Keep solid fuel CH or replace with electric?

We live in a rural semi. We currently have solid fuel heating, using a multi-fuel stove. We have looked at all the alternatives. The only other option is an electric wet system. We can’t have any other option due to external space and construction. We have insulated as much as possible.

Solid fuel = messy, requires filling coal buckets up in bad weather and lack of control but otherwise it’s fine.

Electric = the only downside seems to be the cost.

Which would you do? Do we keep the current system or install an electric boiler?
if you have an electric wet system, how expensive is it? Are there other downsides?



  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    There is no more expensive way to heat your house than an electric wet system.
    Can you not fit an oil tank where you store your solid fuel?
    Storage heaters must be an option although they do have their downsides.
    If you MUST go for electric heating, then Panel heaters/oil filled rads and an immersion heater would give you far more flexibility.
    What would I do - stick with what you have got.
  • HasbeenHasbeen Forumite
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    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Photogenic Name Dropper
    No room at a rural location for LPG or Oil tank?

    Electric wet systems are like burning £20 notes to keep warm. 

    Do not install an electric boiler ! Unless you are mega rich and money means very little to you?

    The world is not ruined by the wickedness of the wicked, but by the weakness of the good. Napoleon
  • MrsHedgehog344MrsHedgehog344 Forumite
    3 Posts
    First Post
    Thanks. We really don’t have room for oil (no where to fit a boiler) An electric boiler is smaller and doesn’t need ventilation so could be housed. No room outside for an oil tank that would be accessible for the tanker to refill (very tight outside space).

    We have a wet CH system so don’t want to rip out the radiators. 

    How long do people run their boiler for each day? With solid fuel it’s on or off so we’ve no idea how long a boiler would need to be run.

    We probably will just keep solid fuel but would like to feel we’ve explored the options every so often. 

  • edited 15 February 2021 at 10:02PM
    matelodavematelodave Forumite
    8.2K Posts
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    edited 15 February 2021 at 10:02PM
    TBH the only people who recommend hot water flow boilers are the people who make them and they are really only suitable for small well insulated apartments because they cost so much to run.

    You run a boiler for as long as you need heat, so it's not really a question that anyone can answer because it depends on your lifestyle and ho warm you like the place to be.

    Bear in mind that a flow boiler would cost you around 14p-16p or more per kwh as they use peak rate electricity and you'd need something large enough to heat your place. I'm not sure you can get one much bigger than 12kw without having to install a three-phase supply. 12kw x 14p = £1.68 an hour whilst its heating

    Instead of trying to guess how much heat you need, find an on-line heat loss calculator and do it properly. If I was going to give up and go all electric then the first choice would be storage heaters, the second might be panel heaters but I'd never ever go for a flow boiler.

    In fact I am all electric but I've got a heatpump which might be an option but don't even think of trying to hang one onto your existing system, they need to be accurately dimensioned with suitable radiators (at least 50% bigger than normal) and they need to be operated correctly. Have a shufti at some of the threads to get some ideas but stay away from flow boilers or electric combi's
    Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large numbers
  • Lmc74Lmc74 Forumite
    24 Posts
    Third Anniversary 10 Posts
    I went from solid fuel to electric wet ch. Solid was messy and uncontrollable esp if out at work all day. It is also expensive if using coal.  I am 3 bed semi and have economy 10 and I am careful with heating. I am £125 per month on electric wet.  I am hoping for the day the improve non gas options and improve solar batteries. I have a small stove to top up electric heating. 
  • Many thanks for the replies.
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