Gas or Electric? Which is more economical to run..

Gas and Electric fire costs

We ran a poll on our Facebook this week and the results were a little surprising. Initially I would have presumed that gas would have come out on top as being the most expensive to run. However the result of the poll was a split decision and this reflects the outcome of the research we carried out. This is a difficult topic to nail down an exact answer due to the variables involved. The biggest variable of course being usage, the second variable being, how that usage is controlled and monitored by your appliance.

One method of controlling and monitoring your appliance is by having a built in thermostat. Most modern gas and electric fires would have a thermostat. These are usually found in the appliances remote and monitor the temperature in the room and adjust your appliance to meet a pre-set desired heat. This method will cut down on any wastage of gas or electricity by regulating the heat in the room at a certain temperature.

Before we get down to the nitty gritty facts and costs etc, another important element is how you are going to use your fire. In recent years the advancements in insulation and air tight housing has been rapid and staggering. With it, the fire market has changed considerably. The necessity of a stove to heat your home is waning and therefore the consumer needs are changing. Nowadays heat is only an afterthought, a backup for an extremely cold evening. The primary need now is style and aesthetic allowing the customer to maintain a cosy and warm look to fill that traditional focal point within the home. However your existing home may not have this level of air tightness and you may use your fire very differently to the next. With more of a requirement to keep the fan heater on longer in the electric fire or burn more gas.

To ensure we have all areas covered its important to think of the environment that this stove will be set into. As this will greatly determine the usage and efficiency that you are likely to get from your appliance. With gas fires you can also have multiple burners that consume more gas so this needs to be factored in also. However if we wish to draw comparisons we need to first strip these conditions away and start from a level playing field. 

Cost of Gas

Information taken from ref (Elgas LPG Conversion table 2013) is as follows: Standard 34kg bottle will have 469.2 KWper hour / cost €99.80 as of 23/07/2019.
A 5KW stove running on full power would last 92 hours costing roughly €1.10 per hour.

Cost of Electric

As of 23/07/2019 prices on average are roughly .20 cent per KW hour. Your standard electric heater is 2kw giving us a cost of .40cent per hour running at full capacity.

At first glance it looks as though electric is cheaper. However in the real world you have the opportunity to regulate your heat through either manual or thermostatic controls. So you could run your gas or electric fire at a lower output. If we match both at 2kws the price depending on your provider is comparable at .40 cent per hour.

In conclusion it would be fair to say that you can run a gas fire economically. Especially with a thermostat regulating your heat automatically. You can also find comparable ranges of output and spend between electric and gas but when you go over 2 KWs of heat you’re into territory that electric fires don’t accommodate to and into territories of extra warmth but also extra cost.

Information provided as a guide only, please consult a registered gas installer and your local gas or electric providers for more accurate costs.
https://www.elgas.com.au/blog/389-lpg-conversions-kg-litres-mj-kwh-and-m3

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