Why you should choose electric heating over gas

Author: Rointe


Today ✅ electric heating ✅ is evolving into a smart, sustainable and economical system. Learn why you should choose it over gas with our latest blog post.


Do you often wonder which type of electric heating solution you should use? It’s an important question that carries implications for the energy efficiency of your home or property.

For a long time, gas was considered the cheapest way of heating a property. It is the most common form of heating in UK homes, with around 8 million gas boilers sold every year in the UK.
A gas system consists of a single boiler that heats up water and then pumps it through pipes to radiators throughout the property. It also provides hot water to the kitchen and bathrooms. Over the years, gas systems have largely remained the same with little evolution.

Electric heaters, however, have evolved into an advanced alternative, with all the advantages of the old storage heaters but none of the disadvantages. The shift away from gas is gaining momentum, supported by a number of crucial factors:

1. Legislation: all new homes should meet a minimum EPC level C.

2. Value: gas heating installation expenses are much higher than electric and do not last as long on average.

3. Technology: electric heating technology is increasing in capability but reducing in price.

4. Ecology: consumers more aware of the need for clean and economical heating systems that are sustainable.

Table of Contents

What are the benefits of electric heating?

Electric heating is incredibly versatile as it can be used for both air and water products. Moreover, with a whopping 64.7% of the energy used in EU households going towards heating, it is more important than ever to ensure your system is energy-efficient. 

The latest developments in electric heaters include effective and fast components, new innovative thermal elements and amazing, state-of-the-art programming. 

Installation

Electric heating systems are easier and cheaper to install compared to gas central heating that requires pipes, vents and ducts. They don’t require flue or pipework so there are no restrictions on building layout or design. Nor are there any planning issues. A simple connection to the electric circuit is all that is required, so for new build properties, this means it can go in at the second fix wiring stage.

It’s a big job to install a gas system and can take several weeks to fit new pipes, radiators and a boiler from a gas certified professional. It may also be damaging to your property.

With almost all electric radiators (like Rointe’s), a template and installation kit is provided. Therefore, it’s a simple job to drill the template holes, screw the support in place and slide the radiator into position. Then all you need to do is plug into the electric socket, switch on and instant heat is generated.

Safety & noise

Electric heaters are generally safer than gas as they do not burn fuel to generate heat. This eliminates risks such as carbon monoxide emissions and explosions. There are no water-filled pipes, so there is less risk of damage to the property from leaking or burst pipework.

Gas systems can be far noisier due to hot water rushing through the pipes. Kettling is a common noise and sounds much like a kettle boiling.

This is actually a warning sign, caused by a build-up of sludge or limescale. You will need a power flushing service to remove the build-up.

With electric systems, there is no noise emitted and no limescale build-up.

Ecological heating

New Lot20 regulations stipulate that all space heaters that consume energy with a nominal heat output of at least 250W, must comply with a minimum efficiency value, to lessen environmental impact.

Even though gas is the cleanest fossil fuel, it is still the UK’s biggest greenhouse gas emissions source. Gas systems produce damaging carbon emissions and with climate targets increasing, gas could become obsolete in the coming years.

Electric heating is clean and respectful to the environment. No polluting gases or heavy metals.

Value

Gas is cheaper than electricity to run on a daily basis, but the true price to consider is installation plus maintenance and running expenses, along with the average length of a products lifetime. 

Electric heating is cheaper to install than gas, has no maintenance rates and lasts for up to 50% longer than the average gas boiler.  It is also 100% efficient, meaning all the electricity you use and pay for converts into heat.

If you consider all the factors then electric heating beats gas by a considerable margin. To give you a better idea, we’ve put together an electric heating cost example that gives an estimate of what it will cost to efficiently heat a 3 bed home in the UK. 

Lady saving money into a piggy bank from her heating bill

Gas heating wastes energy through the pipework. As the heated water snakes its way through the pipe system, heat will radiate from the pipes. You will also have to activate the whole system, even if you just want a single radiator on. You can turn other radiators off, however, the boiler has to heat the whole tank of water in one location and send it to your desired radiator.

