The age-old question for homeowners is whether they’d be better off financially by using gas or electric to complete everyday household tasks such as cooking and heating homes. Of course if there was a simple answer to this question, then we’d all have shifted our energy source by now. As with the vast majority of questions, there is an answer, but in this case it is far from simple. So let’s take a look at a few of the factors which determine the expense of each.
In terms of cooking, the solution is reasonably straightforward. The ovens of both electric and gas cookers are thermostatically controlled, which ensures you can regulate the temperate accurately without wasting energy. So, with temperature control a constant for both, the answer then hinges on the cost of the energy required to warm the oven to the desired temperature. No need for calculators here. A unit of gas measured by the Kilowatt hour (KWh) costs 6p, whilst a KWh of electricity costs 12p. Therefore, it is twice as cheap to cook using gas rather than an electric oven.
But what about heating the home? Particularly at this time of the year heating is one of the biggest expenses homeowners have to contend with. The answer of the exact cost of each is difficult to determine, as in every home there are a number of factors which will affect the overall price. Factors such as the level of insulation within the home and energy efficiency as will the behaviour of homeowners all play a part.
If we assume that two homes are identical, with the same thermostat set to an identical temperature, then, despite this being a simplistic view, we should be able to find an answer.
Recent research has shown that the cost of heating an averagely sized three bed property using a gas boiler to a comfortable 18oC will be in the region of £900 a year. Compare this to the £500 a year it costs to heat just one room with an electric heater and it does not take great powers of deduction to surmise that gas central heating is significantly cheaper than electric.
The reason: well, a halogen electric heater produces a completely different type of heat, which warms objects through the process of radiation. On the other hand, a gas heating system heats the room by convection, which is a far more efficient method of heating a large area.
Electrical sources of heat do not stop and start at halogen heaters. There are other heating methods which, depending on your particular circumstances, may offer a cheaper solution. However, for an electrical heating system designed specifically to meet the needs of your home, a detailed survey will need to be conducted, which can make the process an expensive one.
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