Gas v Electric: Which One Is Cheaper To Heat Your Home?

As you may have seen on the news recently, gas prices have been rising since the aftermath of COVID-19 this year. Experts predict that gas prices could rise a further 30% in 2022. They forecast it will be an unprecedented time for the domestic energy market, which customers will feel in the rising costs of their bills. Want to stay toasty warm this Winter, and keep your bills down? Have a read of this article to find out whether it's cheaper to run Electric Heating or Gas Heating in your home.

An image of an electric gas stove being switched on with a blue flame

Gas Radiators

Gas Radiators depend on the central heating systems coming from the central boiler. The water is warmed inside of the boiler, and the heat is distributed through a network of pipes under the floor towards the radiators. This will warm your entire home.

Electric Panel Heaters

Electric Panel Heaters work independently, with each one getting their power from a socket in each room of your home. They warm your home with heat conducted through electricity, instead of water.

How much does it cost to run an Electric Panel Heater in comparison to a Gas Radiator?

The cost of running either Electric or Gas heating is broken down into installation and running costs.

The cost of installing an Electric Panel Heater is very low, with a single heater ranging from £20 - 100. In a five-bedroom house with a heater for each room, the installation costs can be anywhere from £100 - £1,000. All you need to do is plug it in to a socket and switch it on.

On the other hand, the cost of installing a Gas radiator is much more expensive. To install a Gas central heating system for a five-bedroom home, including a boiler, radiators, controls and pipes can range from £3,000 - £4,500. In a Gas central heating system, the heated water travels underneath the floors through pipes, and 50% of the heat can be lost before it reaches the radiator. This means you would have to heat up your home for longer and increase the temperature to compensate for the heat loss.

Energy consumption is measured in kWh, which can be calculated by multiplying the wattage (W) of the radiator by how long you want to use it for in hours. The energy consumed per kilowatt hour for an Electric Panel Heater costs 15p. Whereas, the energy consumed per kilowatt hour for a Gas radiator costs 4p. Although gas looks cheaper, it is more costly in the long-term than Electric.


An image of money jar, with coins spilling out

Electric Panel Heaters generally are sold in wattages of kW. They range from being small (0.5 kW) to very large (2.5 kW). The most popular sizes for Panel Heaters are:

  • 0.5 kW
  • 1.0 kW
  • 1.5 kW
  • 2.0 kW
  • 2.5 kW

Let's calculate the cost of running an Electric Panel Heater versus a Gas Radiator. For example, let's say the Wattage of the Panel Heater is 1.0 kW, and you want to use it for 8 hours per day.

Multiply 1.0 kW by 8 hours, which gives you 8 kWh, as the electricity used each day. At the cost of 15p per kWh, running one Electric Panel Heater per day costs £1.20. Multiply that by 5 for a five-bedroom home, the cost to heat your home per day using an Electric Panel Heater is £6.00.

Let's compare this to a 1.0 kW Gas radiator's running costs. The energy usage will come from the boiler, which has an average wattage of 24 kW. You want to run the gas radiator for 8 hours, which means the Gas energy used per day is 192 kWh. At the cost of 4p per kWh, the cost to heat your home per day with a Gas Radiator is £7.68.

In total, the cost of running an Electric Panel Heater is approximately £1006.00.

The total cost of running a Gas Radiator is £3,007.68.

Therefore, to heat your home using Electric Panel Heaters is cheaper than using Gas radiator with a central heating system.

Environmental Considerations

Electric Panel Heaters produce no carbon emissions, as they are powered by renewable sources. Gas radiators are powered by central heating systems, by burning gas. As a result, Gas central heating systems can produce harmful carbon emissions.

Efficiency

Electric Heating is 100% efficient, which means every Watt of electricity used by the Panel Heater is converted to heat energy. No energy is wasted, so you won't have to worry about where your money's going. Gas central heating is not fully efficient, as new boilers tend to be 90% efficient in converting gas to heat.Energy losses occur through the pipes, with 50% of the heat produced being lost if they're not well insulated.

Zone Control

Electric Panel Heaters come fitted with a heating dial, so you can set the heat in each room to your desired level. This means you can set different temperatures in each room of your home to meet your needs, without heating spaces unnecessarily. However, Gas radiators warm up a room using a centralised control on the boiler. This means all the radiators in your home switch on at the same time, heating your whole home when you only want the living room to be warm. As a result, you waste energy and money heating areas of your home you won't use.

Smart Heating

Many Electric Panel Heaters now come with Smart controls for improved cost-efficiency. You can have more control of your heating, with access to energy saving features, energy usage statistics and an adaptive start. The features allow you to see where you can reduce your energy consumption, and pre-heat your home via a Smartphone app. Smart Electric Heaters can be managed through Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Voice Control. The Wi-Fi feature allows you to turn your heating on and off via the App, even when you're out and about. If you want your home to be toasty warm and ready for when you come back after your shift, you can do it via the App. You won't need to worry about racking up electricity bills.
Panel Heaters

Panel Heaters

Life Expectancy

The life expectancy of Electric Heaters is anywhere between 20 to 30 years. The life expectancy of a modern gas boiler is 15 to 20 years, which mean you have to install a replacement evenetually. The Government have announced that they are looking to phase out gas boilers by 2025, to reduce the UK's CO2 emissions. Installing Electric Heating means you won't have to worry about carbon emissions. If one Electric Heater fails, your home wouldn't be totally affected as you still have others which work. On the other hand, if a gas boiler were to break, your entire house would be cold.