Electric heating systems are currently the most expensive and least environmentally friendly option. Unfortunately, many homes have these systems, some because the gas grid didn’t reach their neighbourhood at the time of construction and some because the housebuilder chose to save money by installing cheaper electric storage heaters.
But how much does it cost to remove the electric heaters and replace them with a gas boiler and radiators?
(The page below is for an entirely new heating system, if you just want to replace a gas boiler on a like-for-like basis, check out our boiler replacement guide instead)
On this page we’ll cover:
How Much Do You Think It Will Cost?
This is the part of our site where we ask our visitors how much they think certain home improvement projects will cost.
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Connecting to the Gas Grid
Estimating the cost of connecting a home to the gas grid is almost impossible as it’ll depend on the following factors:
- The distance from the property to the gas main.
- What’s located between the property and the gas main; roads, footpaths, private land etc.
- Profit margins for the gas company.
How Much Does it Cost to Connect a Home to the Grid?
If you’re lucky enough to live next to a gas main, i.e within 23 metres of the main, the cost for a hook up could be less than £1000, some energy firms even offer free or heavily discounted connections.
However, for those that live more than 23 metres from the main, the cost can be prohibitively expensive, often several thousand pounds. Flats and apartments also tend to cost more as the pipework may need to pass through someone else’s property.
Your first step should be to contact your local gas network distributor and get a price from them.
The next step is to contact an energy firm (this is different from a distributor) and get a quote for them to install a gas meter.
Most energy firms are keen to take on new customers and you may find some offer free or competitively priced gas meter installations. British Gas currently offer free meter installations for newly built homes but their website doesn’t currently offer a guide price for existing homes.
Materials Needed For a New Gas Central Heating Installation
We’ll assume that the installation is to a typical 3-bed home:
- New condensing boiler – £1000
- Heating controls and thermostat – £175
- 9 x radiators £1400
- TRV valves £150
- Pipework – £variable
- Water tanks, optional as depends on water pressure – £variable
Condensing boilers are the most efficient option but they rely on mains water pressure and a pump cannot be used to improve the pressure unless a tank is first installed.
A new gas central heating system to a 3-bed home will take between 4 and 5 days to install.
A Gas Safe registered installer earns anything from £175 – £250 per day depending on experience and location.
As this is a two-person project, expect a trainee or labourer to earn anything from £80 – £120 per day.
On top of this, you can expect your chosen company to charge a fee for overheads and profit margins.
Don’t forget VAT at 20%.
We feel that a 4-day installation project in the south of the UK will involve “labour” fees of around £2250. This is in addition to the materials and waste disposal costs.
The old electric heaters, cables and brackets etc will need to be removed and disposed of.
The walls will also need to be patch repaired with plaster. In most cases, your installer will arrange a tradesperson to do this, however, it will be up to you to redecorate the walls afterwards.
Materials – £3000
Labour – £2250
Gas Main Hookup and Meter Installation – £variable
We feel that a new gas central heating system installed in a home will cost around £5500 excluding the cost of connecting the home to a gas main.
How Much Cheaper is Gas Heating Compared to Electric?
According to Ovo Energy, the average gas bill for hot water from a condensing boiler is £550 per year while electric storage heaters cost £900.
For non-storage heaters, such as an electric system that consumes electricity during peak hours, the cost rises to an eye-watering £1950 per year.
We feel that a consumer living in a 3-bed home and switching from electric storage to gas should be able to save up to £500 per year.
The basic point is this: using electricity is a shockingly expensive way to heat your home unless you have a heat pump of some sort – Ovo Energy
Grants are vouchers or money off coupons that you can use when purchasing energy-saving products.
They are provided by the government but unfortunately, some are means-tested and quite frankly, the entire system is a confusing mess of conflicting information that changes frequently.
Just to muddy the waters further, private companies also offer discounts and grants which are little more than marketing promotions.
Be wary of blog posts and outdated website articles. Grants, discounts and promotions expire regularly. The consumer service Which? has a good website that’s updated frequently.
Will Switching to Gas Central Heating Increase the Value of a Home?
Yes. If your property has electric storage heaters then switching to a gas-powered central heating system will almost certainly increase the value of the home and make it more desirable to a potential buyer.
In 2015 the This is Money website claimed that a new gas central heating system can increase the value of a home by up to 5.4%.
Getting rid of old electric heaters and replacing them with a gas central heating system is a worthwhile investment. You’ll save money as soon as the new system is up and running and you may even get your investment back when you come to sell the home.
The prices on this page are just a guide, there are many factors that affect the final cost of retrofitting a gas-powered central heating system.
Your location in the UK, distance from a gas main, the size of your property and the company or tradesperson you employ to do the work are all key factors.
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