Gas vs electric: Which is cheaper to heat your home as cost of living crisis hits?

The UK Government has raised the price cap on energy bills from the start of this month, as experts predict thousands will be left choosing between heating and eating

Brits are examining ways to cut costs and heat their homes on a budget

Many Brits are looking for ways to cut costs as thousands across the UK will see a near-£700 increase to their energy bills.

In the midst of a cost of living crisis, with all-time-high inflation, national insurance tax hikes and rising interest rates, many have been fearful about the beginning of this new financial year.

But the start of this month also saw the enormous rise in the price cap on energy bills set by regulator OFGEM, to a record £1,971.

The soar in cost will mean the average household will see a rise of £693 per year in their gas and electric bill.

Experts predict thousands will have to choose between heating and eating as the cost of living crunch bites



So which of the two is cheaper to run?

Most central heating models use gas radiators pumping hot warmer from a boiler to heat several rooms at once.

Naturally, this can prove expensive as it uses gas over a wide area for several hours a day.

The alternative is to heat only the room you’re using or need to heat with an electric appliance that works independently.

Electric heating units take their power from wall sockets rather than one central system, but this isn’t necessarily cheaper upfront.

There are many considerations to make when deciding whether to use gas or electric to heat your home


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While market chaos has made it near impossible to estimate accurate electricity and gas prices, tradespeople estimate the former is more expensive, The Express reports.

Data reported by from the last time prices were stable – in December 2021 – show gas heating costs approximately 4.65p per kWh.

Electric heating is almost four times more expensive at 16p per kWh.

But using electricity creates savings elsewhere, such as in installation.

Gas central heating systems require the hand of a specially trained tradesperson and cost up to £5,250 on average.

Electric central heating systems cost markedly less, averaging out at £3,790.

But overall the data suggests electric heaters are more efficient and therefore cheaper on the whole


Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Heaters not hardwired to the mains usually require a single plug socket, with no electrician necessary.

But there are other factors to consider when considering whether to use electric heating.

One such consideration is efficiency, as gas won’t convert to heat at a 1:1 rate.

Most research shows that, at peak efficiency, gas boilers are roughly 90 percent effective.

Electric heaters generate one unit of heat per hour of operation.

In the long run, electricity can give people more bang for their buck.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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