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Electric Radiators Vs Storage Heaters

Storage heaters and electric radiators are two popular heating alternatives to traditional gas boilers. Both of these heating solutions offer unique features and cater to specific needs. Appreciating what each brings to the mix can potentially unlock substantial energy savings.

We run a comparison between electric radiators and storage heaters, highlighting their features, benefits, performance, and drawbacks.

With a sound understanding of electric radiators and storage heaters, you are better equipped to make smart choices around the energy plan that best suits your heating and energy efficiency needs and budget.

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Storage heater

How Much Do They Cost To Run? – Electric Radiators Vs Storage Heaters

Both storage heaters and electric radiators are connected to the home or business’s main energy supply. Running costs, therefore, depend on the electricity tariff being charged, usage patterns, and how energy efficient the individual heating unit is.

Electric storage heaters, sometimes called night storage heaters, are intended to benefit from cheaper off-peak electricity rates, reducing their running costs. Users typically take advantage of Economy 7 or Economy 10 tariffs to lower their heating bills.

  • Economy 7 tariff offers lower rates for 7 hours at night; energy consumed during the remaining 17 hours of the day is charged at a higher rate.
  • Economy 10 tariff offers consumers a cheaper rate for 10 hours during specific off-peak times. These off-peak periods can be a mix of day, night, and afternoon hours

Radiators, on the other hand, are renowned for their efficiency which helps keep running costs down. They boast greater control and flexibility, including precision thermostats and 24/7 programming to facilitate optimal usage.

Advances in technology have seen increased efficiency in both of these heating systems.

Whether you run a storage heater or an electric radiator or heat with gas it’s recommended you always conduct price comparisons to access the best home and business utility deal for your circumstances.

What’s The Difference Between Electric Radiators And Storage Heaters

Storage Heaters

A storage heater is designed to be charged overnight to take advantage of cheaper electricity rates. But how do storage heaters work? When charging, they store thermal energy heat in special bricks within the unit. This reserve of heat is then gradually released during the day, providing warmth without incurring higher daytime electricity charges.

Storage heaters work by convection. Convection takes place when air is exposed to the storage heater’s heating element and internal bricks. The air becomes warmer, expands and becomes less dense. This hot air rises and circulates in a warm convection current.

Electric Radiators

The electric radiator is connected to the premises’ main electricity supply and can be switched on and off as needed. The unit is filled with thermal or dry elements. When heated these transfer warmth to the surrounding space.

Radiators are not designed to benefit from an economy tariff but have fully programmable controls and thermostat settings that empower you to manage your heating usage efficiently and effectively.

Electric radiators also heat through convection.

Electric radiators are not the same as conventional electric heaters. Traditional electric heaters can be moved around conveniently but they use electricity more expensively than an installed heating system.

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  • Ease of installation: Electric radiators are fairly straightforward to install, especially when compared to traditional gas heating. They can be installed individually in each room, making them a flexible option for homes without an existing central heating system.
  • Precision thermostat control: Electric radiators provide precise temperature control. This allows you to adjust the heat according to your preferences and specific room requirements.
  • Fast working: Radiators heat up quickly, providing warmth almost instantly when needed.
  • Energy Efficiency: Electric radiators are energy-efficient; they convert nearly all the energy they use into heating.
  • WiFi Control: Electric radiators can often be connected to WiFi. You can then manage each radiator using a smartphone or voice-controlled assistant to improve efficiency.
  • Aesthetic design: Electric radiators come in a range of sizes, materials, and pleasing designs that can be incorporated attractively into modern interiors.


  • No off-peak savings: The main drawback of the electric radiator is that it is not geared to work with off-peak energy tariffs so it uses higher-priced electricity.
  • Electric radiators can be more expensive to run compared to gas-powered heating systems, especially if electricity costs are high. Comparing energy prices and alternatives is an excellent practice to get into in order to reduce your essential bills.
Design Elements

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Storage Heaters


  • Easy to install: Like electric radiators, storage heaters are relatively easy to install. Though both should be fitted and connected by a qualified electrician.
  • Off-peak electricity usage: The significant advantage of storage heaters is their ability to utilise low-cost off-peak electricity tariffs, helping you to save on heating costs. By storing energy overnight, they provide warmth during the day without drawing on costlier day tariffs.
  • Cost-efficient: If you can secure a great Economy 7 deal, storage heaters can be incredibly cost-efficient.


  • Limited heat controls: Older model heaters lack precise temperature control, making it harder to adjust heat levels to changing weather conditions or personal preferences.
  • More expensive off-economy rates: The electricity rates outside of the Economy 7 and 10 tariff periods may be more expensive than standard charges.
  • Overheating: The heat release cannot be immediately stopped or adjusted which may result in overheating during milder periods.
  • Inconsistent heating: The stored heat is released during the day so your home will be toasty during the morning but feel cooler by evening time.
  • Unattractive design: The internal ceramic bricks take up considerable space which makes older storage units look chunky and unattractive.Thanks to recent advances in storage heaters, more aesthetically pleasing designs are now available. Top-tier products also deliver greater flexibility and have advanced programming features that let you set heating times and temperatures.

Are Electric Radiators Better Than Storage Heaters?

You will see that the electric radiator outperforms the storage heater across most of the important energy and heating considerations. Certainly, radiators deliver more stylish designs, smarter controls and are capable of providing more consistent and near-immediate heat.

That said, an electric radiator is not necessarily a superior system for every office or home. Every consumer has different requirements, configurations, and preferences.

If your electricity supplier offers favourable off-peak tariffs, there are potentially terrific benefits to a storage heater.

This is particularly relevant to businesses that are able to align their operations with lower tariff periods.

If your SME or large business uses 40% of its electricity during the night, an Economy 7 or Economy 10 tariff could be a game-changer. By taking advantage of off-peak hours, you can significantly cut costs and maximise savings.

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Energy Efficient Electric Radiators

The electric radiator is an electric heating system designed to efficiently reduce energy waste by converting virtually all of the energy into heating.

Modern electric radiators have added electricity-saving features such as programming controls (WiFi-enabled) that allow you to target the rooms you want to heat and set the desired temperature for each.

Turning down the electric radiator by one degree can potentially save up to 10% on your electricity bill.

With modern electric radiators, you can operate separate units on different schedules. For example, this lets you keep your family room or central office area nice and warm while maintaining the bathrooms at a slightly lower temperature.

In an environment of ever-rising prices, securing energy-efficient deals is more important than ever.

Both electric radiators and storage heaters are potentially efficient solutions.

However much hinges on pricing structures, leveraging the best tariffs, and using the most efficient products.

Newer model storage heaters are more efficient and require less time to store heat, so it’s a good idea to upgrade older traditional storage heaters if possible.

Solar-generated electricity alongside off-peak electricity can also generate additional savings.

To help ensure you benefit from the best pricing structures, comparing electricity deals is vitally important. With Business Energy Comparison, you can compare the latest business electricity rates and secure the best deal tailored to your specific needs with the help of our expert team.

If accessing a better deal involves switching providers, Business Energy Comparison’s friendly team will manage the switching process for you to ensure an uninterrupted transition.

Frequently Asked Questions

When are Economy 7 tariff off-peak hours?

Most energy suppliers typically set the ‘off-peak’ window from midnight to 7 am, but this time can vary depending on your location and provider.

What size space can a storage heater heat?

Top modern storage heaters can heat areas up to 18m² in size.

Are there eco-friendly energy supply options?

Most UK suppliers provide green energy solutions allowing you to reduce your carbon footprint in your home or business. You can commit to sustainable initiatives, and also save money, by using a mix of power that comes from renewables and other cleaner energy sources.