Electric heating less carbon intensive than gas
The latest report from Drax shows that in 2019 the average carbon intensity of grid electricity for heating went below that of boiler gas.
The report notes that while the average carbon emissions from producing 1 kWh of central heating or hot water fell to 215 grams of carbon in 2019, simple electric heaters averaged only 207 grams per KWh.
Drax concludes “Britain has reached the point where it’s cleaner to use electric heating than a gas boiler”.
Drax also observes that the UK would have to blend 12% hydrogen (by volume) into the gas mains for Britain’s boilers to stay as clean as electric radiators. However, in time only a full hydrogen switch-over will compete on carbon impact. Drax also suggests that using electric heat pumps could provide heat with at 50–100 g/kWh.
Cleaner does not currently mean cheaper: retail electricity prices are around three times higher than gas, though off peak and smart usage can help to reduce running costs.