It’s one of the key questions we often hear from our customers here at Gate Auto, and understandably so. After all, it makes sense for you to wonder about running costs when you’re tallying up the potential cost of electric gates – especially in the current economic climate!
The good news is that electric gates are primarily designed to be energy efficient, so you’ll never need to worry about any nasty surprises when it comes to your running costs. It’s true that adding any kind of electrical installation to your home is likely to increase your energy bills, but in most cases the cost will be negligible.
Now, the thing about electric gate kits is that the running costs can vary just as widely as the purchase prices, which means it’s difficult to give an exact answer right off the bat. (In many ways, it’s very much a “how long is a piece of string” type of situation.) However, we can still give you a rough ballpark range based on the average costs for a residential gate. Here’s a useful estimate!
The annual average running costs for residential gates
Most private residential gates will run on a 230v power supply. That makes them suitable for gates that will open and close no more than 8 times an hour. However, most gates that open and close that many times will be those used for shared residential properties like blocks of flats, or commercial properties.
Most private domestic gates will consume about 100w of electricity a day when they’re on standby. When they’re active, they may use up to 700w a day. They’ll take about 20 seconds to fully open and close (in technical terms, this is referred to as a “cycle”). Every cycle of your gates adds about 0.2p to your energy bill. That’s less than the average kettle – so happily, you can have decent peace of mind against any worries of skyrocketing bills.
0.2p about sixteen times a day works out to about 3.2p. Multiply that by the number of days in a year (365), and that works out to about 1168 pence per year, or £11.68 if you prefer your amounts in sterling.
Now obviously, that’s a highly specific amount that’s just the result of a single set of calculations – as we’ve touched on above, your mileage will vary widely.
What factors affect the running costs of your gates?
There’s a significant number of major factors that will affect your running costs. We won’t go into an exhaustive list here, but some of the most pivotal ones include:
The size of your gates
The size of the gates themselves, and the nature of the mechanism, can play a reasonably decisive role in determining exactly how much power your gates consume. Essentially, the larger and heavier they are, the more energy it’ll take to move them, which will ultimately be reflected in your annual energy bill.
The number of cycles per day
As we’ve touched on above, residential gates can expect to go through relatively few cycles per day – broadly in line with family members leaving and returning from work each weekday, plus a few more for minor errands, evening activities, or days out. The most durable gates for commercial properties may see large numbers of vehicles coming and going each day, especially if it’s a logistics business or one with a similarly large fleet. In this case, the larger number of cycles will have a noticeable effect on the final tally.
The regional energy prices for your area
Finally, there are minor but still-significant differences in the regional energy prices across the UK. London for example has the most expensive average electricity unit rate, with residents paying 28.43p per kWh on average. Yorkshire on the other hand is the cheapest, at 26.52p per kWh. These differences, coupled with the other factors we’ve detailed above, can also have their own effect on your final running costs for your electric gates.
Now, it’s worth pointing out that this isn’t an exhaustive list, and once again, the average running costs we’ve outlined in that first section is just an example. Really, the best way to work out what your average running costs will be for your electric gates is to simply talk to one of our experts here at Gate Auto. We may not be able to give you answers that are precise down to the very last detail, as these things are somewhat unpredictable by nature – but we can certainly give you as much help as we can, so that you can make an informed decision about your electric gates.
With over 30 years in supplying and fitting high-quality gate automation here at Gate Auto, we provide a wide range of electric gate kits alongside an array of accessories to ensure you get the most out of your investment. Feel free to check them out right here on our site, or give us a call on 01282 677300 and we’ll be happy to help you make the right choice for your home!