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Witten by Bernard Morgan (Engineer) & Adam Apperley (Marketing). Published: November 13, 2023. Updated: February 15, 2024

How much electricity does a boiler use?

So, how much electricity does a gas boiler use…well, not much, but a bit.

It’s a widespread assumption that gas boilers operate without electricity, relying solely on the gas supply. However, this isn’t the case. Despite gas being the main fuel, gas boilers do require a small amount of electricity to function.

In these times of heightened awareness about energy consumption, understanding the electrical needs of your gas boiler is more crucial than ever.

Does a boiler use electricity?

Yes, gas boilers do require a bit of electricity to operate. However, the good news is that the electrical consumption of a gas boiler is quite low, so it’s unlikely to cause a significant increase in your energy bills. For example, energy saving pumps and smart pumps use so little electricity you wouldn’t notice on any bill.

Gas boilers need electrical power to start up and maintain operation. Additionally, even when you’re not actively using your heating, your boiler remains on standby, ready to provide hot water to your taps and heat to your radiators at a moment’s notice.

Electricity is also crucial for the functioning of various components within the central heating system, including the controller, any frost protection and even the screen – if it has one.

Which boiler components need electricity?

Let’s delve into which parts of your gas boiler rely on electricity:

  • Ignition

    When starting up the boiler a small spark is needed to ignite the gas. It’s the click you may hear when it starts up. This is a tiny amount of power, but without it, the boiler can’t heat any water.

  • Central Heating Pump

    Once the water starts heating up it needs to move around the house. A central heating system will require a pump to run the water around all the radiators in your home. Modern pumps are low power and won’t impact your electricity bill.

  • Boiler Fan

    Used to ensure safe expulsion of gases, the boiler fan should turn on before ignition and stop after the heating turns off. This ensures that combustion gases are safely removed from the boiler and vented outside through the flue.

  • Gas Valve

    This component controls the gas flow and requires electricity to operate its motor. 24v rather than 240v

  • Digital Display

    The display uses a tiny amount of electricity to show settings, modes and codes.

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Can a gas boiler operate without electricity?

No, a gas boiler cannot function without electricity due to its reliance on electric components for startup and operation.
In a power outage, your central heating system will not operate, so you’ll need alternative heating methods until power is restored.

Electricity Usage of Gas Boilers

While gas is the primary fuel, a gas boiler’s electricity usage is about 100-200 watts daily, varying with usage frequency and season.

Comparing Gas and Electric Boilers

Gas boilers require minimal electricity, but what about electric boilers? Electric boilers are more expensive upfront and, while more efficient, have higher running costs due to the cost of electricity.

Based on our figures, fully installing a new highly efficient gas boiler from Viessmann would cost only a couple of hundred pounds more than just an electric boiler without installation. Another thing to consider is that high-energy electric boilers will probably require a 3-phase electric supply. Most homes do not have this and it could cost in excess of £5,000 to install.

With current energy rates, gas boilers are generally more cost-effective to run annually than electric boilers.

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Frequently asked questions

A gas boiler’s electricity usage is about 200-300 watts daily, varying with usage frequency and season. Different models will use different amounts but their usage is low.

A system boiler will probably use more electricity than a combi boiler. This is because the hot water cycle is programmed to run a certain number of times a day. A combi boiler calls hot water on demand so will only use electricity when hot water is needed.

A gas boiler’s electricity usage is about 100-200 watts daily, varying with usage frequency and season. Different models will use different amounts but their usage is low and, on average, is comparable to a couple of lightbulbs a day.

Gas boilers are cheaper to run as gas is the cheaper fuel. This, of course, may change in the future. It’s worth noting that electric boilers tend to be a lot more expensive than gas boilers as there isn’t the same market for them, especially in the UK.

Gas is currently about ⅓ the price of electricity in the UK (as of November 2023) per Kw.

In general, yes.

Older boilers didn’t need to adhere to the governments new (as of 2005) 90% minimum efficiency regulations. This mainly affects gas usage but the electrical components are included in this.

Over time the pumps, fans and valves have become a lot more energy efficient alongside the gas technology.

Got an old boiler? Worried about efficiency, basically throwing money away? Get a quote for a new boiler today with Boilerhut.

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