With electric heaters, there is no heat loss between the power source and the heat output. It is engaged as soon as it is switched on with a short cable in place of a complicated pipe network.

Control

Adding connectivity features into household appliances gives users convenience and consumes less electricity. Coupled with cleaner electricity generation, this presents a low carbon heating solution.

Little do most users know that using a connectable heating solution can help cut annual heating bills by up to 30%.

With gas systems, you can program the majority to a heating schedule that suits. However, it’s not possible to separately control different radiators or rooms. They are on either according to your programming or off. Obviously, this limits how much energy you can save.

There are Wi-Fi controlled options available with gas, but these tend to be an additional (or replacement) thermostat that needs to be purchased and fitted. This generally needs installation by a professional.

Built-in Wi-Fi now comes as standard with many electric heating systems, without the need for additional thermostats or parts. In fact, we were one of the very first manufacturers to incorporate Wi-Fi into our products, all controlled by our free app, Rointe Connect.

In the past, the decision always came down to two options, old fashion gas central heating or inefficient electric storage heaters. However, electric heating today has evolved to include smart, stylish and effective systems that are an economical alternative. They should be given due consideration when replacing or installing a new heating system into your property, as they are gradually replacing antiquated gas systems.

Pros and Cons of Electric Heating

Advantages of Electric Heating

  • A number of products are available including electric radiators, towel rails and heat pumps.
  • Installation of an electric heating system is both easier and cheaper compared to gas central heating. No pipes, vents or ducts are required when installing electric central heating systems.
  • Safer than gas as they do not burn fuel to generate heat. Unlike gas central heating systems, no carbon monoxide is emitted from electric central heating.
  • Electric heating solutions are quieter than gas due to the lack of hot water being pumped around the house to heat rooms.
  • An electric central heating system is clean and much more respectful to the environment.
  • Whilst gas may be cheaper than electric on a daily basis, the true cost of electric heating vs gas heating swings in the favour of electricity. Electric central heating is cheaper to install, has little to no maintenance rates, lasts up to 50% longer than gas boilers and is 100% efficient, meaning all the electricity you pay for is converted into heat.
  • Electric central heating allows for complete control when it comes to heating individual rooms or controlling specific radiators.

Disadvantages of Electric Heating

  • More expensive than gas to run on a daily basis.
  • Can be slower to heat up as it takes a bit longer for the system to kick in.

Pros and Cons of Gas Heating

Advantages of Gas Heating

  • Modern gas boilers are becoming more efficient when compared to their older counterparts.
  • Gas heating is easy to replace as long as you already have the infrastructure in place.
  • Gas will heat your home quicker when compared to electric boilers and radiators. This is because maximum heat will be achieved from the moment you switch your boiler on rather than waiting for the electric boiler to heat up.

Disadvantages of Gas Heating

  • Gas boilers are not 100% efficient, unlike electric boilers.
  • When a gas heating system goes wrong or breaks down, repairs and maintenance can be expensive.
  • Gas uses fossil fuels to generate heat which greatly contributes to global warming and climate change.
  • By 2025, by law, no new build comes are allowed to use gas and oil boilers.
  • Annual maintenance is required to ensure your gas heating system is safe and working efficiently.
  • Upgrading to a newer, more modern boiler can be very expensive.
  • Poorly maintained gas heating systems can be noisy and unsafe.

Is electric heating better for the environment than gas heating?

Electric and gas heating have their pros and cons, but if you want the environment to be your top priority then there’s really only one choice.

Gas heating systems produce harmful carbon emissions that contribute to climate change and damage the environment. With countries all over the world setting targets to reduce emissions and their carbon footprint, gas is likely to become obsolete in years to come. Electric heating, however, emits much less  polluting gases or harmful carbon emissions that impact the climate. It is both clean and respectful to the environment making it the better choice for those who are conscious about the impact they are having on the environment.

