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Mike the Boilerman 

Your independent Gledhill ElectraMate repair specialist for Berkshire & surrounding areas

For more information or to book your Electramate repair, call or text me on 07866 766364

Electramate 2000 high bills



In order to see what (usually) leads to high electricity bills for Electramate owners, an understanding of how electricity tariffs and electricity billing works. It gets complicated but I’ll try to keep it easy to understand.


1) Electricity is sold in units, called a “Kilowatt Hour”. Often abbreviated to “kWh”.


2) The price of a kWr is usually MUCH lower at night than during the day - provided you are on the right tariff with your supplier. 


3) The tariff you need to be on is called “Economy 7”. This gives you night-time electricity at (usually) less than half the price of daytime electricity. 


4) Using 100% daytime-priced electricity is usually the cause of high bills for Electramate owners.



So in the light of the above, Electramate owners need to maximise their use of night time low cost electricity and minimise the use of daytime electricity.


The good news is the Electramate already knows how to do this, it just needs to be told when the price of the electricity is low so it can fill up on low cost night time electricity and store the heat energy for use during the following day.


The way the Electramate finds this out is by checking the second, separate, electric cable from the electricity meter to the appliance, which is turned ON automatically by the electricity company at night or whenever the low cost electricity is available.


People with high bills often discover their Electramate is unable to tell when the low cost electricity is available because this second, off peak supply is not present, so the Electramate just uses expensive daytime electricity most of the time. 


This is usually because the switch in this second, thin wire electricity supply to the Electramate has been turned OFF inadvertently. The purpose of this switch is not obvious and it is the most natural thing in the world when you find a switch with no clear purpose to turn it OFF rather than leave it ON. But this isolates the Electramate from the off peak signal from the meter and it no longer knows when low cost electricity is available and just burns expensive electricity indiscriminately.


So, have a look around your Electramate and see if you can find a wall switch nearby that has no obvious purpose. If you find one it could be the off peak supply to your electramate that tells it when low cost electricity is available, and if it is turned OFF, try turning it ON. If there is no second switch then possibly it was never even installed. I see this occasionally.


Another way to tell if your Electramate is making good use of low cost night-time electricity is to download a few of your electricity bills. You should see the name of your tariff and the prices you are charged for electricity. If you have an off peak tariff there will be a daytime price per kWh and a (much lower) night time price per kWh. If you don’t have an off peak tariff, call your electricity supplier and arrange to change to one, and possibly have a local electrician visit to install the off peak signal wire and switch I described above. 


When your Electramate is working correctly on off peak electricity your bills will show you using a good mix of daytime and night time electricity - typically the number of night units used in kWrs will be about the same as the number of day units in kWhrs used. If you see a far higher number of daytime units of electricity used than night time units used, your Electramate probably needs the off peak signal wire installing or just turning back ON. 


Hope that helps.

Mike


A typical main supply switch to an Electramate. Must always be ON. If turned OFF the Electramate will stop working

A typical smaller, off peak signal switch. Must always be ON. If turned OFF the Electramate will continue to work but higher electricity bills will result 

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Copyright Michael Bryant 2022

Site first created 31st December 2006

Last updated 22nd March 2022


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