Gas vs. electric appliances. Which are cheapest to run?

Does it cost more to run a gas oven or an electric one? Which is more expensive, gas central heating or electric radiators? If you’ve always wondered which is more cost-effective, here’s the lowdown.  

Peter Earl From the Energy team
minute read

Gas central heating vs electric radiators. Which are cheapest to run?

Some eight million gas boilers are sold every year in the UK, making it the most common type of home heating.  

This is largely because gas radiators are cheaper to run than electric heaters. But, gas central heating tends to be more expensive to install. 

One way to cut your electricity bills is with Economy 7 and Economy 10 tariffs. These give you a cheaper electricity rate at night and a higher one during the day. The difference between them is the number of off-peak hours you get. With Economy 7, it’s seven hours, and with Economy 10, it’s 10.  

This can be of real benefit if you use electric storage heaters, which store heat overnight – when your tariff’s cheaper – for use the following day. But, it’s only really worth signing up to an Economy 7 tariff if you use around 40% of your electricity at night.  

It’s always beneficial to keep tabs on how much electricity you’re using. Especially if an off-peak tariff could work in your favour. 

Which are cheapest? Gas fires, electric heaters or wood burners? 

An electric heater is generally the cheapest of these to install. Gas fires can be pricey to fit and wood burners even more so.

But an electric heater costs more than a gas fire to run, since gas is more fuel-efficient than electricity. A wood burner will probably be the most expensive of the three to run – you could easily get through a £5 bag of logs in a weekend.

There’s an argument for the charm of a wood burning stove, but electric heaters have other benefits. They’re easy to install and clean, and are often portable.

Gas vs electric ovens. Which are cheapest to run?  

Electric ovens tend to be cheaper than gas ovens to buy and install. But because of the higher costs of electricity, they’ll cost you more to run.

That said, electric appliances are more efficient than they used to be, and cost isn’t the only factor to think about. You might also want to consider which is safer, and which you prefer cooking on. Electric hobs give you a more even surface and are easier to clean.

How to use your oven more efficiently

One way to try to cut your energy bills is to get clever with how you cook:

  • Use fan-assisted cooking if possible – this allows you to cook at a lower heat
  • Try to cook lots of things at the same time
  • Don’t open the oven door during cooking
  • Batch-cook and freeze dishes for later.

And there are plenty of other energy-saving tips to consider too.

One of the easiest ways to see if you could make savings on your energy bills is to compare energy suppliers with Compare the Market. Just give us a few details about yourself, and we’ll do the rest.

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