Is it Worth Getting a Gas Connection?

A gas flame surrounded by question marks

Going round in circles deciding whether to get a gas connection to supplement your electric energy? It doesn’t surprise us if you are. The age-old debate on whether to use gas or electricity for your home heating isn’t as straight-forward as you might expect. Luckily for you, we know a thing or two about gas and electricity.

We’re going to condense this knowledge down into a snappy comparison guide. We’ll tackle questions on which is cheaper for home heating and the differences between a gas vs electric boiler, so keep reading...

Gas and electricity: what’s hot, what’s not?

When we compare gas and electricity, there are many factors to take into consideration. You may have already tried researching whether or not to set up a gas connection or not and just got bogged down in all the information available.

Everyone gets an electricity connection, so the big question is whether to use gas or electricity for your hot water and heating needs. Since installing boilers and arranging gas and electricity connections is such a big investment, you will find a lot of relevant literature available online, not all from credible sources.

It really is quite simple though when you get down to it. There are a handful of key factors that we suggest you look at and compare. We’ll provide you with a brief description of gas and electricity for home heating and hot water, and explain the pros and cons of each energy source. That way you can make a decision based on your needs. A gas connection may not always be cheaper or better because it will depend on your circumstances.

It is always costly to set up new energy supply connections. If you wanted to move from electricity to gas for your heating and hot water, you may find that it’s cheaper to swap tariffs instead. Call us on 02039 360059 if you have any questions or want to compare tariffs now.

If you are planning for a new-build home or still considering whether to use gas or electricity for home heating and hot water, read the following considerations. We will then focus on which is cheaper and the all-important boiler question.

  1. First, let’s talk ovens. Those with gas ovens swear they heat faster and help cook more evenly. This was absolutely the case... until recently. While many older electric ovens take an age to heat up and food is either undercooked or toasted, the new electric convection ovens are changing this perception. The new electric models are able to deliver the same effect and electric hobs have a smoother surface, making them much easier to wipe down than gas hobs with their grooves.
  2. Another appliance to consider is the humble clothes dryer. You can only use these with a gas connection if you have a vent leading outside. Depending on where your laundry is situated, this may not be a viable option for you. If it is, gas dryers are more expensive to purchase than electric. However, gas dryers are much cheaper to operate and will save you approximately 30% in energy and off your bill!
  3. Another important topic is that of safety. While safety has progressed in leaps and bounds over the years and all appliances have to fit certain standards, there are still a few potential safety hazards. The main risk with a gas connection and appliances is carbon monoxide poisoning. Make sure your home has proper ventilation and install a carbon monoxide alarm. On the other hand, electric appliances carry a slight risk of fire and electrocution. It’s important to have these installed properly and maintained as needed. Don’t forget to also follow any safety guidelines that come with these appliances or home wiring systems.
  4. Which is more green? Using gas or electricity for certain appliances? How do the appliances stack up? You want to stay warm, but not at the expense of the environment. When talking green, nothing is black and white. Electricity is now officially greener than gas, however, gas appliances use less energy. Furthermore, half of electric energy in the UK comes from gas at this stage. Progress is being made annually in this field, so stay tuned.

Is a gas connection cheaper?

A gas flame over a contravt and two piles of gold coins

This is what everyone wants to know. Therefore, we thought it deserved its own section. So, is gas or electric cheaper for home heating, hot water and appliances?

You’ve probably had arguments with friends or colleagues about the virtues of a gas connection vs electric. It’s always surprising when someone seems convinced that one is cheaper than the other, and you are arguing the exact opposite! How on earth can this be?

