Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Ask RiotACT

Allbids online auctions - awesome bargains everyday

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?


Please login to post your comments
93 Responses to
Winter gas bill
46
VYBerlinaV8_is_back 12:26 pm
06 Aug 12
#

It’s important to remember also that the temperature you set the heating at makes an ENORMOUS difference to the amount of energy consumed. And as the differential between inside and outside temperature increases, so does the rate at which heat bleeds from inside.

Report this comment

47
davo101 1:27 pm
06 Aug 12
#

aidan said :

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.

See this curve. The other variable is how often the outside unit has to go through its defrost cycle. Apparently this is more of an issue when the outside temperature is in the 0-5 deg.C range.

Report this comment

48
aidan 2:53 pm
06 Aug 12
#

davo101 said :

aidan said :

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.

See this curve. The other variable is how often the outside unit has to go through its defrost cycle. Apparently this is more of an issue when the outside temperature is in the 0-5 deg.C range.

Thanks for that. The COP ranged from about 2.3 to 3.0 for typical Canberra morning temperatures. The heat pumps in that graph were air-to-water models designed for hydronic (radiator) heating applications. As an air-to-air heat pump is likely to operate at lower output temperatures the COP would probably be higher.

What I really need for my place is more thermal mass. It is very pleasant during the day, but it cools down too quickly at night. Unlike the European systems, I don’t really want to heat my house to a constant temperature pretty much 24/7.

It would be great if phase change energy storage systems were mainstream, e.g.

http://solar-thermal.anu.edu.au/low-temperature/air-heaters/

We have heaps of solar gain during the day, just need to save it up for the mornings and evenings.

Report this comment

49
dtc 2:54 pm
06 Aug 12
#

aidan said :

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..

When I had my (oldish) central heater serviced, the service guy reckoned the new heaters are a bit more efficient but not hugely – not worthwhile if your existing heater was operational. However, if you are moving from a heater that doesnt allow zoning to one that has zoning, then it is a saving.

The easiest way to save heating costs is to only heat the area you are using and block off the rest of the house. For example, a heater (or wood stove) in the living room can mean you dont need to turn your heating on for the rest of the house until just before bedtime. However, it does mean that you cant wander around the rest of the house in comfort – toilet breaks can be a very quick dash!

Report this comment

50
aidan 4:24 pm
06 Aug 12
#

dtc said :

aidan said :

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..

When I had my (oldish) central heater serviced, the service guy reckoned the new heaters are a bit more efficient but not hugely – not worthwhile if your existing heater was operational. However, if you are moving from a heater that doesnt allow zoning to one that has zoning, then it is a saving.

Thanks.

I’ve subsequently found this very comprehensive “Product Profile” of Gas Ducted Heating systems:

http://www.energyrating.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/201102-gas-ducted-heaters.pdf

Table 9 gives some estimation of the benefits of a 4-star system over a 5-star system when a new heater is to be installed. It is a useful place to start when thinking about this stuff.

dtc said :

The easiest way to save heating costs is to only heat the area you are using and block off the rest of the house. For example, a heater (or wood stove) in the living room can mean you dont need to turn your heating on for the rest of the house until just before bedtime. However, it does mean that you cant wander around the rest of the house in comfort – toilet breaks can be a very quick dash!

We already zone our heating by partially, or fully, closing the “heating registers” (floor vents) in different parts of the house. However, we are a family of 5, with 3 children 10 and under. We just tend to use most of the house most of the time.

Report this comment

51
davo101 4:48 pm
06 Aug 12
#

aidan said :

Thanks for that. The COP ranged from about 2.3 to 3.0 for typical Canberra morning temperatures. The heat pumps in that graph were air-to-water models designed for hydronic (radiator) heating applications. As an air-to-air heat pump is likely to operate at lower output temperatures the COP would probably be higher.

Here’s one for air-to-air, the only catch is that the outside temperature is the wet-bulb temperature, but given that the humidity tends to approach 100% at dawn it wouldn’t be too wrong to assume it’s the same as the dry-bulb.

Report this comment

52
JC 5:10 pm
06 Aug 12
#

dtc said :

aidan said :

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..

When I had my (oldish) central heater serviced, the service guy reckoned the new heaters are a bit more efficient but not hugely – not worthwhile if your existing heater was operational. However, if you are moving from a heater that doesnt allow zoning to one that has zoning, then it is a saving.

Not quite true. All systems have a minimum number of outlets. So unless you can zone into blocks that go that small you won’t benefit from zoning. For example my place has 7 outlets but the system has a minimum outlet requirement of 6.

Where zoning comes into play is if you have a house large enough to make it worthwhile. Say 10-12 outlets, where you could zone them down to zones of 7-8 (noting with zoning you usually have a common zone).

Report this comment

53
steveu 5:51 pm
06 Aug 12
#

$826 for March to June this year. Gas heating & Water. equiv of R6 insulation in roof. Use of blockout blinds on windows. 4 females in 25sq house, 2 males. Heating set on 16 at night as we have a 3 year old.

