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Is it cheaper to use gas or electric for cooking and heating my house?

Is it cheaper to use gas or electric for cooking and heating my house?

Is it is cheaper to cook or bake in a gas oven or an electric one? And would it be cheaper to heat a room at 18c using an electric halogen heater rather than running a gas radiator?

A home energy expert, from not-for-profit energy group Ebico, replies: I assume that the ovens are modern, and of similar size and energy rating (A).

Both ovens are thermostatically controlled, so reduce the energy used once the desired temperatures are reached, which is standard functionality in ovens.

With this in mind, then the decision has to come down to the cost of the energy to raise the oven temperature to the desired levels.

Gas costs around 6p per Kilowatt hour (KWh) and electricity 12p per KWh, so basically, it is cheaper to cook using mains gas.

On the second question, the answer is extremely difficult to answer without more specific details, as each dwelling will perform differently due to a range of factors, including resident behaviour, and building energy performance (levels of insulation etc.).

Insulation levels should always be improved when this is appropriate, saving money, and improving overall comfort levels.

The heating configuration will be different between houses (thermostat position, it’s setting, and whether Thermostatically Controlled Radiator Valves (TRVs) are fitted (and their individual settings).

All of this will affect the costs of heating.

Taking a very general and simplistic view, in terms of using the gas central heating to heat the building to 18°C, the well-recognised ‘Sutherland Tables’ suggests that a three bedroom house, heated to normal levels, with a modern boiler would cost about £910 per year.

Sutherland also suggest that heating a single room with an electric heater would cost around £505 a year.

Electricity is a much more expensive form of energy for heating, when compared to natural gas.

Halogen heaters ‘warm’ objects by radiation, and therefore this has a different feel to that of traditional convected heat produced from the familiar sources.

Halogen heaters are highly directional in terms of their effect. Gas heating will provide a better all-round whole house heat.

There are probably better electrical heating solutions available depending on your needs, but this would need a detailed survey from a reputable supplier/installer, who are capable of designing a new heating system, and comparing running costs for different systems, to allow you to make an informed decision.

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