Electric Storage Heating
Storage heaters and the environment
Storage heaters are the most environmentally friendly type of heating there is.
The Government and many environmental groups talk a lot about the environmental advantages of new systems such as heat pumps over current gas-fired central heating systems, but many of the technologies and infrastructures needed do not yet exist - and in any case storage heaters are quite at home in all of them - see next Page.
- They are 100% efficient: all the energy used is converted into heat, and all of this heat goes into the room. Their efficiency does not get less as they get older.
- They do not produce anything except heat, and in particular they do not themselves produce any carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases, although greenhouse gases may have been produced by the power station generating the electricity.
- You could choose a Green energy supplier which obtains its energy only from renewable sources such as wind or solar, but at the moment few of these offer interruptible tariffs specifically for storage heaters so this could work out expensive. For our part, on purely environmental grounds I have been a passionate advocate of nuclear power, in season out of season, for more than sixty years, so we get our energy from EDF who are the energy company most committed to nuclear power, and are also among the cheapest for interruptible off-peak electricity - as described on the next Page these two are not unrelated.
- Storage heaters are maintenance-free and do not need upgrading or replacing at regular intervals.
- When a storage heater does eventually come to the end of its life anyone with a screwdriver can dismantle it. The steel frame can be taken to pieces and recycled, the heating elements, cables and electronics can be taken to the electronics recycling centre, the insulation (an inert plastic-free non-toxic mineral substance) can be put into a single ordinary black rubbish sack, and what you do with the bricks, by far the biggest part, is limited only by your own imagination: bookends, door stops, stepping stones on a lawn, whatever you like. (When I was teaching I used to give my students a homework assignment: make a list of uses for an ordinary house brick. Most managed at least fifty; many managed more than two hundred, including an emergency water supply for a tadpole - I think that this boy remembered me saying that the correct name for the indentation on the top of a housebrick is a frog!)
- Most of all they are future-proof - this is discussed on the next Page.
© Barry Gray September 2019