How to save money on household gas bills
Natural gas is one of the most common fuel sources in Australia. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), gas accounted for around 14 per cent of household's energy consumption between 2009-2010. However, as the cooler weather sets in, it can be easy to let household gas bills slip out of reach.
With gas prices on the rise, receiving an unexpectedly high charge can be a sobering experience and not one that you likely want to repeat. But finding ways to cut down on gas usage doesn't have to be a complicated process. You can get on top of charges and put your usage back in order with some simple and effective measures. Here are three steps towards saving money on gas in your home.
Review and reduce
The first step towards reining in your bills is to have a look over how much gas you use on a regular basis. Have a look over previous bills, particularly during winter and summer, for obvious trends. If there are spikes in your usage during the winter period, it could down to heating and hot water use. In the same way, your home might lack insulation or have drafty windows and doors that are allowing heat to escape.
Go through your home methodically. You can conserve your gas use, but it's not worth much if your home is undermining all your hard work. Weather strip window and door frames as needed, and consider thermal insulated curtains, especially if you live in a cooler climate. Insulate attics and under the floor. This will keep you home much warmer during winter, meaning you won't need to expend as much on manual heating.
Once the property is all in order, move through appliances. Water heating is a large part of gas usage, so it's worth spending some time and effort bringing your system up to scratch. In fact, the Australian government's YourHome website notes that 21 per cent of the energy used in the average Australian home is from hot water systems. Installing low-flow shower heads can stop water wastage and excessive use.
Gas prices have skyrocketed in recent times and, according to the Clean Energy Council, gas prices are expected to triple. In the five years to the June quarter in 2012 alone, ABS figures show the price of gas and other fuels used in the home climbed by 45 per cent. With price hikes on the horizon, it's worth shopping around. If your bills seem a bit too high, a switching service like Make It Cheaper can analyse how you use gas in your home and come up with a more suitable deal.
Posted by Jeremy Elliott