Gas Alternative Boilers - Electric vs Oil

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    Apr 08, 2014
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Gas Alternative Boilers - Electric vs Oil Photo by Colin Armstrong

More than 4 million people live in areas of the UK that have no access to the gas grid. If you are one of these people, you must explore the alternatives to traditional gas central heating systems for your heating and hot water needs. The two most common fuel alternatives are electric boilers and oil boilers. Each of these options has its pros and cons, but which is the best?

Electric Boilers

Electric boilers are perhaps the most used alternative to gas and offer a number of excellent benefits. First of all, an electric heating boiler is cheapest heating solution on the market and a top of the range system is often cheaper than the standard oil model. Systems are easy to install and maintain and are known for being light, compact, and quiet – a benefit that should not be understated.

Electric combi boilers can be run off cheap-rate night-time electricity, which keeps the cost of bills down; however, systems per kWh are more expensive to run than gas or oil.That said,oil prices are increasing at a rate faster than electricity as proven resources of the fuel diminish. With proven resources of oil expected to run out (there are still ‘probable’ and ‘discovered’ reserves, though new technology is needed for extraction) before the end of the century, electric boilers may become the only viable option for homeowners.

While coal reserves will also eventually diminish, sustainable electricity-producing energy sources such as solar, hydro, wind and wave will ensure electricity is available in abundance.

Oil boilers

Like electric boilers, oil systems are available in combi and conventional models. There are also high-efficiency models that are capable of operating at a much greater rate of efficiency than the 50 per cent and less rate of older systems; however, these can be expensive to purchase.

The biggest benefit of oil boilers is that they are cheaper to run than electric boilers. They are also simple to install and do not require a great deal of maintenance. Heating oil being blended with biodiesel has help boilers reduce CO2 emissions, but the amount of carbon dioxide that these systems produce remains a worry.

Oil boilers are invariably compatible with solar panels to offer a renewable energy source and fulfil a small amount of energy needs.


Given that electric combi boilers are cheaper to buy, more environmentally friendly and are future-proof, they provide a better gas alternative than oil in the long-term – which is where you should be looking.

Author's Profile

In this article author writes about Boilers. The Electric Heating Company is a leading UK supplier of electric boilers and electric combi boilers. The company is based in Blantyre, Scotland.

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