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Electric heaters in a selfcatering? Advice for cost control?
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Kilm



Joined: 24 Jul 2017
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 7:25 pm    Post subject: Electric heaters in a selfcatering? Advice for cost control? Reply with quote

Hi folks,

We're starting out on our holiday let journey with a self catering, two bedroom bungalow.

In terms of things on my 'To do' list, one is to sort out the heating. The property is electric only, somewhere down the line I'll get gas and central heating installed.

The leccy heaters are fine, if dated, but there are two storage heaters which need to go, because bugger that for a laugh.

My one major concern, is guests thinking, "oooh, bit nippy, lets switch the heating on... and leave it on...".

Has anyone else got this issue and figured out a way to damage control? I'm dreading a heater being left on for three or four days on the trot, or worse, in between bookings if the management company doesn't spot it.

Any suggestions?
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RichardHenshall



Joined: 05 Sep 2009
Posts: 392
Location: Luz, Algarve

PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Assuming you'll have internet, you can use Hive or similar to provide remote thermostatic control. The heater(s) would need to be hard-wired to circuit(s) that are controlled by the Hive unit(s) through contactor(s).
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ianh100



Joined: 10 Jan 2013
Posts: 514
Location: Sherborne Dorset

PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to say this is a bit of a hornets nest. We have electric heating (electric boiler with traditional radiators and a water tank). It works well and we have it connected to Hive.

This solution is great as we can see what is being consumed but not sure we can morally adjust remotely when guests are staying. We have had guests in the winter leave the heating at 28C day and night for 3 weeks. That pretty much wiped out any profit at a time of year that rental costs are low. Hive doesn't currently allow you to cap the thermostat settings.

We also bought a remote monitoring solution called "the loop" this reports all energy being used and tells you when to switch energy providers.
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Jenster



Joined: 08 Mar 2016
Posts: 423
Location: Cornwall

PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't have hive or anything similar, but always ask my guests personally (usually a quick email) to be sure to turn the heating off when they leave. I also have a note in my house file to ask guests to use the heaters 'efficiently' to allow me to 'keep my rental costs down'. So far no problems, although I don't tend to get a lot of winter bookings.
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Grimmy



Joined: 20 Oct 2011
Posts: 67
Location: Pembrokeshire

PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We too have just electric in the cottages. When guests arrive I point out the heating and just ask them to use as they see fit, but not to leave them on when they are out.

So far it's not been too bad, although we;ve had a couple of occasions when they have obviously had the heating on full blast and all the windows firmly closed leading to condensation and black mold!!

There is no real answer to this - just pray guests are a little environmentally friendly!
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akwe-xavante



Joined: 01 Jul 2015
Posts: 248
Location: East Yorkshire

PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd firstly get the electric heaters tested by an electrician to ensure they are firstly save and legal to use in a holiday let, basically a rental whatever way you look at it. The rules are very different from your own residential use of appliances to those installed in a rental property.

The cost of heating a place is a high cost and can quickly erode away any profits that you make. I'd seriously think about having the gas put in sooner rather than later. Your electricity bills may prevent you from being able to afford having gas put in.
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lel



Joined: 05 Jan 2012
Posts: 73
Location: Limousin, france

PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You could try the french option or a variation of it, if you can consider what would be a reasonable/ average amount of electricity usage for a period of time- taking into account the weather and then charge the guests for using more than the average. If you have someone able to read the meter before and after!
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KathyG



Joined: 28 Jan 2006
Posts: 3223
Location: Le Faou, Brittany

PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Klim,

We have a few electric heaters to top up the heating and we've installed next to each one, a gadget that they have to press which gives them up to 2 hours of heat in half hour increments. Then they have to press it again after 2 hrs if that's what they chose. Works brilliantly and stops them leaving them on all day/night.
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Waterfront location in Le Faou
"My goal in life is to become as wonderful as my dog thinks I am."
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loveka



Joined: 19 Aug 2016
Posts: 74

PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We are in the same boat and waiting to find out, with winter approaching.

All our heaters have timers on them now. Of course guests can override the timers...

