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Winter gas bill

By Watson - 3 August 2012 93

Just out of interest, what would an average quarterly winter gas bill (eg. May-June-July) be like if you heat with gas (+ a gas stove in my case)?

Mine totaled $740 and I had people tell me to check for gas leaks. I live in a pretty badly insulated 2 bedroom rental and have ducted gas heating, with ducts in the ceiling. Takes forever to get the house up to an acceptable temperature on frosty mornings. We are away from home for a minimum of 35 hours during the week.

I do vaguely remember getting up to over $600 in a previous rental with ducted gas heating though. Floor ducts, but the insulation was even worse there.

So does an amount like that sound normal for a house with below average energy rating?

What’s Your opinion?


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93 Responses to
Winter gas bill
31
Truthiness 3:38 pm
04 Aug 12
#

I’ve lived in 20+ rentals in Canberra and not one of them had decent insulation, consequently the heating bills were always astronomical. land lords don’t care, they have zero motivation to spend money which will only save their tenants money.

oh how I wish the government would make insulation and double glazing mandatory, it would cut so many emissions and save so much money for the poor.

the current house didn’t even have curtains, just a single inefficient 4kw heater facing an open window in a room with no doors. we made our own curtains and bought an oil heater, but the next tenant will have to do the same thing. bloody greedy land lords.

it wouldn’t be so bad if it were possible for the poor to buy houses. the current massively over priced housing market means the only people who can afford houses are those who already have one, or are willing to spend 30 years in indentured servitude to a bankster.

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32
Watson 4:16 pm
04 Aug 12
#

Truthiness said :

I’ve lived in 20+ rentals in Canberra and not one of them had decent insulation, consequently the heating bills were always astronomical. land lords don’t care, they have zero motivation to spend money which will only save their tenants money.

oh how I wish the government would make insulation and double glazing mandatory, it would cut so many emissions and save so much money for the poor.

the current house didn’t even have curtains, just a single inefficient 4kw heater facing an open window in a room with no doors. we made our own curtains and bought an oil heater, but the next tenant will have to do the same thing. bloody greedy land lords.

it wouldn’t be so bad if it were possible for the poor to buy houses. the current massively over priced housing market means the only people who can afford houses are those who already have one, or are willing to spend 30 years in indentured servitude to a bankster.

It is a pet peeve of mine too. Add those astronomical heating (and old hot water systems are a major culprit too) bills to the already high rents and for lots of tenants that squashes any hope that they will ever be able to save up for a house deposit.

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33
JC 5:15 pm
04 Aug 12
#

smont said :

I’m quite blown away by some of the amounts being posted here. We have a typical 3br early-70s house with central gas heating (roof vents) that we set on 21 degrees morning and evening, gas instant hot water and gas cook tops; and our gas bill for quarter 13 Apr – 10 Jul (89 days) was $59. Just looking back through our last two years worth of bills online, it has never exceeded $60 for a quarter.

Our ceiling insulation is not particularly good; but our house is double brick, and we had double-glaze windows installed in lounge, bedrooms and kitchen 10 years ago. Had our central heating installed in 2005, five-star rated Braemar model (and no, I have no affiliation with Braemar!).

Hope ACTEW AGL aren’t reading this and can identify you, because you clearly have a faulty meter! I mean to say the service charge is around $50 a quarter, so cannot see how you could use just $10 worth of gas per quarter for heating, water and cooking. As mentioned my quarter bill for winter is $500 but summer around $150, or $100 in actual usage, for cooking and hot water alone. Now whilst your house may well be efficient from a heating perspective how can you use $10 on hot water and cooking?

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34
JC 5:16 pm
04 Aug 12
#

Truthiness said :

I’ve lived in 20+ rentals in Canberra and not one of them had decent insulation, consequently the heating bills were always astronomical. land lords don’t care, they have zero motivation to spend money which will only save their tenants money.

oh how I wish the government would make insulation and double glazing mandatory, it would cut so many emissions and save so much money for the poor.

You do realise that even if the greedy landlord was forced to upgrade as you suggested that at the end of the day those costs would need to be passed onto the poor through higher rent?

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35
milkman 7:18 pm
04 Aug 12
#

Truthiness said :

I’ve lived in 20+ rentals in Canberra and not one of them had decent insulation, consequently the heating bills were always astronomical. land lords don’t care, they have zero motivation to spend money which will only save their tenants money.

oh how I wish the government would make insulation and double glazing mandatory, it would cut so many emissions and save so much money for the poor.

the current house didn’t even have curtains, just a single inefficient 4kw heater facing an open window in a room with no doors. we made our own curtains and bought an oil heater, but the next tenant will have to do the same thing. bloody greedy land lords.

it wouldn’t be so bad if it were possible for the poor to buy houses. the current massively over priced housing market means the only people who can afford houses are those who already have one, or are willing to spend 30 years in indentured servitude to a bankster.

After living on so many rentals I’d have thought you’d get better at choosing, or buy your own.

