When it comes to heating your home and running appliances, it can be difficult to know whether gas or electricity is the best option. Both fuels offer a number of pros, but equally can have a number of cons. The best one for you will depend upon a whole range of factors including your property, lifestyle, and requirements.
On average, based on standard rates, electricity is approximately three times more expensive than gas per kWh. This means that, when used in conjunction with an efficient modern condensing boiler, gas is the cheapest fuel to heat the home.
It’s important to remember, however, that there are additional costs involved if you choose to switch to gas but do not already have a gas supply to your home. For example, there will be a cost to bring the gas supply in and, in some circumstances it is not possible at all. You will also need to cover the cost of a boiler and room radiators, which can run into several thousands of pounds, and regular checks are recommended to ensure that the system is performing well.
The efficiency of a gas boiler is never as high as its electrical equivalent, even when the boiler is brand new. An electric radiator, for example, turns 1 kWh of electricity into 1 unit of heat (meaning they are 100% efficient), whilst a brand new boiler is approximately 90% efficient.
Whilst the majority of homes in the UK have access to electricity, a substantial number of properties don’t have access to gas. That’s not to say, however, that these people can not run their home on gas, but rather than mains gas, they will have to use LPG (Liquid Petroliam Gas), which is typically more expensive.
When it comes to cooking, electricity and gas both offer a number of pros and cons.
A gas hob provides an instant, constant flame that you can adjust within seconds. The flame also spreads evenly along the bottom and sides of the pan, meaning that food cooks more quickly and evenly. As discussed above, if you already have a gas supply within your home, the energy and operating costs of using a gas stove are lower than electricity.
On the other hand, gas stoves tend to be more expensive to purchase and connect.
Electric stoves are less expensive to purchase initially and easier to install than gas stoves (they also tend to look sleek and stylish too!). They are, however, considerably more expensive to run.
When cooking, they do, however, tend to cook food more slowly and, if there are frequent power failures in you area, you will not be able to use your stove whilst the power is down.
At the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide what is best for you, your family and your home. It’s often worth consulting a professional, so be sure to look on Which? Trusted Traders for endorsed electricians and gas installers.
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