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Electric Boiler vs Gas Boiler: Pros & Cons, Running Costs And Alternatives

Updated: Apr 16, 2023

Electric Boilers Vs Gas Boilers
Electric Boilers Vs Gas Boilers

Electric Boiler Vs Gas Boiler. An electric boiler can be a more efficient and environmentally-friendly alternative to gas and oil.

However, electric boiler running costs can add up when you consider that electricity is much more expensive than natural gas.

If you're in need of a new boiler, get in contact with us, and we can guide you to make sure you get the best solution.

Gas Boilers?

Gas boilers burns natural gas to generate heat for the central heating and domestic hot water. The natural gas is delivered to the property by an energy supplier on demand as and when needed.

Properties that aren't connected to the gas network can still have a gas boiler installed. However, rather than natural gas, it will need to run on Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).

LPG is a natural gas alternative which is a liquid. It is stored onsite in a tank, rather than being supplied to the property from the grid.

Natural gas boilers are the most commonly installed heating system in the UK. As of 2021, around 85% of homes in the UK rely on gas central heating.

Electric Boilers?

All modern boilers need a supply of electricity to operate, but electric boilers turn the electricity into heat rather than burning fossil fuels.

An electric boiler is ideal for properties that aren't connected to the gas network or for smaller homes and flats with a low demand for heating and hot water.

Electric Boilers vs Gas Boilers

Natural gas has proven to be a great fuel for home heating, but there's no hiding the fact that it isn't kind to the environment.

As a fossil fuel, natural gas releases carbon into the atmosphere when burned. That means every time your gas boiler fires up, the level of carbon in the atmosphere goes up. This is a leading cause of climate change and home heating makes up around 14% of all UK emissions.

One way to combat the impact of home heating on the environment is to turn to electric heating.

For smaller 1 bedroom homes and flats, an electric boiler is the ideal low-carbon heating system. However, they're unable to meet the higher demands for heating and hot water in larger homes and in this respect, natural gas holds the upper hand.

Electric Boiler and Gas boiler cons
Electric Boiler and Gas boiler cons

Electric Boiler and Gas boiler Advantages
Electric Boiler and Gas boiler Advantages

How much do electric boilers and gas boilers they cost to run?

Natural gas is the cheapest way to heat your home and that’s why gas boilers are the heating system of choice for UK homeowners. Electricity, on the other hand, is rather expensive.

electric boilers and gas boilers cost
electric boilers and gas boilers cost

*Fuel prices as per latest update in October 2022. Energy Saving Trust (2022).

When it comes to electricity, you don't always have to rely on a supplier. Instead, you could turn to renewables to generate your own electricity.

Solar PV panels turn solar energy into electricity. This electricity can then be used to power the appliances around the home – including an electric boiler. So, during daylight hours, you could be heating your home for free.

In the evening or during the night, solar panels aren't able to generate energy. This could mean having to turn back to your supplier. However, a solar battery could take your energy savings even further.

Boiler Installation cost

Boiler Installation Cost
Boiler Installation Cost

When it comes to the installation of any boiler type, there are many variables that can impact the final cost. Firstly, there's the cost of the boiler itself.

Electric Boiler Vs Gas Boiler are similarly priced but with more gas boilers on the market, it's possible to find a cheaper gas boiler than electric.

On top of the price of the boiler are the installation costs. Those costs can be affected by a number of things, including the location of the boiler, and boiler size. The boilers you get with My Connected Home, will come with installation by our approved Gas Safe Engineers, who will visit your property to inspect the area you want your new boiler installed for you, including how long it will take to remove any older system parts or update old pipework. Our engineers can tell you on the spot, the work to be done to get your new boiler installed and completed, as it will be determined by this scenarios below

Boiler Replacement
Boiler Replacement

The most efficient boiler?

"Electric boilers have an efficiency rating of 99-100%, while the maximum efficiency of gas boilers is rarely more than 93%"

With a boiler that’s 93% efficient, for every £1 spent on heating a property, 7p is wasted on lost energy. For electric boilers, there's little to no energy lost. This is because there's no waste gas escaping through the flue.

While some electric boilers boast a 100% efficiency rating, you'll notice that they have an ErP D-rating. Most electricity is produced by burning fossil fuels, and as a result, is considered carbon-intensive and not very efficient. Having said this, energy generation is changing.

Renewable energy generation has increased massively in recent years. So there are times when electricity has a lower carbon intensity than natural gas. Eventually, this could see the ErP rating given to electric boilers increase sooner rather than later.

Which boiler is cheaper? Electric Boiler vs Gas Boiler?

Which boiler is cheaper? Electric Boiler or Gas Boiler?
Which boiler is cheaper? Electric Boiler or Gas Boiler?

Electric boiler running costs are higher than gas boilers, but there are many benefits of an electric boiler that could save you money over the years.

Before you choose a gas boiler over an electric boiler, based on the running costs alone, consider the savings you could be making elsewhere with an electric boiler.

  • Running costs: Electricity can be 3 times more expensive than gas, however, an electric boiler will consume half as much energy as a gas boiler.

  • Annual service: It's highly recommended to have your gas boiler serviced annually by a Gas Safe registered engineer to ensure it's running safely. They're also essential to keep the warranty valid. Electric boilers don't need the same level of servicing, but it’s still recommended.

  • Repairs: Electric boilers don't have any moving parts which make them less likely to need repairs compared to a gas boiler.

Which is right for your home?

Electric Boiler Vs Gas Boiler? Gas combi boiler running costs make them the cheapest option, but for small homes, flats or properties off the gas network, an electric boiler is worth considering.

The installation of electric boilers is much simpler, the unit can be installed just about anywhere and no carbon is emitted.

Properties with more than a single bathroom would be better suited to a gas boiler as they can deliver more power.

Renewable alternatives to gas and electric boilers

Replacing a gas boiler with an electric boiler is a great way to lower the carbon footprint of a property. However, as electric boilers are only able to meet the heating and hot water demands of smaller properties, how can larger homes become more environmentally friendly?

"Renewable heating systems such as heat pumps, biomass boilers and solar thermal panels all convert natural resources into usable energy"

Heat pumps

Air source heat pumps and ground source heat pumps extract heat from the air or ground. The air contains heat that can be used to heat a property even in temperatures below 0°C while underground temperatures sit at a constant 10-15°C.

Biomass boilers

Biomass boilers operate much like regular boilers. They burn plant-based organisms such as wood pellets, chips and logs. The heat produced when burning the material warms up the water and is then used to provide central heating and domestic hot water.

If you have access to an outdoor area then you could potentially fuel the biomass boiler for free. Some biomass boilers need to be fed the fuel manually while others do this automatically.

Solar thermal

Solar thermal panels use solar energy to heat the water stored in a hot water cylinder via an immersion heater. The water within is then circulated to hot water outlets around the home when needed. While solar thermal panels can provide you with free domestic hot water, a separate heating system is needed for central heating. This could either be a boiler, heat pump or infrared panels.

Infrared panels

Infrared panels are a recent development in home heating. While traditional radiators use convection to heat the space in a room, infrared directly heats the people and objects. This means that you could sit in a cold room but feel comfortably warm. Infrared heat is a very safe way to heat your home and is even used in baby incubators.


LPG is another gaseous fuel, but rather than being delivered through a pipe network, it's stored on-site – similar to oil. For properties that aren't connected to the gas network, LPG and oil are effective alternatives to natural gas.

Conventional heating systems, such as gas and oil boilers, are the most affordable. While renewable heating systems tend to be more expensive than electric and gas boilers, you may be able to earn payments through government grant schemes to support the cost of switching to a renewable system.

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