We also write in the house manual to please not leave the heaters on when they go out.

I can recommend Adax electric panel radiators. Good value.
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stayandexplore



Joined: 05 Sep 2017
Posts: 1
Location: Aviemore, Scotland

PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi there, first post so hopefully I have done this correctly! Smile

We have a small 2 bed property and recently removed the old storage heaters and replaced with electric radiators (dry system by EHC) very expensive, but we phoned and negotiated a slightly better price than advertised.

These can be controlled by an app on your phone or ipad/pc when they are connected by wifi.

They look great and have 3 settings frost, eco & comfort which you can set your own temperatures too. We are finding it works really well as we can schedule what times they operate in each room and we can the fire the temperatures up before guests are due to arrive, which is great as we live more than 80 miles away. (there is a wattage limit that can be set too).

The only thing I need to stop myself doing checking the app to see what guests have put the temperature up to!

We know they will be more expensive to run than storage heaters but we are hoping the times that storage heaters are still required in the milder months we can recoup our energy costs then, only time will tell when the winter arrives and we compare our energy costs.

Storage heaters are great in winter, but in Spring time guests were opening the doors and windows as it was too warm in late morning, switching off and then not understanding that the heaters need 24 hours to recharge.

It's a difficult one as we are going by more on the design and functions than the running cost, but stuck as we cannot get gas and no space for installing oil.

We do have a small wood pellet stove (not a boiler one) that is operated by a remote control for space heat that we try to encourage guests to use as the primary heat as it can very comfortable heat the whole house and will allow the electric radiators to stay on stand by.

Louise
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newtimber



Joined: 24 Nov 2012
Posts: 1587
Location: Brighton

PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We did a new build last year and because there was no mains gas, we had to put in air source heat pumps. Oil and electric do not meet current building regulations regarding energy efficiency. You can probably get the RHI grant which will make it more cost effective.
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Kilm



Joined: 24 Jul 2017
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks folks.

Well, I got a bit of a surprise and reminded myself never to assume. Turns out there is no gas in the entire village!

I've looked at an LPG tank, Calor will fit one and all the piping for free, but that's surface based. Sub-surface costs 1500 however I could go down the route of getting my neighbours to lease their fuel from me.and pay as we use through separate meters. Don't know if the costs balance out compared to leccy though.

As for the leccy, I'll look a some of the models suggested. There are three storage heaters that need to go. Hive is a route I'll probably look at, it works great in my own home.

Half tempted to combine it with external CCTV or an PIR sensor inside so I know when they've gone out and turn it off!! Maybe not ethically sound though? Smile

Anyone else gone down the LPG tank route? Calor estimate a refill of 800 a year which sounds a touch low.
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zebedee



Joined: 12 Sep 2014
Posts: 825
Location: yorkshire dales

PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it might help if you could let us know which part of the world you are in? In another thread you mention a mountain village with a ski season, but previously I had assumed you were in the UK somewhere. (Maybe that was just my mistake???)

In terms of fuel costs, knowing your location will be critical for the advice to be worthwhile - even throughout the UK, costs can vary greatly.
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Kilm



Joined: 24 Jul 2017
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, we're in the Cairngorms. So, still mountains! Very Happy
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zebedee



Joined: 12 Sep 2014
Posts: 825
Location: yorkshire dales

PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you go down the gas route, you will need to factor in the cost of an annual gas safety certificate. Costs for this vary enormously and will be dictated by the number of local contractors who cover your area.
Costs for both gas and oil also rise in more rural areas and if there are any implications for the size of tanker that can access your property (imagine worse case weather that you have and finding you need a refill).

Also consider that in winter, most insurance companies will want the property checked each week and may or may not insist on the water being turned off and drained if the property is to be empty for even comparatively short period of time.

It sounds like you are in a remote area? One which can definitely get very cold - you might be better off with an electric system that you can have which runs for a short time each day even when the property is empty in order to keep the internal temperatures above a minimum level e.g. 16 degrees. That way you won't need to drain off the water and make other savings.

However, others nearer to you will be better informed than me.
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