Gas, electric or solar hot water systems? Choosing the right system for your home.
Over 20% of household energy consumption in Australia comes from hot water systems.
When a hot water system needs replacing, it tends to have failed suddenly. When considering a new or replacement system for your home, you’ll want to know which is the most energy-efficient for your home usage so that you can save money on bills and reduce your greenhouse gas emissions at the same time!
Hot water systems for your home
Whilst all systems will heat your water, some systems are more suitable than others depending on the size of your household.
Homes have different needs when it comes to hot water; a small apartment occupied by a couple will have significantly different water consumption than a four-bedroom home with a family of five.
We explain the main types of systems and their suitability for your home.
What determines which system might be most suitable?
- How many people live in the home
- How energy efficient you are aiming to be
- What time of the day you use the most hot water
- When you use hot water, e.g. washing machine, dishwasher, showers.
Natural gas is a good option if your home has a connection for it. It is consistently priced as gas prices don’t change throughout the day and can often be cheaper than electricity
- Installation doesn’t take long if it’s replaced with a similar system.
- Can be installed inside or outside
- Has energy efficient star ratings so you know how energy efficient your system is
- Liquid Petroleum Gas bottles are an alternative to natural gas, but cost more to run
- Prices range from approx. $900 – $2000, not including installation.
- Usually relatively cheap to install but more expensive to run, especially when electricity rates are at their peak
- Generally, a simple replacement when replacing with a similar system
- Systems that can run on off-peak electricity are much cheaper than those that can’t access these rates
- Range in price from approx. $300 – $1500, not including installation
- Electric hot water will account for a large chunk of your electricity bill so it’s worth checking you’re on the best electricity rates on offer
- Solar systems will generally always be the most energy-efficient and result in the lowest cost bills but installation costs are higher, approx. $2000 – $7000 not including installation
- Time-consuming to install, a well-chosen and installed system will, however, pay for itself in the long run due to low running costs
- Government incentives can offset install and purchase costs
- A storage tank is also required to keep water hot on days when there is less sunshine
A plumber specialising in hot water systems will be able to discuss your hot water consumption needs and determine the most suitable hot water system for your home.