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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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Hatter64 6:47 pm 28 Sep 14

It’s no surprise to find that ACTEWAGL (i.e. the GAS part of the strangest organisation on the planet) has failed to address the issue of billing. I note that the OP is over 2 years old now.
Have they saved money by guessing at the meter reading from their offices rather than have a meter reader visit the premises?

For 14 years the winter gas bill has been around $100 (don’t ask me about electricity in this town!).
This winter the bill is $1200. Went and read the meter and NOT ONE of the digits on the bill match the meter’s reading.
ACTEWAGL is this a lazy tax? Hoping to squeeze a few more dollars out of the customer? Thanks for nothing!!!

poetix 1:48 pm 15 Nov 12

Watson said :

poetix said :

Sorry to zombify, but I just paid the gas bill for the last three months, which was $968, making a total of whatever $881 and $968 is for the last six months. (I remembered this thread, where I mentioned my last bill, which is the only reason I can quote the amount. They’re too depressing to keep.) This strikes me as quite a lot for a two bedroom house with three people in it.

As I think I said before, in the 1950s, when the house was built, I think people had a different idea of what was acceptable. Certainly, insulation meant wearing a vest if our house is any indicator. They must have accepted cold as part of life, I think.

This is also for cooking and hot water though.

Ha, I beat you! Mine was $975. Only for heating and cooking too. And that is the last time I will think of that bill. I am moving out of my badly insulated, poorly equipped and inefficiently heated rental and next winter we will be living in a brand spanking new 7 star EER house. I hope I can come and gloat about my low gas bills then!

But for now: what gas bill?

I shall just have to warm myself with the thin awareness of being in such an incredibly…shiver…desirable…shiver…area….(-:

KB1971 11:47 am 15 Nov 12

JC said :

KB1971 said :

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.

What a stupid statement. Think about underfloor heating ducts, isn’t that outside the insulated part of the house too? Umm yep. Fact is the ducts themselves are insulated so that is not an issue, though yes floor ducts are in fact better than roof for one simple reason. That is heat rises.

One other thing with central heating that people don’t realise is to get maximum efficiency you really need to leave doors open. The reason being is the return air is there to pull the heat through the house so that air needs a good free path to flow properly. If you block it with closed doors then you will get draughts under closed doors and the air in closed rooms does not get enough newly heated air from the duct and rooms that are open will get more.

Stupid you say. Yes I am aware that the piping is insulated but the temperature at the vent is not going to be the same as the unit, there will be loss especially when the vent is say 20-30m from the heater.

Now back to the context of my post, I insinuated that our wall furnaces are more efficient than the old house with the central heating (which would make sense as the heat goes straight into the room without travelling a number of metres first) & you know you agreed with me in your second paragraph by saying that the under floor central is the best type of central heating because heat rises.

The roof space has the potential to be colder and more affected by the ambient temperature fluctuations than under the floor of a house.

Before you think something it stupid, look at the context of the whole post and just don’t quote a bit to suit your purpose. If you still don’t understand, maybe ask first for clarification 😉

Watson 11:27 am 15 Nov 12

poetix said :

Sorry to zombify, but I just paid the gas bill for the last three months, which was $968, making a total of whatever $881 and $968 is for the last six months. (I remembered this thread, where I mentioned my last bill, which is the only reason I can quote the amount. They’re too depressing to keep.) This strikes me as quite a lot for a two bedroom house with three people in it.

As I think I said before, in the 1950s, when the house was built, I think people had a different idea of what was acceptable. Certainly, insulation meant wearing a vest if our house is any indicator. They must have accepted cold as part of life, I think.

This is also for cooking and hot water though.

Ha, I beat you! Mine was $975. Only for heating and cooking too. And that is the last time I will think of that bill. I am moving out of my badly insulated, poorly equipped and inefficiently heated rental and next winter we will be living in a brand spanking new 7 star EER house. I hope I can come and gloat about my low gas bills then!

But for now: what gas bill?

RedDogInCan 10:04 am 15 Nov 12

Wow, you guys are really supporting the lavish lifestyles of gas company executives.

We have an early 1980’s four bedroom house with poor solar orientation, cathedral ceilings and floor to ceiling windows. Two adults and two young kids. Gas for heating only. I work from home so the central gas heating is on a comfortable 21C from 6am to 11pm and on 17C during the night. My gas bill for the entire winter (ANZAC Day to Remeberence Day) is only $866. Our average daily usage is 171MJ.

