What is the Cost of Running Gas Central Heating in 2020? | Checkatrade
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Cost of running gas central heating

In the UK, most of us are connected to mains gas. But if you’re off the main grid, you’ll need to look at alternatives. Liquid petroleum gas (LPG) is a popular choice because it can be used within a conventional gas central heating system. Plus, as you’ll discover below, it’s cheaper than some other alternatives.

So, what exactly is the cost of running gas central heating? And what options do you have? Read on to find out.

Cost provided itemUnitAverage cost
Mains gasPer kWh2.4p
LPGPer kWh7.6p
LPG tank rentalPer year£65
LPG underground tank rentalPer year£130
6kg Calor gas refillPer kWh31.6p
13kg Calor gas refillPer kWh19.7p
47kg Calor gas refillPer kWh14p

Gas central heating running cost calculator

The overall cost of running gas central heating will depend on a number of factors, including the size of your house and how often you use heating and hot water. However, the main decider will be whether you’re connected to mains gas or whether you need to use LPG.

LPG requires you to have your fuel delivered and stored at your property. Not only is it more expensive in itself, but you’ll also need to have your own personal supply tank, which involves an annual service charge paid to LPG suppliers (known as the ‘standing charge’ or ‘tank rental’).

How much does it cost to run gas central heating per hour?

If you’re connected to mains gas, you’re looking at a cost of around 2.4p per kilowatt-hour. This means that if you have a 24 kW boiler, you can expect to pay around 57.5p to run it for an hour on mains gas.

LPG running costs

LPG is more expensive than mains gas, but it’s a good option if you’re not connected to the mains. LPG boiler running costs are around 7.6p per kilowatt-hour, which means you’re looking at around £1.80 to run a 24 kW LPG combi boiler for an hour.

You’ll also have to bear in mind the cost of tank rental, which will vary depending on whether your tank is installed above or below-ground. You’ll have to pay a yearly charge of around £65 if your tank is above ground, or £130 if it’s underground. Underground tanks also tend to involve an additional installation charge of up to £1,500.

Gas central heating cost to run per year

A medium house with an annual usage of 13,500 kilowatt-hours is likely to pay around £609 per year on mains gas. This is compared to £1,125 per year if you’re using LPG.

While the price difference might seem huge, it doesn’t seem so bad when you compare it to an electric boiler, which would come in at closer to £2,053 per year.

Oil v LPG running costs

Heating oil is a little less expensive than LPG, at around 6p per kilowatt-hour compared with LPG’s 7.6p. So, people who aren’t connected to mains gas are usually going to be choosing between oil and LPG boilers.

Both these options require fuel storage tanks. And while LPG boilers need to be installed, repaired and serviced by a Gas Safe registered engineer, oil boilers require an OFTEC registered engineer. So all in all, they’re pretty similar.

That said, LPG boilers are usually cheaper to install than oil boilers. Plus, LPG produces fewer carbon emissions when burned, which makes it more environmentally friendly.

LPG gas fire running costs

One of the biggest advantages of LPG over oil is that it’s more versatile. It can be used to fuel appliances like ovens, hobs and gas fires, while oil can only be used by your boiler.

You can expect to pay around 12p per hour to run a 2 kW LPG heater. Like with boilers, an LPG gas fire is going to be more expensive than a fire that’s connected to mains gas, but it will still come in cheaper than an electric fire.

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Calor gas central heating running costs

Gas central heating running cost calculator

You might think you can use bottled gas canisters, like Calor gas canisters, to power your central heating. While it’s doable, these canisters are primarily designed for portable gas fires like barbeques. So, you’d be looking at a much higher price per kilowatt-hour.

To refill a 6kg Calor gas canister, you can expect to pay around 31.6p per kilowatt-hour. To refill the brand’s larger 47kg bottle, you’re looking at a lower cost of 14p per kilowatt-hour, but this is still much more expensive than other gas types. For that reason, a portable gas canister wouldn’t generally be recommended as a primary heating source.

Gas central heating cost to run key takeaways

  • LPG is a good option for those who don’t have access to mains gas.
  • LPG users should remember to budget for their tank’s standing charge.
  • Standing charges are higher for underground tanks.

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