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How much is your gas bill?

Discussion in 'Renovation & Home Improvement' started by Starlite, 26th Jun, 2016.

  1. Starlite

    Starlite Well-Known Member

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    I have recently installed 4.6 star Braemar ducted gas heating unit and 6 star Rinnai continuous hot water unit for a 4 beds 2 bath house without any controller.

    Been playing with the program and setting it at 17 degrees from 5.30pm till 11pm in the evening.. and 13 degrees overnight.. 17 degrees from 7am to 8.30am.. and off from 8.30am till 5.30pm..

    Looking at my gas meter I am averaging about 12-16 cubic meter... after converting it to MJ, it average about $15 per day!! :confused: thats shocking.. considering I have it at low temperature.. not the optimum at 21 degrees.. Old house with decent roof insulation but huge windows everywhere.. bought some door snakes this weekend to seal the gap.. not sure if that would help..

    How much do you pay for gas per quater?
    What unit do you use?
    What temperatures?
    Ways to reduce gas bill?
    Ways for better insulation?

    Cheers :)
     
  2. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    Review your needs overnight - crank it an hour before you rise & cut out 1/2 hr before you leave. Admittedly Canberra is cold and you may need some overnight heating.
     
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  3. Starlite

    Starlite Well-Known Member

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    yeah... its -4 over the weekend.. would hate to have a cold head and waking up in the middle of the night :(
     
  4. Gockie

    Gockie I'm an ISTP-A female, so I might be a bit quirky! Premium Member

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    Is it possible to warm only the bedrooms at night and/or warm only the few rooms you use in the mornings and evenings, close off the bathrooms etc so you dont heat the whole house?
    And figure out the lowest temp you can cope with while sleeping without wanting to sleep with your head under the blanket (thats what I do though!)
     
  5. Nemo30

    Nemo30 Well-Known Member

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    My canberra gas bill was about half that for a large 4br 2.5bath. Ducted heated, continuous hot water and gas cooking.

    We set it to 20 degrees, however it was only on in the evenings after work and was turned off when we went to bed. It was never on overnight or mornings.
     
  6. sanj

    sanj Well-Known Member

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    I also feel you would get a more comfortable and also cheaper result if you had it on at a higher temperature for shorter periods instead of so low but all night.

    if you have to leave the heater on all night then it means your house is under performing thermally and you need to address that. heat is lost through the roof, walls, Windows, leaks and floor. have a proper look around and work out what can be improved on a best bang for buck basis. have a look at this image.
     

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  7. HomePage

    HomePage Well-Known Member

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    I'm in the Canberra area too, in a 16 year old 4BR 2 bath house with ducted gas heating and 310 litre storage gas hot water. The heater and hot water are original, so they'd be 3 star at best. We have the gas heating set to 16C @ 7am, 18C @ 12pm, 19C @ 4:30pm then off at 7:30pm. Out heating is not zoned, so apart from the spare room where we close the vent, the whole house is heated, although the family room (where the sensor is) is usually a couple of degrees warmer than the other rooms.

    This year, our winter gas bill is tracking to be $313. Last year it was $416 and the year before that was $1000! As you can see, we have had a drastic reduction in consumption from two years ago, mainly attributable to the following:

    1. Insulation. Last year, I installed an additional R4.0 layer of ceiling insulation batts over the existing (est) R2.5 we had. Before doing so, I put igloo covers over the 20 or so down lights we have so I could butt the insulation up right next to them. I also installed magnetic covers on the evap cooling vents, put about 10 layers of bubble wrap in the skylight. Finally, I had Enerlogic 70 window film installed on all windows except the garage, which gives a double glazing-like improvement in window insulation for about 1/4 the cost and has all but eradicated cold spots near windows. The lowest temp our family room has been so far this year is 14.5C versus about 9C two years ago, which IMO is an impressive improvement.

    2. Drafts. I installed new draft seals in the front and garage doors, where I could previously feel notable cold air being drawn in when the ducted gas was on. The worst offender for drafts was my two IXL tastics, both of which were flued through the roof to vent but inadvertently provided the ducted heating inlet duct with a direct source of outside air that made the heating work twice as hard as it should. This was fixed by putting draft stoppas on top of each IXL tastic, which also required the tastics to be rewired to have the fan on as a prerequisite to using the heat lamps.

    3. Effective use of excess solar generation. We had 3.72KW of solar panels installed last year, which gives us some excess solar generation even during the coldest and shortest of winter days. I have an in-home monitor that tells me what my current net power is and as soon as it is high enough I put on a small fan heater in the closed off family room to use up the excess. Once the family room heats up, we slowly open up the rest of the house and it warms up too. The net effect of this is that the gas may come on automatically for about 20 mins initially first thing in the morning but after that it pretty much stays off until the sun starts going down and most of the house is very near to the 19C the gas heater thermostat gets set to at 4:30pm, so the gas doesn't have very much work to do at all into the early evening.

    4. Effective use of off-peak power. Since getting solar I have switched to a Time Of Use tariff as nearly 60% of our grid drawn power is at off-peak times. As weekends are all off-peak, we usually turn the gas off for the morning warm up as it is actually cheaper to use the small electric fan heater, even without solar supplementation, to heat the family room/kitchen in lieu of the whole house with ducted gas.

