Vegemite and Fairy bread, Chicko Rolls and Sausage Rolls, all quintessential Aussies classics that we're fond of; but what about the old fashioned battle between gas and electricity?
When it comes to energy in Australia, we’re generally spoiled for choice with many homes having a combination of gas and electricity connections; but can a case be made for one being better than the other when it comes to your wallet and the environment?
Before we get into the nitty-gritty, it's important to note households can purchase gas in two forms - natural gas, which is drawn from the mains gas network, and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), which gets delivered via large tanks that need to be replenished from time to time.
Natural gas is the more common option throughout the majority of Australia and has proven to be an affordable energy source, however it does have its limitations and is primarily suitable for water and space heating, clothes drying and cooking.
Despite some homes not having a natural gas connection at their disposal, the question remains; is it more economical to invest in setting up gas and opt for a mix of electricity and gas products in your home?
Hot water uses a lot of power, whether you’re in the shower, running the washing machine or dishwasher. A gas water heater will cost more to buy and install but is much more efficient, so it’s going to save you money in the long run. Instant gas systems heat water on demand - so you’re not going to suddenly end up in a cold shower!
An electric water heater that stores and constantly heats water in case you need it uses a lot more energy and is the most expensive option. Depending on the size of the tank, you may also find yourself running out of pre-heated water.
When it comes to gas versus electric heating costs in Australia, gas heaters (central heating and standalone heaters) generally cost less to run than most standard electric heaters. But you need a flue, air vents or an open door/window to remove hazardous fumes.
Reverse cycle air conditioning is the most energy-efficient electric heating option. Systems with high energy star ratings that store heat produced using off-peak electricity can be cheaper to run and generate fewer emissions than most gas systems.
Is gas cheaper than electricity for cooking? You betcha. Gas cooktops and ovens are the sprinters of the cooking world. They heat up faster than electric cooking options and when you turn the gas off, bingo - the flame and heat goes too. That alone makes gas more efficient and cheaper to use.
Electric options are like long-distance runners. It takes longer to get to the right temperature and it’s slow to cool down. If you’re going electric, an induction cooktop is more energy-efficient than a standard one.
What about the environment?
Gas and electricity both emit greenhouse gases but gas is the more environmentally friendly choice, especially for heating. Gas systems can produce up to 80% fewer emissions than electric heaters.
Overall, natural gas emits about half as much carbon as coal-generated electricity. It’s not as ‘green’ as renewable sources like solar, but it’s a step in the right direction in terms of reducing your home’s carbon footprint.
How can I set up a natural gas connection?
If your property isn’t currently connected to natural gas, you have a few options in regards to setting up a new connection.
The best way to figure out the available options at your address is to contact your chosen energy retailer (such as ourselves). We'll then verify with your local gas distributor whether we can distribute gas in your area and confirm the next steps regarding the installation of any equipment that may be required.
So, which option is best?
Gas certainly has its benefits and can technically be classified as being cheaper to run than electricity, so as long as you already have a natural gas connection available at your address.
If the option to install a gas connection is on the cards and you can afford to invest in gas appliances, then switching could potentially save you a fair bit money in the long run.
With this said, because the savings are generally made over a longer period of time. The upfront investment of setting up a gas conneciton, is not usually recommended for consumers who do not plan on living at the same property over a long term period, meaning the decision between electricity and gas comes down to your individual circumstance.
No matter which energy source you use, it’s important to ensure your energy plan is cost-effective and suitable for your household’s needs; shop around and compare prices to ensure you’re receiving the best deal.
At amaysim, our electricity and gas plans are hassle-free, free from lock-in contracts and include great-value flat rates, meaning you won’t have to worry about trying to work out confusing discount information.
Till next time!