What is ETS?
Electric Thermal Storage (ETS) is a well-established heating technology that is widely used in Europe and North America. ETS units convert lower cost "off-peak" electricity into heat which is stored in dense, ceramic bricks. The bricks are enclosed in a super-insulated metal cabinet which also houses the unit's digital controls, blower motor, and heat exchanger, where applicable. The stored heat is withdrawn from the unit as needed throughout the daytime and nighttime hours to heat homes and businesses. ETS units come in a variety of sizes from small to large room units, whole-house "furnaces" for central heating, and even bigger units that can heat large office buildings.
Trained electricians or plumbers carry out the installations to ensure safety. For more information, please call Marty Berry at Madison Electric Works at (207) 696-4401.
Power is cheaper when demand is low.
Electricity is more expensive during "peak hours" of the day when demand is highest. Conversely, power typically costs much less during off-peak hours due to lower demand. Taking advantage of this, Madison Electric Works has arranged an off-peak electric supply that allows it to offer MEW customers low-cost, off-peak "heating power" at less than seven cents per kilowatt-hour for space and water heating. Customers can lock in the seven-cent heating power rate through December 31, 2013, and can use the heating power for charging ETS space heating units or water heaters.
How does heating power at seven cents compare with oil heat?
Assuming a typical oil-burner's seasonal efficiency of about 72%, buying heating power at seven cents per kWh is comparable to buying heating oil at around $2.20/gallon. And remember, customers can lock in the seven-cent heating power rate for two and a half years (through December 31, 2013). Heating power customers will also save on maintenance costs, since ETS units are essentially maintenance-free.
Where can I see what an electric thermal storage (ETS) heater actually looks like?
Feel free to stop by MEW's offices where we have a Steffes ETS heater installed in our lobby. (Steffes, located in Dickinson, ND, is the sole North American manufacturer of ETS heating equipment.) In addition, a small plug-in model is on display at the Franklin-Somerset Federal Credit Union at 20 Main Street in Madison.
Is financing available if I decide to buy and install an ETS heater?
Yes, the Franklin-Somerset Federal Credit Union has established a simplified Energy Improvement loan program specifically to help customers make energy improvements to their homes, including the purchase and installation of ETS equipment. For more information on this program, please call the Credit Union at (207) 696-3691, or visit their website, www.f-sfcu.com.