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.
Electric heaters, however, have evolved into an energy-efficient 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:
- Legislation: all new homes should meet a minimum EPC level C.
- Costs: gas heating installation costs are much higher than electric and do not last as long on average.
- Technology: electric heating technology is increasing in capability but reducing in price.
- Ecology: consumers more aware of the need for clean and efficient heating systems that are sustainable.
What are the benefits of electric heating?
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. You can see how easy it is to install a Rointe radiator on our YouTube channel.
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.
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.
Gas is cheaper than electricity to run on a daily basis, but the true costs to consider are 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 costs 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 cost factors then electric heating beats gas by a considerable margin.
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. Hardly energy efficient.
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.
Adding connectivity features into household appliances gives users convenience and consumes less electricity. Coupled with cleaner electricity generation, this presents an efficient low carbon heating solution. Little do most users know that using a connectable heating solution can help cut annual heating costs 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, energy-efficient heating system into your property, as they are gradually replacing antiquated gas systems.