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Renewable heating
12 Feb 2020

Should you make the switch from oil to electric heating

By Ruby
  • Read time: 4 minutes
The switch from oil to electric heating may be daunting for many, but with Government funding currently available, there's no better time to switch!

Many homeowners who have been using conventional heating systems such as oil or gas boilers have started to develop an interest in installing an air source heat pump in their homes. This is vital equipment that is highly efficient since it can provide both cooling and heating, thereby ensuring that you are comfortable at home. So, should you make the switch from oil to electric heating? Let's find out.

Electrification is a smart investment

Even if you are currently using the traditional heating systems, there comes the point when you need to upgrade. By then, you will find that high-efficiency electric heat pumps are the best alternatives. They are currently regarded as the most cost-effective solutions that homeowners can find on the market, and they also don't need a lot of space.

It has been shown that the money saved by installing an electric heating system can cater for the upfront cost in the long-term.

Why should you switch from oil to electric heating?

It should be noted that today, oil and gas heating is common. This is because most homeowners are loath to upgrade. They are not sure about what to expect from electric heating. However, here are some of the main reasons it might be time for you to try an electric heating system.

How ASHP works

Improved safety

The top reason why you should switch from oil to electric heating systems is that they are much safer for you and your loved ones since they rely on renewable heating energy. This is because the systems don’t rely on oil or gases to deliver the desired atmosphere in your home. With electric heating systems, you will sleep soundly knowing that there is no risk of hazardous gas and oil leaks in your house.

The systems will also not produce harmful carbon monoxide that might subject you and your loved ones to severe health complications. The last reason is that the electric heating systems will not rely on fire to get your home heated, so you won't have to worry about fire risk.


It has always been assumed by many homeowners that they will invest a lot of money to switch from oil to electric heating system installations, but this is far from the truth. Provided the system is properly maintained, it will always be an efficient option. The fact is that compared to oil and gas, electricity costs more, but the electric systems operate on fewer units, so at the end of the day, your electricity bills shall have plummeted. Air source heat pumps are calculated to be over 3 times more efficient than the commonly used A-rated gas boilers found it most homes.


The next benefit is that electric heating systems will always cost less than oil and gas heating systems. Thus, you should contact your expert to inform you about the requirements of installing an air source heat pump so that you get the facts right. Air source heat pumps can benefit from both the Government Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) and Green Home Grant schemes. Making their higher installation costs much easier to deal with.

Green home Grant scheme banner

What is the cost of installing an electric heating system?

Maybe you recently purchased a home with a large oil or gas heating system, but you are not impressed with their performance. Thus, you really want to upgrade to an electric heating system but are not sure about the cost. There are factors to consider when estimating the overall cost of installation.

First, the cost of upgrading the heating system in your home will depend on the size of the house and the number of radiators you are going to need. You should also know how far the source of electricity is because that will also add to the overall cost.

Some houses will readily have radiators and an existing pipework. However, some homes will need a complete upgrade, so the process will cost a lot of money. For instance, if we are looking at a 3 bedroom house in the UK, you will spend anywhere from around £8,000 - £16,000 to upgrade from an oil or gas system to an electric one.

The cost of upgrading the heating system is also dependent on the company that is doing the work. Therefore, before you commence the project, make sure to shop around for some of the best, reputable, affordable installers in your region. Most of them will inspect your home, write down the list of requirements, factor in labour cost, and come up with a budget that you can easily afford.


Enhanced lifespan

Whichever type of heating source you choose to install in your home, you will spend a significant amount to have the work done perfectly. However, you will use your system for many years without reporting any technical complications when you go for the electric one.

This is because air source heat pumps are designed to last at least 20 years, provided they are handled and maintained properly. Gas and oil, on the other hand, on average only last around 10-15 years. Electric systems come with fewer parts that can wear out over time, so they can easily last longer.

Readily available

One of the main reasons why you should switch to an air source heat pump is that electricity is a readily available source of power regardless of your location. This makes sense because some parts of the country have limited access to delivered oil, or they might not be connected to the gas network.

This implies that, for them, running a gas or oil heater can be a huge challenge. If you are a homeowner with electric service, you will have access to heat whenever you want, and you won’t have to spend an arm and leg for it.

Final thoughts

Making the switch from oil to the electric heating system is worth it. Besides being readily available, the systems are safe to have at home. They will not expose you and your loved ones to risks associated with fires and fuel or gas leaks. The systems are also easy to repair, in case something doesn’t seem right.

They also come with fewer components that do not wear out easily, so you will be able to use them for a long time without reporting any complications. Therefore, go ahead and get your home something that will last at least twenty years working optimally, and you might even benefit from government funding.


Written by Ruby

Writes blogs about EV charging and climate solutions for 50five.