Gas Versus Electric: which should you choose? Gas versus electric, it’s always a difficult decision and, of course, depends on your requirements, size of home and whether your main consideration is heating or cooking. So to help you out, here are our top pros and cons across cost, efficiency and kitchen preference, to ensure you make the right choice when deciding between gas and electric.
For a long time now, it has generally been considered that gas is the cheapest way to heat your home. In fact, 23 million homes in the UK have gas boilers! To buy one unit of mains gas (measured in kWh) you will pay about 4p / kWh. However, one unit of electricity from the mains will cost you about 15p / kWh, and thus gas is about 3-4 times cheaper than electricity per kWh. On average, gas ovens cost around £9 a year to run, whereas electric ovens cost around £44 a year, so installing a gas oven gives you an annual saving of £35! According to the Energy Saving Trust, when comparing gas versus electric ovens, they actually use the same amount of energy units, in the 200s of kWh per year. But the much higher price of electricity compared with gas makes electric ovens far more expensive to run. And those two million households that use electric are not set to be in for a bright future, with Consumer Futures predicting households reliant on electric heating would see their typical bill rise by £282 by 2020. This is mainly due to the cost of energy efficiency policies falling largely on electricity customers Efficiency So,
So, may seem more cost effective but is it just as efficient? Yes, the clear winner in the energy efficiency battle of gas versus electric is in fact gas, as it takes about three times as much energy to produce and deliver electricity to your stove. Particularly when it comes to the kitchen. Although electric stoves sometimes heat up more quickly than gas, cooks can control the level of heat more quickly and easily with a gas stove by turning the flame up or down. Also, electric stove burners tend to hold heat longer, so if you leave a pot on the stove it may keep cooking and eventually burn — even if you’ve turned off the heat! Whilst stoves occupy a similar price initially, the energy efficiency of the typical gas stove will save consumers money in the long run.
Preference in the Kitchen
Whilst gas hobs are cheaper and more efficient overall and offer instant heat that is easy to control, the heat distribution can be uneven. Gas ovens often don’t hold a fan so the heat can be challenging to circulate – being hotter at the top than the bottom. Equally, gas hobs can be tricky to clean and – as with any gas-based appliance – installation requires a professional registered by the Gas Safe register. Alternatively, electric cookers will always have an even oven temperature and will provide multi-functions such as grill and fan. Their ceramic hobs are also much easier to clean as the burners and metal risers on a gas cooker.
So ultimately when weighing up gas versus electric, the biggest con is that electric is more expensive to run. What’s more, hobs can be a little slower in heating up than gas. However, people still choose electric for practical reasons. For example, some people find it far easier to clean and find that electric ovens tend to have a more even heat distribution, making it popular with bakers!