Electric Combi Boilers: A Guide to Cost-Saving Combi Boilers
- Electric combi boilers are space saving
- A viable replacement for gas boilers
- Up to 100% efficient
Here in the UK, boilers deliver essential everyday comforts we can’t do without. Yet how we heat our homes is changing fast. Electric combi boilers are already one of the most popular ways to warm UK homes because they offer superb energy efficiency, with less money wasted for heating.
With our path to net zero ever shorter and energy costs growing, electric combi boilers also meet our urgent need for affordable, low carbon heating solutions which work seamlessly with contemporary living and keep our energy bills low.
Best of all, if you’re ready to replace your gas boiler with a low carbon system, electric combi boilers are the perfect replacement if you don’t want anything radical. You can still heat your home in the same way with a recognisable system that’s free from high levels of waste.
Here’s all you need to know about the UK’s best cost-saving boilers and how they can help you reduce your energy bills and personal carbon consumption whilst improving energy efficiency. As they can be operated using renewable electricity, electric combi boilers produce no emissions during use.
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How Do Electric Combi Boilers Work?
Electric combi boilers provide heating and hot water on demand. Suitable for contemporary domestic use, they deliver hot water and heating when you need it. Unlike cumbersome, old heating systems that store hot water in a bulky hot water storage cylinders, combi boilers heat the water in the mains water supply.
There’s no separate hot water cylinder storage with electric combi boilers, as hot water is heated on demand for your radiators, taps and showers. This means there’s less waste and the combined system provides a compact design that requires little space.
Alternatively, if you'd like to research different types and know the best boiler for you in the UK, read our guide.
What Are The Pros And Cons of Electric Combi Boilers?
There are a lot of advantages to installing an electric combi boiler and if your existing system is old, you could knock a few hundred pounds off your energy bill. Here’s some of the top benefits of choosing an electric combi boiler system:
- Space-saving: Constructed in a neat, smaller size, combination boilers are perfect for busy homes. Free from bulky flues and gas pipes, these cost-saving boilers can even fit inside a kitchen cupboard if you choose a small model
- Energy Efficient: Electric combi boilers operate with a high level of efficiency that’s almost 100%. That means these cost-saving boilers use less energy to heat your home and hot water. Unlike gas boilers, with a electric combi boiler there’s hardly any heat left over. Best of all, the tiny percentage of leftover heat is reused so there’s no wasted energy or harmful flue gases expelled into the air
- Lower Energy Bills: Better use of heat means you’ll get more for your money with a electric combi boiler whilst lowering carbon emissions, helping to reduce the quantity of damaging greenhouse gases in the air as well as your energy bills
- Easy and Cheap Maintenance: Electric combi boilers are easy to install and maintain. Constructed with few moving parts, repairs to these cost-saving boilers are rarely needed. If a fix is required, parts are readily available and repair costs low. Not only are electric combi boilers cheaper to run than oil or gas, they also eliminate the need for annual services and gas safety checks plus the fees which accompany both. Compare boiler service costs
- Smart Savings: Opt for one of the many models with smart thermostat controls and you can use technology to help you make even more savings whilst conserving precious energy
- Simple to Use: Functioning just like your old gas boiler, reliable electric combi boilers are a favourite choice for homeowners who want a low carbon solution but are either not ready for the shift to a heat pump or are unable to have one installed
- Quiet: Contemporary design means you’ll relish top performance, including quiet operation, perfect for relaxing in peace and comfort at home
- Low Carbon Future-Ready: Running a non-gas heating system that’s low carbon, electric combi boilers ensure you’re ready for our low carbon, net zero changes which are already in motion. With completion already set for 2050, the phasing out of gas boilers is top of the agenda for the UK and properties around the world
- Safe: The absence of gas in your electric heating system means there’s no invisible risk of carbon monoxide poisoning or the many layers of security, checks and safety-related costs necessary to operate a gas boiler
As one of the UK’s most popular heating systems, electric combi boilers come with few disadvantages but there are a couple:
- Higher unit cost: The unit cost for electricity at the moment, is higher than gas. However, energy-efficient electric combi boilers use less energy to heat your home and incur hardly any maintenance costs so you’ll end up paying less overall
- Not suitable for larger homes: Small in size, electric combination boilers are suitable for homes with no more than two bathrooms. What size boiler do I need?
Originally created for smaller homes, if you have a large property with lots of bedrooms and bathrooms, you probably won’t want to choose an electric combi boiler.
Efficient electric combi boilers have a lower water flow rate than traditional boilers because they’re an energy-saving design. That means they supply hot water to one hot tap at a time – not ideal for multiple bath-times!
For a better-suited electric boiler for properties with multiple bathrooms, you may find a heat-only boiler ideal. They’re energy efficient and cheap to purchase with prices starting at around £400.
However, heat-only boilers follow a traditional heating system with a hot water cylinder for additional water storage so you won’t save on space. For an integrated design, you could explore the benefits of a system boiler that has an integrated hot water cylinder.
How Much Does It Cost To Install an Electric Combi Boiler?
Installation costs for electric combi boilers are well-known to be much lower than gas boilers because no flue needs to be fitted. Total costs for installation are usually around £1,500 – £2,300 but it is possible for prices to rise to as much as £3,000. The range depends on whether additional work is required to install the boiler.
