Is Electric Central Heating more economical than gas now?

I used gas to heat a gas stove kettle with a cup of water in it to a certain temp, and did the same thing for an electric kettle. Turns out that gas now costs 30% more than electric using this crude test. Is it now more economical to get electric central heating installed rather than gas?
Thanks for your interest.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You're not really comparing like with like. A gas heated kettle will generally waste a lot of heat due to losses around the sides, something that doesn't happen with an electric kettle. A CH boiler is a very different (kettle of fish). It's efficiency is much higher than a kettle heated over an open flame.
Tim
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In an earlier contribution to this discussion,

No! As you say, it was a crude test - very crude!
What price per kWH do you pay for gas and on-peak electricity? In terms of converting input energy into useful space heating, electricity may be 10% more efficient than gas - but costs several times as much. [I currently pay 3.4 times the gas price for each unit of electricity].
The only way in which electrical heating can get anywhere near competing with gas is to use off-peak electricity - which means you get it when it's available rather than when you need it, with a resulting total lack of flexibility. You may just get away with a high capacity water-based heat bank - but conventional storage heaters are the work of the devil!
--
Cheers,
Roger
______
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sun, 06 Apr 2008 23:10:03 +0100, Roger Mills wrote:

<snip>
This 'sparks' another train of thought....
....if electricity is over 3 times more expensive than gas, how about a gas powered generator for the electricity? [Yes, I know that's how we get a lot of our electricity anyway.] If you could get a home generator which was 50% efficient in converting gas to electricity then you would be ahead of the game.
Cheers
Dave R
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
David WE Roberts wrote:

Interesting idea, though I doubt you'd manage as good as 50%. ISTR that large power station steam turbine generator sets are less than 40% efficient and they're pretty close to the thermodynamic maximum efficiency.
OTOH diverting the waste heat into your heating system could lead to a very good overall efficiency.
Finding a CORGI installer certified to install gas fired engines might be a bit of a problem though. The CORGI site only came up with 2 within 50 miles of my home.
--
Mike Clarke

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

They are here. They are called Combied Heat and Power units (CHP - cogen in USA).
http://www.eonenergy.com/At-Home/Products/Technology-And-Initiatives/WhisperGen.htm
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 8 Apr,

Laws of thermodynamics would make that impossible with current technology.
That's why electricity is dearer than gas.
--
B Thumbs
Change lycos to yahoo to reply
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Combined Heat & Power using Stirling engines can get 50% efficiency and more. See the link I gave.
I can be cheaper using a Stirling engine to generate electricity than diesel IC engines, however the electrical energy used has to be 100% used to make it viable. No having it tick over in case a light is switched on. The national grid make it easy to use the grid as a buffer. So having a Stirling put its surplus electricity into the grid and be paid for it using a reversible meter can be cost effective. Also using any surplus heat to heat DHW and the building.
CHP is dispersed power generators. One in each home.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
David WE Roberts wrote:

Yup. CHP sets will do getting on for overall 70% plus electricty/heat.
Problem comes when you want leccy, but not heat.
Most useful in colder climes.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Not designed for constant electricity generation. The electricity is a by-product of the heat.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

In practice this would mean converting some form of internal combustion engine to run on gas and drive the generator and you'll not get that sort of efficiency from it in everyday use.
--
*I must always remember that I'm unique, just like everyone else. *

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sun, 6 Apr 2008 23:10:03 +0100, "Roger Mills"

Depends what you mean by 'conventional' Roger?
We have some slimline input_time_delayed / managed storage heaters and they have been in there 15 odd years, are switched on 365 and just look after themselves.
No changing thermocouples, fans, risk of water pouring out, poisoning anyone or blowing the side off the house. Also, *all* the heat stays in the house not lots going up the flue. They are also virtually silent.
Ok, they are no good for instant heat needs nor manageable via a wall stat on an instant basis but some of us can live with that for all the advantages. Plus they are fully zoned. ;-)
Ours are very different beasts to the things you used to see in offices etc though.
All the best ..
T i m
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In an earlier contribution to this discussion,

I had in mind anything which uses electrical heating elements to heat up a load of bricks. I accept that modern ones are better than the original sort, and give you *some* control over the rate of heat discharge. But they can only give out the heat they have stored, and when it's gone it's gone - until the next off-peak boost. And if you fail to anticipate a cold spell . .
I wouldn't give them houseroom! A couple of years ago we had to sell my father-in-law's bungalow in which the only heating system was storage heaters - and the valuation, and ultimate selling price, was a lot lower than if it had had a 'proper' central heating system.
--
Cheers,
Roger
______
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Water stores 4 times as much heat as masonry. Why they do not have tanks filled with water (filled by hose) is beyond me.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Masonry doesn't leak.
BTW electricity may well be cheaper than gas with a good heat pump to help it out.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
dennis@home wrote:

How about jelly? Doesn't flow as fast as water. Maybe even self-sealing jelly...
--
Rod

Hypothyroidism is a seriously debilitating condition with an insidious
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Heat pump? Not as cheap as natural gas yet. The best of them is extracting from running water, and few have a stream in the garden.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
dennis@home wrote:

And water can only be heated to nearly 100 C unless you resort to an expensive pressure vessel. OTOH storage heater bricks can be heated to several hundred degrees.

Doubtless true for fuel costs alone, but what's the answer when you factor in the capital cost of the heat pump and its source, and maintenance...?
--
Andy

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Probably cheaper that gas CH to install and maintenance is on a per fault call, no need for regular checks like gas is supposed to have. I might install a heat pump AC unit as heating in the house conversion I am doing, heat has a bad effect on his breathing so some AC may be a good thing if we have hot summers. Not that it would be on much as he likes about 75F anyway.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Heat pumps are maintenance free. Their proud boast in factoring in running costs.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.