Are you wondering whether to choose a gas or electric stove for your home? If so, considering which one will cost the most money to run will probably be a big factor in your decision.
Home heating is a hot issue lately. The price of energy is ever increasing, which is perhaps why so many of us have chosen to turn to log burners as an alternative to pricey fuel tariffs.
So, we thought we would help out by writing a blog post on how much gas and electric stoves cost to run.
Read on to find out which represents best value for your home…
How to Work Out How Much Your Gas or Electric Stove Will Cost to Run…
In order to make an informed decision about how much it will cost to run a gas or electric stove in your home, you can do a simple calculation to get an idea of the price.
You just need a few pieces of information first:
- The energy input of your stove in kW. You should be able to find this out in the product description of your stove.
- How much time you will use it for in hours. For example, if you think you will use it for 3 hours a night, this would be about 90 hours to generate the cost for a month.
- The cost of your energy in pence per kilowatt. Whether it’s for electric or gas, the calculation will work the same. You can find this out on your latest energy bill – just use the unit price, not the daily standing charge.
So, first you need to find out the amount of energy used in kilowatt hours (kWh).
To do this, you multiply the energy input x the time you will use it for.
For example, for a 4kW stove being used for 60 hours it would be:
4kW x 60 = 240kWh
Next, you multiply the kWh x the unit price of your energy.
If you pay 3p for your energy per kW, then for the example above the next step would be:
240kWh x 3p = 720 pence.
Divide this by 100 to get the answer in £0.00:
720 ÷ 100 = £7.20
So, it would cost you £7.20 to run this example stove for 60 hours at an energy price of 3p per kW.
Is It Cheaper to Have a Gas or Electric Stove?
Questions around whether gas or electric is cheaper to power our homes are very common! And, while gas generally is much lower in cost than electricity, this often isn’t the full story.
Are electric log burners expensive to run?
Electric stoves have a bad reputation for being expensive to run, though there are a few points that should be taken into consideration.
Let’s look at efficiency. Electric stoves are 100% efficient, which means that almost all of the energy that goes into powering the stove comes out as heat into your room.
Gas is rarely 100% efficient, as some energy is lost up the chimney during the combustion process – which translates into lost heat. The only exception to this is flueless gas stoves which, as their name suggests, do not use a chimney at all.
Furthermore, remember that a gas stove will need an annual gas safety check, which can cost between £50 – £70 a year. Gas stoves also tend to have a higher installation cost – the appliance itself, preparing the chimney and fitting a carbon monoxide alarm all adds to the price.
So, while electric stoves are more expensive to run per kilowatt, this cost could be offset by a much lower initial cost and less maintenance.
Related: The Best Electric Stoves 2019/2020
How much energy does a gas stove use?
Gas and electric log burners do differ slightly in energy usage. Gas stoves typically have a higher heat output. On the plus side, this means your room will heat up faster, though it does mean you will be using more energy.
As we mentioned above, you should also be aware that some energy will be wasted via the chimney. Conventional and balanced flue gas stoves can be anywhere from 70% efficient to 90% efficient, so consider this when choosing one.
Nevertheless, as gas is usually much cheaper per kilowatt than electricity, the higher energy usage does not translate into a higher running cost – they are still cheaper to run per hour than an electric stove.
Gas or Electric Stove – Which Should You Choose?
So, after all this information you probably want an answer – which one is cheapest for your home?
It’s best to consider your circumstances…
Who is gas best for?
A gas stove is a great investment if you want to heat your home with it for long periods, or will rely on it during particularly cold periods. If you are at home a lot and think you will want to use it through the day, gas will cost you far less to run than electricity, so will probably be worth the initial higher installation cost.
Who is electricity best for?
If your home doesn’t have a chimney and the cost to install a gas fire seems too high to justify, do consider an electric stove. Electric is a good choice if you won’t be running it for significantly long periods throughout the day, but more of just a heat boost on cold nights. Electric log burners are easy and cheap to fit, plus don’t require much maintenance, making them extremely convenient.
What’s more, most electric stoves do have an ‘effect only’ function. So, even when the heat isn’t turned on, you can enjoy the flicker of highly realistic flames!
Related: Electric Stove Buying Guide
Find more buying guides and stove advice on the Direct Stoves blog.