As with any type of home maintenance, the specific conditions for the installation of electric combi boilers will determine how much you pay. A few quotes from trusted local installers will give you a clear idea of how simple installation will be for you.
If your installation is straightforward, you’ll pay less than a more complex project due to:
- The type of heating you had before. If you currently use a different system, such as a gas boiler or system with hot water storage located elsewhere in the property, there may be extra work required during installation
- Pipework needing to be fixed or relocated
- The incoming fuse supply or phase supply needing to be increased to support your new boiler
- Your system needing to be cleaned
Extra work means additional effort, so your labour costs will increase, causing your final installation costs to be higher. Remember, any work in the UK is also affected by where you live so check prices for electric combi boilers in your local area.
It’s worth bearing in mind, boilers should be replaced every 10 to 15 years so if yours isn’t too old and in good condition, you’ll stand a better chance of incurring less costs.
You can expect labour costs for installation to be around £500 – £1,000. With the cheapest electric combi boilers available for as little as around £500 and those at the top end generally around £2,000 (although you can get them for more), total installation costs for electric combi boilers can be around £1,000 cheaper than other hot water and heating systems.
Electric Combi Boiler Prices
Amongst the UK’s top boiler brands, Glow Worm combi boilers can be found for as little as £560. Entry prices for Ideal and Vaillant electric combi boilers start at around £600. At the higher end, Baxi and Worcester electric combination boiler prices start from around £700.
Top of the range prices from Baxi, Vaillant, Glow Worm, Worcester and Ideal for electric combi boilers can be found for between £1,000 – £1,300 so there’s lots to choose from without having to spend too much.
Electric Combi Boiler Types
Energy-saving electric combi boilers come in a range of sizes to suit different households.
- Small: The smallest models come in at 24-27kW
- Large: A 42kW electric combi boiler is the largest size and suitable for a house with up to 20 radiators. Large combi boilers range between 35-42kW
- Medium: In between, you’ll find 28-34kW combi boilers, ideal for properties with no more than 15 radiators, for those who want something mid-range
Popularity means electric combi boilers are available in a range of styles and sold by all the best boiler brands so there’s lots of choice. You’ll find a good mixture of both UK and European manufacturers, with energy-saving models available with or without built-in hot water cylinders for storage cupboards, mounting on walls and floor-standing designs.
How much does an electric combi boiler cost?
- Standard: Electric combi boilers without built-in cylinders are the cheapest models, priced between £900 and £1,300
- In-built Cylinder: Combi boilers with an built-in cylinder usually cost between £1,500 and £2,500
- Wall-mounted: Electric combi boilers which can be installed against the wall cost around £1,800 and £2,000
- Floor-standing with cylinder: The largest electric combi boilers are sold with a hot water cylinder for added capacity and a long warranty. These are the most expensive models, priced between £2,400 and £4,500
You can take a look at the running costs of an electric boiler system in the interactive graph below. These estimates are based on different kWh systems and depends on how many radiators are needed. The same calculations were used to work out how much an electric boiler will cost you.
More information about all kinds of combi boilers can be found in our combi boiler guide.
Electric Boiler vs Gas Boiler: What’s The Difference?
Electric Boilers Are Cheaper in the Long Run
When comparing the cost of electric combi boilers and gas boilers, it can be confusing. Looking solely look at unit costs, gas boilers appears to be cheaper. Current unit costs for 1kW of energy place gas at 7p and electricity at 27p. However, a unit cost comparison is inefficient because what matter is the amount of energy you use and we know electric boilers are extremely efficient.
Instead, compare overall costs because electric combi boilers are cheaper to run and more efficient than gas types, meaning you’re paying a lot less for an electric boiler in the long run. Here’s why:
- Electric combi boilers create less waste than gas boilers: When you choose an electric boiler, you won’t be paying for energy which is wasted and ends up adding to the damaging greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. An end to energy waste means lower energy costs because your energy consumption is reduced
- Electric boilers are easier to maintain: Electric combi boilers are much cheaper to run than gas boilers because their maintenance costs are low. Energy-saving electric boilers are constructed with less moving parts so they’re simpler to fix and break down much less frequently than gas boilers. Best of all, replacement parts are readily available in the UK so repairs are quick and simple. Electric boilers don’t incur annual service costs or gas checks so you’ll avoid the hassle of annual services which with a gas boiler so often result in some sort of repair
- Electric boilers are low carbon: Gas boilers have already cost our world dearly because they release toxic waste gases into the air. When you opt for an electric boiler, you end your contribution to the build-up of greenhouse gases from boiler waste because electric boilers don’t send unwanted gases into the air, they re-use them
- Electric boilers are future-ready: We are already on our way to a low carbon future. Gas boilers worldwide have made a large contribution to the toxic greenhouse gases in our atmosphere so they’re destined to become obsolete
It is going to quickly become more and more difficult to run a gas boiler. They will become more expensive, socially unacceptable and eventually impossible to run as governments deter us from buying them. In the interest of going green, the UK Government is offering up to £6,000 off upgrading to a more sustainable system through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme.
On the other hand, cost-saving electric boilers are a low carbon heating solution so you can look forward to further government support for a heating system which is in-line with our net zero future.
Our personal consumption of heating is one of the biggest contributors to carbon emissions here in the UK. Installing an energy-saving electric combi boiler is a great way to continue lowering your personal carbon consumption whilst reducing your energy bills and heating your home more efficiently.