Moving to a rented property without central heating. Is electric heating costly?

21
Found 14th Apr 2012
I'm considering a new place which doesn't have central heating, so I'd have to substitute it for electric heating of some form.

It's a 2 floor flat, with another flat underneath, and shared walls on 2 sides so I'd get some heat from there. The top 2 floors are dormas though, so I'd guess they're not particularly well insulated. The whole place is double glazed.

I'd be living alone and spending most of my time in one room, so it would make sense to only heat that one room I'm in.

My question is how much more is heating one room electrically going to cost than gas central heating would?

And how would I most effectively heat the room at the minimum cost?
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21 Comments
Your landlord has to provide a form of fixed space heating. Is there no heating at all or just no gch?
Original Poster
lazy_sheep

Your landlord has to provide a form of fixed space heating. Is there no … Your landlord has to provide a form of fixed space heating. Is there no heating at all or just no gch?



It has a gas fire in the living room, but I'd plan to spend my time in one of the upstairs rooms so as not to annoy neighbours with playing music
You could try setting fire to youre furniture but make sure you lay on the floor near a draughty doorway.. (oxygen)
if it's economy 7 heating it can work out cheaper than gas as an economy 7 tariff also gives you cheap electricity for use on other appliances in the house during the economy 7 cycle.

if you don't have economy 7 heating then yes, it will be very expensive.
A gas fire in one room would not be sufficient to meet the standards required by law. Might be worth speaking to the landlord about the Housing Health and Safety Rating System - see the private rented section on the Homes and Community bit of direct.gov.uk. If the landlord is not meeting the standard required for heating I would be worried about other issues such as will they protect your deposit? Is there a valid gas safety certificate etc.
lazy_sheep

A gas fire in one room would not be sufficient to meet the standards … A gas fire in one room would not be sufficient to meet the standards required by law. Might be worth speaking to the landlord about the Housing Health and Safety Rating System - see the private rented section on the Homes and Community bit of http://www.direct.gov.uk. If the landlord is not meeting the standard required for heating I would be worried about other issues such as will they protect your deposit? Is there a valid gas safety certificate etc.



the landlord has to provide heating in liveable rooms, but this can be portable heaters, which would use electricity and is very costly and inefficient if it is the main form of heating.
Original Poster
One thought I had is that I could spend my time in the living room during the winter and in the warmer months move upstairs.

Obviously my bedroom would always be in the same place, just where I spend my time at the PC etc.

The crux of my question is, is it so expensive to heat using electricity that this would be warranted?
we have just moved out of a place with ecco 7 heating, cost us more than the new place we are in. Electric heating is expensive. We spent over £600 on electric in the old flat, and that was with out the heating on most of the time tbh. Here, we are spending a fraction of the cost we payed, now we are on a better tarrif.
No one can give you the answer required using the limited information that you have given.
Original Poster
thesaint

No one can give you the answer required using the limited information … No one can give you the answer required using the limited information that you have given.



I thought I had! What more information would you need? I only have limited info myself as I haven't yet moved in
I enforce the Housing Act 2004 for a Council and it shouldn't be portable heaters nowadays they should be fixed (ie own fixed fuse spur) and controllable by the occupants. That however does not mean they are cheap to run.

It depends how your relationship is with your prospective landlord though, is there gas in the building? Are you in a situation where you could claim any sort of grant to assist with heating eg warm front?
1kw run for 1 hour = 1 unit of electricity.

If you are wishing to use some form of portable electric heating I would recommend you choose an oil filled radiator type of heater with a thermostat and possibly a timer so you can control your usage.

I do not have central heating and use gas fires and a couple of Delonghi oil filled rads,they do the job more than adequately in my 3 bed terrace,no one has ever complained of being cold in my house!

Original Poster
muckypup

1kw run for 1 hour = 1 unit of electricity.If you are wishing to use some … 1kw run for 1 hour = 1 unit of electricity.If you are wishing to use some form of portable electric heating I would recommend you choose an oil filled radiator type of heater with a thermostat and possibly a timer so you can control your usage.I do not have central heating and use gas fires and a couple of Delonghi oil filled rads,they do the job more than adequately in my 3 bed terrace,no one has ever complained of being cold in my house!



