You already have an electricity supply to your home, so the initial start-up is much cheaper. Around 2.8 million homes in the UK still don’t have access to the main supply, so if this includes you, then installing gas heating could be very expensive - if it’s possible at all where your house is located.
Alongside initial installation costs, there is maintenance to be considered. An electric system will afford you much lower bills in this regard as a gas boiler should be serviced once a year to ensure it is running efficiently and safely. The fluctuating price of electricity should be not discounted when making your heating choice, however and the price of electricity should decrease in line with government legislation.
Is Gas Heating being phased out?
Gas heating is gradually being phased out and, according to Which? [https://www.which.co.uk/news/2020/12/gas-boilers-banned-in-new-builds-from-2025-what-does-this-mean-for-you/], gas boiler installation will be phased out by the mid-2030s as the UK aims to achieve net zero status by 2050.
What this means for the consumer is: if you have a gas boiler that heats your house, you won’t be able to get it serviced or have a new one installed should it break down by the mid-2030s. The Government’s new energy White Paper wants to ensure that all new-build homes built from 2025 onwards are zero carbon ready and this will mean an end of the connection to the gas mains.
See table to show the impact of the heating industry on CO2 emissions:
|Sector||Yearly CO2 emissions (kg)|
Data from Energy Saving Trust, based on household emissions in 2017
Is Gas Heating cheaper than oil?
Government figures show that 23 times more people in the UK have a gas boiler installed than its oil-based equivalent [https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/energy-consumption-in-the-uk]. On average, a household pays around £550 a year for their gas central heating, compared to up to £800 for oil.
This, as ever, is down to price, oil costs more than gas. However, if your house is off the gas grid, then oil is often the only option. However, be aware that installing and running an oil boiler can be disruptive as you will have to allow for regular deliveries. Ask yourself this: do you have adequate access for drop-offs? The last thing you need is to run out of fuel for your boiler in mid-Winter.
Is Gas Heating bad for the environment?
In a word: YES! According to the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, for every KWh of heat as gas boiler produces, between 210-380 grams of CO2 are created. Only oil-powered boilers are worse for the environment, according to the figures.
Some 14% of greenhouse gas comes from heating our homes - a similar level as car emissions.
Is Gas Heating better than electric?
This depends on how you class “better”. Electric heating is definitely better for the environment and, with gas boilers being phased out from the mid-2030s will be one of the cleaner ways to heat your house.
Gas has generally been classed as more efficient than electric as modern boilers use 90% of the heat generated is used and you have quicker access to heat, however the installation costs of gas central heating can be prohibitive.
Add to this the fact that gas is a fossil fuel, not only that but gas prices can be impacted by global demand as the UK isn’t self-sufficient. This, along with the increasing government legislation and world-wide mood towards sustainability means the future looks extremely bright.
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