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Electricity v. Gas

Electricity v. Gas

Old Oct 17th 2019, 6:13 pm
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Default Electricity v. Gas

Out of five properties my wife will be viewing next week one of them seems to be all electric, heating, hot water and cooker, with a wood burner in the lounge. What could I expect from energy bills for an all electric house (excluding use of the wood burner)? Which is cheapest in Hungary? Electricity or Gas? To be honest the indivual electric heaters in each room look puny compared to the standard size you'd expect in a gas centrally heated house. I know it can be very cold in Hungary in the winter and I'm unsure if these electric heaters would generate enough heat. My wife thinks we could install CH and a gas cooker. I do feel surprised with the quality of the finish of the inside the current owners decided not to opt for CH. I will ask my wife to ask whether the house has had insulation added to the exterior which may be the reason they decided not to opt for a gas boiler!
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Old Oct 17th 2019, 7:00 pm
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Default Re: Electricity v. Gas

Electricity is about 3.5 x the price of gas per kWh. installing central heating for a small house I would expect to cost about 1.5 -- 2 M huf. External insulation for a small house I would expect to cost about the same as CH. But if you insulate you should also do the doors and windows and make sure that the loft insulation joins up with the wall insulation. And having done that lot you will need to take care of adequate ventilation which done properly means a heat reclaim ventilation system (3 - 400K huf) because few people ventilate enough once new windows and doors are installed.

Are the electric heaters storage heaters in which case (if they are big enough) they can be used with night rate electricity which is cheaper than the day rate by about 40% (I think)

What sort of wood burner is it? In my guest house there is a 5 kW wood stove which, when we had tenants living there that was the only heating they used. The area is about 55 m2 with built in attic that has 3 bedrooms. It could be that the current owners use the wood burner for the majority of the heating with the electric for occasional top up. You could ask to see last years electric bills to give you a clue.

Running a wood stove as primary heating is a life style choice. They create dirt and dust in the house, need constant refuelling (every couple of hours or so when its cold) You have to agree as to who get up half an hour earlier in the cold to light the fire and wood has to be bought and stored one year (preferably 2) in advance for it to dry out to get decent energy out of it and to avoid messing up the chimney. If you buy ready cut wood it generally works out the same price as gas heating.

Oh and before you start planning gas CH - is gas available to the house?

Last edited by Peter_in_Hungary; Oct 17th 2019 at 7:18 pm.
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Old Oct 18th 2019, 6:20 am
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Default Re: Electricity v. Gas

Originally Posted by Peter_in_Hungary View Post
Electricity is about 3.5 x the price of gas per kWh. installing central heating for a small house I would expect to cost about 1.5 -- 2 M huf. External insulation for a small house I would expect to cost about the same as CH. But if you insulate you should also do the doors and windows and make sure that the loft insulation joins up with the wall insulation. And having done that lot you will need to take care of adequate ventilation which done properly means a heat reclaim ventilation system (3 - 400K huf) because few people ventilate enough once new windows and doors are installed.

Are the electric heaters storage heaters in which case (if they are big enough) they can be used with night rate electricity which is cheaper than the day rate by about 40% (I think)

What sort of wood burner is it? In my guest house there is a 5 kW wood stove which, when we had tenants living there that was the only heating they used. The area is about 55 m2 with built in attic that has 3 bedrooms. It could be that the current owners use the wood burner for the majority of the heating with the electric for occasional top up. You could ask to see last years electric bills to give you a clue.

Running a wood stove as primary heating is a life style choice. They create dirt and dust in the house, need constant refuelling (every couple of hours or so when its cold) You have to agree as to who get up half an hour earlier in the cold to light the fire and wood has to be bought and stored one year (preferably 2) in advance for it to dry out to get decent energy out of it and to avoid messing up the chimney. If you buy ready cut wood it generally works out the same price as gas heating.

Oh and before you start planning gas CH - is gas available to the house?
Hi Peter
Electricity costs - I remember reading a post about night rate electricity being cheaper than day time. The blurb states they are fan-coil! Here in the UK I have three rooms/areas without CH! Two rooms/areas I use oil filled radiators. They do a good job but in one room/area(3rd bedroom/cum office) a convector (I think) heater and it's okay. Mostly that's just used to stop the room becoming treezing! I'm not keen on the idea of having to constantly check the temperature of each room but then again it would stop me becoming a couch potato!

Not sure what kind of wood burner it is. The blurb doesn't say anything and the photo of it is a sideways view. Looks like there's a fireplace/mantle around it. Probably 5kw but I will ask the wife to ask when she views the house. Think I will be the one lighting up the wood burner in the morning. I'm an early riser, usually between 5-6am!

CH installation costs - Sounds reasonable.

Gas supply - Another house we are interested in is on the same side of the road and has a gas boiler, cooker, etc. so I believe it should be possible to connect to the gas supply. I would be nervous about getting someone in to install CH because my sister-in-law and husband had replacement CH installed and although the pipework looked good the holes the pipes go throug are exposed! Not sure why the CH enigeer didn't cover the holes. Boiler is in the basement/garage!

External Insulation costs - Sounds reasonable compared to our friends installation costs - They also had triple glazed windows installed. Their house is three bedrooms, approximately 140 sq.m. with windows only on three sides. Think their costs came to UK equivalent of £8-9,000. Mind you our friend did have to do some work around the window frames on the interior. Seems this was not a job their window installers do!

Heat reclaim system - Our friends never mentioned anything about this kind of thing so I will ask my wife to ask her sister-in-law and husband about this.

Of the two favourite houses out of five my wife will view the all electric house is a bungalow (92 sq.m) and this is my wife's favourite. The other is semi-detached (125 sq.m) and is my favourite, with basement and garage at the front (not bottom of garden). It's also one of those quirky designs whereby floors are at half levels. No wood burner :-( . This one is much bigger than the bungalow but has one less bedroom which from the photos I have gathered another can be added in the loft. Seems to be an unfinished project! It also has two bathrooms/WC. This one also looks slightly less attractive than the bungalow but is £10k more! It's going to be hard to know which one we might go for as my wife never agrees with my choices and I often decide on something which is practical, functional, efficient and safe. A bit boring!!



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Old Oct 18th 2019, 7:26 am
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Default Re: Electricity v. Gas

I know of 2 people locally who've had new central heating systems fitted for less than 1.000.000 ft
In my experience, tradesmen don't always 'finish off' a job. Eg. if a plumber makes holes in a wall then the homeowner has to find someone else to fill them in or a window fitter may not make good any damage to walls caused by fitting new doors or windows, unless agreed beforehand.
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Old Oct 18th 2019, 10:29 am
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Default Re: Electricity v. Gas

We have our house insulated outside 10cm, triple glazing, Went to gas years ago, combi boiler serving 7 radiators and bathroom sink/shower, kitchen hob. We never scrimp on warmth and hot water or cooking and our gas bill/annum is about £500, also electric is about £500 pa maximum. A lot cleaner than wood. And that includes our loft which has not been insulated, been meaning to do for years.
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