Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Ask RiotACT

Your convenient chemist with the biggest range of Beanie Boo’s in CBR

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, or connect with
93 Responses to
Winter gas bill
Filter
Showing only Website comments
Order
Newest to Oldest
Oldest to Newst
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.

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”.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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?

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.

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.

Nightshade 3:20 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.

Are you subtracting off the supply charge to get that figure? My quarterly gas bills in summer when I have zero usage are about $60.

Watson 3:08 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!).

Sounds like your double brick (pretty sure mine is single) and double glazing are saving you heaps of money then. I dream of double glazing. Everyone put it in their houses in Western Europe in the 70s. And proper shutters. Hard to find a house without those 2 things there, though admittedly the long term rental properties are pretty crappy and cold there too.

frankie 2:04 pm 04 Aug 12

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!

smont 1:08 pm 04 Aug 12

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!).

Masquara 12:53 pm 04 Aug 12

Chip said :

No normal house would be so well sealed that lack of fresh air would be a problem …

Unless your house is free of plastics, estapol, synthetic surfaces, laminates, chipboard, and synthetic furniture sponge/rubber, you will find there’s quite a toxic buildup of fumes if you seal it up … you’ll find that the sorts of air-sealed eco-houses featured, say, on “Grand Designs”, have all-wood furniture, organic, natural, oiled, plastic-free surfaces and NO risk of toxic fumes within. Plus sophisticated air-replenishment technology …

Chip 11:30 am 04 Aug 12

I agree with dugite – air leakage is a big culprit. No normal house would be so well sealed that lack of fresh air would be a problem so close everything up, install draught seals, slowly pass a wet hand or smoking incense stick around skirting, doors, windows, exhaust fans, wall vents and architraves to locate leaks and seal them up. With ducting, make sure that mice and general wear and tear haven’t created holes in it causing warm air to be lost under floor or in ceiling space. Try and use heating systems and furniture placement that minimise air movement, especially where people sit – chill factor compensation is costly and moving air loses heat to walls, windows and ceilings more quickly.

MERC600 10:44 am 04 Aug 12

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

Watson 10:21 am 04 Aug 12

Wow, some big differences here.

I have the thermostat set to 20 from 6am to 8.30am and then again from 3 or 4pm to 8.30pm. I used to just put it on 5 degrees overnight, but with it taking so long to warm up in the mornings, I now set it to 14 degrees. And still it was only 17 degrees when we left for school/work the other morning! And it feels much colder than that. It seems to only raise the temp about 2 degrees in an hour. Which seems extremely wasteful. I will mention it to the landlords.

My house faces West. With only a couple of small windows on the East and North.

I have been meaning to draft proof it and hang proper window coverings. But it is hard to get motivated if it’s a rental. Still, if I would’ve done it when I moved in 5 years ago, I probably would’ve saved myself the money it would have cost me to buy decent curtains, etc.

I am moving to our new house with EER 6 end of this year and I will be very interested to see my heating bills there.

Kurrajong 10:08 am 04 Aug 12

Our 4 BR home winter (july – sep) gas bill is heading towards $850 based on today’s meter reading. Gas is on timer : 2 hrs morning 16 deg; 5hrs evening 18-20 deg. Individual rooms use electric oil column heaters, eg study, as required.

I’ll share some life lessons:

When buying a home ask to see the previous year (or two) of energy bills: can save you heaps and can make a purchase decision easier.

In a two storey home, if possible, isolate each floor by installing doors at the bottom of the stairs. We did this in a 22 sq townhouse and it cut the following year’s energy bill by one third (yes, a third!). WE were fruitlessly pumping energy into the lounge but it just made upstairs warmer. After the doors went on the lounge stayed warm and we lost very little heat up the stairs.

Encourage your kids to leave home. Yes, when my daughter left for uni our yearly energy bill decreased by $500. What price love?

When renovating, insulate any wall, floor or ceiling cavity that you can gain access to. It also helps with sound attenuation. Insulation is relatively cheap so don’t skimp on it.

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 9:38 am 04 Aug 12

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.

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2018 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
www.the-riotact.com | www.b2bmagazine.com.au | www.thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site