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36
GardeningGirl 8:49 pm
04 Aug 12
#

Watson said :

Truthiness said :

I’ve lived in 20+ rentals in Canberra and not one of them had decent insulation, consequently the heating bills were always astronomical. land lords don’t care, they have zero motivation to spend money which will only save their tenants money.

oh how I wish the government would make insulation and double glazing mandatory, it would cut so many emissions and save so much money for the poor.

the current house didn’t even have curtains, just a single inefficient 4kw heater facing an open window in a room with no doors. we made our own curtains and bought an oil heater, but the next tenant will have to do the same thing. bloody greedy land lords.

it wouldn’t be so bad if it were possible for the poor to buy houses. the current massively over priced housing market means the only people who can afford houses are those who already have one, or are willing to spend 30 years in indentured servitude to a bankster.

It is a pet peeve of mine too. Add those astronomical heating (and old hot water systems are a major culprit too) bills to the already high rents and for lots of tenants that squashes any hope that they will ever be able to save up for a house deposit.

I agree, landlords should be required to provide a reasonable minimum appropriate to the climate without imposing on the tenants to fund what should have been provided in the first place. I’ve know of some landlords who paid part or all the water bill or paid for a gardener, in order to keep the exterior of their investment in good condition. Why can’t there be some system of penalties/incentives for them to put money into the inside of the house? Something such as make it compulsory for landlords of properties below a certain energy rating to either pay and keep paying half the electricity bills or pay once for the improvements that will bring the property up to that energy rating? Unfortunately I don’t think much of the energy rating system, but that’s a whole other discussion.

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37
JC 7:20 am
06 Aug 12
#

GardeningGirl said :

I agree, landlords should be required to provide a reasonable minimum appropriate to the climate without imposing on the tenants to fund what should have been provided in the first place. I’ve know of some landlords who paid part or all the water bill or paid for a gardener, in order to keep the exterior of their investment in good condition. Why can’t there be some system of penalties/incentives for them to put money into the inside of the house? Something such as make it compulsory for landlords of properties below a certain energy rating to either pay and keep paying half the electricity bills or pay once for the improvements that will bring the property up to that energy rating? Unfortunately I don’t think much of the energy rating system, but that’s a whole other discussion.

Time to come into the real world I am afraid. For one if you force people to spend money then that money needs to be recouped through higher rental costs. Simple economics. Secondly a lot of rental properties are private residencies rented out whilst the owner is living elsewhere. So are you suggesting that someone looking to rent out for 1, 2, 3 years should be forced to upgrade just for the convenience of the tenant?

Personally the rental market is open to market force. Owners ask for the rent they think the property is worth and the tenant agrees by signing a lease. As a tenant if you are not happy with the property you inspect then you do have the choice to not rent and look elsewhere. Of course doing so may mean you pay more, but that is the market at play.

And before I get accused of being a greedy landlord, please don’t. I was a landlord for 3 years when I lived overseas and I looked after my tenants, even installing aircon. However you wouldn’t believe that the tenant in the house at the time then seriously asked me to pay for the water that the aircon used.

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38
rosscoact 8:16 am
06 Aug 12
#

Got a problem? Find someone to blame. Make them pay for whatever in your life doesn’t meet your expectations.

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39
Erg0 9:08 am
06 Aug 12
#

Didn’t the Greens propose some sort of scheme along the lines of that being discussed above? No idea what came of it, a more motivated individual could probably find it with the search function.

More than anything, I’m surprised at how much some people run their heating – ours is only on (at 21.5 degrees) for an hour in the morning and maybe an hour in the evening if it’s particularly chilly. With hot water, this gives us a bill of around $200 in winter and $70 for each of the other three quarters. Could be because our last place didn’t have central heating and, as one person said, we’re “used to being cold”.

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40
VYBerlinaV8_is_back 9:16 am
06 Aug 12
#

milkman said :

Truthiness said :

I’ve lived in 20+ rentals in Canberra and not one of them had decent insulation, consequently the heating bills were always astronomical. land lords don’t care, they have zero motivation to spend money which will only save their tenants money.

oh how I wish the government would make insulation and double glazing mandatory, it would cut so many emissions and save so much money for the poor.

the current house didn’t even have curtains, just a single inefficient 4kw heater facing an open window in a room with no doors. we made our own curtains and bought an oil heater, but the next tenant will have to do the same thing. bloody greedy land lords.

it wouldn’t be so bad if it were possible for the poor to buy houses. the current massively over priced housing market means the only people who can afford houses are those who already have one, or are willing to spend 30 years in indentured servitude to a bankster.

After living on so many rentals I’d have thought you’d get better at choosing, or buy your own.

Harsh, but not unreasonable.

If you want your landlord to put additional heating/cooling/insulation in your rental home, talk to them about it, and work out how much extra rent you’d be willing to pay. I’d certainly entertain that kind of discussion with my tenants.

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41
Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 9:20 am
06 Aug 12
#

MERC600 said :

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

Gas is the worst. Put a fire place in and for the cost of nothing more than some physical work we have zero bill. In fact, because of solar panels on the roof, our last electricity bill was 350 in credit.

Insulation, laminated glass in some windows, secondary glazing in others, our house is always toasty.

Secondary glazing is fine in Canberra, no need for double glazing unless you have the spare cash.

