Which type of fuel should I use to heat my home?

“Is it cheaper to heat my home with electricity or gas?” “What about biomass?”, “What will save me the most money?” These are common questions from customers when they purchase new heating appliances. There are pros and cons to every form of heating and it’s important to have a good understanding of all the options.
Natural gas
Natural gas is the most commonly used heating fuel in the UK. It is sourced in areas like the North Sea, Norway, the Middle East and North Africa which means that, despite being competitively priced, it has steadily risen in cost over the past decade due to on-going turmoil in the Middle East and its effect on oil prices. Environmentally, natural gas causes less CO2 emissions than oil or coal but slightly more than solid fuel and biomass heating. Gas fireplaces can be very pleasing on the eye and it’s very easy to control their output. However, be sure to hire a Gas-Safe registered fitter to provide the installation correctly.
For those of you living in rural areas, heating oil can be a cheap option, especially if you are living away from the gas grid. However, as heating oil isn’t “on tap” like gas, it needs to be kept in a storage tank on your property and you need to remember to monitor usage and place orders for more fuel when it runs out. Oil also releases twice as many CO2 emissions as gas.
The use of electricity as a form of heating is on the rise and it can be a good alternative to oil if you live in a rural area. Unfortunately, electricity prices are on average three times higher than other forms of heating and electric heaters can be hard to control. On the plus side, they are much cheaper to install than gas systems and require very little upkeep.
Solid Fuel/Biomass
Aesthetically, solid fuel heating is a popular choice for heating. Many people choose to source their own firewood and will take pleasure in the aromatic smells and delightful crackle of a real fire. While other forms of fuel can be restricted due to lack of access, political and economic turmoil and environmental issues, wood and other biomass products are always available and in some cases can even be cheaper than natural gas.
Deciding on the right type of fuel depends entirely on your circumstances and your opinion. Where some people may choose gas for its low cost, others might not have access and while some people might enjoy gathering and cutting wood, others might simply not have time or ability so prefer to use electricity instead.
Read our article for more information on saving money on your energy bills.

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