Switching from electric heating to gas, LPG or oil

Electricity is the most expensive and inefficient heating fuel available, and so switching from electric to gas, LPG or oil, whilst expensive, can save you significant amounts of money in the long term.

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How to make the switch to gas

 

1) Connect to the gas network – To be able to use a gas boiler you will need a new gas connection if you don’t have one. Your property must be no more than 23 metres from the nearest main supply line, and your new meter won’t be able to be higher than 3 metres above the ground. You will also need the permission of anyone who owns land between your property and the line, and whoever owns the house if you don’t, as excavation work will be required. You will need to contact your Gas network to install the connection from their main line on your road to your house. Gas networks vary depending on where you live:

 

National Grid:

East Midlands (East of England)

East Anglia (East of England)

North West

London (North only)

West Midlands

Scotia Gas Networks:

Scotland

South England (including South London)

Northern Gas Networks:

Northern England

Wales & West Utilities:

Wales and West England

 

For Scotland, South England (including South London), Northern England, Wales and West England you can instead get the connection done through Utility Infrastructure Providers. You can contact any network including UIPs here.

Getting a connection to the gas network costs between £200 and £500 depending on how much private land is between the main connection and your house and whether you want the gas network to do the excavation required. Costs for National Grid areas can be found here.

 

You can get help paying for a new connection if:

- You spend more than 10% of your net income on heating

- Your house is in a deprived area

- You are on certain income related benefits

- You are over 70 years old

More information on the National Grid scheme is available here.

 

2) Get your gas meter installed: One your gas connection is set up you should get your gas supplier to come and install your gas meter. Once that is done, your system is live and can be connected to a central heating system.

 

FAQs

What size should my condensing boiler be?
The type and size of your new boiler will depend on a range of factors like the size of your property, how well it is insulated, and the type of fuel and heating system you use to heat your home. You installer will advise you on the type and size of boiler best suited to your property.
How easy is it to install a condensing boiler?
Boilers vary in size and shape but most are designed for simplicity of installation. With space being such a premium many boilers are small enough to be fitted by one person into a kitchen cupboard, easily and with minimum disruption.
If I buy a new boiler, does it have to be a condensing boiler?
Yes. Government legislation now requires all new boilers to be the condensing type unless it would be impossible to fit one, which would probably be the case if there was no way to provide suitable drainage.
How reliable are condensing boilers?
Condensing boilers are reliable if well maintained and serviced regularly. A Which? survey in 2011 found that 46% of owners who bought a boiler after April 2005 have experienced some kind of fault. Not all of these faults required a repair. In fact the most frequent problem, a blocked drainage pipe, experienced by 11% of owners, is actually a problem caused by poor installation.
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