Should I turn off my (gas heated) radiators and use electric heating instead?

First, a little background information

I live in an 1 bedroom apartment – approx. 65 sqm

I have a 9 year old CV boiler, using gas to heat radiators, heat water and for cooking.

Current costs August 2019-July 2020:

Variable Gas 1380 M3 at 0.811118
Variable electricity 4056 KWH at 0.215875
Fixed cost gas255
Fixed costs electricity313
Vermindering energiebelasting– 429
Total cost for 12 months2132

That works out at approx 177 euro per month – quite a lot so what to do ?

Fixed costs and “Vermindering energiebelasting”

I have no intention of spending a lot of money turning everything into for example electric consumption only, so will keep the boiler etc just as it is.

I dont fully understand how Vermindering energiebelasting is calculated but as far as I can work out, its somehow related to eletricy but is set at a fixed amount per day, so not related to consumption.

So bottom line for me, these costs are beyond my control so will stay as they are.

What I can control then is how much gas and electricy I use.

So in a very simplistic way, using the above variable gas and electricity costs, for each M3 of gas I save, I can “afford” to use 4 KWH

By looking at previous data, I am estimating that I can reduce gas usage by roughly 4 M3 per day, and therefore can use 16 KW extra for electric heating.

Since my electric fan heater is a 2000 w unit, this means that i can let it run for 8 hours per day in order to break even – in other words it will make no difference if I heat by gas or by electricity.

And equaly, if I can maintain a pleasant temperature running the fan heater but for fewer hours, it will save me money.

But this is of course only guesswork from me. Only way to find out is to try the theory out for real.

Below some graphs and here are some explanations:

First graph shows gas and eletricy usage per day + it shows the mid temperate for the day. This is just an average of high/low temp. for the day.

Second graph uses the same data, but now shows calculated costs.

Third graph shows combined costs per day (so gas + electricity) and also shows a temperature ¨band” using day high and day low.

None of the graphs are using fixed costs or vermindering energiebelasting, since I have no control over these.

I am showing the outdoor temperature but of course there are many other factors playing in. For example we have just had about 1 week of really cold weather (7-14 february) but on several of these days, we were also blessed with crystal clear blue skies, and for me, that mean i have sunrays into my living room from around noon until around 5 pm – and of course this is a great “free” source of heat.

On the 10th february i started using electricity for heating and turned the radiator thermostat off. Not suprisingly, gas use plummeted and electricity use sky rocketed.

Unfortunately my fan heater is anything but smart, for example it doesnt have a thermostat, and even though it can be set to a desired temperatur, it doesnt switch itself off once this is reached. So the only way i can use it right now is to have it turn on and off at fixed times of the day.

Not very clever of course so i have ordered a smart indoor thermometer and a smart switch. Once I get those, I should be able to make it much much smarter.

I have only used the fan heater for a few days so it is a bit early to draw conclusions, but for now I have to assume that YES it will indeed be cheaper to use electricity rather than gas for heating.

Your comments or questions will be very welcome 🙂

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Conrad Winkelman

    Interessant ! Om er zeker van te zijn dat je werkelijk lagere energiekosten gaat realiseren met elektriciteit verwarming zou je de test-periode van een jaar moeten gebruiken en dan de gemiddelden moet vergelijken met een correctie op afwijkingen van de statistische gemiddelden die nu van toepassing zijn. Het gevaar van een korte testperiode van 16 dagen kan grote afwijkingen opleveren. neem ook in acht dat met niet-professioneel testen het “systeem-gebruik” vaak onbewust ook veranderd naar een “bezuinigende mode” omdat een “hoger rendement” de focus van het testen is. Bijvoorbeeld met handmatige “Aan-Uit” temperatuur beheersing zal het vaker voorkomen dat er perioden zijn met een lagere temperatuur dat het “Set-Punt” (Undershoot) dan perioden met een hogere temperatuut(Overshoot)—dit resulteert in extra stookkosten, ook zelfs indien je de +/- perioden en de +/- temperatuur verschillen gelijk zijn. Dit vanwege de “Koeling Wet” van Newton, De energieverliezen naar buiten toe zijn “exponentieel hoger” voor een “x” C temperatuur afwijking naar boven dan de Bijstoken-Energie dat nodig is voor een “x” C afwijking naar beneden toe! What de Grafiek voor totale kosten betreft lijk het direct duidelijk dat tussen 10-16 februari minder energiekosten hebt dat je op basis van de veel lagere temperaturen zou verwachten vergeleken met normaal gasverbruik, maar het kan zeer misleidend zijn omdat je in een TEST PERIODE in je eigen huis doorgaans geen Onpartijdige Tester bent! De focus on beoogde energiebesparing leidt er doorgaans toe dat met onbewust zich “ZUINIG” gaat opstellen in het doen en laten tijdens testen (dit Apart van Newtons Koeling Law dat gemiddeld “nadelig” uitwerkt voor testers die hiervan niet op de hoogte zijn) PV Zonnepanelen voor elektrisch verwarmen is zondermeer een prachtige oplossing vanwege, (alsnog), de Saldering Regeling. Mijn PV Systeem rendeert tussen 8 & 10% op de investering! Met rente op Spaarrekeningen op hooguit 1% en vaker dicht bij 0%, is het een mooie manier om stookkosten beduidend te verlagen…..

    1. tfhansen@outlook.com

      Hi Conrad
      Thank you for your comments – totally agree with you 🙂
      I keep updating pretty much daily the readings and am more and more convinced that indeed, it is going to be cheaper tp use electricity for heating and just leave the (gas fueled) radiators off.
      Of course I have very little data at the moment + not so long ago we had an unusual week of pretty warm weather with lots of sun so………
      Never the less, I think at least for now it looks pretty clear.
      Anybody can cut down the heating costs by simply turning the heat down but the objective is of course to maintain same comfort (temperature) and measure cost of el vs gas to achieve this

      Your comments made me wonder if it makes sense maybe to let the radiators (gas) start up in the morning (sort of let the gas do the heavy lifting) and then switch to electricity at some point – havent done any experimenting on this though 🙂

      Thanks again for your comments

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