Well, there are three main factors that can contribute to this argument:

  1. Installation costs - A gas connection is usually more expensive to set up than electric. The gas appliances will often set you back more too, so that’s something to consider. Overall, the initial outlay for gas is higher, but running costs are cheaper so you'll save money in the future.
  2. Maintenance costs - Electric should be easier to maintain and so you will save money here. Whereas, a gas connection needs regular maintenance which obviously will cost you time and money.
  3. Energy consumption costs - This really boils down to you (or your argumentative friend or colleague). How much you pay for your consumption will depend on which energy supplier you have chosen. Even the different tariffs offered by the same energy supplier can shift your costs drastically.

Of course, there is also the amount of energy that you use, which you need to take into consideration. You may use half of what your friend uses or vice versa.

Generally speaking, gas is cheaper than electricity when it comes to paying your utility bills. However, the range of tariffs is eclectic when it comes to gas and electricity energy. It pays to research all the deals in the market to ensure you have the best rate, based on your needs and lifestyle.

Flame and light bulb

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Hopefully, you are getting closer to understanding whether gas fits the bill for you, or if you’d be better off sticking with just your existing electricity connection. From a financial perspective, it pays to have a gas connection if you factor in the cost over a longer period of time. It is initially more expensive to set up but will save you money on your utility bills. Recently, electricity has been dubbed the cleaner energy though.

How much does it cost to set up a new gas connection?

There are many factors that determine the cost of setting up a new gas connection. Here are the main influencers of the installation price:

  • How close your property is to the mains supply.
  • Will the company need to access third party property, e.g. neighbours or roads.
  • How much work is needed and whether third party contractors are required to complete any of it (although you can hire contractors yourself to keep the price down, where applicable).

The average full conversion cost is in the range of £2,500 – £5,000.

There is one more point you may want to factor in: how long will gas be around for? Keep reading to see exactly what we mean here.

Should you switch to a gas boiler?

A yellow boiler

In this section, we will look at gas vs electric boilers. Before jumping into the benefits of each, there is one more consideration to note about gas connections.

In late 2019, a number of reports were released claiming that gas will be phased out. Before you panic, nothing is set in stone yet. What has been mentioned as a possibility, is that no new build properties will be connected to gas mains from 2025. This means new properties will have to be fitted with low-carbon heating systems, should this go ahead.

However, the ban on gas boilers is only for new builds, so you will still be able to replace or fix current gas central heating systems after 2025. We will provide updates when more solid information is made available.

For now, around 80% of homes in the UK use a gas boiler as part of their central heating system. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of gas vs electric boilers:

Pro / con Gas boiler Electric boiler
Annual service necessary  Gas boiler requires annual service  No need for an annual service
Energy production  Can meet higher demands for heating and hot water  Not suitable for larger homes
Noise  Gas boilers tend to be noisy  Quiet in operation
Cost to run  Natural gas is cheaper  More expensive than gas
Efficiency  Rarely more than 93%  Rating of 99-100%

Many people now opt for a combination of gas and electricity (rather than just electricity). Ultimately, you need to make the decision based on your needs and energy consumption. What’s right for one person (or family) may be completely inappropriate for you (and your family).

One of the most important things to remember is switch and switch!

  • Switch off the lights.
  • Switch energy suppliers regularly.

That way, you can keep your bills down and always have the best rate in town.

Verdict: should you get a gas connection?

Here’s a summary of the benefits and disadvantages of switching to gas.

Economical as will provide cheaper utility bills for running appliances, heating and hot water on gas. Expensive set-up costs initially, which may be prohibitive.
Gas is more reliable than electricity since electric power can lead to blackouts in storms. Uncertainty and speculation around the future use of gas.

We’ve tried to bring you a clear overview of the benefits and disadvantages. Most homes in the UK use gas as their main source of fuel, however, the future may bring changes. The decision is ultimately yours. Take into consideration all of the factors that we’ve discussed and you should feel confident about whether or not you want a gas connection in your home.

If you’re still not sure, why not call us for a chat? We’d be delighted to help...

Call and save with us today!So, it's time to start searching for a cracking new deal for your gas and electricity, and luckily, we can help you out. Just give us a call and we'll get started! 02039 360059

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