If you currently live in one of the two million houses in the UK not connected to a gas supply, installing an electric combination boiler might be just the solution you need. Being both environmentally friendly and compact, electric combi boilers are great for smaller homes with limited storage, helping to reduce energy bills as a result of the lower demand for hot water.
Electric boilers do not have any CO2 emissions, meaning they cause less air pollution than standard gas-powered boilers. Not only that, but they are less expensive to install, and don’t need maintenance checks like gas or oil boilers commonly do.
Although advancements in technology mean electric central heating units are just as reliable as gas and oil boilers, they are usually more expensive to run. However, homeowners that qualify for the Economy 7 or Economy 10 tariffs and install either a storage boiler, dry core storage or solar panels, can reduce energy bills through improved management of their energy consumption.
In this article, we’ll be covering how much it costs to install a new electric combi boiler, how much an electric boiler costs to run, what affects the cost of installing an electric combi boiler, how to save money on an electric combi boiler, how to know if an electric combi boiler is right for your home, what’s involved in fitting and installing an electric combi boiler, and how to find and hire a professional to fit your electric combi boiler.
For small households with low demand for hot water, an electric central heating system is a smart choice. So, if you’re looking for a replacement boiler, keep reading to see if they are a good fit for your home.
How Much Does It Cost to Install a New Electric Combi Boiler?
New electric combi boiler supply costs range from £900 to £4,500, depending on the power and whether you have a built-in cylinder with the system.
|Type of Electric Combi Boiler||Power (kW)||Estimated Supply Cost||Estimated Labour Cost||Total Estimated Cost|
|Boiler without built-in cylinder||12kW||£900 to £1,500||£500 to £2,000||£1,400 to £3,500|
|Boiler with built-in cylinder||12kW||£1,500 to £2,500||£500 to £2,000||£2,000 to £4,500|
|Wall-mounted boiler||3 to 15kW||£1,700 to £2,000||£500 to £2,000||£2,200 to £4,000|
|Floor standing boiler plus long warranty||10 to 18kW||£2,200 to £4,500||£500 to £2,000||£2,700 to £6,500|
For a boiler without a built-in cylinder with a power of 12kW, your estimated supply costs will be between £900 to £1,500. Including labour costs of between £500 to £2,000, your total estimated cost will average £1,400 to £3,500 for purchase and installation.
Having the addition of a built-in cylinder in your electric combi boiler will increase your prices, with estimated supply costs of between £1,500 to £2,500 for the same power output. The same labour charges apply, making your total estimated cost between £2,000 to £4,500.
Wall-mounted boilers of powers between three to 15kW can command supply costs of £1,700 to £2,000, which, when labour costs are integrated, comes out at a total of £2,200 to £4,000.
Finally, a floor-standing boiler including a long warranty period for a system of between 10 to 18kW in power will set you back between £2,200 to £4,500. When the labour charges are included, this can make a final fee of between £2,700 to £6,500.
How Much Does an Electric Boiler Cost to Run?
While the typical running costs for an electric combi boiler are more expensive when compared to gas, there are long-term benefits to reap such as lower maintenance fees and higher efficiency to balance the higher bills. Let’s take a look at the running costs for different power capacities.
|Power (kWh)||Power Consumption (BTU)||Number of Radiators||Estimated Annual Running Cost|
Please note that these costs are calculated based on 2022 estimates from the Energy Savings Trust. Actual prices and running costs may be affected by changes to the energy price caps from April 2022.
A 4kWh electric boiler with 13,600 BTU power consumption with two radiators stationed in the property will cost around £1,905 to run per year.
6kWh electric boilers with 20,500 BTU power consumption and five radiators within the home will come in at about £2,095 per annum.
Increasing the power to a 9kWh electric boiler with 30,700 BTU power consumption and seven radiators, the annual costs rise to £2,286.
For an 11kWh electric boiler with 38,000 BTU power consumption, you can expect a yearly cost of £2,540, based on nine radiators.
12kWh electric boilers with 41,000 BTU power consumption will equate to £2,667 per year, with 10 radiators in the home.
Finally, a 14kWh electric boiler of 48,000 BTU power consumption and 12 radiators will yield an annual cost of £3,175 to run.
What Affects the Cost of Installing an Electric Combi Boiler?
Several factors could impact the cost of installing an electric combi boiler. We discuss the most common factors below to give you an idea of what to keep in mind before making any purchases.
Type of Boiler
Before investing in an electric boiler, it’s important to consider the different types as some are better suited to certain types of property, budgets, and needs:
Direct Electric Boilers
These boilers heat water on demand rather than storing water, so there is a slight delay when waiting for hot water . However, they are less expensive and cheaper to install than other types of boilers and don’t require a lot of space.