I know this is a wildly varying benchmark, but what do you spend on electricity per month? As measuring per Kwh isn't really reliable as if on a thermostat it's not on all the time

I did use a very old (probably 90s) 1KW oil filled radiator for a while in a previous house and it was good enough in all but the coldest months. Was a big attic room too though so I don't blame it for struggling!
Have they improved in the last 2 decades(!) and are they adequate for more normal sized rooms?
What I spend on electricity will be way more than you.........I have 2 oil rads,2 computers which are on nearly all day,washer and tumble dryer and big fridge/frzr,tv's.........and because of ill health there are 2 people at home all day,so my monthly payment is around £50.

I have one of these clicky and also a 1.5 kw version and have found that they heat a room quite quickly and keep it warm even with the thermostat turned down.

Think of it like this......a 2kw heater run at max for an hour will cost 2 units but with the thermostat it will be less.Just budget for the max and take from there.

Original Poster
muckypup

What I spend on electricity will be way more than you.........I have 2 … What I spend on electricity will be way more than you.........I have 2 oil rads,2 computers which are on nearly all day,washer and tumble dryer and big fridge/frzr,tv's.........and because of ill health there are 2 people at home all day,so my monthly payment is around £50.I have one of these clicky and also a 1.5 kw version and have found that they heat a room quite quickly and keep it warm even with the thermostat turned down.Think of it like this......a 2kw heater run at max for an hour will cost 2 units but with the thermostat it will be less.Just budget for the max and take from there.



Interesting... Even with your claims of excessive usage you're still only paying £5-£10 more pcm than me. I have a single computer running 24/7, in active use during evenings and weekends. Aside from that it's just lights, cooker (occasionally) and washing machine. And I notice the combi boiler takes a surprisingly high amount of *electric* to run (the pump?). And that's *without* gas costs

Good thinking with the upper limit costs
i assume you are considering this property because it is cheap. if it is cheap enough to compensate you for the extra costs of electrity then fair enough.

a portable electric heater is very expensive to run but also ineffective so the room can never be fully warm. you will need to heat your bedroom up during the day even if you are not using it otherwise it will be too cold to sleep in at night, not to mention damp and mould developing.

what you could do is negotitiate with the landlord a break clause that allows you to leave if you find the cold too much to bear and the heating bills excessive. as you are moving in the summer, you won't be able to test this heating problem until next winter so the break clause would be put in after next winter.

Original Poster

mutley1

assume you are considering this property because it is cheap. if it is … assume you are considering this property because it is cheap. if it is cheap enough to compensate you for the extra costs of electrity then fair enough.



Not that it's cheap per se, but good value for what it is, and is within my budget. And insurance is cheap so it's a net saving compared to where I live now.

mutley1

what you could do is negotitiate with the landlord a break clause that … what you could do is negotitiate with the landlord a break clause that allows you to leave if you find the cold too much to bear and the heating bills excessive. as you are moving in the summer, you won't be able to test this heating problem until next winter so the break clause would be put in after next winter.



This is a good idea, I'll give this some consideration
if you are to use electricity for the heating, then you should have off peak energy meter so that you can heat the house cheaper, but you may have to have fixed storage heaters for them to consider giving you off peak, you will definately have to speak to your landlord
I'd be very careful about moving into a place without sufficient heating as they notoriously also have damp, which is utterly miserable to live with (I've lived in two places with damp and it will make your accommodation cold even when it's 90F outside).

To be honest, after most of the advice that you've been given here I would think twice about moving into this place. If your prospective landlord isn't able to provide fixed heating in every room then he/she is already breaking the law, before you've even moved in.

I've also lived in a flat in London which only had electric heating and it was far more costly than gch.
Banned
why move to a 2 floor flat when you say you will only use one room? Just find a studio flat
Just use the living room as your main room but don't have your music so loud, then you can use the existing gas fire.

Your poor future neighbours have no idea what's coming their way.
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