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The Electric Heating Company: EcoSave Electric Radiator Review

The Electric Heating Company Review

If you're a long-time reader around here, you'll know our house doesn't have any form of central heating. The property used to have an old back boiler in the chimney, which we've since removed and replaced with a log burner - which is absolutely FAB - but other than the room the log burner is in (kitchen-diner), the rest of the house is heat-less during the winter.

Living in a house without central heating can be freaking cold at times, it really can. Our old house also didn't have central heating and it didn't have double glazed windows either. Heating the house was a constant battle. Six years on, two heat-less homes and we've now pretty much bossed living without gas central heating - how to retain heat better, how to make heat (affordably), how to dry clothes in rooms without heat. I basically have a whole "how to live without heating" degree 😉

I've done a few posts on how we live without central heating (this one is probably the best) but one thing we used in our last house and have been looking to add within this house too, is electric heating. And by that, I do not mean outdated old fashioned storage heaters that cost a bomb to run. Nope - I mean, electric heating that's energy efficient, affordable and one that actually heats rooms without taking several hours to do so. And yes - they do exist!

Why Electric Heating?

First things first - why the hell would you want electric heating? Doesn't everyone have gas boilers nowadays? Simple answer: no. For us, we just couldn't afford the crazy installation costs of a gas boiler without forfeiting the opportunity of being able to renovate the rest of the house. But aside from not being able to afford a gas boiler, electric heating does have it's own benefits that made it the right choice for us anyway.

One of the things that I like about electric heating, is the fact that electric is a renewable energy source - which not only makes it greener and more eco-friendly but that also allows you to benefit from free heating if you already have solar panels on the home. Gas prices are rising far more rapidly than electric too - so even if you don't make your own electric, the stats on the current energy price-rises make electric look far more favourable in years to come too.

On top of that, electric heating also allows you room-by-room control. And by that I mean you can just switch on the radiators you actually need - unlike gas heating when it's all powered at once (not that great if you have a large house and barely use any of it - AHEM, that's us!). And with electric radiators, you can install one by one, over time rather than one giant installation cost. Adding radiators to a gas central heating circuit is far less simple, involves a lot of floorboard upheaval, mess, and cost. All of these reasons combined are why we're opting for electric heating and why I definitely don't consider electric heating as a outdated form of heating. It really really isn't. Not all houses are on the gas grid either - and whilst gas may be mainstream, it certainly isn't the be all or end all when it comes to heating.

Best Electric Radiator on the Market

So, as a long-standing owner of non-gas-heated homes, I've trialled a few different electric heating options over the years; some good, some bad, some 'meh'. So naturally when The Electric Heating Company and PlumbNation offered me a chance to review one of their ecoSave radiators, I was pretty excited to do so. We've never settled on a definitive "this is the one" radiator, and I was really keen to trial their ecoSave radiators specifically, as they're WiFi control-ready and being a bit of a tech geek, that is a huuuuuuuge attraction for myself and something I've never come across with electric radiators before. The Electric Heating Company, (as their name suggests) basically manufacture all kinds of electrical heating products, including electric boilers. They have a few different radiator options available, but the one I'm reviewing as I said, is the ecoSave.

Modern Sleek Design

So this is what it looks like. It's modern, sleek in design and fits really well within our home and it's style. You can see we're actually using this in the conservatory - partly because this is the next 'finished' room that needs heating in the house and partly because I wanted to review the radiator in a conservatory setting, knowing lots of  people with conservatories opt for electric heating in there anyway.

Modern Electric Radiator
Electric Radiator for Conservatory

From first appearances, it doesn't look too much different from a normal radiator - unlike many electric radiators (which are ugly as hell) - this one is inoffensive, simple and can work in literally any space. Whether you're rocking quirky patterned floors like us, or have a much more traditional country home - it's neither 'too modern' or 'too old-fashioned', it's just simple in style and it works. And in total truth, appearances matter a lot to me. This could be an amazing radiator, but if it had been super ugly, I probably wouldn't have given it the time of day. Yes - I'm that house vain!

If you're wondering about those pipes showing underneath the radiator - they're actually our water pipes; they go through the wall and feed the tap in the kitchen, completely irrelevant to the radiator, as much as they kinda look connected from these shots.

Installation Costs - There Aren't Any!

We've had a few electric radiators in the past and one of the greatest things about this particular radiator is that it requires absolutely no electrical installation and it just simply plugs in. Which of course means zero installation costs - no need for hardwiring, no "must be installed by a professional" guarantee issues, just a simple plug and two DIY wall brackets to fit. The radiator is also reaaalllly light, so it can be installed on drywall as well, unlike a different water-filled one we've used in the past, which weighed an actual TON.

