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Last updated on March 25th, 2023

Gas vs electric heat cost – which is cheaper?

Find out what to look out for when comparing gas vs electric heat cost to make sure you choose the right energy for your home.

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When comparing gas vs electric heat cost, you’re probably keen to know which is cheaper.

On the face of it, gas is cheaper than electric if you’re simply comparing the unit cost (in this case, the cost per kWh). Gas costs 10p/kWh and electric costs 34p/kWh.

However, while cost per unit is a really important element to consider, there are many other things to weigh up before deciding which type of heating is right for you.

Please note that the UK wholesale energy market is currently in crisis with the current global surge in demand. The energy price cap has already risen by more than 50% and will potentially rise again in 2023.

The prices in this guide are in line with the Ofgem Energy Price Guarantee that came in on 1st October 2022.

Cost provided itemUnitRange - lowRange - highAverage
Gas heatingPer kWh10p
Electric heatingPer kWh34p
Installing a gas central heating system£4,500£6,000£5,250
Installing electric heating system£3,230£4,350£3,790

Our costs are ballpark averages – get a local tradesperson to quote now

Cost comparison between gas and electric heating

Our table of costs allows you to calculate the cost of gas heating and electric heating per kWh, plus the average installation cost for each type of system.

  • The unit cost of gas heating is cheaper than electric, at 10p/kWh, vs 34p/kWh for electricity.
  • However, the average cost to install a gas central heating system is around £5,250, compared with £3,790 to install an electric heating system. These costs are based on a gas combi boiler, heating pipework & radiators for a gas based system. And installation of storage heaters and wiring for an electric based system.

Gas vs electric heat cost

When comparing electric heat vs gas heat cost, you should factor in all the costs associated with each option to make an informed decision.

Unit cost

The unit cost is the cost of the actual fuel itself, be it gas or electric.

  • The unit cost of gas heating is 10p/kWh.
  • The unit cost of electricity is 34p/kWh.


The standing-charge is a fixed daily amount you have to pay for energy regardless of how much you use. It covers the costs your energy supplier takes on in order to supply you with gas or electricity.

The cost of your standing charge will vary depending on your supplier and where you live. As a guide, you can expect to pay:

  • Electricity standing-charge: 46p per day
  • Gas standing-charge: 28p per day

The cost to switch boiler type

If you’re switching from one type of energy to another, you’ll need to add in the cost of installing the components to facilitate the particular type of fuel.

For gas, you’ll need a boiler, pipework, and radiators. For electricity, you’ll need plug-in heaters or storage heaters in every room. You can have your electric heaters hardwired to the mains by a professional electrician. It’s worth noting that due to the advances in electric fuel, more people are now choosing this as a means to heat their homes.

The cost of installation will vary depending on the size of your property and the complexity of the job, but on average:

  • To install a gas central heating system can cost around £5,250.
  • To install an electric heating system can cost around £3,790.

Keen to explore electric heating? Then why not let us find you approved and guaranteed electric boiler installers.

Thinking about gas heating? Then why not let us find you approved and guaranteed central heating experts.

boiler installation

Energy efficiency

Electric has grown in popularity because of its efficiency. Electric heating is 100% efficient – every watt of energy used by the heater is converted into heat.

Conversely, with gas central heating, up to 50% of the heat produced by a boiler can be lost through the pipes.


Once electric heaters are in place, there’s very little maintenance, and they do not require servicing.

A gas central heating system, on the other hand, should be serviced once a year. Prices normally start at around £100.


Electric heating systems are expected to last much longer than gas central heating systems. Some heaters even offer a lifetime guarantee.

A gas boiler will last around 15 years before it’ll need replacing, which carries a significant cost. A boiler supply and installation range from £2,000 – £4,000 (assuming a gas combi boiler).

The UK government is striving towards a carbon Net Zero target by 2050, which is something to consider if you’re deciding whether to choose gas or electric.

To find a heating engineer to discuss your needs, please use our search function below. And remember, any work carried out by a heating engineer is covered by our Checkatrade guarantee (terms and conditions apply).

Hands being warmed against an electric heater

Comparing the annual cost of an electric storage heater and gas heating

We have compared the average cost of using an electric storage heater vs the cost of using gas heating.

Electric storage heater example

If we were to take an average household, we could work out the average cost of an electric storage heater throughout the year based on:

  • 15kW total electric storage heater capacity throughout a house
  • Assume all the electric storage heaters charge up for seven hours each night
  • 34p/kWh electricity rate assuming an Economy 7 off peak tariff is no longer available

The cost per night would be worked out by 15kW X 7 hours X £0.34/kWh = £35.70

The cost per week would be = £249.90

The cost per month would be = £1,071 in winter (over 3 months)

Assume no heating in summer (over 3 months).

Assume part heating in spring and autumn, so 28% of £1,071/month across 6 months.

Total cost over the year = £1071 X 3 months + £1071 X 28% X6 months = £5,000 per year


The above calculation assumes no Economy 7 tariff as these are difficult to access for new applicants.

Also, each property and temperature requirements/comfort are unique. This calculation assumes full storage heater usage throughout winter.

Gas heating example

Published figures give an average gas heating consumption of 11,808kWh per year.

The gas price is 10p/kWh.

Total cost over the year = £0.10/kWh X 11,808kWh = £1,181 per year

Please note these calculations are based on the Ofgem Energy Price Guarantee that came in on 1st October 2022.

Other ways you could save on your energy bills

Although gas is cheaper than electricity at the moment, this may change. And should you then switch from an electric boiler to a gas boiler, the installation cost of a gas boiler is more expensive than an electric one. And don’t forget the gas boiler ban coming into play!

Then that makes you think, what are your options when it comes to finding an alternative heating solution? 

Heat pumps and hydrogen boilers are typically the two being mentioned as solutions.

A hydrogen boiler is very much one for the future. According to British Gas, the UK government is planning to bring them in gradually. A hydrogen blend won’t be introduced until 2028.

So that leaves you with heat pumps as a solution.

Heat pumps are a great eco-friendly option to consider

With the growing popularity of green energy solutions in the UK, many homeowners are looking for alternative heating options for their homes – such as air source heat pumps and ground source heat pumps.

To explore these two options, we recommend that you reach out to an approved and guaranteed Checkatrade heat pump expert to discuss the options for your home.

See the tradespeople we've checked and recommend for your job

There are other ways to save on your energy bills, including lowering your EPC rating:

Along with a number of ‘home hacks’ to cut your bills. Check them out below:


Is gas heat cheaper than electric?

Gas heat is cheaper than electric (10p/kWh vs 34p/kWh respectively), however, there are other costs to consider in addition to the basic unit cost of the fuel. The cost of installation and maintenance costs vary greatly between the two.

Is electric heating more expensive than gas?

Electric heating is more expensive than gas if you only compare the cost per unit of each type of fuel (gas is 10p/kWh, but electricity costs 34p/kWh).

It is more expensive to install a gas central heating system (£5,250) than an electric heating system (£3,790).

See the tradespeople we've checked and recommend for your job
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What others think of this article:

Julie roberts

A fantastic article. Explained in a simple way. Thank you so much. I've learnt a lot from the article

Clive Williams

Well-reasoned, concise and appropriate assessment of the gas v electric situation. Very informative.


This article gave me the exact info.I was after

Jill Pantry

Very interesting to know.


Thanks. A useful commentary on the relative costs of gas v electric home heating

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