How Much Do Storage Heaters Cost To Run

Ok since i’m freshly moved into my own flat and its slowly becoming colder i have 2 things to face. Everyone has told me that stroage heaters will use loads of electricity and not produce much heat and no one can really give me a definetive awnser as to how much they use or cost to run.

On my over night meter i tend to use around 5-6Kwh which is usually the water tank warming back up to 40 OC and usual stuff like fridge and freezer. I thought a Oil heater / radiator might be cheaper to run so i just got an Argos own brand one for around £29.99 it only has 4 spines on it but it does get bloody hot, so on the night that i used that i had it running on a timer plug so that it wasnt on all night, all in it and for 6 30minute blocks on the lowest heat setting out of the 3 and i had the thermostat in the middle. To be honest the room wasnt that warm but equally it wasnt that cold but that chill from the room didnt seem as bad to me. The oil heater used around 3 extra Kwh which works out around 15p i think if you pay 5p for your night time rate per Kwh.

I had the storage heater set on the charge of 4 which is right in the middle as it ranges from 0-8. i thought this was kind of the only fair way to test. i’m trying to not release the heat until i go to bed tonight and i’ll let it  out slowly (hopefully). When i checked the meter it had used around 5-6Kwh which is the same as the oil heater. my methods arent that scientific but i have a rough guide to go on.
Tonight will be the test as this is when i’ll find out how long and how much heat the storage heater will give out.

I hope that someone will find this post useful as i found it bit of a mine field to storage heaters and how much electricity they will use.

Ok last night was the night where i’d use the heat from the storage heaters and they where ok on a low output setting but the heat didnt last that long and it wasnt that hot from them either.


I’ve now got one storage heater on in my hall way which i leave on all the time. its always got its output set to 0 which means the flap is closed but it still radiates heat. this keeps that nasty chill out of the hall way and my bedroom, and its only a small heater maybe 3 ft long. Also i have a another similar sized heater turned on both are on a charge of 5 out of 6, and last night 27 KHw was used.

I’d guess that the water heater will use a few units and other thing i have on like  fridge freezer and stuff. so even at 25KHw at say a high 7p per KHw, thats £1.75 for the cost of running my storage heaters  each night, which doesnt sound a lot but over a 30 day period thats £52

Storage Heater

Storage Heater

35 thoughts on “How Much Do Storage Heaters Cost To Run”

  1. That was interesting now my house is becoming really cold, we have storage heaters but i didnt really have any idea roughly how muich they cost, now i do! I found your article helpful!

  2. Storage heaters are expensive to run and generally chuck out heat at the wrong time of the day.

    But, and this is a big but! It is warm when you wake up, and when you do get home from work your house is usually warm. Which provides a better starting point to top up with more heat from.

    They may seem expensive to run, but consider the cost of a replacement boiler and the cost isn’t really that high.

  3. I have a storage heater and the price i pay a day for 1 is £3. Too dear so i use a oil filled radiator which only costs me 50p a day!

  4. Ive recently moved into my own home with storage heaters and they completely drain the electric, im talking £2.50/£3.00 a day thats just having 2 storage heaters on…i do have them on the highest setting though, which probably isnt such a good idea…im going to try them on the lowest setting tonight to see how much electric they consume…hopefully ALOT less.

  5. I use 1, small, 1 medium & 1 large storage heaters. My 1 bed flat is all electic,with cooker, microwave, televisions w.machine, ect .
    ive never paid more more than £170 a quarter, even in the winter, im as warm as toast

  6. I hate storage heaters! mine has cost me £5 in 2-3 days of being left on, I have the highest setting and most of the day my flat is still cold enough that I want to sit in a thick jumper with my quilt wrapped around me! My housing association has no idea how they work, but say it is “adequate heating” because it is always so cold I have damp issues and they blame me for this because I don’t keep the windows open during the winter!!! I have two very small children who I have to layer up to go to bed… I would seriously not recommend this type of heating to anyone who has a choice!

  7. I too have storage heaters and i live in a housing association
    what i do and ive had the plumber out today to confirm this is the best way….
    Set input to 6 highest
    and then output to 1 Lowest
    this way the heat is only let out gradually,rather than letting it all escape at once…
    And put your storage heater on after 12pm night time
    Then turn them off following morning before 7am ….
    You will find its cheaper this way, the stored heat you stored overnight will last much longer than if you would have had it on output of 6 which is a boost setting by the way!
    Keep the output to number 1
    And u will save money
    Electricity prices are on the rise ,and storage heaters dont do us any favours!
    Hope this helps ..
    and dont forget to check out my blog on free stuff !

