Gas vs Electric Boilers – which are more efficient?

Posted by: John Temple on 15th December 2022

A boiler is the heart of our home’s heating system. Whether it’s powered by gas or electricity, it provides hot water to all the necessary places and appliances in the household; such as taps, radiators and showers.

First, it’s helpful to know the key difference between gas and electric boilers:

Gas boilers, which are the most popular boiler in the UK with around 85% of household possessing them, use natural gas directly from the national gas grid to heat water over a gas flame.

An electric boiler does not use any natural gas – instead electricity is turned into heat that warms up the water.

Now we know the difference between the two, let’s compare their pros and cons and determine which is the more efficient boiler:


Pros and cons of a gas boiler


  • Usually, gas is cheaper to obtain than electricity
  • All recently manufactured condensing gas boilers are made to be energy efficient
  • More suited to homes where hot water is frequently required eg. in large homes with many occupants
  • There is a wider range of gas boilers on the market
  • Having a gas boiler replaced often takes less time


  • A boiler service is required every year
  • Damaging for the environment due to fossil fuel burning
  • A fault with the boiler could cause a carbon monoxide leak
  • The physical size of the boiler is often larger


Pros and cons of an electric boiler


  • Much less damage to the environment
  • Can be installed in homes which aren’t connected to the national gas grid
  • No risk of carbon dioxide
  • Able to be powered by solar panels
  • Often lower chance of a system malfunction due to less internal parts
  • Less noise created


  • Electricity is often more expensive than gas – meaning higher electricity bills
  • Majority of household electricity is taken up by an electric boiler
  • Unable to provide enough hot water for larger homes with more occupants
  • Access to hot water may be affected by a power cut


So, which is more efficient?

On this topic, it’s important to note that the most energy efficient option for your home may not be the cheapest.

Electric boilers waste much less fuel than their gas alternative, but this comes with a significantly higher price to pay for the electricity in the UK. Although much less fuel is wasted, there are questions around how electricity is obtained as fossil fuels are often burned to generate electricity. Now though, more environmentally friendly ways to obtain electricity are coming to the fore.

For smaller homes and flats with less occupants, an electric boiler is likely to be the most cost-effective heating solution. But for bigger houses with more people inside, a gas boiler is often the most efficient option due to their ability to provide hot water to more places in the home at once.


Remember, the size of your home and the amount of heating required is the key to determining whether a gas or electric boiler is more cost-effective.

Our boiler experts can assist you with choosing the right boiler for your home – contact us today for assistance.



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