Three things keep our gas bill under control.

Firstly, we had our system zoned so that the bedrooms/bathrooms, kitchen, and lounge are in separate zones and are only heated when used – no point in heating the kitchen and lounge overnight. Our house design is ideal as these three areas can be sealed off from each other by closing doors.

Secondly, we had wall cavity insulation installed. Cost us over $1000 but easily reduced our gas usage by two thirds and paid for itself by the third year.

Finally, we insulated our windows with Duet honeycomb blinds over our large windows and double glazing fitted to the bedroom windows. This was quite expensive at $500 to $700 per window but did make a noticable difference. As we needed to replace the existing blinds anyway, the extra cost for the Duets was not excessive. Our blinds have side channels that totally seal the window – when you open them in the morning a cascade of cold air flows out.

We also did the other basic things like seals around external door, removed downlights and installed flaps over exhaust fans in the ceiling.

dtc 9:27 am 15 Nov 12

I have a similar sized house to coldandsad, which is partly monocrete (and hence fairly cold) plus lots of windows (10 in the living room alone including some with metal frames) which are only covered with roman blinds (ok but not serious cold blocks) plus cathedral ceilings plus roof ducts plus school aged kids so the heater starts from about 3.30 every day. And mostly wooden floors. Central gas heating, instant gas hot water and gas cooking. So my usage should be similar if not greater – but my bill was just over $1,000.

I do have underfloor insulation (bats) and about 40yrs worth of ceiling insulation (looks like they just kept piling new stuff on top of the old stuff).

Anyway, to get an $1800 bill suggests something is wrong. I second the HEAT assessment. Also basic things like blocking drafts in doors and windows, closing heating ducts in rooms that arent being used (and then closing the doors to those rooms)

mezza76 9:23 am 15 Nov 12

poetix said :

Sorry to zombify, but I just paid the gas bill for the last three months, which was $968, making a total of whatever $881 and $968 is for the last six months. (I remembered this thread, where I mentioned my last bill, which is the only reason I can quote the amount. They’re too depressing to keep.) This strikes me as quite a lot for a two bedroom house with three people in it.

As I think I said before, in the 1950s, when the house was built, I think people had a different idea of what was acceptable. Certainly, insulation meant wearing a vest if our house is any indicator. They must have accepted cold as part of life, I think.

This is also for cooking and hot water though.

As a benchmark for you. Our gas bill was about $668 for the last 3 months. 3 bedroom townhouse, 2 levels, ducted gas, gas cooktop and instant gas water heating – for two people though.

For us it’s high – the winter period was cold and we ran the heater most of the time we were there. We dont take much notice of showers, washing in hot water, etc. Our next one should be half this or below.

I think you should get the place checked and look to so some changes were you can – im horrified at some of the bills mentioned in this thread.

JC 7:25 am 15 Nov 12

KB1971 said :

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.

What a stupid statement. Think about underfloor heating ducts, isn’t that outside the insulated part of the house too? Umm yep. Fact is the ducts themselves are insulated so that is not an issue, though yes floor ducts are in fact better than roof for one simple reason. That is heat rises.

One other thing with central heating that people don’t realise is to get maximum efficiency you really need to leave doors open. The reason being is the return air is there to pull the heat through the house so that air needs a good free path to flow properly. If you block it with closed doors then you will get draughts under closed doors and the air in closed rooms does not get enough newly heated air from the duct and rooms that are open will get more.

Hosinator 11:48 pm 14 Nov 12

poetix said :

Sorry to zombify, but I just paid the gas bill for the last three months, which was $968, making a total of whatever $881 and $968 is for the last six months. (I remembered this thread, where I mentioned my last bill, which is the only reason I can quote the amount. They’re too depressing to keep.) This strikes me as quite a lot for a two bedroom house with three people in it.

As I think I said before, in the 1950s, when the house was built, I think people had a different idea of what was acceptable. Certainly, insulation meant wearing a vest if our house is any indicator. They must have accepted cold as part of life, I think.

This is also for cooking and hot water though.

That is a very expensive bill and probably worth having an assessment done by the Home Energy Assessment Team (HEAT) (http://www.heat.net.au/).

If you own the home and intend on being there for at least another 5 plus years, it would be worth investigating wall, underfloor, ceiling insulation and secondary glazing on your windows. Alternatively, it’s simply an issue with your gas heating system, it may not be operating properly.

dpm 11:08 pm 14 Nov 12

dpm said :

Coldandsad said :

We just got our $1800 bill for the last 105 days. Devastated. We only bought the house in May. We don’t have gas cooking or water, it is just the ducted gas heater. Have already had three people come and look at the heater (as it wasn’t working properly) and now I don’t know what to do, whether we should gt it looked at again or is that just throwing more good money after bad.