  8. we have 3 storage heaters 2 down stairs and 1 on our landing and i hate them they run out of heat near our bed time and with a house that was built in 1905 with no cavity wall it gets so heaters were invented just after world war 2 and havent really changed much.i really wanted to get rid of them and then i heard of some new state of the art electric heaters from a company called the economy-radiator company,they sound fantastic and recomend everyone to have a look at there web site,they are cheaper then storage heaters and on par and sometimes even cheaper than central heating,we are now in the process of ordering 4 heaters from them at a cost of £1300.

  9. There is a way that you can trip any storage heater so that the heat is still getting produced but doesn’t let the meter tell it that it is, I had a friend of mine who is a spiky and that’s what he did!!

  10. I have Night Storage Heaters (they only switch on when the electricity goes half price) and they have cost me a bomb to run. I have a 2 bed flat which contains 6 Storage Heaters in total (I only use 5) – Since using them I have incurred an outstanding balance of £1,100 in a ten month period!!! I’ve already been paying my monthly direct debit – so this is on top of that. Back in January, when the balance had reached £500, the electricity company sent me a letter saying that I didn’t need to adjust my payments as the debt would level out again – now they’re asking for a grand!!! Don’t EVER get night storage – I live in a conservation area that won’t let us put Gas into the building, and I love my flat, but I have begun looking for new houses as the heaters are rubbish and the flat is always cold, and It’s still cost me a small fortune 🙁

  11. Totally agree with Andy. I live in a 2 bedroomed apartment and have 6 Dimplex Storage Heaters. I have been hit with a £1000 bill over 6 months over winter and this is on the the off peak 5p a KW tarrif. I have been monitoring my electic usage and in one nights usage!
    1 x Heater input level 3 = 10KW
    2 x Heater input level 3 = 20KW
    1 x heater input level 6 – 20KW

    So when i have 5 Heaters on maximum level 6 when its freezing i am using 100KW per night, thats 3000KW in a month!!! Thats £150 a month on heating.
    NPower was asking if i had an indoor heated swimming pool and underfloor heating until i told them i had storageheaters!

    Why dot they use so much electric? i mean its using more than a tumble dryer

  12. our living room one was always on 6, i wonder if the bigger ones use as much as the small ones KW wise.

  13. Hi, We can replace an average 3 bed house with FIR panels, the average KW for the whole house would run at 4.3KW, you would save around 75% + on your heating bills.

  14. Hi, Karen can you tell me what a FIR panel is please..I have storage heaters and have, this year, been buying as many energy efficient heaters as I can…Storage heaters are rubbish, in my house they are always cold by the evening and the difference between my summer time usage and my winter usage is approximately £100 per month…hence the desperation to find a cheaper way of heating my home..any advise on heater buying would be gratefully received 🙂

  15. We have 3 storage heaters in our 2 bed flat, we are currently only using one as we’ve just been presented with a huge bill! The electric company say we have used 12000Kwh in 12 months, is this normal? Given that we only have one heater on (plus general appliances)this seems very high. Would this suggest a fault in our electrics?

  16. It’s best to use all your storage heaters and pay a flat rate of £100 per month direct debit
    In the summer months when they are off
    you will be paying back the debt for winter usage hey!
    You may even get a rebate at the end of the year
    I’ve been doing this for 5 years and I’ve always got a rebate
    Southern electric Are good and will help you work out the amount

  17. What a lot of people don’t know is if you are on economy 7 tariff your daytime rate is charged at a higher rate than normal. What a con.

