As the months roll into autumn it’s easy to feel envious of people who live in remote locations. As we gawp over images of vast Scottish forests spotted with red and gold, lust after Welsh valleys turning yellow and brown with October leaves, and daydream about Cornish seaside hamlets surrounded by blackberry bushes, it can be all too easy to start coveting those pretty stone cottages in the middle of nowhere. But the reality of autumn life in these remote locations can be harsh, with hundreds of homes in our most isolated areas facing fuel poverty every year. Electric radiators can provide a solution, offering energy efficient electric heating to those areas where gas central heating isn’t an option.
Heating in Remote Areas: The Problem
The most popular method of heating in the UK gas central heating: partly because, despite rising prices, gas remains one of the cheapest fuels available, and also because many homes are already fitted with integrated wet central heating plumbing systems. A 2013 a government survey of British home heating found that, in most areas of Britain, only 15% of households did not use a gas meter. However, in the most rural areas this figure rose to up to 45%, reflecting the number of homes too remote to be connected to the national gas network. The problem with this is that many of these homes have found it difficult to heat their homes economically. In 2011 a consumer watchdog found that homes not connected to the gas network accounted for a significant percentage of home’s classified as fuel poor. The report reads:
Collectively, [consumers off the gas network] account for 28 per cent of fuel poor consumers in England (yet only 16 per cent of all consumers); 34 per cent of fuel poor consumers in Scotland (24 per cent of all consumers) and 37 per cent of fuel poor consumers in Wales.
The reasons for this are threefold. Firstly, the remote locations of many of these homes, in mid-Wales, north Scotland and the extremities of the coastline, entails harsher weather and lower average temperatures than for users of gas who are found in higher concentrations in milder urban areas. Secondly, the 2011 report found that the build quality and insulation standard of houses in these remote areas tended to be poorer – for instance houses in remote rural areas more often had solid stones walls rather than modern walls with cavity insulation. Thirdly, and most significantly, many households with no access to gas have until very recently had limited alternative heating options. Households that have used electricity for heating have typically used old fashioned storage heaters which charge up overnight and emit heat during the day – an economical if inefficient strategy, which becomes much more expensive when the storage heaters run out of heat and you have to top up with a cheap convection heater! Previously, electricity has not offered an alternative heating strategy which is anywhere near as affordable as gas. However, ongoing development and innovation from electric heating manufacturers such as Haverland has brought to the marketplace a new generation of energy efficient electric radiators which offer an affordable heating solution for off-gas households.
Energy Efficient Electric Radiators
More efficient and cheaper to run than storage heaters, energy efficient electric radiators make heating with electricity an economical option to rival popular gas central heating. What electric radiators offer, which neither storage heating nor gas central heating can provide, is total controllability. Storage heaters are very difficult to control: charge must be set the previous day, heat constantly escapes from the heaters once charging has begun, and once the heater is out of power you’ll have to wait until the next day if you want heat. Gas central heating radiators are much more controllable, however the accuracy of any central heating system is limited by the use of a single, centralised thermostat which gives unrepresentative temperature readings for the rest of the house. This can cause you to overheat some rooms whilst under-heating others. Gas heating also gives you limited scope to “zone” your heating because hot water must flow through the entire system even if you only want to use one radiator.
Our electric radiators, meanwhile, use built-in thermostats and 24/7 programmers on each radiator to ensure that comfort levels are always maintained – using the minimum power required. Highly accurate thermostats will sustain your set temperature to within 0.1 of a degree, ensuring that your radiators aren’t wasting power over-heating a room. 24/7 digital programmers allow you to set up a personalised heating schedule for each room in your house. Only want heat in your bedroom when you prepare for bed and leave for work in the morning? Set your radiators to come on from 7am to 9am and 10pm to midnight. Prefer a lower level of heat in the kitchen, where you’re always moving around? Select lower temperatures on your kitchen radiators. Got a spare bedroom no-one’s using but don’t want the pipes to burst? Set the radiator to anti-freeze mode – it won’t use power unless the temperature drops below 7 degrees. Combined with the efficiency of our radiators’ electrical elements, the cheapness of DIY electrical installation and the money-saving potential of a heating system that does not require regular servicing or maintenance, the controllability of our electric radiators makes them one of the most economical non-gas heating solutions currently on the market. You can even run them off electricity generated from your own sustainable resources, which will massively reduce your heating bill. One major benefit of a remote location is that with total exposure to the elements you’re in a good position to make use of wind, solar or hydro-power!
Our electric radiators make living off-gas simple, comfortable and affordable. For more information on our radiator ranges, advice on replacing storage heaters or a free quote, speak to our friendly sales team today on 0330 300 4444.
Eco Stores Direct are here to bring you the very latest in energy news, views and opinions from across the UK. They are also suppliers of energy efficient electric heating solutions and are constantly assessing the market for the best products and the latest ground-breaking technology which they think will make a real difference to their customer's homes. Eco Stores Direct are devoted to helping you reduce your carbon footprint and bring down your energy bills and they work hard to raise awareness of energy efficient products that can make all the difference. If you're interested in wall mounted storage heaters or energy efficient electric radiators, call Storage Heaters Direct today on 0330 880 8181 for a free assessment.