To install gas central heating or not?

by Readers Question

16:31 PM, 16th March 2020
About 7 months ago

To install gas central heating or not?

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To install gas central heating or not?

I have been planning to have gas central heating installed later this year, in a 1st floor, 2 bed flat that I am renting out.

It currently has separate electric heaters and water heater, which are expensive to run. There is no gas on the premises at present and the total cost for piping in gas and fitting the gas central heating will be almost £5,000.

However, I see that in the budget a Green Gas Levy is proposed, which will gradually raise the price of gas to domestic consumers, and I fear that this may erode the point of having the central heating installed.

Can anyone advise as to whether I should still go ahead with the gas central heating?

If not, any other suggestions for a better heating system would be welcomed.

Tricia


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Comments

Rob Crawford

9:18 AM, 17th March 2020
About 7 months ago

Maybe consider one of the new Worcester gas/hydorgen boilers. They run on gas but are also hydrogen ready for the future. Alternatively, stick with gas and change for a hydrogen boiler when the time comes. The advantage of the latter is that we don't actually know when gas will be replaced by hydrogen and in that time, hydrogen boilers will get cheaper. Hydrogen does not require any changes to the supply piping etc. (as far as I understand!). https://www.worcesternews.co.uk/news/18154950.worcester-bosch-reveals-new-eco-friendly-boiler/

Jo Westlake

9:56 AM, 17th March 2020
About 7 months ago

I've just had the same dilemma with a one bedroom flat and opted for all electric. I'm having one Dimplex Quantum with WiFi control in the lounge, a panel heater in the bedroom and electric towel radiators in the bathroom and kitchen. An electric shower and a small hot water undersink thing for washing up and hand washing. My theory was the standing charge for gas pays for several weeks supply of electric. The new Lot 20 electric heaters are extremely controllable. If one heater breaks it's only one heater, not the whole system, making it an inconvenience not an emergency. There is no annual gas safety check to deal with.

No idea how the numbers will work out as that largely depends on how the tenant actually uses the system.

Dancinglandlord

10:00 AM, 17th March 2020
About 7 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Rob Crawford at 17/03/2020 - 09:18These boilers aren't available yet - maybe in 2020. If you can wait until then, then it's a good option. It is critical to start considering insulating. Options such as Air Source Heat Pumps will rely on a building being insulated. This is a crucial area where there is a lot of education needed to help landlords to do it efficiently and effectively. Forr my money a key area for landlord associations to focus on. Insulation should reduce your bills. Remember that the cost of electricity is likely to fall and the cost of gas to rise. (Hydrogen would of course not have this problem, but it is emerging technology.)

silversurfer2017

12:01 PM, 17th March 2020
About 7 months ago

IMHO it's a no-brainer stick to electricity. Buy the most efficient storage heaters you can find and have a very well insulated hot water tank with dual immersion heaters. About 3 years ago I bought a new first floor flat with an all singing and dancing gas run CHP (combined heat and power plant) Electricity produced is minimal and while the hot water pipes buried in the floors do heat the flat, but they also tend to waste heat by overheating all the corridors where the pipes run underneath or overhead. The combination of the gas bills and high maintenance bills work out more per KWH than full price electricity and we can't shop around individually for the best rates. I wish they had just put in maintenance free electric underfloor heating and electric mains pressure Megaflo type hot water heaters.

Jireh Homes

12:20 PM, 17th March 2020
About 7 months ago

Where the only requirement for HW is kitchen sink and bathroom basin the use of the 10L/15L water heater is a good solution (where no gas supply to property), and far lower install and running cost than a dual supply larger un-vented cylinder.

silversurfer2017

14:31 PM, 17th March 2020
About 7 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Jireh Homes at 17/03/2020 - 12:20
It is true you could do as you suggest and have a small heater for sink and basin and just have one electric shower but you could never have a bath. (the poster does not state whether it's just one bathroom - there could also be an en-suite?)
I suggested a mains pressure Megaflow to mimic as far as possible the benefits of a full gas fired central heating system but using electricity instead. The poster is prepared to spend a lot and not necessarily looking for the cheapest option. You could always just heat the top part of the tank if HW usage is small using off peak electricity. This solution also allows that flexibilty for future tenants or on resale for those that want more hot water.

Ray Davison

16:23 PM, 17th March 2020
About 7 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Jo Westlake at 17/03/2020 - 09:56
I've been wondering about this recently. If you have no gas powered appliances but still have a supply to the property - albeit capped off - are you free of the gas safety check requirement, after all you still have gas supplied to the property? If capped of at the meter by the supplier what then, there is still a gas supply attached to your property?

Ray Davison

16:26 PM, 17th March 2020
About 7 months ago

I was talking to my electrician about this the other week. I didn't go into detail but he was telling me about the latest electric boilers which are apparently just about on par now with the price of gas boilers. I have not looked into efficiency and running costs though.

Paul Shears

16:46 PM, 17th March 2020
About 7 months ago

I was just reading in The Times that the widow of a now deceased judge is being pursued through the courts due to a gas explosion in a flat that had it's gas supply terminated.
Her defence is that she had no knowledge of any gas pipes at the flat.
(Let's avoid any discussion of the obvious irony of the defence here).
I would have thought that the gas supply should be tested for supply side leaks and capped off.
This is a very simple task.
Then, no doubt, you would need someone with an expensive licence to sign a bit of paper, to stating that this has been done and sell a copy to you for a fee.
The obvious question as to whether any person involved in this process should ever have been trained in the first place appears to not be a requirement to answer.
So you are good to go for less than £100 I guess.
That is unless the cost of the licence to trade has increased to the point where there is a shortage of people to sign.

Colin Brammeld

17:13 PM, 17th March 2020
About 7 months ago

What is your current EPC rating? How old is the flat? How long do you intend to keep the flat? Will it be more in demand to rent/buy if gas heating is installed? What kind of heating do your neighbours have? - look at their EPC for rating and type of heating.
If you decide on electric heating, fit High Heat Retention Storage Heaters. They make a big difference to EPC rating. Lounge and bedrooms is sufficient. And as mentioned a new hot water tank with two element - top and bottom. Some electric suppliers are charging 3p a kw at nigh time through their smart meter charging. Octopus I think. This is same price as gas.
If all your neighbours/landlords are gas heating and you dont use gas you will be seen as the 'poorer' option to rent.

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