Understanding Your Gas Bill and Usage
To understand charges on your gas bill, determine if they’re from an actual meter read or an estimate.
If you’re confused about your gas bill high total, remember your meter isn’t necessarily the source of the issue, as an estimated bill can often be inaccurate, resulting in unexpectedly high costs. Contact your retailer and find out how you can request an actual meter reading. This will give you a chance to understand why your energy usage patterns may be leading to higher costs.
Explore the section your gas usage peaks with heating and hot water systems accounting for the bulk of your home’s gas consumption. As such, your usage and bills usually spike over winter when you heat your spaces more frequently. There are a few steps you can take to better understand your gas usage and potentially lower costs:
- Compare your current bill to the billing period from the same time last year to see your charges if it’s higher than before.
- Regularly check your meter number so you can read your consumption figures with precision.
- Have your appliances serviced to ensure they are operating efficiently.
- If you think your meter could be inaccurate, consider installing a smart meter to measure consumption precisely per unit of time, which enables better management of usage data.
If you’re grappling with high electricity gas bills during the energy crisis and think your bill seems abnormally large, remember your retailer must be contacted. They are obligated to assist, which may provide more relief than your typical payment arrangements. Make sure you also take advantage of government concessions and rebates if eligible.
Checking for Gas Leaks
A natural gas leak can be extremely dangerous, making it vital to routinely inspect your connections and your gas appliances. Start by examining the rubber gas line connecting to your stove for cracking or defects. Use a diluted soap solution and gently brush it over the line, watching carefully for bubbles which indicate escaping gas.
Inspect your gas water heater system’s inlet and outlet pipes too, as they commonly develop leaks.
Run your hands along the main gas line entering your property, feeling for potential cracks or pinhole leaks. During an inspection, refrain from using items like lighters or switches that could create sparks.
If you suspect a leak leading to a high bill or notice one during your checks, ventilate the area immediately and shut off the gas at your mains tap. Phone our emergency hotline on 1300 349 338 to arrange a thorough inspection and possible repairs through your supplier. Our licenced technicians utilise advanced equipment for leak detection, efficient for full loads, saving on maintenance costs.
Annual servicing of appliances can save your funds and prevent the likelihood of leaks when performed by our team. We check heat exchangers, burners, valves, regulators, and associated pipework connections as part of this preventative maintenance. Contact us to book an inspection.
Improving Efficiency of Gas Appliances
Upgrade older gas appliances to enhance efficiency and reduce energy consumption. There are reasons why aged appliances lead to more gas usage; components wear out causing improper combustion which can result in significant energy wastage.
Simple maintenance like cleaning burners and replacing worn parts can optimise efficiency. We recommend servicing gas appliances, which you can also use efficiently, every 2 years. Licenced technicians will:
- Clean burners and heat exchangers
- Adjust air-fuel ratios for optimal combustion
- Check pipework and connections for faults
- Test safety mechanisms and ensure proper operation
Upgrading decades old appliances to modern energy star rated models can also drastically reduce your energy bill and complement solar energy solutions. Newer heaters, hot water systems and stoves modulate their output to match demand. They also better retain heat thanks to improved insulation.
Consider installing a smart meter to accurately track and manage your energy consumption for better efficiency. Seeing your energy use in real-time helps you identify which appliance uses most gas during peak periods. This enables you to learn more about what can do to modify behaviours and get the most value from servicing or upgrades.
Phone Leichhardt Plumbing on 1300 349 338 to manage your gas electricity bills with expert servicing, replacements, or meter installations.
Upgrading Old Gas Appliances
Upgrading decades-old gas appliances to newer, more energy efficient models can lead to substantial savings on your bill over time. Outdated models tend to use more gas, whereas modern appliances with advancements in technology and stricter efficiency standards use far less to produce the same output.
An investment in a new gas hot water system, costing around $1,500, can halve your gas usage for water heating through improved insulation. These ongoing savings can be significant, making it worthwhile to calculate potential reductions on your natural gas bill. Replacing an outdated gas heater, or your furnace, has similar long-term financial benefits.
When pondering an upgrade, research to know what to expect from energy star certified appliances made in the past 5 years. These adhere to the latest efficiency benchmarks. We recommend you approach our experts and directly ask them for professional advice to ensure the new units are correctly sized and installed for optimal performance.
The team at Leichhardt Plumbing have extensive experience replacing old gas appliances. We can guide you through the process, from selecting appropriate models to managing the installation. Phone us on 1300 349 338 for a free quote outlining the projected installation costs versus likely savings.