Storage heaters are the most practical and cost-effective solution, providing hot water on demand while enabling you to take advantage of the Economy 7 tariff by heating water at night for use the next day. They are more expensive than direct boilers, however, and take up more space.
Electric Combined Primary Storage Units (CPSU)
CPSUs store a lot of hot water to meet high household demands. They are bulky and take up a lot of space, so are better suited to larger homes with two or more bathrooms or commercial properties.
These boilers warm bricks overnight and release the heat into the water which enables you to heat water at lower rates on the Economy 7 tariff. Although cost-effective, there is a higher chance you could run out of hot water, so it is better suited to smaller homes with little demand for hot water.
Electric heaters are compatible with solar energy in homes that have an immersion heater. The solar panels provide heat during the day so you don’t need to use the electric boiler, thus enabling you to take advantage of the lower nighttime rates.
Model of Boiler
As with most appliances, the model or manufacturer can impact the price you pay – in some cases, for the same item, just under a different brand name. Here’s a breakdown of how those prices look from different suppliers:
|Manufacturer and Model||Power (kW)||Estimated Supply Cost||Estimated Labour Cost||Total Estimated Cost|
|Electric Combo Boilers Co. (Elektra)||2to 12kW||£1,200 to £1,900||£500 to £2,000||£1,700 to £3,900|
|EHC (Comet)||9, 12, or 14kW||£1,400 to £2,570||£500 to £2,000||£1,900 to £4,570|
|Elnur (Mattira MAC15)||3 to 15kW||£1,750 to £2,100||£500 to £2,000||£2,250 to £4,100|
|Heatrae Sadia (Electromax)||6 or 9kW||£1,800 to £2,000||£500 to £2,000||£2,300 to £4,000|
|Thermaflow (Electric Combi Boiler)||10 to 18kW||£2,300 to £4,100||£500 to £2,000||£2,800 to £6,100|
Conversion to Different Boiler Types
It’s always easier to replace like-for-like boilers, so for homes needing a conversion from a certain type of boiler to another, your prices are going to be higher than a straight swap. The same is true for installing a new boiler into a home which hasn’t had one before versus replacing an old system; your labour fees will be higher for the former, making the entire project more costly than a replacement.
Moving Boiler Position
As it is with moving any kind of pipework or wiring, fees will be incurred for those wanting to adjust boiler position in their homes. Depending on the scale of the move, labour costs can range from a few hundred up to the thousands for more complex jobs.
National vs Local Installer
Although the allure of a national installer might draw you in with flashy adverts and showrooms, you will usually end up paying more for these services as you will be helping to pay for these company overheads. In most cases, it’s best to stay local and find a trusted tradesperson in your area – and you’ll usually find they can be available far sooner than national companies.
How Can I Save Money on an Electric Combi Boiler?
There are a few ways to save money on an electric combi boiler.
The best way of saving money is to consider the size you need in relation to the size of your home, the number of people living in it, your number of radiators, and your demand for hot water.
It’s important to consider all aspects here as you may have a large home, but only a handful of residents with low hot water consumption, meaning you won’t need the largest size boiler to cater for your needs.
Hiring a local tradesperson to fit and install your electric combi boiler is another great way to reduce your costs as you won’t be heading the high overheads seen in national companies.
Where possible, it’s best to keep your boiler position the same as it was for the model you’re replacing. This will reduce your labour costs as there will be no need to re-plumb in different areas of the home.
Is an Electric Combi Boiler the Best Choice for My Home?
Other than being more energy-efficient, electric combination heaters have several benefits over other types of central heating options:
Advantages of Electric Combi Boilers
|Cost-Effective||Electric combi heaters are easy to install and require less maintenance than gas or oil boilers, making them a less expensive option.|
|Fits Small Spaces||Electric combi boilers are typically single units and do not require heating tanks, cylinders or a flue like other types of boiler. Combination boilers typically fit comfortably into a small kitchen cupboard or under the stairs.|
|No Noise||Most gas and oil boilers hum. Electric boilers are completely silent even when they are in operation.|
|Ease of Use||Units are fitted with a digital display that gives you a temperature reading and a dial that enables you to turn the temperature up or down depending on your preference.|
|Low Installation Costs||Electric combi boilers do not run off gas or oil so do not depend on an existing central heating system to heat your home, making them easier to fit, reducing installation costs.|
|Low Maintenance||As electric boilers have less mechanical parts as other types of heating systems, they do not require repairs as often.|
|Future-Proof||Electric combi boilers are compatible with solar energy. The world’s oil and gas resources are expected to run out in the next 40 years - at the moment, oil supplies are expected to dry up around 2052, and gas around 2060.|
Before deciding whether to install an electric combi boiler, you should be aware of the disadvantages, as they are not ideal solutions for everybody:
Disadvantages of Electric Combi Boilers
|Higher Running Costs||Daytime use of electricity is more expensive than gas, meaning bills are typically higher. Electricity's day rate is 16p/kWh, while gas is 4.2p/kWh.|
|Less Hot Water||Electric boilers heat water on demand, meaning there will be a slight delay between turning on the tap and receiving the warm water.|
With the Economy 7 tariff, using an electric storage heater system will enable you to compete with other boiler types, as the cost of using electricity at night is only 6p-8p/kWh. However, because the day rate is 16p/kWh, people that are at home during the day will see a significant increase in their electricity bills.
