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How to save energy when you’ve got electric heating

Woman with her feet up on an electric heater

We’re working with Citizens Advice Scotland to help people save energy, cut their bills, and get the financial support they’re entitled to.

If you live in one of the 280,000 homes in Scotland with electric heating, you might find it a challenge to keep your home warm and comfortable, and your energy costs affordable. Help is at hand – read on for some top tips, and get in touch if you’d like more advice.

Get to know your heating controls

Knowing how your heating system works will help you get the most out of it, without wasting energy. Storage heaters charge up and hold heat for you to use later. If you’ve got modern storage heaters, you can set a thermostat to the temperature you want, and the heater will do the rest. If your heaters are older, you’ll probably need to set your input dial high in colder weather, so the heater can take in the maximum charge. You can set the output dial according to how warm you want to be now.

For both types of heater, remember they need to charge the night before, so keep your heater on overnight. You can turn your output dial down or programme your thermostat if you don’t need your home warm during the night – this can save energy too. Watch to find out how to control your storage heaters:

If you don’t have storage heaters, check out Energy Saving Trust’s blog for more tips on taking control of your heating.

Check your meter and tariff

It’s important to make sure your heating system matches your meter type, otherwise you could be spending more than you need to. There are a few different types of electric meters and some are designed with a specific heating system in mind. For example, Total Heat with Total Control, Economy 7 and Comfort Plus are designed to work with storage heating.

If you don’t have the heating system that matches the meter, you could be better off getting your meter changed. You can arrange this with your energy supplier, although there might be a delay getting the work done during coronavirus restrictions.

The different meter types and tariffs can be confusing, but we can help you work out what the best option is – just get in touch to chat to a friendly advisor.

It’s not all about heating

If you’re on a tariff like Economy 7, where you pay less for electricity used during the night, you could save money by changing the way you use your other appliances. We’re not suggesting tackling the ironing pile in the middle of the night, but you could charge your phone, laptop, tablet or even your electric car during off-peak hours. Instead of putting the dishwasher or washing machine on after dinner, you could set it to come on just before you get up in the morning.

And remember, if it’s time to replace any of your appliances, choosing a model with a high energy efficiency rating is always a smart move.

Thinking of making the switch?

You may feel like you’re stuck with electric heating, but other options are available. Our specialist advisors can talk you through the other systems are available and help you work out what would suit your home and lifestyle. We’ll let you know what funding is available to help cover the cost of a new heating system, including grants and loans from the Scottish Government. Give us a call on 0808 808 2282 for free, impartial advice, or leave your details here and we’ll be in touch.