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Why is my gas bill so high?

Multiple factors could lead to an increased gas bill:

  • An increase in gas usage during colder months can result in higher bills. Reviewing your energy habits and comparing current meter readings with past periods can help you identify any rise in consumption.
  • Fluctuating gas prices - Rates may have increased; verify recent changes.
  • Inefficient appliances - Older or malfunctioning gas equipment often uses excessive energy. Consider upgrading them.
  • House insulation and leaks - Poor insulation and draughts let heat escape, meaning you need more gas for warmth. Improve insulation or fix leaks.
  • Verify meter readings on your bill against the meter itself to rule out inaccuracies.
  • Seasonal variations, especially during winter, increase gas use. Analyse your bill against the one from the same period in the previous year to detect any consumption patterns.

Checking for gas leaks

Wondering why your gas bill is high? Gas leaks, which are dangerous and can cause unexpectedly high bills, should be promptly inspected. Here is how to check for leaks:

  1. If you suspect higher than expected gas usage, consider getting a smart meter for precise readings and monitoring. A tell-tale sign of a gas leak is a rotten egg smell.
  2. Be alert for unusual hissing noises or water bubbles which indicate gas escaping.
  3. Apply soapy water to gas lines. If bubbles appear, gas is escaping.
  4. Consider an electronic gas detector for more sensitive leak detection.

Evacuate the premises and seek professional assistance from Cronulla Plumbing if leaks are detected or suspected. Technicians can help ensure your furnace and other equipment such as your gas appliances are operating correctly, perform repairs, and confirm it’s safe to re-enter. Don’t forget, the recent cold spell may have also contributed by causing small cracks or damage resulting in leaks and higher bills over time.

Improving home insulation

Upgrading insulation is one of the most effective ways to boost energy efficiency and lower gas bills. Focus on these key areas of your home:

  • Enhance attic insulation as heat rises—target an R-value of 30 or higher to minimise heat loss.
  • Insulate external and internal walls to impede heat transfer, using batts or blown-in insulation.
  • To maintain warmth, consider underfloor insulation. Materials such as polystyrene boards or foil insulation are effective.

Along with insulation, install draught excluders on doors and windows to minimise air leaks. Quality insulation can reduce your gas consumption for heating by up to 50%, significantly lowering your bills. The Cronulla Plumbing team can assist in choosing the right insulation for your home.

Upgrading appliances for efficiency

Upgrading to modern, energy-efficient gas appliances can lead to substantial cost savings on your natural gas bill over time. Old, faulty or improperly functioning gas water heaters like boilers, cooktops and hot water systems often use far more gas than necessary, need frequent repairs, and can contribute to spiked electricity gas bills.

Newer appliances incorporate advanced technology to maximise energy efficiency and minimise gas usage. Key benefits include:

  • Accurate temperature control and usage settings
  • Better insulation to prevent heat loss
  • Higher energy star ratings to save gas
  • Low emissions ratings to reduce environmental impact

While upgrading gas appliances involves an upfront investment, you can often recoup costs within a few years through lower running expenses. Learn more about how by consulting with our experienced technicians at Cronulla Plumbing, who can advise on products that best suit your needs and usage.

Fixing billing errors

When gas and electricity bills are high, review your statements carefully for possible errors:

  • Carefully review your bill to check that the meter reading matches your actual consumption. Inaccurate readings can result in erroneous estimates and incorrect billing.
  • Check the bill calculation adding up the total units used and what rate they can charge per unit. Look for mathematical errors.
  • Confirm you’re on the correct tariff and understand how much peak/off-peak charges could affect your bill if applicable.

If you find an error, understand your consumer rights in the energy sector and promptly contact your retailer or the energy ombudsman for resolution. Arranging for a meter test or obtaining regular accurate readings can also prevent billing errors going forward.

To get help determining if your bill is correct, the team at Cronulla Plumbing can inspect your gas appliances and provide advice on reducing your pay your energy expenditure.

Adjusting thermostat settings

Thermostat settings significantly affect gas usage and bills; consider these optimisation tips:

  • Lower the thermostat when away to cut gas consumption—each degree lowered during sleep or away times can reduce usage by up to 10%. Use programmable setbacks if available.
  • Find the right temperature balance - Heat to 18-20°C in living areas during the day, and 16-18°C overnight to save gas.
  • Make sure you use zoning if you have a zoned system - Heat only the rooms you use regularly, closing vents elsewhere.
  • Upgrade your thermostat - New programmable and smart thermostats add convenience and precision to maintain comfortable yet energy efficient temperatures.

