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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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Winter gas bill
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dpm 2:34 pm 07 Sep 12

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.

Coldandsad 12:47 pm 07 Sep 12

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.

cmdwedge 10:13 am 21 Aug 12

Just got a $1600 bill for the last quarter. 4BR home that takes forever to heat up. R5.0 insulation in the ceiling which I had done a year ago, didn’t seem to make any difference.

20 degrees while we’re at home, 18 degrees overnight – only because the heater doesn’t keep up, and if we set it to 18, it might make it to 15 or 16 degrees by 6am the next morning.

Wife wants to sell the house now.

stillflying 9:34 am 21 Aug 12

3BR home, not really sure on the insulation, only renting. We have recycled air con / heating but also run an oil fin heater in the main bedroom and a heat radiator in another room, and use blankets on the couch in the living room. We have solar hot water, winter bill was $600 for the quarter

housebound 9:27 am 21 Aug 12

snoopydoc said :

In winter: $130-150
Rest of the year: $50
4 bedroom house, 220 square metres, gas used for hot water, cooking and heating.

Your summer bill is less than the supply charge. Something’s not right there.

dorrie 9:07 am 21 Aug 12

I’d be ringing ActewAGL. My mum got a bill for over $500 and she thought it was a bit high and made a call. A few days later she received a letter saying there was an error in the meter reading..

wildturkeycanoe 8:45 am 21 Aug 12

Wily_Bear said :

montana said :

kakosi said :

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.

good luck using reverse cycle heater in the morning when its anything colder than 2 degrees outside, which in winter happens quite often.

I have reverse cycle on 24/7 in my four bedroom house for the entire winter, the naysayers all insisted it wouldn’t work below -5, it doesn’t struggle until around -8 degrees, and that has only happened once in my time here. I could not cope with the unique hell that is Canberra without the heater on all the time, and refuse to allow my kids to live like cave dwellers. That said, if I was paying some of the bills mentioned here, I might change my mind. My most recent bill was $570, bearing in mind that includes cooking, heating, drying and hot water. Why on earth would anyone choose gas?

+1 , As I already mentioned, our reverse splits run 24/7 on cold days and we never have problems with sub zero temperatures. They have inbuilt de-frost so it might drop out for a while to melt the ice, but kicks straight back in after a few minutes. Technology is a wonderful thing.
They also have filters that take out pollen, dust etc. from the air and de-humidify so that the windows don’t get all black and moldy in winter. Just remember to clean the filters or they don’t work to full efficiency. [About every two to three weeks at our place because of the nasty dust-bunnies]

snoopydoc 10:05 pm 20 Aug 12

In winter: $130-150

Rest of the year: $50

4 bedroom house, 220 square metres, gas used for hot water, cooking and heating.

jesse 9:04 pm 20 Aug 12

My daughter’s small family live in a newish, well insulated 4 bedroom house with ducted gas and gas stove. Solar HWS. She switches heat off at 8.30am, back on 5ish for 4 hours.
$717 for the last three months. OMG.
She has now set up a direct debit to AGL of $50 a fortnight which hopefully will build up before next winter.

Craig1 8:13 pm 20 Aug 12

fabforty said :

Craig1 said :

We just got our first gas bill in the mail today. Just under $1300 for less than 90 days. We have instant gas hot water, gas cooktop and floor ducted gas heating. We have been running the heating from about 5pm to 10pm at 17degrees, 10 degrees overnight (which means it never turns on) and 15 degrees until about 8 or 9 in the morning. A bit of a shock – didn’t think it would be that high.

Holy Hell Craig. Get someone in to check your system is working properly ASAP and/or make sure ACTEW has read your meter properly. That cannot be right.

You are not wrong. After a bit of investigating and some crawling around in the cavity under the house I may have found the reason (not that it will change the bill). When we first moved we had someone do some work under the house – looks like they have cut one of the pieces of hanging tape to run a pipe along the underside of the floor. Immediately under the new pipe (and where the hanging tape had been cut) the ducting had dropped and then split at a join allowing about a third of the volume of heated air to escape. Unfortunately this was all in the large diameter ducting not far from the heater unit. So we had a lovely heated cavity under the house.

Wily_Bear 7:22 pm 20 Aug 12

montana said :

kakosi said :

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.

good luck using reverse cycle heater in the morning when its anything colder than 2 degrees outside, which in winter happens quite often.