Plug-In Radiator

Digital Display

The ecoSave radiators also have an actual digital display, showing you it's exact temperature the radiator is running at. This may sound silly, but previous electric radiators we've used just had settings of "1" "2" and "3" which does not translate very well into knowing what temperature your radiator is actually running at. It also means you can directly control the temperature by actual degrees and you're not limited by just a few different unknown heat levels. And separate to that, I also think the digital display makes it look much more quality as well. Plastic knobs, just don't do it for me.

Digital Display Electric Radiator

Even Heat Distribution

Despite being electric, it works in pretty much the exact same way as a regular convection radiator. The heat is pushed out the top of the radiator and is designed to give even heat distribution circulating around the room. And it certainly seems to be working - even in a not-so-great insulated conservatory, we noticed a big difference to the temperature of this room compared to adjoining rooms without an electric radiator! So it does actually work as well as it looks pretty 😉 I should also mention how quiet this is whilst running, it's almost silent - there's no 'boiling' noise or weird buzzing - it just runs without you even noticing!

Energy Efficient Cheap to Run Electric Radiators

24/7 Programmable

A simple and yet brilliant bit of technology - you can pre-set a timetable for the radiator so that it automatically comes on throughout different times of the day. If you work 9-5, you can get it turn on at 4pm and be ready heated for your arrival home, or if it's in a bedroom, you get it to heat up an hour or two before bedtime. If you're forgetful (like me!) this is actually awesome. I can't tell you the amount of times we've come home and been standing in front of (other) electric heaters, waiting for the room to warm up in winter. Well, not anymore! There's also some really handy YouTube tutorials to take you through a step-by-step to set this up. Which I much prefer over length manuals.

EHC EcoSave Heater


WiFi Smart-Home Technology

My personal faaaaaavourite thing about this radiator is that it can be controlled right from your phone, in a very similar way to the 'Nest' or the 'Hive' with gas heating. You do need to buy a separate WiFi pack for this to work, but you only need one WiFi pack regardless to how many radiators you have. It turns any ecoSave radiator into a Smart-Home ready radiator that can be controlled from literally anywhere, right from your phone. So, if you're running late getting home, you can delay the start up of the radiator so you're not heating the house unnecessarily; you can check the temperature on-the-go if you have rebellious teens romping up those bills whilst you're away (that was totally me as a teen!); and whatsmore, you can wirelessly control each radiator individually - unlike gas heating where you'd just have a basic one-time thermostat throughout the property. So, if you want your kitchen to be 20 degrees and your living room to be 17 degrees, that is totally do-able and the app allows you to see how all your radiators are running at once. It's freaking brilliant!

The additional WiFi pack isn't the cheapest at £250, but as I said - you only need one regardless of how many radiators you have. It's basically a little box that plugs into your router via an ethernet cable and then connects all your radiators to the network. It's really easy to set up and can really help to save money in the long run.

WiFi Electric Radiator
EHC Gateway WiFi Pack


Easy to Use App

So with the WiFi pack, you also get an app and this is what it looks like from the home page - you can see we just have the one radiator called 'Conservatory' but if you have more than one radiator, these will also appear here. From this page, you can select each radiator individually to change their temperatures. (I've blocked out our address on this photo, for security reasons.)

App for Electric Radiator

There are two main settings to the app - 'Manual' which allows you to control the heating in real-time and you can change the temperature at any point, and 'Auto' which enables you to pre-set the radiator to a 24/7 timetable - just like you can on the digital display, but in a MUCH easier to see/change format. You can also switch between the two settings whenever you like - so if you want to manually control the radiator for an hour, but then revert back to the pre-set timetable, you can totally do that and no settings will be lost.

This photo below shows the radiator on Manual Mode. You can see both the 'current temperature' as well as the 'desired temperature' and this can be changed by simply pressing the + and - buttons. The little symbol above that (the kinda wavy one) pulsates when the radiator is powered and heating, which is when it's using electric. When it's not pulsating - you know the thermostat has kicked in, it's already at its desired temperature and the power will only come back on when the temperature drops by 0.1 of a degree. So you can literally keep tabs on how often it's being powered versus it being in "sleep mode" so to speak. And whatsmore, the app keeps a record of this, so you can visually see how much electric you are using over days, weeks, months and even the year.

Electric Heating with WiFi Control

The second setting is 'Auto' - which allows you to programme the radiator to a weekly timetable,  just the same as on the digital display but in a much much easier to see way. There are 3 different temperatures selections; "frost" "economy" and "comfort" which you select for every hour of the day. These 3 settings each have a different temperature, but you can tailor them to your own requirements. So "economy" for us is 17 degrees, but if you want that to be 20 degrees, you can change it. You can then use these three different temperatures to programme it to a daily timetable, according to whether you want the radiator to be off (frost-protection mode) or at a comfort desired heat. I personally prefer to use this setting over Manual, as it's basically fuss-free and you don't have to think about it. If your working schedule (or when you're away from the home) isn't very predictable then the Manual setting is probably better for you.

