Should you choose electricity or gas?

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When it comes to powering your home, you can choose between electricity and gas. But how do you choose between the two? Canstar Blue provides a list of pros and cons for both types of fuel, particularly when it comes to powering your household appliances.

Electricity vs Gas

Before we get into it, let’s first explain a little about electricity and gas. Households can purchase gas in two forms:

  1. Natural gas – the more common form of gas and is drawn from the mains gas network.
  2. Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) – delivered in large tanks that have to be replaced every now and again.

Gas can be incredibly effective and affordable, however, it has limited utility and is only suitable for water heating, household heating, clothes drying and cooking.

Electricity, on the other hand, has a lot more applications and can be used for all the above purposes and more. So, while many homes do not have a natural gas connection, practically every home needs electricity.

What’s cheaper: Electricity or gas?

While gas appliances are cheaper to run, they are generally more expensive to purchase in the first place.  The choice of electricity or gas is essentially a decision between whether you want to save money today or later down the track.

If you are an avid cook or you like to blast the heater, then it may work out cheaper overall to install gas appliances, provided you have a natural gas connection. It is important to keep in mind that you will be paying two daily supply charges if you have both an electricity and natural gas connection. This means that you should only opt for gas if you know that you will use enough so that the usage rate savings exceed the additional supply charge.

Pros & cons of electricity and gas

There are some key advantages and disadvantages when it comes to gas and electric appliances. Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons of using electric and gas appliances.

Water heating

Electricity

Electricity is comparatively cheap to buy but expensive to run. Note that households receive a “controlled electricity” tariff that can reduce the running costs of electric hot water systems.

Gas

Gas is more expensive to purchase and install than an electric system, but cheaper in the long run. Hot water uses a lot of power, so gas systems can save households a considerable amount of money.

Household heating

Electricity

Customers have more variety in their choice of electric heater compared to gas. However, electric heaters are generally less efficient.

Gas

Gas heaters quickly and efficiently heat a small to medium-sized rooms. They are efficient and generally cost-effective. You will also need to install a ‘flue’ to deal with hazardous fumes.

Cooktop

Electricity

Electric cooktops are convenient and customers have a wide range to choose from. They are affordable but cost slightly more to run than gas cooktops.

Gas

Gas cooktops heat faster than their electric counterparts. They are considerably more expensive than electric cooktops, though they have slightly lower running costs.

Oven

Electricity

There is a wider range of electric ovens and they often include more features than gas ovens. However once again, they are more expensive to run.

Gas

Similar to stovetops, gas ovens heat faster than electric ovens, however, they are more expensive to purchase. Ovens use plenty of power, so there are appreciable long-term savings with a gas oven.

Clothes dryer

Electricity

Electric clothes dryers use plenty of power, though there are a number of energy-efficient models on the market for those customers looking to save money.

Gas

Gas clothes dryers require a ‘flue’ to avoid hazardous fumes polluting the house. As with the other appliances on this list, gas dryers are expensive to buy but cheap to run.

Some energy-efficient alternatives

Keep in mind that not all appliances are made equal. In addition, be sure to keep an eye out for the energy efficiency star rating of an appliance. The more stars that an appliance has, the less electricity or gas it needs to run. While energy-efficient models are often more expensive to purchase upfront, you can potentially save in the long term thanks to reduced running costs.

So, should you choose electricity or gas?

Gas is cheaper than electricity so,  provided you have a natural gas connection, it will often work out cheaper to opt for gas over electricity wherever you can. However, if you only have electricity, then the choice between the two fuels becomes a little less clear.

If a gas connection is available and you can afford to spend a little more on gas appliances, then switching to gas could potentially save you money in the long term – provided you use enough of it to justify your investment. Because it will take time for gas savings to justify the installation cost, then it isn’t recommended for customers who don’t plan on remaining at the same property for a long time. Ultimately, the decision between electricity and gas comes down to your individual circumstances.

Dual fuel and electricity providers

If you are considering choosing electricity or gas, or both, then be sure to use Canstar Blue’s customer satisfaction tables to find the providers that best suit your needs.

Compare Electricity Providers

For electricity providers, have a look here.

If you’re considering using the same provider for electricity and gas, here’s Canstar Blue’s database of duel fuel providers.

Compare Duel Fuel Providers

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