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Gas or Electric?


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I have recently bought a one bedroom flat on the South Coast which I am currently refurbishing to be rented out.

The old gas boiler has been removed and we now have a choice: to install another gas boiler or have the water heated by an immersion heater and avoid gas altogether. Of course, the priority with a rental property is to keep the costs as low as possible while ensuring the property is still attractive for prospective tenants.

If I install a gas boiler the property can be advertised as having gas, and the property can have central heating flowing from a small gas boiler. However, gas boilers are more expensive to install than an electric system, the property will also need an annual gas safety certificate, and there is potentially the additional cost if the boiler fails.

If the property has an electric immersion heater then the rooms will need separate electric heaters, but the overall costs is considerably less.

Is the property’s letting potential going to be compromised by not having gas, and if so, does this warrant the additional cost of installation and maintenance of gas?

The property is the middle floor flat of a three storey converted Victorian terrace. The likely tenants are going to be young professionals, young couples or even mature students studying at the nearby university.

Does anyone have any thoughts on gas v electric only?

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Hi Solent,

It's gas everytime for me. Yes the outlay is slightly more and you do need to get a gas safety certificate every year but the fuel is cheaper and gas CH more effective than anything electric I have seen. This is far more attractive to tenants.

If you fit a gas combi boiler that will run a shower ( all young professional wotsits want a shower) and that does away with the emmersion heater and tank = more cupboard space.

Sometimes you can do a place up just too cheaply and it soon reflects in letting problems especially during the winter we have just had. Has the property got cavity wall insulation? - there are grants around so get your neighbours to agree and it is virtually for nothing.

Electric is cheap for the landlord but ineffective and expensive for the tenant.


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Gas for me every time. You will get more viewings as well with GCH installed.

Electric: cheap to install.......expensive to run.

Don't forget... tax deductable for your installation of heating into your flat.


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Most of the flats in my rentals portfolio are all electric and most modern flats don't have gas installed.

Providing the property is :

* sufficiently insulated/ draught proofed.

* operates on timers.

* has thermostates installed.

* runs on economy 7/ dual rate electricity.

there should be no problem.

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I have 5 flats where electric is the only option.

The attention to immersion elements is fairly frequent, they last 2 - 4 years(ish). The tanks have dual 'saver 7' and daytime elements.

The flats have 2 storage heaters, 1 panel (instant) heater, and a fan heater to bathroom. They also need attention but just now and again.

Truth is with panel heaters if they're faulty it's likely cost effective to bin 'em, with storage heaters fit new element or thermal fuse and Bob's your oojah.

There is a responsibility to ensure they are safe and suitable for use (as compared to the annual gas cert).

When you say the installation of electric heaters is cheaper I guess you are thinking of panel heaters as storage heaters aren't cheap.

Panel heaters may be effective but expensive to run (as said).

Storage heaters are very poor for control. Possibly my area is a cooler climate than yours but in winter even on reduced output (flap control) the storage heaters are often useless by late afternoon. The flats require supplementary heating.

The storage heaters charge at the low 7 hour tariff, this is a similar KW equivalent cost to the 24 hour gas tariff.

In other words a gas wet system has full control, use it as you (well tenant) will, with no cost penalty.

For attraction of tenants for me it would be gas central heating every time, the EPC would show improved efficiency also (not that a T has ever asked my for sight of one).

My T's sometimes complain of the cost of heating at the flats, but so do those in my houses on (rarer) occasion. But I complain about my costs as well, but they don't listen.

I see a couple of familiar names her who have migrated from another failing forum, hello again friends and hello to all here.

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I have 5 flats where electric is the only option.

The attention to immersion elements is fairly frequent, they last 2 - 4 years(ish).

There are 3 main types of immersion heater elements:

1. Standard type......for soft water areas.

2. Incolloy for hard or soft water areas ( extra few £s only so worth fitting every time).

3. Titanium alloy.....very expensive circa £50 per element but guaranteed 15years+

I only ever fit No 2 above PLUS I make sure that every property has a cheap water softner fitted. You can buy these for around £20 each anywhere through the internt and they will signficantly increase the life of all heater elements and reduce scaling on shower heads etc.

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