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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
Primal 11:10 pm 03 Aug 12

beejay76 said :

Around $350 here. We have a small 3 bedder, heating off at night and most of the day, and set to 19 for mornings and evenings.

Sounds about right. I do not like my winter gas bill… I think I’d have a heart attack if it got anywhere near some of the other numbers in this thread!

beejay76 9:49 pm 03 Aug 12

Around $350 here. We have a small 3 bedder, heating off at night and most of the day, and set to 19 for mornings and evenings. Our house is well insulated, but friends of mine who also have well insulated houses often have bills of at leat double ours. This is largely because they run the heating all night, and/ or they set the temp well over 20. Perhaps if you have the temp high you could try setting it lower. Otherwise, check for gas leaks 😉

Nightshade 9:48 pm 03 Aug 12

I have ducted gas heating (electricity for everything else), and my gas bill was $280 for the last quarter. Three bedroom 1970s brick house with ceiling insulation; can’t remember the EER but it wouldn’t be over 2. Heating vents are in the floor.

During the week I use the heating for 5-6 hours in the evening, and heat to 18-19 degrees. I have ducts throughout the house but close off the bathroom, toilet and laundry (to judge by the resulting temperature in the bathroom, those doors insulate very well!) I don’t heat in the morning. On weekends I heat for a couple of hours in the morning if I get up early, but the living area and bedrooms are north-facing with large windows so the sun is more than enough for most of the day.

poetix 9:38 pm 03 Aug 12

poetix said :

I think I win. Or lose. $881 for a quarter for a two bedroom house. That was a lovely surprise. I think it was built when people expected to be cold.

And there’s still a crack in the window because I’m afraid of the potential asbestos, and haven’t prised any out to have a test etc etc.

Being a wimp costs a lot.

poetix 9:19 pm 03 Aug 12

I think I win. Or lose. $881 for a quarter for a two bedroom house. That was a lovely surprise. I think it was built when people expected to be cold.

blimkybill 9:12 pm 03 Aug 12

Just got a bill for $840 for my fairly poorly insulated 4 bedroom house. This is a little more than last year but I think it has been colder this winter. We have ducted gas heating. I love being comfortable at home so I am willing to pay it. But am also planning to invest in better insulation.
I think if your house is taking a long time to heat up, there’s a chance that some of the ducting may have holes or gaps – the heater could be pumping lots of its hot air into the celing. Ours warms the house quickly – about 10 minutes and you start feeling better.

damien haas 8:58 pm 03 Aug 12

$740 is about three tons of wood. That should last you over winter.

The best thing about wood heating is that you are using sustainable renewable fuel.

Hosinator 8:24 pm 03 Aug 12

$595. We are in a 3 bedroom one bathroom home. The house orientation is north-south, with only the bedrooms getting sun throughout the day. There is no wall insulation.
My wife has been on maternity leave since November 2011 and she heats the house during the day if it drops below 17 degrees. We heat throughout the whole night because of our baby.

Our house leaked like a sieve until we installed underfloor insulation and magnetite secondary glazing over the windows. We do have ceiling insulation.

In older homes, heat loss through windows can be between 20 and 40%. We used to feel a breeze coming through our windows…when they were closed. We could also feel cold air coming through our floor boards.

Houses in Canberra (even modern ones) should be used as a case study of how not to build houses in a climate similar to ours. We place the thermal mass of the house on the outside (brick), where it super heats in summer (thus requiring air-conditioning) and provides no benefit in the winter.
Even the standard for double glazing here is pi$$ poor.

KB1971 8:21 pm 03 Aug 12

Our gas bill was $504 & that was expensive for us. We only heat what we need to when we need to & turn it off at night.

We have a single story 4 bedroom house, 180m2, with wall furnaces.

Our last house was 1/2 the size with central heating & cost $100 a 1/4 more.

I dont think central heating is that efficient, especially if it is coming from the roof as the heat travels through the piping outside the insulated bit of your house.

Madam Cholet 7:55 pm 03 Aug 12

Crikey! By way of comparison our July electric bill was $450. I expect our next one to be smaller. North facing small 3 bedroom. We are out mostly during the week although one day a week at home. We only really heat the living area. We also have a system in the roof space that pushes warm air into the house in winter and does the opposite in summer.

dugite 6:55 pm 03 Aug 12

The size of you gas bill will vary according to many things, but one of the main problems in Canberra houses is air leakage — especially in old and modified rental properties. Air leaking around downlights, windows and ducts is often much more important (and easier to fix) than insulation problems.

thatsnotme 6:50 pm 03 Aug 12

It might help if you tell us what temperature you’re heating to. There’s a big difference between heating your house to 20 degrees, and 24 degrees. If it’s taking that long to heat a 2 bedroom place, it indicates to me that the heating unit mustn’t be all that efficient either. If it’s old, it may be using a lot more gas than a newer unit would.

We’ve had $1,000+ gas bills over winter, and I’d expect another soon. 4 bedroom house with fairly dodgy ceiling insulation, and no wall insulation, heated to 20 in the morning and evening, and it comes on if the house drops below 14 at night – mainly because we have two young children. The bill will blow out because my wife’s still on maternity leave, so the heating’s been used a lot more during the day than normal.

MMR 6:33 pm 03 Aug 12

Last year our winter gas bill was $1100 + GST. We rent a 4br 2 storey house (est. 2006) with ducted gas heating, gas hot water and hotplates. The house has no ceiling insulation. Was our first winter in Canberra so wasn’t sure what to expect with the bill and got quite a shock when it arrived. Have severely changed habits this winter & no longer use the heating of a morning and now use it for a max. 2 hours at night. Offered owner $$$ to assist with install of ceiling insulation back in April. Still waiting for an answer despite repeated approaches to real estate agent.

kakosi 6:29 pm 03 Aug 12

Sounds about right. I only use gas for instant hot water and that adds up to about $150 – and that’s for less than one hour a day.

Gas is expensive and we were all duped into thinking it would be a cheaper “environmentally friendly” option. And it’s neither of those two things. So glad I went with reverse cycle electric air con as it’s much cheaper than your gas bills.

tommy 6:06 pm 03 Aug 12

If we mis-use the gas ducted heating here, we can get $900 bills – old big house, lots of bed rooms (ceiling insulation, ducts in all rooms). Doesn’t take very long to warm up the house in the morning. We turn it off at night and during the weekdays.

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