    It is interesting to note that when I read my gas meter, I can easily see and read my neighbour's as it is right next to it. Their house is the same age and size and gas configuration as ours (ie. ducted gas heating, gas hot water and gas stove) so I like to compare their gas consumption to ours. For winter so far, they are consuming 11.23 cubic metres of gas a day versus our 2.82, a whopping 4x difference in consumption. What's really scary for them is that they are at school/work during the week and there is always someone home at our place, so if anything we spend much more time at home and our heating needs should therefore be higher!

    In short, much better insulation, draft sealing and supplemental heating from alternative power sources have led to a significant reduction in our gas consumption.
     
  8. Starlite

    Starlite Well-Known Member

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    I didn't get the controller setting, so can't just heat certain areas.. no vents in the bathrooms, but 8 throughout the house...

    Set at 13 degrees yesterday night.. had a hard time falling asleep.. haha exactly what i did, like a turtle.. head under the blanket o_O
     
  9. Starlite

    Starlite Well-Known Member

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    I don't even have gas for cooking.. jus hot water and ducted heating.. I figure that I need to heat the house when the temperature drops below 0.. I tend to wake up in the middle of the night if it gets too cold.. right now the house average at 13 degrees.. which is not bad... will try to set at 9pm to 3am and see how it goes.. it drops to -4 around 3am...
     
  10. Starlite

    Starlite Well-Known Member

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    yeah, its an old house.. decent roof insulation.. but way too many windows and i only have venetian blinds on all of them.. definitely a lot of heat lost thru windows, floor and walls.. been addressing the door gaps..

    when i set it at 13 degrees all night I dont hear the heating coming on most of the time.. assuming the temperature of the house remain at 13 and shouldn't cost me a lot more for it to go on standby.. been a week since i got it installed.. hit 97cubic meter today. thats $100 bucks.. :(

    will try to set it higher in shorter periods tonight.. thanks for the input..
     
  11. WattleIdo

    WattleIdo renovating Premium Member

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    Why don't you wear a beanie? I do.
     
  12. Starlite

    Starlite Well-Known Member

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    Thanks very much for your input, very very informative :).. I will definitely work on the insulation..

    I have a very old house, about 40 years old ex govie brick veneer..only 115 sqm tho so thought it won't be as much.. yeah I am like you neighbour.. averaging 11 to 14 cubic metres per day...
    2.82 is impressive!! i took a shower and went to check the gas meter... and apparently that consume 1 cubic metre.. :eek: i thought replacing my electrical hot water tank with gas will be more efficient.. :confused:

    will reduce the hours of heating tonight.. higher temp shorter period and see how it goes..
     
  13. Starlite

    Starlite Well-Known Member

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    cause the one i have is fluffy :p.. haha.. yeah its a good idea..
     
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  14. Joynz

    Joynz Well-Known Member

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    I suggest you invest in some thermal curtains. And ideally, pelmets.
    But, at least curtains. Not that expensive from spotlight, lincraft or Harris Scarfe (Canberra may have other additional options) - especially in EOFY sales.

    Heat will be pouring out your windows if you only have venetian blinds!

    Also, do you have warm enough bed coverings - down quilt, woolen underlay? Maybe get another quilt?
     
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  15. sanj

    sanj Well-Known Member

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    No worries. it will be hard to do much about the walls and theres only so much you can do with the old windows but personally I do think you should look strongly into improving the roof insulation (what is there is decent but you need better than decent considering other heat loss issues) and also thermal curtains, ideally with pelmets as @Joynz said but at very least the curtains

    the difference will be noticeable imo.

    btw having the heat on for shorter periods will work better after some of the above changes are made as your home will retain heat better than now
     
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  16. The Y-man

    The Y-man Moderator Staff Member

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    I find the beanie falls off during the night - I now sleep in a hoodie......

    The Y-man
     
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  17. Gockie

    Gockie I'm an ISTP-A female, so I might be a bit quirky! Premium Member

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    Damn. You now remind me I was going to buy pjs from coles or woolies tonight (they were for sale for $7.50, half price)! But while I was looking at them I got interrupted by a phone call.... a person from a financial planning company after I went to the Sydney home show ~1 month ago, with the advice that I had won a tablet if they could have half an hour with me and my partner in the next week.... my answer to that was "my partner would not be interested"...
     
  18. Starlite

    Starlite Well-Known Member

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    yeah I know the windows are the culprit for heat loss.. will get some blockout curtains.. pelmet will be a bit pricey for the style i like...

    yeah i have a woolen quilt, a blanket and another sheet cover on top.. and a thin underlay.. prob not wool.. the bed used to be cold with electrical heating.. with gas its been good..
     
  19. Starlite

    Starlite Well-Known Member

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    $7.50 is cheap... i need more.. wear double usually.. haha..
    sounds like a scam!! leave your wallet at home..
     
  20. Joynz

    Joynz Well-Known Member

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    I have been using a hot water bottle!

    I just had two thin quilts on my bed but recently dragged out a 90% down quilt from Japan that has always been too warm for Melbourne. Light and incredibly cozy.

    Also, fluffy sheets are amazing. I always used brushed cotton, but a couple of years ago went for brushed polyester ( much nicer than it sounds). You can also buy fleece sheets!
     
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