How ETS (Off-Peak) Heating Systems Work

Your Guide to ETS Heating Systems

Electricity is more expensive during the day – when we use a lot of it. Dishwashers, washers and dryers, computers, blow dryers… it’s a long list. Power companies charge lower rates during the night when less electricity is used. These lower rates are called “off-peak rates.”

Get the “Off-Peak Advantage!”

The Electric Thermal Storage (ETS) Systems makes it easy for you to get the Off-Peak Advantage! You take advantage of the discounted off-peak rates. The electricity is converted to heat. The heat is stored in specially designed ceramic bricks inside the Heating System.

When heat is needed, day or night, the stored heat is automatically released into your home. Homeowners receive comfortable, even room temperatures, from floor to ceiling. It’s very quiet, and can provide enough heat for a home of any size.

The advantages continue! With an ETS Heating System, you never need to worry about:

  • Purchasing propane, gas, or other fuel
  • Having a combustible fuel in your home
  • Buying and maintaining a fuel tank
  • Damage to the environment from a deficient tank or a fuel spill
  • Heat lost through the chimney.


Save Money While You Sleep!

You cut your heating costs by purchasing low cost “off-peak rate” electricity and storing it as heat. While you are sound asleep, your ETS Heating System is working away – converting electricity to heat and storing it in the specially designed ceramic bricks. The stored heat is released whenever you need. You save money because a ETS Heating System has the ability to store heat to be used later – not like old-fashioned systems that don’t have a heat storage feature.

ETS Room Heater

Brrrrr! The family room is always cold. That basement bedroom never warms up. The den on the north side of the house is always chilly. Keeping our home comfortable is difficult and expensive.

It seems that every home has rooms like that. Whether you need to supplement the heat in just a room or two of your home or are looking to cut your overall heating bill, the ETS Room Heater is your answer. The Room Heater utilizes the same money-saving technology of the ETS Heating System, and can heat an entire floor of your home. It can augment the current system you use, whether electric baseboard heat, propane, fuel oil, gas, or wood burning stove.

You’ll enjoy the warm, quiet heat of the Room Heater, along with the energy efficiency and cost savings of off-peak heating. During the night, the Room Heater automatically converts off-peak electricity to heat. This heat is stored in specially designed ceramic bricks until the thermostat calls for it. You save money because off-peak electricity rates are much lower than daytime rates.

Operation of the ETS Room Heater is easy. Simply set the on-board digital thermostat to your desired temperature, and the heater will accurately deliver heat to maintain constant comfort. The Room Heater automatically stores the right amount of heat based on outdoor temperature and the heating needs of your home.

Technical Information: Room Heaters are non-ducted heaters which can be used in new construction applications, as a retrofit or as a supplement to an existing heating system. Various sizes of room units are available ranging from 1.32kW, 120V – plug-in units to larger 10kW, 240V models. The Room Heater fits easily into most rooms of a home.

These “Fan Forced” heaters have the ability to quickly discharge vast amounts of heat as desired. The on-board room temperature thermostat is set to your desired comfort level and will control the delivery of heat from the ETS heater.

ETS Whole House (Forced Air & Hydronic) Heating Systems

ETS Hydronic Heating System This system is designed to be the main heating system (forced air) for residential or small commercial applications. This system can be a stand alone furnace or installed with a heat pump for greater efficiency and energy savings. It is a versatile appliance that can serve as a back-up for an electric furnace during on-peak times, replace a duct heater, or supplement a fossil fuel system. The system has the heat storage capacity to provide total comfort 24 hours a day.

The system is easy to operate. The amount of heat stored in the brick core is automatically regulated in relation to outdoor temperature and the heating requirements of the user. When the room thermostat calls for heat, heat is extracted from the unit’s storage core and is distributed evenly into the home until the heat call has been satisfied.

The unit has sensing devices that monitor the core, the supply and the discharge air temperatures to ensure maximum safety while providing optimum comfort. A heat pump, air conditioner, electronic air cleaner, central humidifier, and programmable thermostat can easily be integrated to offer year round comfort.

This Hydronic system adds a new dimension to heating by blending hydronic heating with off-peak heating technology. During off-peak hours, when electricity costs and energy usage are substantially lower, the unit converts electricity into heat and stores that heat in specially designed high-density ceramic bricks located inside the unit. Through the use of a heat exchanger, this stored heat is transferred as needed from the storage media to a water or glycol solution, which is circulated to areas where the heat is needed.

The system is extremely flexible and can handle multiple heating zones.
Heat can be delivered via a radiant floor system, baseboard radiation, free standing radiators, a forced air system, or almost any combination of zoned delivery systems. The Hydronic unit can also be used as a supplement to a single or multiple heat pumps.

ETS and the Smart Grid

ETS heating solutions don’t just reduce electricity usage and cost for the end-user. Thanks to off-peak and smart grid technologies, power companies also stand to substantially increase the efficiency of generation, transmission and distribution of power. Smart grid transmission networks incorporate digital technologies that allow for a more streamlined and efficient approach to power distribution.

Steffes heating solutions are smart-grid ready and have the ability to respond to real-time pricing, load & demand management, alternative energy, frequency control and other signals available from power companies. This allows power companies to better manage their infrastructure and dramatically reduce the peaks and valleys that occur from changes in consumer energy demand.

Renewable Energy Storage

Renewable energy offers great benefits for our environment and country. Many states have mandates in place to introduce significant amounts of renewable power into their power generation mix in the coming years. The leading renewable generation sources are wind and solar, which both have a variable generation profile.
Renewable Energy Storage
So, what do you do when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining? Or what should be done with renewable power at times when there is more available than what consumers need? Since Steffes heating systems are storage devices, they are a perfect answer. ETS off-peak heating products serve as a “battery” to harness the renewable power when it is available for use in heating as needed.

As more and more renewable power becomes available, it is anticipated that power companies will provide even better electric rates and incentives to consumers who can utilize this power during hours when excess generation is available. Your Steffes heating system will be ready to capture this power and savings.

How Power Companies Benefit

Electric Thermal Storage – An Essential Component for Power and Resource Management, Power Balancing and Control

Electric Thermal Storage (ETS) is a clean, safe, comfortable and reliable method of heating. This heating choice is growing in popularity in North America, not only because it is 100% efficient and provides consumers with affordable and dependable heat, but also because it allows power companies to manage their energy load and demand.

Power Company Benefits of ETS

When utilizing ETS in marketing and load management programs, a power company and its consumers will share a number of benefits:
Demand Response

  • Reduced peak demand and overall power costs
  • Improved load factors

Conservation of Capacity

  • Helps power companies better utilize current capacity without eroding kWh sales
  • Deferred transmission and distribution system upgrades
  • Reduces transmission line losses

Smart Metering and Smart Grid Ready

  • Ability to respond to time-of-day, off-peak and real-time price signals as provided by the power company
  • Responds to signals from the “Smart Grid” related to control and regulation
  • Interactive control provides UP and DOWN regulation for precision load shaping

A Low-Cost “Thermal Battery” for Storage of Renewable Energy and Ancillary Services

  • ETS systems can store energy from variable generation sources, such as wind or solar, for use in heating as needed
  • Power companies can use ETS space and water heaters to balance supply and demand, provide regulation and other ancillary services
  • Affordable Space and Water Heating for Consumers
  • Offers consumers a low-cost method of heating with electricity
  • Reduces high bill complaints
  • Can make electric heat competitive with fossil fuels

Reduces our Country’s Dependence on Foreign Oil

  • Off-Peak Electricity is an underutilized domestic resource that can be used for space and water heating purposes, thereby reducing the amount of oil we import.