EHC Radiator App Review


100% Energy Efficient

As well as being more eco-friendly than gas heating, these ecoSave radiators are also 100% energy efficient, which means every inch of energy that is used is converted into heat. There is no energy 'lost' so to speak. In very simple terms, that means every single penny spent on powering this radiator is actually turned into heat. (Not like our old back boiler, where 40% of the cost went straight up the flue - true story)


Cheap Electric Radiators

Running Costs

OK, so let's get to the nitty gritty - how much does it cost to run? Well, of course this depends on a lot of factors - how much your electric costs per unit - how well insulated the room is, how much heat loss you have within the room (dodgy ill-fitted windows etc) - you get the drift. BUT, I can tell you how much it cost when running per hour, based on our own specific energy prices of 11.4p/kw. At that price, this radiator cost 6p per hour to run. We have a 'background' energy usage of 2p/hr (which is mainly from the fridge) so this 8p showing below accounts for that as well.

How Much does electric heating cost?

HOWEVER, it actually doesn't cost that much - because once the radiator has heated up to the desired temperature, the thermostat kicks in and shuts off the power. So in the reality of one whole single hour, for us in a conservatory setting, it actually cost around 3-4p each hour. Which in even simpler terms, is equivalent in our house to 3/4 lights being left on for the full hour. Cheap as chips.. Literally!

By comparison of other electrical running costs, our electric underfloor heating costs 9p/hr and another comparable electric radiator we've used previously cost 10p/hr - so this is by FAR the cheapest of the lot when it comes to electric heating and I was actually really pleasantly surprised with that. It's genuinely affordable and if you are going to have more than one radiator running at a time, the last thing you want is to be racking up massive bills because they're all costing 10p an hour. 

EHC EcoSave Radiator in Conservatory

In terms of how long the radiator takes to heat up, we found on average it took between 17-30minutes to raise 2degrees in temperature. Yes, I went all science-geek on this stuff and literally sat there taking readings over the course of a few days! Obviously though, this is just for our conservatory - if you have a more insulated room, it may well take less time, with less heat loss etc. So only take this as a very rough guide!

ecoSave Electric Heater Review


Cost To Buy

The alllll important part - how much does it cost to buy? I've done plenty of research into electric radiators on the market and price-wise this ecoSave radiator is somewhere in the middle of the electric heating spectrum. It's sold in varying watts (for different sized rooms) and costs between £270-£370 to buy - You can see the full range of the different sizes over at PlumbNation, (found right here), who also stock a whole range of other electric (and non-electric!) radiators and other heating appliances, if you're looking for something else.

At that price, it definitely isn't in my definition of cheap, but for an appliance that heats a room - it is pretty well priced, particularly against things like electric stoves, fireplaces and underfloor heating. Also to add from my experience of cheap electric radiators - they either don't work properly or they don't last the test of time. This radiator however comes with a 10 year body guarantee and 2 year electrical component guarantee, which is pretty decent and I'd like to think it'll go the distance - But of course, I'll keep you updated over the years ;)

Modern Cheap to Run Electric Radiators

Final Verdict

This is by far the best electric radiator we've tried to date. We had a fairly okay one in our old house, but the thermostat didn't last past it's first year - it was ugly as hell, and it had none of the fancy programming settings like this one - not to mention it cost 10p/hr so in no way could we ever have afforded to run more multiple radiators at one time. We bought another different radiator a year ago - this one was water filled and was absolutely awful. The radiator itself didn't heat evenly, the thermostat didn't seem to be working properly - we've had no end of issues with it, we even had it replaced and guess what - still rubbish.

THIS one however, has everything the others didn't have and even more. It looks the part and it works. It is more expensive to buy than the other two radiators we've purchased, but I think it's definitely worth the extra. Would I recommend it? If you haven't figured that out by now - um, yes. In fact, we'll be making a second purchase for another room when we're ready to do so, for absolute certain! If your house is part centrally-heated, I think this would also be great way to top up existing heating without having a massive circuit of centrally heated radiators in rooms that are barely being used as well.

So hopefully I've covered everything in this post - I'd love to know what you think to electric heating. Is it something you've tried? Or maybe you're interested in having it for the odd room in the home?

We're now thoroughly looking forward to cold wintery nights and we've even just take our first log delivery of the year too! Is it too soon to get excited about the C-word?! Eeep!

The Electric Heating Company ecoSave Radiator Review


*I received this ecoSave Radiator for the purpose of this review, but all words, thoughts & opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands who support this blog! :)

1 comment

  1. Great review - it's great to see a break down like this! Electric radiators are far more energy efficient than standard central heating affairs - have you tried underfloor heating for extra efficiency?

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