During those long cold winter months, there is nothing better than a warm and cosy home. The only problem is the heating bills tend to skyrocket. That’s the literal price you pay for comfort.
However, you can make considerable savings on your home’s carbon footprint with certain types of heating. Gas or electricity? This is the question many homeowners ask when it comes to choosing heat. Which is cheaper? Which is more cost-effective? Which is best?
Electric and gas heating essentially break down into two types of costs: installation and running costs. The bottom line is that electric heating systems are generally cheaper to install but more costly to operate on a month-to-month basis. Gas central heating is usually more expensive to install but works out cheaper over the months.
The average cost when installing a gas heating system including radiators, boilers, pipes, and controls can be from £3,000 to £4,500. This can exclude labour costs as well. Low-cost electric heating is much cheaper to install with basic electric heaters costing less than £20. If you’re looking to install storage heaters, you’re looking at approximately £400 each. Most rooms will require at least one of these to heat the space enough.
The cost of electricity and gas varies from one energy supplier to the next. However, the average cost of electricity per kWh was recently around 16.6 p/kWh. This rises to an average of 17.5 p/kWh in southern areas of the UK. Over a year, a household that uses an average of 2,900 kWh will be looking to pay around £475 or more.
For an average gas user, the average cost is about 4p per hour or £495.60 a year if you’re using an average of 12,000 kWh. Of course, the costs depend on your lifestyle and how much you use electricity or gas.
As you can see, the running cost of gas is a lot less than electricity. Using off-peak electricity, regular electric heating can cost around twice as much as gas heating. The reason behind this is because electric heaters tend to be 100% efficient. They use all of their electricity to turn it into heat. The same can’t be said of gas heating systems. Take an A-rated boiler, for example. This wastes about 10% of the energy in its fuel and some additional heat can also be lost from the pipes. Only a small amount of electricity is needed to run the boiler and its pumps.
You can get low-cost electric heating systems. These can be timed to take advantage of certain off-peak tariffs where the average cost for 1 kWh of electricity comes to less than 10p.
Do you need to install a new heating system for electricity?
Smart controls are also a popular way of controlling your home’s heating and energy. You can turn off your heating from your phone when you’re away to save costs.
Switching from gas to electric can be quite daunting. However, because gas is no longer sustainable, many more homeowners and businesses are making the move to electric heating systems.
When making the switch, you want to avoid as much hassle as possible. While you may assume that the switch is complicated, it isn’t as difficult as many believe. The biggest task is the removal of your gas central heating. For this, you will need to contact a professionally qualified gas engineer. They will then decommission your boiler and remove any existing pipes and radiators. This process can be quite time-consuming and prices can vary from one contractor to the next.
The next step is easier. This involves installing your electric radiators. There are simple, straightforward installation options available so no pipes or flues need to be fitted. A professional can easily connect your heaters to your main electrical supply.
Electric heating can be installed throughout your entire property. Whether it’s in your bathroom, bedroom, or kitchen, there are different designs and options for all kinds of interiors. Furthermore, you will not need much maintenance with this type of heating. Just dusting now and again should suffice.
Which is best?
So, making the switch from gas to electric doesn’t require a whole new system and is not as complicated as you may have thought.
Both have their strengths and weaknesses. Although gas is cheaper to run, the environmental impact of it should also be considered.
If you want to save on costs over time, gas central heating is the best option but if you want a more eco-friendly alternative, electric heating is the way to go.