I'm a west-coast American living in London. I grew up with baseboard and central forced air heating. I'm currently living in the UK where water radiators are common (if not pretty much the standard). And while I do know a couple people in the US who had under floor heating that used forced water, I'm really not to familiar with the configuration of water based heating systems.
I was looking at a small row house recently that had a boiler in the kitchen and a water tank some distance away. The boiler was gas powered, while the water tank was electric. I was offered a brief explanation of how the two systems inter-opted, but it didn't really make sense to me. There definitely was some kind of communication/sharing between the two - it wasn't two completely independent systems.
My question is, is this a common set up, even for a smaller (relative to US standards) place? And what would be the advantage to doing this over using just one system over the other?