The UK is trying to reach its Net Zero carbon emissions target by 2050. One of the ways they plan on doing this is starting in 2025, new properties won’t be allowed gas boilers. This is a great start but more must be done to achieve that target. Older homes will eventually need alternative forms of heat too and will need to phase out and replace their old gas heating systems.

The good news is that you can reduce your carbon footprint by using electricity to heat your home. The average person in the UK uses gas for about 40% of their consumption, but if they get an electric heating system with a zero-emissions policy then this will be replaced by renewable sources like solar and wind power which generate almost as much energy on behalf of our country’s needs—a record 37% in 2019.

Is gas heating cheaper than electric heating?

Though gas is cheaper to operate on a daily basis, the installation, maintenance expenses and running costs often lead to electricity being the cheaper option to heat your home efficiently. The average lifetime of electric central heating is also something to consider, lasting up to 50% longer than gas boilers.

Electric heating is also 100% efficient meaning all of the electricity you pay for and use will be converted into heat, unlike gas. Even a brand new, modern gas boiler is just 90% efficient whereas a standard electric radiator is 100% efficient converting 1kWh of heat.

8 Tips for Saving on Electric heating

1. Retain heat thanks to good insulation of doors and window

If you’re looking to save on electricity costs, one of the best ways is by maintaining an interior temperature. This is done by preventing cold draughts from filtering through doors and windows which can lead directly to lower monthly heating bills. It might seem like poor insulation won’t affect your consumption much but studies show that up to 25% of heat loss happens due to poor insulation.

2. Replace your old radiators, towel rails and floor heating with energy-saving ones

When it comes to saving money, electric heating systems are always going to be on top in the long run especially when it comes to installation and maintenance costs. As an environmentally conscious individual who wants their home heated with a smaller number of harmful emissions being released into the environment; switching from gas heating will give you more control over how much energy is used at any given moment and provide benefits like greater efficiency which can help cut down costs for homeowners.

3. Use a thermostat to increase monthly savings

With a thermostat, you can program your home’s temperature to be at an ideal level. This ensures that the heat will only come on when it is needed and not waste energy by wasting hot water or generating more than what we need in our everyday lives. You can save up to £60-£100 per year by programming your thermostat.

4. Saving by maintaining the right temperature

With an average temperature of 21 degrees, we can achieve the perfect balance between efficient consumption and pleasant warmth. In addition to our planet welcoming any action that promotes energy saving and responsible use with open arms!

5. Program your heating systems from your smartphone

To save on heating costs, it is possible to program your radiators and towel rails directly from the product itself. This allows you to regulate heat without falling into excessive spending, ensuring a high level of efficiency and savings. Some of our range of electric radiators have WiFi connectivity, which allows them to be controlled at any time and place using a smartphone or tablet.

6. Set different temperatures in areas of your home

By properly calculating your heating and programming your radiators or thermostat, you can go one step further in saving and becoming cost-effective. This happens by turning off the temperature of those devices that don’t need to be on during certain times like when no one is home and it may seem obvious but actions such as these will help increase savings in our day-to-day lives

7. Do not cover radiators for savings and safety

When you think about how to save on heating, it’s important not only for the household budget but also for safety purposes that your house be at an ideal temperature. This is why putting wet clothes or furniture too close can have such negative effects – they prevent proper circulation of air which leads directly back to increased consumption from electric systems working harder than necessary.

8. Only ventilate as much as necessary so as not to lose temperature

When it comes to renewing the air in your home, don’t leave your windows open for more than 10 minutes. Windows that are left open for longer periods of time only cool down your home and waste money because they take away the heat generated resulting in money being wasted.

For a complete run-down of these tips and more insights into how to save money when it comes to electric heating, check out our handy guide here.

Learn more about our range of electric heating systems including radiators, towel rails, domestic hot water heaters, underfloor heating and smart heating controls.

You can also buy Rointe heating systems now from our online shop.