure you understand how your system works - speak to your installer if you need advice.

Panel heaters

New electric panel heaters use gels or other heating fluids to retain heat longer than ordinary convection heaters.

These systems can cost more to operate than storage heaters as they might not always charge when off-peak energy is available. If you can control their temperature or when they come on and off, you'll be able to operate them more efficiently.


Metering arrangements for electric heating

When first moving into a property, or when there has been a change to the electrically operated heating system in your home, the times at which the heating operates may require to be changed.

While the correct metering arrangement and operating times will be provided/arranged by your installer there can be occasions where this has not been done.

To help guide you through the metering arrangements we have pulled together a table of options that may be available to you. This shows the number of readings/rates on the meter and what they record and when they operate ( the switching times).


I am on an economy 7 tariff, what time does my off-peak rate switch on?

Economy 7 timings vary depending on supply area, which is why we encourage customers to contact their local meter operator to check the exact timing for their supply. The map shows timings dependant on the area you live in.

map of UK
Area Area Name Normal E7 off peak times (GMT)
10 Eastern England 23:00 - 07:00
11 East Midlands 00:30 - 07:30
12 London No standard off-peak, but off-peak will normally run for 7 hours at some point from 23:00 - 07:00
13 Merseyside and North Wales 00:30 - 07:30
14 West Midlands 00:00 - 07:00
15 North East England 00:00 - 07:00 or 00:30 - 07:30
16 North West 00:30 - 07:30
17 North Scotland 23:30 - 07:30
18 South Scotland 23:00 - 07:30
19 South East England 22:30 - 00:30 and 02:30 - 07:30
20 Southern England 23:30 - 06:30 or 00:30 - 07:30
21 South Wales Can vary
22 South West Can vary
23 Yorkshire 00:00 - 07:00 or 00:30 - 07:30
View the option tables

Tariff

Number of meters

Number of registers

Type

Operating time/information

White Meter 1

Single meter

2

Day/Night

Night rate is any 8.5hours at ScottishPower's discretion between 22.00-083.0 GMT.
If a key meter night is rate is 23.00-07.30
This is not available as a new tariff arrangement for storage heating and is only preferable to our domestic meter if a certain percentage of the total energy use is used on the Night rate. Please check with ScottishPower for suitability.

Comfort Plus White Meter
(Supply area 18 only)

Single meter

3

Day/Night/Control

Day rate is 08.00-23.30. Night rate is 23.30-08.00.
Control rate is for storage heating and the control circuit is energised for 8.5hrs in every 24hr period.
In recent winters the charge period has been split to provide 7:5hrs overnight and 1hr in the afternoon, between 12.30pm and 3.30pm. This does not apply if you are on Comfort Plus White Meter with Weathercall (see below for details.)

ComfortPlus White Meter with Weathercall
(Supply area 18 only)

Single meter

3

Day/Night/Control

The recording of your energy use is as for CPWM. However, for storage heating purposes the charge provided by ScottishPower depends on the forecast temperature. The actual charge period may therefore vary depending on the forecast. If you are on the Weathercall option it is recommended that the Input setting on your storage radiator is always at the highest setting.

Comfortplus Control
(Supply area 18 only)

2 x Single meter

2

Domestic / Control

Normal domestic appliance usage will be recorded on the Domestic meter.
Heating and hot water usage will be recorded on the Control rate meter.
Storage heating should form 60% of the total installed heating load. The charge provided by ScottishPower depends on the forecast temperature as Weathercall is an integral part of the tariff. The actual charge period is therefore weather dependant as described above.

Total Heating, Total Control (Supply Area 17 Only)

Single meter

2

Domestic / Control

This is available, from ScottishPower, to customer’s living in the North of Scotland where they already have the required metering installed. This option operates as per our weathercall option with the charge to the storage radiators fluctuating depending on the weather forecast. It is recommended that the Input setting on your storage radiator is always at the highest setting.