Avg usage for period last year was 496MJ where this year its 375MJ…which shows the difference in getting the insulation topped up I presume.

Report this comment

54
birder 7:09 pm
06 Aug 12
#

Ours was $1150 for the last 3 months. Absolutely shocking. We’re in a rental with basically no insulation. With ducted gas heating, we keep it heated to 20 at night because otherwise it’s freezing. We have it set on a timer during the day so it goes down to 12 and then up to 18 when we get home, and then we turn it up to 22. But we spent 3 years in Auckland where we had to run electric heaters all the time and we were always freezing, and the electric bills were $500/month. We’re paying about the same here but at least we’re warm. We’ll buy our own place within a year or so, so at this point, we’re just chalking it up to the cost of renting.

Report this comment

55
MMR 10:18 pm
13 Aug 12
#

I submitted comment #3 to OP. Today I got our gas bill for the last 3 months. Am happy to advise it’s dropped down from $1100+GST last year to $476 (GST incl) this year.

Changes we’ve made this winter include:
– not using the heater of a morning or before 5pm
– using heater for max 2hrs a night
– reduced thermostat to 19 degs max
– closing doors to bathrooms & toilets
– ensuring blinds are closed when the heater is on
– reducing the length of showers

Because there’s ducted gas heating in this place, we can’t really restrict the heating to only the rooms we want. Even so, I’m pretty happy with the results of our “experiment” to see how we could reduce our bill. We now have a good baseline to budget for – from the extreme high of the first bill to the low of the second. I’ll admit we were cold sometimes, but it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. Feels good to keep $700 in our pocket, rather than give it to ACTEWAGL.

Have also made some changes with our electricity usage and that bill has decreased too – by about 30% from same time last year.

Power to the consumer!!!

Report this comment

56
JimCharles 6:54 am
14 Aug 12
#

Our previous quarter was $225. This “winter” quarter it was $770.
We rent a newish house with partial insulation, though the sun only hits the bedrooms and not the main living areas. Although it’s new, it’s a cold house with all tiled floors…nothing to retain the heat.
We set the thermostat to a min of 16.5 and it’s never dropped below that except on really cold nights, and it goes to 20 between 6am-8am, then 6pm and 10pm.
We cook on gas.
We have one of these Rheem instant hot water heaters, about 1 year old…it’s absolute rubbish, but maybe it’s a cheap underpowered model, as you see in rentals. Takes 1 minute before you notice the water warming so the water and gas wastage is awful.
Next winter we’ll try electric convectors for the mornings and just heat the bathroom.

Report this comment

57
steveu 7:03 am
14 Aug 12
#

Try engaging the H.E.A.T. team – costs $30 for an audit (alot better than the fed govt green loans audits). I found Kath Byrne very good – knew her stuff and came up with some great ideas. There are rebates of up to $500 (+30 back) if you implement some of the recommendation in the report they do. The real value is in how they explain whats going on, and their recommendations. Kath did a great job of this.

Report this comment

58
Madam Cholet 10:33 am
14 Aug 12
#

I can’t believe how many people run their heating at night! Ever heard of more blankets? Our house has got as low as 9 degrees overnight which is still perfectly fine to get up and then put the heating on and shock horror, put a jumper and pair of socks on.

Report this comment

59
poetix 10:49 am
14 Aug 12
#

Madam Cholet said :

I can’t believe how many people run their heating at night! Ever heard of more blankets? Our house has got as low as 9 degrees overnight which is still perfectly fine to get up and then put the heating on and shock horror, put a jumper and pair of socks on.

Never. We run the ducted heating all the time (a little lower at night). Hence our extraordinary bill.

Plus I use an electric blanket all night, and, only when strictly necessary, cuddling.

I am not prepared to be cold. You might as well live in a tent as get down to 9 degrees.

Report this comment

60
KB1971 11:41 am
14 Aug 12
#

poetix said :

Madam Cholet said :

I can’t believe how many people run their heating at night! Ever heard of more blankets? Our house has got as low as 9 degrees overnight which is still perfectly fine to get up and then put the heating on and shock horror, put a jumper and pair of socks on.

Never. We run the ducted heating all the time (a little lower at night). Hence our extraordinary bill.

Plus I use an electric blanket all night, and, only when strictly necessary, cuddling.

I am not prepared to be cold. You might as well live in a tent as get down to 9 degrees.

Forgive me Poetix but I cant help but see the irony here.

You are a vegitarian right? Presumably becuase you dont like what happens to animals? I respect that, no issue there but then you are happy to waste other parts of the earths resources because you are cold?

I know no one is perfect but I just fnd it funny how some people have high principles in one area completely miss another.

I was raised to turn all of this off when not using it, for the waste & the cost.

Report this comment

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2016 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.

Search across the site