Costs of electricity versus gas!

Following on from the Solar queries, we have a solar system of 15 panels and since having them our electricity bill is generally less that $200. This is an almost 100 year old property with three bedrooms (one of which has become our pantry). We have both Gas (through AGL) and Electricity (through Energy Australia). Residents are two elderly adults and two largish dogs. I realise that we’ve just come out of winter but we do tend to put on extra layers than the heater especially during the day. We both spend a lot of time on our computers approximately 14-18 hours per day.

The last two Accounts we have received (and paid for) from AGL were $366.15 (April to July) then the prices went up and from July to October was $426.81 - they do say that both were actual meter reads. We have an instant hot water system and being older do not stand under the hot for very long; we have gas for cooking (cook top and oven with griller) and two gas heaters in different rooms.

Is there anyone who can advise what I can do to try and ascertain why our gas bills are so large - we can cope with the electricity but the gas is just going up and up!

Thanks in anticipation for any assistance.



Try checking you bills and see if the amount of gas used for the same time last year is similar. If it is the same then it it just the price of gas going up. If the amount used is much more and you cannot think of anywhere that you are using more then you could have a leak.

You can check this yourself quite safely. Pick a time when you are not going to use any gas, preferably several hours or more. Read the gas meter at the start and (remembering not to use the hot water or anything else) read it again (say) 5 hours later. If there is any difference get a plumber.


Great advice. And, at the same time, compare the supply charge pricing - there’s a
very good chance that it will be going up steathily (with both of your energy suppliers) - it is something end users can’t control, despite the care taken with consumption…

A rough guide.
For a household of 2 adults, instantaneous gas HW (Bosch) and gas oven, grill, stove top (Westinghouse) consumption is around 1200-1500 MJ per quarter. We only know this because we don’t use gas for heating where we live in SE QLD. Consumption from your summer gas bills will be a good guide to your use for HW and cooking.

The difference between your summer and winter consumption will be mostly due to in home heating.

Natural Gas prices, for AGL jumped around 20% on 01 Aug. There was also a price rise earlier in the year.

Gas prices can vary substantially depending on where you are and differences due to tiered tariffs. You may get better or worse value where you are. Based on AGL’s current Brisbane pricing on one of their offers (approx 0.048 c/MJ) NG delivers approx 21MJ for $1.00 or approx 5kW in common electrical measure. This is before the relative efficiencies of use of that energy are taken into account.

Choice has a comparison of gas vs electric oil column vs reverse cycle air conditioning for heating.

Whether it is practical or economical to change from gas to the more efficient RC Air-cons. In your instance @Janetb it looks like you are spending an average of $3 per day on NG for heating when required. There is a substantial investment required in a more efficient alternative such as RC AC. Approx $1700 each installed for our smaller room systems and $2600 each for the kW system, 4 years ago.

Solar PV can assist to reduce household electricity consumption, however for winter heating it is of less benefit than in summer for cooling. It’s worth considering too that electricity tariffs are progressing to more more reflective of the cost of delivering peak demand. For the more southern parts of Australia demand is greatest on winter evenings when solar PV is of limited to nil output. There is substantial uncertainty in the future pricing of residential gas and electricity supply. This makes any direct cost comparison more difficult.

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