Comparing Gas Plans and Providers
Switching gas providers or plans can lead to significant savings, so take the time to compare energy offers. Here’s a practical guide to comparing energy plans:
- Review your current gas usage and check if your bill is based on actual usage or an estimate; examining recent bills will clarify your consumption patterns.
- Research and find out more about how alternative gas plans could benefit you by browsing online or by phoning providers. Compare rates, fees, contract terms, billing cycles etc. to find competitive plans.
- Use price comparator websites to assess all deals available for your account. Enter your usage data to see estimated costs under each gas plan.
- Consider fixed rate plans to lock in a low rate for 1-3 years. Variable rate plans may initially be cheaper but expose you to future price rises.
- Check and see what rebates and incentives you can find, such as sign-up credits, referral bonuses, or gift cards.
- Contact our team at Leichhardt Plumbing on 1300 349 338 for unbiased advice selecting an affordable gas plan.
Finding savings on utility bills can involve securing a competitive plan, bundling services, improving appliance efficiency, or installing a smart meter. Our gas specialists can recommend the best approach for reducing your energy bills.
Sealing Drafts and Improving Insulation
Heat loss through cracks and gaps can increase gas heating use, leading to higher bills. Conduct a draught detective mission specifically targeting windows doors, electrical outlets, and any exterior holes or penetrations.
To detect airflow leaks, hold your hand near suspected areas. Use weatherstripping, caulk, spray foam or draught stoppers for home improvements that seal openings and curtail heat loss. Target obvious gaps first like those around rattling windows, then address other suspicious areas.
Also evaluate your ceiling, floor and wall insulation.
Maintain good insulation to retain warmth efficiently, fine-tune heating usage, and lower system demand. If insulation seems inadequate, considering increasing thickness using batts, loose-fill or rigid foam products. DIY kits are available for simple ceiling jobs, but wall insulation typically requires professional installation.
Our team at Leichhardt Plumbing provide full insulation assessment and installation services, supporting you through the entire process. Contact us on 1300 349 338 for advice selecting suitable insulation or to schedule sealing work. With cosy warmth and lower heating bills, the benefits are well worth the effort.
Adjusting Thermostat Settings
Reducing heating costs is possible by smartly adjusting control settings, such as your thermostat. Reducing the thermostat setting by 1°C could reduce annual bills by as much as 10%. Wearing warmer clothing indoors allows you to turn down the thermostat further without sacrificing comfort.
Here are some helpful tips for thermostat settings:
- Set the temperature as low as comfortably possible. Around 18-20°C is optimal for most homes.
- Use a programmable thermostat to automatically adjust temperatures based on your schedule.
- Turn down settings overnight and when away from home to conserve energy.
- Maintain consistent temperature levels rather than allowing fluctuations that are more extreme than usual.
Smart thermostats give you more control over temperature management, helping you manage your energy costs efficiently. These conveniently allow you to tweak temperatures remotely via phone apps. Advanced models also self-adjust based on learning your usage patterns over time.
Understanding why your old thermostat’s inefficient technology could be costing you can likewise lead to savings. Our team at Leichhardt Plumbing provide advice on selecting and fitting the most suitable thermostat to lower your heating bill.
Financial Assistance Programs
If paying your energy bills is a challenge, assistance programs are available to help make payments more manageable.
Government Concessions and Rebates
Rebates and concessions are available in most regions to reduce the burden of your gas bill and alleviate overall home energy costs:
- NSW Gas Rebate - Up to $110 rebate for eligible concession card holders.
- Victorian Utility Relief Grants - You can get help paying overdue bills, with up to $650 available for gas.
- SA Cost of Living Concession - Reduces gas bills by 30% for concession customers.
- ACT Energy Concession - Discounted rates for low income households.
Explore in your state territory if you are eligible for financial aid with your gas retailer or local government office to alleviate utility expenses.
Payment Assistance Programmes
Most providers offer hardship programs for those who cannot afford upcoming bills, such as:
- Payment plans - Structure smaller payments over time.
- Debt reduction - Waive late fees or part of outstanding balance.
- Centrepay - Deduct agreed amounts from government payments.
If you’re struggling pay your bills, inform your retailer immediately for possible assistance, and seek more information about relief options. Disconnection of gas service due to non-payment is an absolute last resort.
For further help with a high gas bill, reach out to a water ombudsman NSW or speak to our Leichhardt Plumbing team at 1300 349 338 for water-related concerns.