Am familar with double glazing, and its cost, but what please is ‘secondary glazing’. Thanks

Depending on your window frames, you can install a secondary piece of glass to the inside of the frame, not as effecient as double glazing but a lot cheaper and still makes a huge difference.
Or things like magnetite, although im not sure of their costing.
also glass fitted in a aluminiyum sliding system to be fitted onto existing reveals. There really are lots of cheap options.

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42
VYBerlinaV8_is_back 9:22 am
06 Aug 12
#

Erg0 said :

Didn’t the Greens propose some sort of scheme along the lines of that being discussed above? No idea what came of it, a more motivated individual could probably find it with the search function.

They did, and it got thrown out (as it should).

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43
GardeningGirl 12:05 pm
06 Aug 12
#

JC said :

GardeningGirl said :

I agree, landlords should be required to provide a reasonable minimum appropriate to the climate without imposing on the tenants to fund what should have been provided in the first place. I’ve know of some landlords who paid part or all the water bill or paid for a gardener, in order to keep the exterior of their investment in good condition. Why can’t there be some system of penalties/incentives for them to put money into the inside of the house? Something such as make it compulsory for landlords of properties below a certain energy rating to either pay and keep paying half the electricity bills or pay once for the improvements that will bring the property up to that energy rating? Unfortunately I don’t think much of the energy rating system, but that’s a whole other discussion.

Time to come into the real world I am afraid. For one if you force people to spend money then that money needs to be recouped through higher rental costs. Simple economics. Secondly a lot of rental properties are private residencies rented out whilst the owner is living elsewhere. So are you suggesting that someone looking to rent out for 1, 2, 3 years should be forced to upgrade just for the convenience of the tenant?

Personally the rental market is open to market force. Owners ask for the rent they think the property is worth and the tenant agrees by signing a lease. As a tenant if you are not happy with the property you inspect then you do have the choice to not rent and look elsewhere. Of course doing so may mean you pay more, but that is the market at play.

And before I get accused of being a greedy landlord, please don’t. I was a landlord for 3 years when I lived overseas and I looked after my tenants, even installing aircon. However you wouldn’t believe that the tenant in the house at the time then seriously asked me to pay for the water that the aircon used.

I know. It just doesn’t seem right.

On a personal level, it’s unfair that most tenants will not have the luxury of rejecting one property because there’s always a broadly comparable one but with better comfort and economy just around the corner, and if there ever was such an oversupply that tenants could easily pick and choose then it wouldn’t be a good situation for landlords. (I’ve been both.)

In the big picture, as long as there’s a proportion of housing that is inefficient and the owners have no incentive to change that, it makes the compulsory cfl’s and plastic bag bans and other token efforts at saving the planet an even bigger joke. I don’t know what the best answer is but letting those houses continue wasting energy because the tenants have no choice and the owners have no interest isn’t something that can continue to be ignored.

frankie said :

This is a very informative thread, thanks to everyone for adding their 2 cents!

I know the topic is regarding gas bills for heating, but I just wanted to ask if anyone has found definitively whether or not gas is better than electric for internal heating? My partner and I live in an old 4 bedroom EER 1.0 house with 2 other people, and last winter we had the electric internal heater turned on 24/7 for about 2 months, resulting in a quarterly electric bill of $951! We’re building our house at present and are putting in a gas heater… but talk of solar-powered electric heating on this thread seems as though it might be a better option cost-wise?

Thanks!

It isn’t only how the electricity is produced (solar) but how efficiently it is used that matters. I remember seeing comparison charts that showed reverse cycle was very good but that was many years ago so I don’t know how things have evolved since those measurements were done. We’ve been told to keep the heating on overnight otherwise the booster has to work harder to bring the temperature back up and it’s the booster that’s the most inefficient part. If you want to find out more you should go on the annual Sustainable House Tour, I think it’s this month?

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44
GardeningGirl 12:13 pm
06 Aug 12
#

Sustainable House Day 9 September
http://www.sustainablehouseday.com/

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45
aidan 12:16 pm
06 Aug 12
#

Gas central heating, ducted through floor. Heater is an old (20+years) Brivis Buffalo, original ducting. 140m2 single level 4bdr 70s brick veneer (extended recently, ceiling and wall insulation, floor insulation in the new bits).

Thermostat set to 17 in the morning. Comes on at 7am and typically takes 45-50 mins to reach temperature (falls to 12 overnight, maybe colder on REALLY cold mornings).

North facing living areas mean the heater isn’t needed at all on sunny days.

The heater is set to come on in the evenings, again 17/18, but it cycles on and off fairly infrequently and is off overnight.

Mid Apr -> mid Jul $400. Usually the same for the next quarter.

I’d be interested if anyone has replaced an old gas central heating unit with a more efficient new model and noticed significant decreases in their bill. Clearly new ducting would also have a big effect, but I’m wondering just how much. Our unit is getting close to the end of it’s useful life and I’m wondering what to replace it with.

Those who have heat pumps, are they effective on really cold mornings? As far as I can tell their efficiency plummets when the outside temperature is very low, and this is when we need the bulk of our heating.

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