Electricity prices per kWh in England/Wales/Scotland
- Off-peak Economy 7 tariff: 11.81p/kWh
- On-peak Economy 7 tariff: 24.16p/kWh
- Standard rate: 20.06p/kWh
Electricity prices per kWh in Northern Ireland
- Off-peak Economy 7 tariff: 10.28p/kWh
- On-peak Economy 7 tariff: 18.10p/kWh
- Standard rate: 20.33p/kWh
Please note that these costs are estimates for 2022, and actual prices may be affected by changes to the energy price caps from April 2022.
For more information, please see the Energy Savings Trust.
What’s Involved in Installing an Electric Combi Boiler?
Electric boilers do not need to be installed by Gas Safe or OFTEC engineer – so DIY can be considered as an option – but an electrician may be required for final wiring. If your home has an old gas or oil boiler which is being replaced by an electric boiler, a Gas Safe or OFTEC engineer will need to remove the old boiler.
How Do I Find and Hire an Installer?
One of the best ways to find and hire an installer for your electric boiler is to simply ask for trade recommendations from friends, family and neighbours. If you know someone on your street has had similar work done recently, finding out whether or not they would recommend their tradesperson is a great way to save you time – both in finding a good match, and knowing who to avoid if their work wasn’t up to standard.
Using HouseholdQuotes is a great way of finding reputable traders efficiently, keeping your search to just one website instead of fielding lots of separate tabs. What’s more, you can save up to 40% on your project fee by using the service.
Ensuring the Professional Is the Right Fit
You want your tradesperson to be a good fit for you and your job – which is why you must carry out some simple checks before agreeing to work with them.
During your search, you should ensure that they have the relevant qualifications and experience in similar projects, being especially diligent when checking friend and family recommendations. Seeking out previous references, alongside any videos or pictures of prior work, can help to give you an idea of what’s in store with this specific trader, too.
It’s also a good idea to double-check that they have relevant insurance to cover themselves and you if anything went wrong during installation, and you should always check the warranty of the product and make sure that is validated upon fitting.
Switching your fossil-fuel-powered boiler for an electric combi is a great way to reduce your carbon emissions, as well as general running costs. While the cost of your monthly bill may be more, the return to the environment and through schemes such as Economy 7 or 10 tariffs can help to offset these increases.
- Find the right output for your home, considering the residents, hot water demand, number of radiators and size of your home in general
- Where possible, try to keep the location of the replacement boiler the same to reduce labour fees
- Seek out recommendations from friends and family, or use HouseholdQuotes to help you save up to 40% on your project’s fee
- Get a written quote to make sure there are no hidden fees further down the line.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is an Electric Combi Boiler More Expensive Than a Gas Boiler?
If you only use the electric combi boiler at night and qualify for the Economy 7 rate, you will pay around 6p/kWh rather than 16p/kWh. The average annual running costs below can, therefore, be reduced by about £900 – £1,000.
Typical running costs are significantly higher than gas and oil and although costs are saved in the initial stages, long-term costs are higher than boilers powered by fossil fuels. However, investing in electric combi heaters that store water overnight for use the next day reduces running costs considerably.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that the cost of oil and gas will increase as resources run low. Renewable fuels, which are compatible with electric boilers, could help reduce heating costs.
Are Electric Boilers as Good as Gas Boilers?
As these boilers don’t burn fuel, they also lose less energy – meaning you pay for the energy you actually use and not what you lose. It is estimated that electric combi boilers are 99% efficient.
In contrast, gas boilers are between 89-95% efficient and oil-fired boilers use between 85%-93% of the energy they convert. Electric combination heaters are therefore seen as the environmentally choice and the future-proof option for UK households.
Can I Replace My Gas or Oil Boiler With an Electric Boiler?
Does an Electric Combi Boiler Need a Hot Water Cylinder?
Can an Electric Boiler Fill a Bath?
Who Can Get a Boiler Grant?
The eligibility requirements for this scheme are listed on our dedicated free boiler grant page.
What Is a Sustainable Alternative for My Heating?
For more information on ground source heat pumps, see our dedicated page.