  18. I also am considering electric night storage heaters as (I think) they would save me some money on bills. I’m an owner of a small 2bed terraced house, which is quite warm(I went to view it in January when the snow was on and it seemed to be quite bearable inside despite heating being totally off for previous few months!). I only need to heat it up for around 5 months a year and I use only 3 radiators(over 2 floors!). However my heating is a boiler, hot water powered district heating and it costs fortune(nearly£90 per month plus £38electricity bill. That totals to 128pounds every and each month including summer!) Since I don’t use heating for at least 6months it calculates as £180a month for heating and £38 for electricity( well I guess a little bit contributes to warming water in taps). Still, it’s roughly £190a month for heating and electricity in a winter month in a warm house. Only advantage of the system I suppose is that you can use radiators unlimited, so they are on constantly(which is not good -you waste energy and house is mostly overheated, using only 3out of 5radiators). Now. I reckon I might be saving some money if installing and using around 3, max. 4elctric storage radiators. We really need it n during mornings and evenings as we all work during the day. Would someone be able to calculate for me monthly cost of running 3medium and 1small heater please?. Another thing is that I would need to install electric water heating boiler, and have no idea how expensive that would be. Any help there?

  19. I tried turning my night storage heating on at 4am instead of midnight and it seemed to me that the heating lasted just as long. I thought that I would re-set them to come on at 4am, but no. the meter is locked…… anyone know how I can change the hours?

  20. Hi.

    I am at a point of despair with crappy storage heaters. I live in a 2 bed 500 year old stone cottage & it has cost me the earth to heat it. My electric bill has been £600 per autumn & winter 1/4 which i think is off the scale. I’ve had so much conflicting advice some of which I know is absolute bull, like the guy from Brittish gas lastnight who told me my storage heaters are still using electricity at night even if I switch them off at the wall. Oh & that there should be a switch in my actual electric meter that I can manually control economy 7 with & this is the providers responsibility to ensure this works, not British gas’. Eh?!?! Bloody idiot.

    I’ve had the meter replaced, the new one inspected again. Recently changed provider so am hoping lower tariff should help (eon). But i still can’t get over the cost of these heaters, especially when I’m home half the time as my neighbour who has identical house & works from home & only pays £300 per 1/4. What’s going on?!?!
    I’ve lived in a modern house with storage heaters & used them more often & 1/4 bill was probably around £400. Does anyone know if storage heaters become less efficient / more costly with age?
    Problem in my My landlord is tighter than a badger’s arse. I plan to start witholding rent & changing them before winter. It’s really driving me crackers.

  21. I have had no end of trouble with these night storage heaters. I live in a detache’d bungalow which was built in the 60s. I have 2 large (approx 4ft long) and 3 smaller (approx 2ft). It is currently costing me around £70 per week to use the heaters! They are all only on a 5 input and 3 output setting. I have now lowered the cost ever so slightly by switching the heaters off 1st thing in morning (around 7) and then putting them bk on b4 I go to bed (around 11). I had noticed that when they had been on in the daytime, the red light flashes like crazy on my meter and then pretty much stops flashing when I turn them off?!?? I thought they only used electric at night hence the name! Can heaters get the time of day wrong?? I daren’t use the emersion at the mo as I can’t afford it! I have 3 young kids too so it’s not good. I live in a rented place and I have parquet flooring throughout so it’s bloddy freezing! I live in a rural area where gas is non existent so we will just have to live with it! I just wish that these storage heaters were cheaper to run!!

  22. Hi Lisa

    Are you on an economy 7 tarriff. they should only be charging on a night, do they have any form of timer on them.

  23. Hi I live in a one bedroom flat and have two night storage heaters and find them very expensive to run. Can I any one tell me if I charge them at night so they let out heat through the day. Do I need to leave them switched on at the mains for them to still let heat out or can I switch them off at the mains during the day and turn them back on at night.

  24. I will add my two penn’eth as someone with oil central heating – I am not in a gas supply area. I heat only my kitchen /diner which is about 20’x12′ to a comfort level and never heat the large icy cold lounge so use it only in the summer. My shower
    room and bedroom are kept just off cold and I use HW bottles and dress in the kitchen warmth. I have no bath, and use electric shower and cooker.
    I have 12″ roof insulation and cavity wall insulation, and double glazing. Also a conservatory off the kitchen which does save some heat loss.

    The oil boiler is in the garage . I buy about 1200 litres of oil a year which was v expensive a couple of years ago, but is now only 46p litre so a cost of £550 now for the year. In addition I pay about £125 annually for boiler servicing and more for problem repairs – an average of £70 a year for the past 7 years.
    So a total cost so far of about £750 a year plus the extra cost of electricity for cooking and showering and shower.

