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 0.81||1118|
|Variable electricity 4056 KWH at 0.215||875|
|Fixed cost gas||255|
|Fixed costs electricity||313|
|Vermindering energiebelasting||– 429|
|Total cost for 12 months||2132|
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 🙂