Electric heating refers to any system that uses electricity as the main energy source to heat the home. It covers many types of heating, but for most people it would mean either storage heaters, electric boilers or underfloor heating. It would not normally be used to describe heat pumps, which do not use electricity to provide heating directly.
Electricity is becoming an increasingly low carbon form of heating, as more renewable sources like wind and solar power are connected to the electricity grid, replacing existing gas and coal power stations.
In the future, we expect carbon emissions from electricity to continue to drop, and for electricity to become a very low carbon source of energy and heat. However, while electricity is becoming lower carbon, it currently remains expensive compared to gas and other fossil fuels.
Recent housing condition surveys estimate that around 7% of households across England, 5% households in Wales and 11% of households in Scotland heat their homes using electricity. In Northern Ireland, it’s estimated that around 8% of households use electric heating.
Electric heating is more common in flats, rented properties, and in homes with no mains gas connection.