We often encounter misconceptions about automated gates. People sometimes think they’re not suitable for some kinds of driveway, that they can’t be used in high winds, or that they’re prone to break down. None of these things are true, and there are all kinds of gate solutions available for nearly every situation.
Another common misconception is that automated gates are expensive to run and if you install them, you’re going to see a huge increase in your electricity bill. Of course, adding any kind of electrical installation to your home is likely to increase your bills. But just how much exactly does it cost to run electric gates?
You might be pleasantly surprised by the answer.
Let’s do the maths
While not being a completely exact science, it’s possible to calculate roughly how much it costs to run electric gates.
The overwhelming majority of private residential gates will run on a 230v power supply. This is suitable for gates that aren’t going to open and close more than eight times an hour. For most residential settings, most of the time, this is fine. On average, domestic gates will open and close 15 times during a 24-hour period and we’ll use that figure in our calculations.
When they’re on standby electric gates will on average consume around 100watts of electricity a day. If the gates are active, they can use up to around 700w. The amount of time they are running is limited. An average gate opening and closing cycle will only last 20 seconds in each direction. This works out at around 0.2p, on your energy bill for every cycle of your gates.
If we take the average number of times a gate will open and close to be 15, then the cost over a year will be £15-16 for a residential gate installation. That works out at about 28 pence a week. Then you can perhaps subtract the days when the family go out less in the winter, and the weeks when the homeowner goes on holiday and the gates remain closed, to drive that figure down even further.
It’s fair to say, that electric gates are really not going to send your electricity bill rocketing!
What other costs are there to consider?
If you’ve calculated the cost of your gates and automation package, and you’re not worried about finding the extra 28pence a week to pay for the convenience and security of automated gates, what other costs might you need to consider?
Firstly, there’s the installation
After purchasing the gates and the automation equipment, your next biggest cost will be the installation. There’s no legislation regarding who can or can’t install electric gates but we strongly recommend that you should have your gates installed by a professional installer. The price you will pay for their services should include safety audit, safe gate system design and professional installation, plus a guarantee.
Prices will be determined by factors including the circumstances at your property and the amount of groundwork required. For instance, sliding gates require tracks, and underground swing gate motors need drainage pits.
To help with your budgeting, make sure you get some quotes for installing your gates prior to making your purchase.
Keeping your gates maintained
The largest ongoing cost associated with electric gates is regular maintenance. This is vital to keep your gates working efficiently over the long-term. Failure to have your gates maintained regularly enough could ultimately result in problems at a later date.
Electric gates are incredibly hard-wearing and dependable when they’re looked after, so it’s really in your interest to set up a regular maintenance schedule.
The costs of keeping your gates maintained will depend on the site, the systems you use and how far your maintenance engineer is travelling. As a rule, the more you use your gates the more maintenance they will require. The average residential gates may only need servicing a couple of times a year.
It’s possible to set up maintenance plans with gate engineers. This spreads the cost of maintaining your gates and usually includes an agreed number of service visits every year. It may also cover you for the cost of some parts and other related sundries. It will usually include guarantees for their work. Entering into such a contract can give you peace of mind knowing that your gates are being looked after.
Get in touch
Overall, we usually find that people are pleasantly surprised at the installation, running and ongoing maintenance costs of electric gates.
If you’d like more information about the costs involved why not talk to one of our friendly and experienced team? Give us a call on 033 022 34800, or use the contact form on our website.