Is Electric Heat More Efficient than Heat from Gas?

Is Electric Heat More Efficient than Heat from Gas?

Is Electric Heat More Efficient than Heat from Gas?

With coronavirus lockdown measures being eased, and businesses opening up again, we’re now slowly returning to work. During our weeks at home, either working remotely or furloughed from the workplace, many of us will have taken time to reflect, catch up on household projects or even achieve personal life goals.

However we’ve spent the time, there’s one consequence that we’ll all face in coming weeks – spiralling energy bills. Where we’d once have turned the thermostat down while we’re out of the house, and turned the lights out, we’ve all been at home using more energy than would normally be the case and this is going to hit monthly budgets. Indeed, in March it was estimated that energy bills could soar by £52 million a week for households in Britain, and this is going to have a serious impact for homeowners and tenants across the country.

Why is energy efficiency important?

Energy efficiency has been a buzzword in the energy sector for a while now. It’s not just about improving heating and heat retention within our homes, it’s also about where and how we source our energy. Gas is the biggest contributor to fossil fuel emissions in the UK. We’re all well aware of how fossil fuels are seriously harming the environment, so governments are focusing on generating electricity from renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar, hydro and biomass. Indeed, the UK Government has set a target of 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, relative to levels recorded in 1990.

So how does this tie in with UK households? Given the rise in fuel usage, it’s now time to look at the energy efficiency of your home, and where and how you can make savings. Do you have an ageing gas boiler? Are you still trying to heat your home with old night storage heaters? Making the move now to an energy-efficient heating system is not only the smart financial choice, but it’s also the most environmentally-conscious decision you can make. Indeed, given the carbon emissions from gas heating systems, and the drive to renewable energy sources, gas could one day soon become obsolete. This makes buying a new gas central heating system a bit of a gamble, like buying a diesel car, which made perfect sense 20 years ago, but now would be a risky investment.

Switching to electric

There are many options when it comes to electric heating within your home – including underfloor heating, ground source heat pumps and electric radiators. In this post, we’ll focus on electric radiators, and how these are the smart choice if you’re thinking of moving to electric heating within your home. When it comes to efficiency, there are many reasons why electricity is the smart choice over gas, for more energy- and budget-conscious households.

Energy efficiency

In terms of energy efficiency, there are many reasons that heating using electric radiators is more efficient than heat from traditional gas boilers. These include:

  • 100% efficiency – with electric heating, the amount of energy used is equal to the amount of heat produced, making electric radiators and heaters 100% efficient. Not only that, but they heat up quickly, and are fast to respond to changes in ambient temperature.
  • Independent function – electric radiators run independently from each other, so you only heat the rooms you use and don’t have to heat the whole house just to warm up the one room you’re occupying.
  • No loss of transmission – heat from traditional gas boilers has to be transported from the boiler through pipework around a home, meaning that a lot of heat is lost along the way, especially if the pipework isn’t lagged.

Cheap installation and maintenance

Efficiency isn’t down to energy burn alone. It typically costs £1,500-£4,500 to replace an ageing boiler, and what’s more, condensing gas boilers have a limited life span and will need to be replaced every 10-15 years. Installation is not only costly but also incredibly disruptive and there are restrictions on where the boiler can be placed.

In contrast, installing electric radiators is far less expensive, with costs averaging £175 for individual units. What’s more, you don’t need pipework or a flue, just wall fixings and a power source. There’s also no servicing required, as opposed to gas boilers that require annual serving – and no risk that burst pipes can damage your home. Electric radiators also have excellent warranties, with some manufacturers offering 30 years peace of mind, compared with the standard 10 years on a condensing boiler.


Electric radiators and heaters come with a host of features to make your life easier, including digital controls, 24/7 programming, built-in timer switches and climate control so you can precisely control where and when the heat comes on in your home. Some are even WiFi-enabled so you can control the heating from wherever you are, even away from the home. In contrast, radiators fed by a gas boiler tend to have minimal controls for heat output, with just one thermostat governing the temperature of the whole house, and individual controls on each radiator being rudimentary at best.

Overall costs

On the surface, you may think gas is the cheapest energy for your home,  with costs averaging 4p/kWh for mains gas compared with 15p/kWh for electricity. The true running cost, however, depends on several factors, and mean that electric heating can cost less to run than gas central heating. The improved energy efficiency of electric radiators means that less energy is required to generate heat and maintain room temperatures; in addition, electric radiators are also far less costly to install than a gas boiler and they don’t require long-term maintenance or expensive service contracts. In fact, conventional gas boilers only ever operate at 70-80% efficiency and can reach as low as 60% efficiency, so any cost savings are soon lost in actual usage levels. Factor in a superior safety profile for electricity – there’s no risk of carbon monoxide poisoning –  as well as the zero-emission profile of electric radiators, and the choice is clear.

If you’re interested in making the switch to electric, then get in touch with us today. Electric heating systems are cheap to install, economical, smart and stylish, as well as the environmentally friendly option. Call us today on 01252 560770 for further information; alternatively, you can complete our 2-minute self-survey for a fast, expert quote.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *