Electric Boilers

Has anyone used / investigated electric boilers here?

Our oil boiler is old - inefficient but quotes for new pellet boilers mean that you’re looking at 15 years payback .

I came across the Heatrae Sadia electric boilers - very efficient - - small and light (it needs to get down to the cellar) coupled with an electric water heater they’d fix everything at a sensible budget. But the power needed is high and that’s the problem - 54Amps for a 12.5kW system - and everyone tells me I need 20kW plus for a pellet system.

Am I missing something - or is it just like electric showers and they’re not really suitable for France. I know about load shedders - but it’d be candlelight and warmth in winter. Equally solar reduces the bill but it doesn’t fix the power need in winter.

No experience - they look neat enough and I have no doubt work OK.

I guess it boils (sorry) down to what are your priorities and what technologies/fuel types are feasible for you - and how much they cost to install/run.

I guess a starting point is how much fuel and electricity you use now.

I can’t find prices anywhere.

I spend currently 4000€ per year on heating and hot water with an oil combi-boiler.

Gosh Stella are you leaving your heating on all day in your 15 bedrooms chateau. We have 120 square metres - Heating & Water costs are 1600 euros per annum.

We heat our water with a balloon electric boiler and heat with electric radiators operating on a central heating system.

I can find UK prices easily enough - but it depends which type of boiler Chris is looking at- Heatrae do several.

Thanks to Google making it hard to do a French search in the UK I can’t find French prices.

Ha ha… I was trying to remember how often I fill the tanks. We have 2 x 2000 litre tanks - so I worked on 4000 ltrs @ 1 €

Our house is slightly larger than yours and has draughty corridors.

One good thing about a heatwave, not had the boiler on - we are enjoying cold showers. :hugs:

We have no electric balloon -

How do the electric radiators work on a CH system??? I thought you had Oil ???

I’m now totally confused.

We have electric radiators in each room operating from a control panel next to our electricity fuse box. It is programmable and very efficent. No Oil or Gas.

Smack my hand and call me stupid (if you dare) OH has just remarked that the tanks are only 1000 litres each.

Silly me. I blame it totally on the lack of excessive heat we are enduring today… :joy::sweat_smile::upside_down_face::wink:

That sounds very interesting. We have 15 wet radiators (individual thermostats) and a log burner.
OH is thinking of installing a Balloon for summer use ( with a switch-over valve ) - that should reduce the oil bill.

Cost wise in every respect they make sense - its the reality of 50+ Amps that is the issue. I’m not faffing with 3 Phase - I thought 60 Amps was max feed available - but I may be wrong - found 36kVA tariffs so maybe …

They’re about 35% of the price in the UK compared to here- fractions of an oil boiler price. Less than 1500 for the 12.5kW system when I checked.

Its one of those no point looking to much until I work out if the actual practicalities are possible - and that simply comes back to how much power I can drag out of EDF - but now I’ve seen 36kVA may be possible may have a chat with them and see if my house can have that. As I say I thought 60 Amps was the max I could get - and that doesn’t work if the boiler needs 54 Amps

Edf supplies me with enough to run 3 hot water boilers (my house is very old and long) plus the usual machines.

Chris hasn’t said which model but looking at the Amptec range these all appear to be single phase - which is a bit of a pain if he is looking at the 12kW unit.

Max power single phase is, I think, 15kVA but will depend on current cabling from the transformer - 3-phase goes up to 36kVA but the standing charge goes up as well - you’ll be expected to present a reasonably balanced load I would think.

It will increase your costs for the boilers themselves by about 50% but it’s obvious that larger installations are possible by installing more units in parallel - have you considered 3x4kW units, one on each phase to get your 12kW of heat.

Did you not know that @Stella aka Countess Stella lives here:

… And she likes to take the chill off the air!

(thank heavens for the Winter Fuel Allowance!)

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:rofl::joy: what winter fuel allowance ???:zipper_mouth_face::thinking:

I expect that whoever is offering to install is importing them - even having sorted the “where Google thinks I’m searching from” issue I basically don’t find any French hits.

It sounds as though you are not keen on having three phase power but if you want to go with an electric boiler I think that you will have to - and you will  have to if you want more than 12kW of (electric) heating, at least the Amptec units would lend themselves to that set-up with three in parallel. In fact you could have 3x6kW for barely more money than 3x4kW, remembering that running costs depend on how much heat you use, not necessarily how much heat the boiler(s) can kick out.

Is your situation suitable for a ground or air source heat pump?

How’s your insulation?

My new pompe à chaleur is now being installed, so i’m hoping for reduced heating bills. The oil-fired boilerbeing replaced is 22 years old and it still works fine tho’ the programming system, now obsolete is on the blink.

I’m not sure that’s a given just from installing a heat pump, depends on how much you were paying for your fioul and how inefficient the old boiler was.

Three years ago our village council purchased the neighbouring village Cafe / Bar, and during the modernisation they replaced the old oil fired central heating boiler with an electric boiler providing hot water for the radiators and for domestic use. The electricity bill turned out to be so expensive (over €13,000 per year) that said electric boiler has now been replaced by a wood pellet boiler.
Not only do electric boilers have a very high consumption, but they also substantially increase the ‘Abonnement’ charge that has to be paid in order to be allowed to draw a large amount of power at one time.

My advice would be that an electric boiler should be something of absolute last resort when all other alternatives have been found to be impractical for one reason or another.
Electricity is the 2nd most expensive form of heating that there is in France (only surpassed by paraffin) when compared to other forms of energy (4.3 times more expensive than wood and 2.4 times more than heating oil), so don’t go there unless there really is no other viable alternative.

See price comparison chart @ https://www.frenchentree.com/living-in-france/utilities/options-for-heating-your-house-in-france/


A typical Council Robert? Board of zero engineering and cost the of the project doubles for the rate payers through the lack of anyone technical.
Because of the way the French accept their electricity using electric boilers does not make any sense.
A relatively small evacuated tube solar array would at least pre heat the hot water requiring only a modest top up. They only need a relatively bright day rather than sun to work.