I have reverse cycle on 24/7 in my four bedroom house for the entire winter, the naysayers all insisted it wouldn’t work below -5, it doesn’t struggle until around -8 degrees, and that has only happened once in my time here. I could not cope with the unique hell that is Canberra without the heater on all the time, and refuse to allow my kids to live like cave dwellers. That said, if I was paying some of the bills mentioned here, I might change my mind. My most recent bill was $570, bearing in mind that includes cooking, heating, drying and hot water. Why on earth would anyone choose gas?

fabforty 6:33 pm 20 Aug 12

Craig1 said :

We just got our first gas bill in the mail today. Just under $1300 for less than 90 days. We have instant gas hot water, gas cooktop and floor ducted gas heating. We have been running the heating from about 5pm to 10pm at 17degrees, 10 degrees overnight (which means it never turns on) and 15 degrees until about 8 or 9 in the morning. A bit of a shock – didn’t think it would be that high.

Holy Hell Craig. Get someone in to check your system is working properly ASAP and/or make sure ACTEW has read your meter properly. That cannot be right.

rosscoact 6:09 pm 20 Aug 12

Hooley Dooley, I shudder to think what mine will be. For the first time I’ve set mine at 17C all night, just to see what would happen to the bill. 21 from 7-9 and 5-10 could be huge.

Lucky that self employment means my gas is 30% tax payer funded

Craig1 5:00 pm 20 Aug 12

We just got our first gas bill in the mail today. Just under $1300 for less than 90 days. We have instant gas hot water, gas cooktop and floor ducted gas heating. We have been running the heating from about 5pm to 10pm at 17degrees, 10 degrees overnight (which means it never turns on) and 15 degrees until about 8 or 9 in the morning. A bit of a shock – didn’t think it would be that high.

poetix 1:49 pm 14 Aug 12

KB1971 said :

Fair anough, thats your thing but I would be going & buying a better doona 🙂

Or a fatter husband. He’s too fit and slim.

KB1971 1:42 pm 14 Aug 12

poetix said :

KB1971 said :

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.

We’re all full of contradictions! I just have memories of a much too cold house while growing up. And being so cold as a student that I wore gloves while trying to study. I just don’t see this heating expenditure as waste. No doubt the cost will continue to climb, but this would be one of the last things I would choose to sacrifice. It’s a kind of therapy…

On the other hand, most of my day to day transport is a bike (except for one brief return car trip per day) so I probably use much less petrol than the average Canberran. I agree that my stance is at least arguably weird, but consistency is not one of my major aims in life.

Fair anough, thats your thing but I would be going & buying a better doona 🙂

poetix 12:55 pm 14 Aug 12

KB1971 said :

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.

We’re all full of contradictions! I just have memories of a much too cold house while growing up. And being so cold as a student that I wore gloves while trying to study. I just don’t see this heating expenditure as waste. No doubt the cost will continue to climb, but this would be one of the last things I would choose to sacrifice. It’s a kind of therapy…

On the other hand, most of my day to day transport is a bike (except for one brief return car trip per day) so I probably use much less petrol than the average Canberran. I agree that my stance is at least arguably weird, but consistency is not one of my major aims in life.

carnardly 12:49 pm 14 Aug 12

16 or 17 is warm enough for me with a thermal top! 🙂 If it’s wear it or pay for it we take wear it. The heater is never on over night.

We must be scabby – err spartan too.

montana 12:30 pm 14 Aug 12

kakosi said :

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.

good luck using reverse cycle heater in the morning when its anything colder than 2 degrees outside, which in winter happens quite often.

MsCheeky 11:49 am 14 Aug 12

Call me a spartan. I only heat the kitchen/family room, set at 18C. My house has a fantastic solar aspect, with north facing glass along most of it, so the sun does the job during the day. I only turn the heating on when I arrive home about 6.30pm, and it turns off at 9.30pm with enough residual heat to see me through to bedtime. No heating in the morning, as I’m up and moving to get ready for work anyway, though if I’m feeling a bit sooky, I may heat the south facing bathroom with a column heater for half an hour.

I have electric radiant heating. It works really well, but costs a bomb to run, as I’m paying NSW prices. I’m expecting, even with my spartan habits, a bill of at least $700 for June-August months. The only gas I have is for hot water.

I’m with you, Madame Cholet. Heating a house overnight? Can’t see the point. I have a nice warm doona and sleep with the window open, as I like the fresh air.

I once lived in a rental in Kingston that was south facing, no insulation, tiny windows and no heating. I take the lesson in miserable cold from that when I buy my houses and will not consider one that doesn’t have a northerly aspect. It is madness to not build for the climate.

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