    Now for the costs that are rarely mentioned:
    The oil tank is about 15 yrs old and needs replacing very soon – they last about ten years before splitting (very expensive occurrence !). In Wales we have to have bunded tanks which cost about £1300 plus fitting. The laws have changed so now the tank has to be moved further into my small garden away from the boundaries, so more costs for new concrete base, my small garden will shrink further and any new fencing or shrubs to hide the tank must now be at least 76 cm away from the tank.
    The boiler also needs replacing – my plumbers are horrified that it is also 15 years old and beginning to cost more in spare parts/labour. This will cost about £4000 with fitting, and also the whole system has to be flushed out before replacement. Altogether all this updating will cost about £9000, or about £600 a year in the long run for the system itself.

    I have to say that when I lived with storage heaters in the bad old days I would smile when co-workers were complaining about the costs of maintenance of their oil heating system because storage heaters are virtually maintenance free.

  25. Haven’t read every single comment here but…
    From various descriptions it seems that some are discharging (using heat) your heaters at night at the same time as you’re trying to charge them!? Like charging a torch with the light switched on… I guess this is OK if you don’t need daytime heat but they are designed to charge (input) at night using cheap elec. & discharge (output) in the day. The higher input setting the more charge, the lower the output setting the longer it lasts.
    There are differences between makes / models; when charging some probably will always discharge a little on the lowest output setting but setting a higher output at night starts to defeat the object! The hotter you run them at night the less there is for the day or when you come home.
    Don’t have them blasting out heat when you’re in bed. Wear pajamas & get a good duvet or extra blankets & you’ll be plenty warm enough! Then get the benefit of the fully charged output in the day.
    Using standard electric heaters on day rate is more expensive than charging on E7 at night. But, if you have your storage heaters on BOOST during the day they will also be EXPENSIVE to run.
    Boost is really only for very cold conditions or it’ll cost you.

    In general storage heaters are fine for background heat, keeping the home just about warm enough – OK for wooly jumper wearers but they’re not so good for long big heat outputs you winter T shirt wearers… A big one might store say 16KW of heat so that’s the equivalent of a standard 2 bar electric fire on full for 8 hours / 1 bar for 16 hrs.
    You can check the specs of yours & work out what heat they hold & decide how best to use them; low heat output, slow release, longer time ; more heat output, faster release, shorter time.

    I think they are crude & unwieldy to use; on all those I’ve seen there is no programmable control of output so that it can be off or low at night then come on automatically at a higher setting in the early hours to heat the room (Unless you like to get out of bed extra early to do it…). If you turn the output up high in the morning to warm the house, don’t forget to turn them down if you go out to work. Then there’ll be a bit of charge left in them when you get home. If the forecast is for cold tomorrow, turn up the input before you hit the sack. More heat will be stored. If forecast is warmer, turn input down. saves electricity. You adapt the use of them to your needs / lifestyle.
    They are usually fitted to homes with no other options like gas heating. Usually the homes (like most in the UK) are old / solid walls / small cavities, not much insulation, so a lot of the heat goes out of the house whatever you do. If the house gets very cold it takes a lot of heat to warm up the fabric again (bricks / stonework / plaster etc. So having the heating off all day means more is needed at night to feel OK. Long term, insulation is cheaper than ever-rising power bills. Good underlay, carpets, thick curtains will all help a little, if proper thick wall insulation isn’t possible for you.
    If you’re thinking of fitting some don’t do what we did & just get the 1st ones we saw. Some of the newer types seem like they might be more controllable with built in timers etc., anything programmable would be good.

  26. I live in a 1 bedroom flat, I have 1 storage heater, which is piss useless, I got my first eon electric bill from 17/2/18, to 24/3/ 18, estimated at £345, when I called eon to ask why its estimated, as I gave them a meter reading , they said they would send new bill in couple days, oh it came 3 days later, my new bill is £405, for the month, !!!

  27. I live in a housing assoc house with no gas supply and 1 NEWLEC panel heater, the rest are storage heaters. Im putting in £5 a day if I dont use the panel heater otherwise its more. Electricity rules my life, Im a carer and cant even get help with my rent as my son lives at home. Sadly Im having to look at moving; in this so-called Westernised country we shouldnt have to live in fuel poverty. When my kids leave home Im actually considering moving to a caravan at the seaside and taking up a house-sitting job, lifes too short to spend on fuel, we need to enjoy ourselves.

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