Tailoring your thermostat settings to your daily routine can achieve savings without compromising comfort. The experts at Cronulla Plumbing can also advise on thermostat types and provide optimised temperature recommendations to help lower your energy bill.

Replacing windows

Single-glazed windows often offer inferior insulation compared to newer double or triple-glazed options. As heat escapes through such windows, more gas usage for heating is required, resulting in higher bills.

Upgrading to energy efficient window models will enhance insulation, retention of indoor warmth, and lower gas expenditure over time. Key benefits include:

  • Thicker glazing prevents heat transfer through the glass
  • Advanced glass coatings reflect heat back into the room
  • Thermally broken window frames minimise conduction
  • Draught sealing restricts air leaks around openings

The team at Cronulla Plumbing can provide advice on suitable window products and installations to improve the energy efficiency of your home, reduce your gas usage, and help save money on bills.

Reducing gas usage

Understanding and addressing high gas consumption is vital to manage costs, particularly during energy crises. Here’s what can do to make a difference:

  • Set heating timers and lower temperatures when not home to conserve energy. Programming your system to turn off when not required can save 6-10% on heating costs for every 1°C reduction.
  • Only heat rooms in use - Ensure you’re not wasting energy heating unused spaces and try running full loads in appliances for maximum efficiency. Zone your heating if possible.
  • Install reflective radiator panels - These minimise heat loss to walls behind radiators, directing it into rooms instead.
  • For water heating systems, limiting temperatures to a maximum of 60°C strikes a balance between efficiency and bacteria control.
  • Seal draughts around windows doors - Draught proofing stops heat escape through small gaps.
  • Upgrade old appliances - Modern gas appliances incorporate better insulation and precision controls to curb excess gas requirements.

Keeping an eye on your energy usage by monitoring your meter regularly allows you to track usage patterns and detect inefficiencies or issues swiftly. The team at Cronulla Plumbing can advise on further ways to reduce your gas consumption, assist with upgrades to improve efficiency, and help lower your expenditure.

Comparing gas providers

In deregulated markets for your gas and electricity bills, customers can choose between multiple retailers and compare plans to find the best deal. Discover details about how comparing providers and plans include:

  • Confirm if your area has retail gas choice by contacting your energy plan provider
  • Investigate market rates and evaluate different plans from competitors, comparing usage rates, fees, discounts, and contract terms to find the best deal.
  • Ask them how to use price comparison tools like government run energy made easy websites to contrast offers
  • Consider other factors like customer service, billing options and sustainability credentials
  • Engage with our technicians at Cronulla Plumbing to determine potential savings on your bills

If you need more information on significant savings through changing providers, our team can assist with the switch over process and any required meter or your account changes. Our objective is to guide customers towards the most fitting energy plans with competitive pricing.

Seeking government assistance

Government assistance may be available if you find your gas bills unmanageable. Government programmes offer bill assistance, home weatherization grants, and energy audits, such as:

  • LIHEAP provides bill payment assistance, emergency furnace repairs, and insulation upgrades.
  • Weatherization Assistance Programme - Offers free home energy audit, insulation, air sealing, heating system tune-ups and appliance upgrades to reduce energy costs.
  • Many states and utility companies offer additional financial aid, budget billing plans, and efficiency rebates to help manage your energy costs.

Find out more about eligibility for these programmes from your utility company, which depends on factors like household income, location, and energy burden. Contact your state or territory agency, social services office, or gas utility provider directly to find out what assistance is available.

Cronulla Plumbing can offer guidance on rebate eligibility, financing options, and aid schemes to lower energy costs.

News & Information

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What Should I Do About A High Gas Bill?

If your monthly gas bill rises suddenly for no clear reason, the cause could be a gas leak from old pipes or appliances. Contact your provider to investigate.

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How To Remove Scale From Hot Water Systems

Scale buildup reduces the efficiency of hot water systems over time. Regular descaling helps remove this. Flush your system with vinegar or a descaling solution.

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Maintain your hot water system effectively

To keep your hot water system operating efficiently you should drain the tank annually to remove sediment, check the temperature relief valve every 6 months and replace the anode rod every 5 years. Simple maintenance can extend the life of your system. Contact Cronulla Plumbing to book a hot water service.

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