With similar installation and maintenance costs as their gas counterparts, electric boilers can be a great choice for Irish households looking to cut down on their carbon footprint. 

Homeowners across Ireland are upgrading their homes to make them more energy efficient, turning to renewable forms of energy to replace fossil fuels. 

While electric boilers might not be for everyone, what cannot be argued is that they are much more environmentally friendly, especially with electricity companies which provide 100% renewable energy. 

For those thinking of installing an electric boiler in Ireland, we’ve got you covered with everything you need to know before making the decision.

Electric Boilers Ireland

What is an electric boiler?

Although they are less common in Irish households, electric boilers work in much the same way as gas boilers, using electricity instead of natural gas or oil for a home’s central heating system. 

They work by heating cold water by way of electricity. 

Simply put, an electrical current heats the heating element inside the electric boiler, which results in heat being transferred to cold water when it passes over – kind of like a huge kettle! 

As is the case with gas boilers, the way in which they work will depend on the specific type of boiler you decide to install.

What is an electric boiler

Types of Electric Boilers

There are three types of electric boilers which you can choose from, and each one works in different ways, and each with their own set of pros and cons. As is the case with gas and oil, there are combi boilers, standard boilers and system boilers.

  • Combi Electric Boilers
  • Standard/ Conventional Electric Boilers
  • System Electric Boilers

Combi Electric Boilers

Key points:

  • Take up minimal space compared to standard boilers
  • Might not be ideal for large families with multiple bathrooms
  • Hot water on demand

Combination or combi electric boilers are an upgrade on traditional heating systems. Combi boilers are now more common than standard or system boilers in Ireland.

Possibly the biggest difference between standard boilers and combi boilers is that the latter doesn’t require a separate hot water tank, instead heating water directly from the mains on demand.

They are highly energy efficient compared to ‘standard’ boilers, but they have some drawbacks too. For example, it might not be the best option for households with low water pressure. For smaller houses, however, they could be the perfect option as storage space for a large water tank is not needed.

Standard/Conventional Electric Boilers

Key points:

  • Need two tanks which take up space
  • Less energy efficient
  • Suitable for larger families or households with greater hot water demands

Until recently, standard boilers were the most common boiler type in Ireland. Also known as heat-only boilers, they heat up radiators and provide hot water by connecting to a water tank. Standard boilers require a hot water tank, which is most commonly stored in a hot press, as well as a cold water feed tank. 

This can be off-putting for many people who have limited space. They also differ from combi boilers in that they don’t produce heat or hot water ‘on demand’ which can mean some waiting before being able to get water at the right temperature. But despite becoming less popular, standard boilers also have some advantages – they are suited to households which use a lot of water and houses with low water pressure.

System Electric Boilers

Key points:

  • No cold water feed tank needed
  • Suited to larger families
  • Some have integrated hot water tank

System electric boilers are similar to heat-only, standard boilers. The difference is that the pipes and valves are built into the system – hence the name. Like conventional boilers, they require a hot water tank, which takes up space, but differ in that they don’t use a cold water feed tank. Some system electric boilers have an integrated hot water tank, which fits in a hot press. They are also suited to larger families and houses with a few bathrooms which have a higher hot water demand.

Cost of Electric Boilers in Ireland

A new electric boiler will typically cost between €800 and €2,000, with combi boilers being the most expensive and heat only boilers the cheapest. Some high-quality, modern electric boilers can cost around €3,500.  

While the switch over may seem expensive, there are a number of benefits associated with electric boilers, including the positive environmental impact of using electricity over fossil fuels, which is likely the main reason people choose them over gas or oil.

How Much Do Gas Boilers Cost

How much does it cost to run an electric boiler?

Electric boilers are undoubtedly beneficial for the environment, especially accompanied by solar panels. But they are currently more expensive to run, with electricity costing up to three times more than gas. 

The advantages of electric boilers lie more in their energy efficiency and minimal maintenance, and not in their low running costs. Even though they are more energy efficient, the amount of energy saved is not enough to offset the higher cost of electricity.

Pros and Cons of Electric Boilers


  • Electric boilers typically have an energy efficiency of nearly exactly 100%. This means that every cent that is spent on heating a home with an electric boiler goes towards exactly that – with no wastage.
  • With more electricity providers turning to 100% renewable energy, the electricity used to heat your home with an electric boiler is more environmentally friendly than oil or gas.
  • Installation can be easier than with gas boilers, assuming no extra electricity infrastructure is needed. Installation usually takes 1 to 3 days.


  • Electricity is more expensive than gas, meaning heating bills will be higher with an electric boiler
  • For those who have an oil or gas boiler already, getting a new electric boiler can cost between €800 and €3,000
  • Electric boilers may not be able to meet the heating demands for larger homes.
  • Some electricity is still produced by burning fossil fuels.

Electric Boilers vs Gas Boilers

Electric and gas boilers are similar in many ways, from their function to the different types on the market. For houses that don’t require any additional upgrades to the electrical infrastructure, the installation costs are also much the same for electric and gas boilers. Before choosing to switch, or which to opt for in a new build, it is important to know the advantages of both.

Electric Boiler Advantages

  • No carbon monoxide, meaning no risk of leaks
  • No emissions and offsets carbon footprint
  • No noise as they heat water and radiators

Gas Boiler Advantages

  • Cheaper to run than electric boilers
  • Can be better for high hot water and heating demands
  • More choice of boilers on the market

How long do electric boilers last?

Modern electric boilers of a high-quality can last up to 25 years with very little maintenance needed. Gas boilers have the same lifespan, and oil boilers can last 20 years or more – so there is little difference in the longevity of the different boilers.

Are there grants for a new boiler in Ireland?

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) provides a number of grants for homeowners seeking to make energy efficiency upgrades. However, there are currently no grants available for new boilers in Ireland. 

People can avail of a range of grants from the SEAI in 2024: solar PV panels (up to €2,100), solar thermal panels (€1,200), home insulation, and heating controls (€700).


Yes, electric boilers are more efficient than gas boilers. They have an efficiency rating of 99 to 100% whereas gas boilers are only 93% efficient.

Both electric and gas boilers are ideal for different households, and there are different factors which will determine which one is ‘better’. Gas boilers are generally more powerful and can meet higher heating and hot water demands, and they are cheaper to run.

Heating your home and hot water with an electric boiler will be more expensive than with a gas boiler, as electricity is currently more expensive than gas.

Electric boilers are connected to all the radiators in a central heating system.

The cost of a new electric boiler in Ireland will depend on its type and quality. Some high quality combi electric boilers can be between €3,000 and €4,000, while heat only boilers can be as little as €600.

boiler faqs

Get a Free Boiler Quote

If you are thinking of an electric boiler for your home, speak to Energy Efficiency today! A member of our team will be in touch for a free consultation and find you the best quotes on the market. 

Thinking of upgrading your boiler? Find out more with a 100% free quote for a new electric boiler here.

Get a FREE Home Boiler Quote today