cheaper to use gas than electricity?

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hyposmurf
hyposmurf Posts: 575 Forumite
Ok as usual I assume the other utility companies wil put their gas and elec prices up as well in the nt so distant future.So if taking BG gas prices of 35% increase on gas and 9% on elec,then would it be beneficial for me financialy to try to use electricity over gas?Cant work it out myself accurately enough to be certsin,yes its cheaper unit cost wise,but does elecricity take more energy to heat water than gas?
If electricity works out cheaper I could us my microwave and kettle more for cooking.

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  • Colin_London
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    hyposmurf wrote: »
    Ok as usual I assume the other utility companies wil put their gas and elec prices up as well in the nt so distant future.So if taking BG gas prices of 35% increase on gas and 9% on elec,then would it be beneficial for me financialy to try to use electricity over gas?Cant work it out myself accurately enough to be certsin,yes its cheaper unit cost wise,but does elecricity take more energy to heat water than gas?
    If electricity works out cheaper I could us my microwave and kettle more for cooking.

    Absolutely not!

    You only have to look at the price per kWh (unit of energy). Electricity is, on average, 4 times the price of mains gas for the same amount of energy.

    So for activities where you can use gas (i.e. Cooking, heating hot water or heating the house) Gas is much cheaper. The difference in efficiency between heating methods is minimal compared to the difference in base cost.

    (this assumes that you are ignoring the capital costs of plumbing in central heating or a gas stove - if you already have gas fitted keep using it).
  • Optimisticpair
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    Absolutely not!

    You only have to look at the price per kWh (unit of energy). Electricity is, on average, 4 times the price of mains gas for the same amount of energy.

    So for activities where you can use gas (i.e. Cooking, heating hot water or heating the house) Gas is much cheaper. The difference in efficiency between heating methods is minimal compared to the difference in base cost.

    (this assumes that you are ignoring the capital costs of plumbing in central heating or a gas stove - if you already have gas fitted keep using it).

    It depends how long you have to use the energy for to produce a meal.

    If gas cost 60p for an hour and you need the gas oven on for an hour to make a meal then the meal cost would be 60p in energy.

    If using the microwave costs 4x as much - £2.40 for an hour but you only have it on for 10 mins the meal only costs 40p in energy.

    So a microwave made meal might be cheaper to cook. If it is a large batch, say of a casserole, yorky puds and roast spuds it might work out cheaper to use the gas oven and freeze what's left.
    No longer half of Optimisticpair


  • mech_2
    mech_2 Posts: 620 Forumite
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    Depends on the time of year and the efficiency of the appliance. Gas is cheaper per unit, but microwaves and kettles are hugely more efficient than a gas hob. Of course in the winter, heat wasted by a gas hob helps heat the house which displaces fuel you would otherwise have burnt in the boiler, but in the summer it's probably better to heat water in a kettle and heat things in the microwave rather than use a gas hob. That's my policy anyway.
  • hyposmurf
    hyposmurf Posts: 575 Forumite
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    Interesting.My units for elec are much higher than for gas, I got it mixed up but hen you start to think about it maybe the microwave is a better option for cooking in the summer.Our sitting froom is open plan with our kitchen so the gas in winter from the cooker heats it,so we save energy that way.Also if you think about the kettle and mircowave are contained so that the alot of the heat produced isnt lost to the surroundings as is the case with a gas hob.Heres some further info:

    http://www.aceee.org/consumerguide/cooking.htm[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]

    [/SIZE][/FONT]an extract from that page:
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]
    Microwaves use a lot of energy when operating, but because cooking times are so drastically reduced, using a microwave to prepare a meal will reduce energy use by about two-thirds compared to a conventional oven.

    and more:

    [/SIZE][/FONT]http://www.bbc.co.uk/bloom/actions/cookingtips.shtml

    For example, blitzing your frozen veggies in the microwave instead of waiting for them to boil on the hob not only saves time - it also cuts the energy used by a tasty 65% according to the Market Transformation Programme.
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]

    [/SIZE][/FONT]
  • Gareth56
    Gareth56 Posts: 915 Forumite
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    To work out the amount of energy you can use the formula:-

    ΔQ = mcΔT

    where m= mass of water in Kg
    c=4186/kg/degC
    and ΔT = temperature difference say from 20degC to 100degC.

    To get the power just divide the energy by the time taken to boil the water. You will need the calorific value of gas.
  • moncman
    moncman Posts: 26 Forumite
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    gareth said,
    To work out the amount of energy you can use the formula:-

    ΔQ = mcΔT

    where m= mass of water in Kg
    c=4186/kg/degC
    and ΔT = temperature difference say from 20degC to 100degC.

    Sorry, but that's only part of the story. If all heating methods are assumed to be 100% efficient then that would be the case. Of course there is heat lost to the container and local environment. I think a well insulated kettle is probably more efficient than an open saucepan and an immersion heater is more efficient than a gas boiler pumping hot water to a remote tank.

    It is for this reason that although gas is still cheaper than economy7 electric (just) I believe the immersion heater on for a hour at 6.30am is better value than my old gas boiler.
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