Economy 2000 (Supply area 18 only)

Single meter

3

Domestic / Economy 2000

This tariff is intended for medium capacity storage boilers providing space heating or both space and water heating. Electricity for all other purposes must be taken on Domestic Tariff.
The Economy 2000 supply is made available for periods at ScottishPower's discretion totalling 18 hours per day, but with the proviso that no interruption will exceed 2 hours. Typical off times are 08.00-10.00, 16.30-18.30 & 00.00-02.00. It is important, therefore, that the boiler has a sufficient thermal store to supply space (and possibly water) heating requirements for 2 hours.
Direct acting boilers without storage capacity are not permitted to make use of Economy 2000.
Rate 1 records daytime domestic use, Rate 2 records night time domestic use and Rate 3 is Economy 2000 and records boiler usage only.
Some installations may have 2 X single rate meters i.e. 1 for domestic and 1 for Economy 2000.

Off Peak C (Supply area 18 only)

Single meter

1

Off Peak C

This tariff was originally designed for older heating systems e.g. storage or underfloor, where longer hours of availability were needed.
This tariff gives 12hr availability Mon-Fri and 24hr availability Sat/Sun.
Times are at ScottishPower's discretion. Current times are 11.00-1300, 15.00-16.00 & 22.30-07.30 GMT.
Electricity for all other purposes must be taken on Domestic tariff.

Tariff

Number of meters

Number of registers

Type

Operating time/information

Economy 7

Single meter

2

Day/Night

Night rate is a period of 7 hours and will normally be one of the following two options:
0100 to 0800 BST (same clock time all year) or
0130 to 0830 BST
While designed for storage heating customers this can be used for other systems where a reasonable amount is being used during the night period. This is normally around 30% being recorded during the night period. Please check with ScottishPower for suitability.

Economy 7 Plus with Weathercall (Supply area 13 only)

Single meter

3

Day/Night/Control

This is designed for customers with Storage heating.
The recording of your energy use for domestic purposes at night is controlled by ScottishPower and is normally any period of 7 hours at ScottishPower's discretion between 2200 and 0830GMT but in practice is normally Midnight to 0730 (local time).
The day rate applies at all other times.
However, for your storage heating this is recorded on the Control rate. The charge provided by ScottishPower depends on the forecast temperature. The actual charge period may therefore vary depending on the forecast. If you are on the Weathercall option it is recommended that the Input setting on your storage radiator is always at the highest setting.

Twin Heat (Supply area 13 only)

1

2

Peak /Off-peak

This tariff provides 7 hrs of off peak electricity (defined as low rate) and 17 hrs of peak electricity (defined as peak rate), in each 24 hr period.
The off peak (low) period is split into two time segments, with timings dependant on which option is favoured by the customer. These times are defined at ScottishPower's discretion, as follows:
Option 1 - TwinHeat A
Low rate: 4hrs between 0300 and 0700 BST with a further 3hrs between 13.30 and 16.30 BST
Peak rate: Applies at all other times
Option 2 - TwinHeat B
Low rate: 4hrs between 21.00 and 01.00 BST and a further 3hrs between noon and 15.00 BST
Peak rate: Applies at all other times
While again designed for Storage heating this can be used for other purposes where off-peak periods are required during the day.

Option 14 (Supply area 13 only)

1

2

Peak /Off-peak

This tariff provides 14 hrs of off peak electricity (defined as low rate) and 10 hrs of peak electricity (defined as peak rate), in each 24 hr period.
The off peak (low) period is split into two segments, one overnight and the other during the afternoon. At ScottishPower's discretion the times are defined as:
3hrs between 1300hrs and 1600hrs (GMT)
11hrs between 2100hrs and 0800hrs (GMT)
Option 14 is controlled using meter equipment with an electronic timeswitch and should be consistent across all sites.
Peak is defined as being at all other times.
Primarily designed for purposed designed storage heaters capable of taking a 14 hour charge this can be used by domestic customers for other purposes where there is a high underlying consumption.