We don’t heat excessively. It’s a 4 bed, 2 living area house. We heat to 20 degrees between 7-8am and 5 – 9pm, 14 degrees overnight (as we have an 11 month old) and despite the people saying put a jumper on, the air is cold and breathing is the issue.

That seems way wrong to me.
Why don’t you post your MJ/day amount here and people with similar-sized houses could compare with theirs and see if the amount of gas being used is similar?
We haven’t got our winter bill yet (due soon) but this time last year our bill said 351MJ/day (and was 192 the year before!). That is for a smaller house (~17sq), but with the temp set at 20 *all* day (as people are home all day) and 14 overnight. We also have a gas-plumbed BBQ which we use ~fortnightly over winter for one dinner. If your MJ is over double that, then i’d say there are problems.

Following on from above, our gas usage for Jun-Sept 2012 was 317MJ/day, FYI. As mentioned above we only have gas heating (and BBQ). The heater is supposedly a ‘5 star’ efficiency one, but that really shouldn’t explain why yours would be 2* the usage!

poetix 10:21 pm 14 Nov 12

Sorry to zombify, but I just paid the gas bill for the last three months, which was $968, making a total of whatever $881 and $968 is for the last six months. (I remembered this thread, where I mentioned my last bill, which is the only reason I can quote the amount. They’re too depressing to keep.) This strikes me as quite a lot for a two bedroom house with three people in it.

As I think I said before, in the 1950s, when the house was built, I think people had a different idea of what was acceptable. Certainly, insulation meant wearing a vest if our house is any indicator. They must have accepted cold as part of life, I think.

This is also for cooking and hot water though.

Coldandsad 8:49 pm 07 Sep 12

dpm said :

Coldandsad said :

We just got our $1800 bill for the last 105 days. Devastated. We only bought the house in May. We don’t have gas cooking or water, it is just the ducted gas heater. Have already had three people come and look at the heater (as it wasn’t working properly) and now I don’t know what to do, whether we should gt it looked at again or is that just throwing more good money after bad.

We don’t heat excessively. It’s a 4 bed, 2 living area house. We heat to 20 degrees between 7-8am and 5 – 9pm, 14 degrees overnight (as we have an 11 month old) and despite the people saying put a jumper on, the air is cold and breathing is the issue.

That seems way wrong to me.
Why don’t you post your MJ/day amount here and people with similar-sized houses could compare with theirs and see if the amount of gas being used is similar?
We haven’t got our winter bill yet (due soon) but this time last year our bill said 351MJ/day (and was 192 the year before!). That is for a smaller house (~17sq), but with the temp set at 20 *all* day (as people are home all day) and 14 overnight. We also have a gas-plumbed BBQ which we use ~fortnightly over winter for one dinner. If your MJ is over double that, then i’d say there are problems.

Also our house would be about 20 squares.

Coldandsad 8:40 pm 07 Sep 12

dpm said :

Coldandsad said :

We just got our $1800 bill for the last 105 days. Devastated. We only bought the house in May. We don’t have gas cooking or water, it is just the ducted gas heater. Have already had three people come and look at the heater (as it wasn’t working properly) and now I don’t know what to do, whether we should gt it looked at again or is that just throwing more good money after bad.

We don’t heat excessively. It’s a 4 bed, 2 living area house. We heat to 20 degrees between 7-8am and 5 – 9pm, 14 degrees overnight (as we have an 11 month old) and despite the people saying put a jumper on, the air is cold and breathing is the issue.

That seems way wrong to me.
Why don’t you post your MJ/day amount here and people with similar-sized houses could compare with theirs and see if the amount of gas being used is similar?
We haven’t got our winter bill yet (due soon) but this time last year our bill said 351MJ/day (and was 192 the year before!). That is for a smaller house (~17sq), but with the temp set at 20 *all* day (as people are home all day) and 14 overnight. We also have a gas-plumbed BBQ which we use ~fortnightly over winter for one dinner. If your MJ is over double that, then i’d say there are problems.

The bill says we’re using 664.64mj per day. I just don’t know why. The heater did blow the ducting off but we noticed and had it shut off till the next day and then got someone around to fix it the next day.

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