Gas vs. Electricity vs. The Rest – Which is the Most Cost-Effective Way to Heat Your Home?

Gas vs. Electricity vs. The Rest - Which is the Most Cost-Effective Way to Heat Your Home? - Mr. DIY Guy

In the UK, because of the colder weather, particularly at night time, the fact we have central heating is a necessity.

With that necessity comes utility bills. Rather than just having any old system though, it makes sense to have one that provides you with real value for money.

Although we will look at alternative fuel sources later, we are going to begin by looking at gas and electricity as they are the most common and popular.

It is easy to compare the two using the cost of equivalent energy units. The current rates as assessed by UK Power are:

  • Gas (Mains) – 2.4p/KWh
  • Electricity – 9.9p/KWh

When looking at the rates, it’s easy to see that electricity costs around four times more than gas.

While it is crucial that you don’t avoid this fact, there are other important things you need to consider when determining which system is the most economical.

The Efficiency of Gas vs. Electricity

Consider first the fact that while gas-powered boilers have only 90% efficiency, electric-powered radiators have 100% efficiency.

So, that would suggest that electric central heating offers the most efficiency.

However, mains gas still provides you with the most cost-effective form of heating. What can you do though if you do not have access to the country’s mains gas supply?

So the most efficient heating system is electric. Yet, mains gas provides the most cost-effective heating. But what if you don’t have access to the mains gas network?

Are Renewable Energy Sources a Viable Option?

As people are looking for more sustainable ways of life, renewable energy sources are becoming more and more popular commonplace.

With the renewable heat incentive you have the benefit of subsidized premiums for using certain economical heating sources.

For every unit of water boiled using systems fueled by biomass.

The problem however is that the installation cost involves a considerable investment at anything between £14,000 and £19,000. The upside is that this will be earned back further down the line.

The renewable heating incentive also supports systems involving heat pumps. Even though they do use electricity, they are more efficient in the way they use it and can transform one unit of energy into around 3.5 units of heat.

The great news is that with this type of system the installation costs are more in line with those for mains gas central heating installations.

Although it may cost you anything from £11,000 to £15,000, this kind of system too will pay for itself in due time along with the subsidised costs.

Is there another option? Actually, yes. Not only is it the most cost effective, but also the most aesthetic. It’s a more modern wall heating option innovated by 3Thermo.

Not only is it the most efficient, the most healthy (it offers much cleaner air in your home), but you’ll also never know it’s there as it is installed behind your interior walls.

This could be the future of heating the modern home and making the old-school radiator, extinct.

Heating Costs Breakdown

To give you a clear indication of what it would cost, we have produced the table below to compare and contrast different heating systems and their estimated running costs for a year.

Fuel SourceCost per kWhAverage Annual Costs*
Heating oil6p£538
Gas (Mains)2.4p£609
Electric9.9p£2,053 **

*The average costs over the course of a year for hot water and heating in a medium-sized property, based on usage amounting to 13,500kWh.

** Using Economy 7 may be able to save you around £500 or more on the cost of your electricity in a year.

So What is the Best Heating System for Your Home?

Generally, most will find that heating systems using mains gas are the cheapest available.

Unless you are living off the grid, in which case, LPG is possibly the most effective and efficient heating option, offering you real value for money.

Interestingly though, if you get the fullest benefit of the electricity tariff known as Economy 7, your running costs may match or better even the LPG prices.

However, if you don’t mind spending a bit more on installation, even if it means you are going to have to wait to reclaim it back through the subsidised programme, heat pumps are perfect.

It’s vital, though, that you ensure you have a sufficiently insulate property to benefit from the highest savings. You may be able to save as much as £475 to £2,000 with insulation alone.

Regardless of the system, you opt for, it is crucial that you always use the services of a qualified and reputable professional, whether its for ongoing maintenance and repairs or new installations.

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