Gas central heating or plug-in electric heaters?

So I’m sure the answers to this question will be helpful for many others…
My parents are pensioners and have gas central heating and as we all know the price of gas is a lot higher than electricity at the moment. And so I was wondering that if they only used the gas for the basics e.g. heating water, and purchased some plug-in electrical radiators for their heating (and turned off the central heating) would this be beneficial to reducing their overall energy costs :thinking:?? Plus they could get timers that can be set for the heaters to turn on and off at certain times of the day and in certain rooms when needed rather than the central heating which this can’t be done with.
Unfortunately they can’t get pension credit or any other credit payments/benefits e.g. WHD as they have too much in savings (money saved up over many years to pay for their funerals so I don’t have to but still ‘savings’ :triumph:)
Any thoughts about this are welcome :+1: especially recommendations about the best electric heaters e.g. cost of heater. most efficient, best heat output (my Mum is nesh :cold_face:) etc, but PLEASE don’t leave comments regarding savings/benefits etc as they have enquired about what they would be entitled to and it’s zero!
Thank you kindly x

How have you established that gas is more expensive than electricity? Electricity, per unit, is around 4 times higher than gas!!

Gas is still much cheaper than electricity, but is only going to get more expensive as the years go by. Mind you, there’ll be similar price increases for electricity too, until such time as we have enough capacity solely from renewable sources and/or nuclear (and can stop burning gas to make electricity!).

Any form of “plug-in” electric heater is pretty damn poor from an efficiency perspective - the only form of electric heating comparable to a good gas boiler today is a heat pump, and installing those is non-trivial (but achievable).

The reality is that in the current economic climate, electrifying your heating is only going to push your overall energy costs up. Unless you also start producing your own electricity to compensate.

It comes back to the usual tips - make sure the property is well-insulated, eliminate sources of heat loss and draughts, and check that everything is properly configured and maintained (eg gas boilers are commonly set to run too hot!).

If they own the property, and have substantial savings, investing some of those savings into solar PV and/or solar thermal is a no-brainer (assuming a suitable roof).

Thank you @Anton59 I didn’t realise this as I only have an all electric home so I personally don’t know the difference in cost between gas and electric (should’ve looked :roll_eyes: :grin:).
And Thank you @stevefoster :+1:. I was asking about electric heaters vs gas heating as my parents bills are so much higher than mine (~£220/mth compared to my ~£90/mth) and the only difference is that they have GSH whereas mine is electric heaters and therefore I was thinking this was what made a difference. I was just trying to help reduce their outgoing monthly costs and with this being their largest bill each month I was hoping to get suggestions on how to reduce it :thinking:. As they live in a rented, >200yr old house they are VERY limited as to what they can do/upgrade. As for their savings, like I said that money is set aside for funeral costs as they don’t want to burden anyone with that when the time comes and so they will not touch it. Thank you for your info/suggestions as were very much appreciated!

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Your parents’ savings may well be being eroded by both low interest rates for savings accounts and inflation reducing the value of the savings.

You could advise them to look at a site like MSE to see how they can reduce the impact of these by moving their savings to better accounts, but in terms of setting aside (or “saving”) money for funerals, the costs of the funerals will only increase, while the value of savings will decrease.

The best way to offset the rising costs of the troubling funeral industry – up-selling or overselling costly services and extras to bereaved people at a particularly difficult time – is to simply pay for the full funeral in advance.

They might even be able to negotiate a better price if they buy two outright – in fact, you might take advantage of the opportunity to jump on the bandwagon at the same time so that at some point in the future you’ll be quids-in!

Thanks @ddiedugg for your feedback but I think you may have gone off topic! :thinking: I only mentioned my parents savings (funeral £) as the reason they can not get any ‘help’ financially and was asking for suggestions as to what they could do to reduce their biggest expense which is their energy costs.
The info you have supplied is very much appreciated! :+1:

Glad it was helpful!

BTW, if they were to move a few thousand quid each out of their savings to buy a couple of fully-paid funeral package deals, that would also reduce their savings closer to the threshold where they might qualify for financial support.

(If that doesn’t quite do it, then some essential “home improvements”, such as a new kitchen or bathroom, new windows, or redecorating, or whatever, might improve their property and help get their get their savings to the necessary level.)

I think you’ve got good ideas there… having a portable electric heater on a timer is a good way of only heating the room you want when you want it, so not paying for central heating all the house for hours on end. A cheap ‘panel heater’ aka ‘convection heater’ costs £50-£80. Pair it with a timer plug and you have a low cost one-room scheduled heater. I have our gas central heating thermostat on a low temp from when we get up to when we go to bed, and then have a top-up electric heater like I described in the front room, just to raise the temp in that one room first thing in the morning and in the early evening when its cold.
As others have commented electricity is more expensive than gas per unit, so best to use gas CH in the cold months.
Make sure the gas boiler is running efficiently with a central heating flow temp (usually a dial on the front of the boiler) no more than 60%… basically as low as you can get it and still have the central heating warm.