When you are looking for a new central heating system for your home how do you accurately assess the pro’s and con’s of a gas versus electric systme?
We thought you would appreciated a little help so we’ve had our friend Richard Newman do some research.
This is what he found out.
With the current state of the economy in the UK and abroad, many households are finding it difficult to manage all their bills, especially their energy bills. In times like these it’s well worth considering ways to cut down your energy costs. A question we often receive is regarding the difference between gas and electric heating and which is most efficient.
Currently electricity runs almost 3 times as expensive per KW than gas, which means that as long as you have a fairly modern boiler the very quick answer to your question is that gas is a more efficient heating method than electricity – but there’s a little more to it than that so let’s take a look in a little more detail.
Around 90% of homes in the UK have access to mainline gas or delivery gas services (those where canisters of gas are delivered usually on a monthly basis) and the chances are that your home is already installed with a gas based central heating system if it was built post 1970.
This was never a legal requirement but in the majority of homes it was considered more efficient by the architects and building firms. However, if you’re not already connected to a mainline gas outlet then it could be extremely expensive to have your home connected – in which case if you want to go for gas you will be much better off having it delivered by truck rather than paying for the connection.
If you’re not currently set up for gas central heating it could cost you as much as £2000+ (for the average home) to install a boiler and radiators. A much lower alternative in this situation is to install an electric storage heater system which will cost around half as much a gas central heating system.
There are also maintenance costs to take into account too – servicing a gas system is harder and needs to be done more regularly so can end up being an ongoing cost you’ll need to budget for.
Electricity based storage heaters require much less servicing and so at least in the short term are less expensive in terms of maintenance.
However electric storage heaters lack an ability to finely control temperature and timing controls. They usually work in a pre-regulated manner storing heat during the daytime when the sun is out and then releasing it during the evening.
This also means that storage heaters will often use on-peak electricity which is charged at a much higher rate than off-peak – thus pushing up your costs.
With gas you can control the temperature and timings with extreme precision which again means gas is more efficient as you can choose to turn the heating down if you’re trying to save money (or if it’s a particularly warm day!). So once again gas wins out as the more efficient option.
If you live in an area which is serviced by a gas supply then it’s definitely worth investing in a gas heating system – although the initial costs nay be a lot higher, in the long run you will certainly be saving money when compared against an electric heating system.
If however you are already using a gas based system then you may need to look at other ways of cutting down your energy bills. A good way to do this can be to switch supplier.
If you compare gas and electricity prices you’re likely to find that there is a supplier in your area which will be cheaper than the one you’re currently with. Especially if you’re with one of the ‘Big 6’ energy companies – then a smaller supplier will almost certainly be cheaper.
This post was written by Richard Newman:
Richard is a copywriter and poet with a bachelor’s degree in English Language and Creative Writing. He has worked in various marketing & creative roles since 2001. In my professional capacity he currently works for an advertising agency in London. His aim is to publish at least one novel before I die – so far I have had 2 poems published internationally in print as well as some online.
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