Solar Hot Water Gas Booster

We recently bought a house and realised that the only thing connected to gas is the booster for the hot water. We just got our second monthly bill and usage was $3.50 and service charge was $35.
I am thinking of cutting off the gas as it seems stupid paying for pretty much the service charge.
It is just me and the missus and we are in Melbourne fyi.


  • Is the hot water the only thing in the house using gas, in terms of what you want to use in the overall house? (no stove etc).

    If so, then yes, seems a lot to pay for having that service but you might end up without any hot water. I too have solar hot water and it doesn't always keep the water hot, plus there is a lag between when the gas service (for us) kicks in such that you experience a momentary cold water rush (for example when taking a shower).

    Most gas companies will charge a daily fee for gas supply, which in your case may be just over $1 per day.

  • Thanks for the info.
    Yes the hot water booster is it, the stove and oven are electric.
    There already is a lag in waiting for the hot water, even though it is a brand new instantaneous hot water system.
    We might need to just we careful with our hot water use in the same day.
    I bought a gas bottle for the bbq the other day, would be great to hook one of them up.
    $35 a month for connection for a few $$ usage is just bad economics.
    The missus might yell at me if she ends up with a cold shower one day though!

    • Appliances can be either LPG bottled gas or piped gas, but don't work with both. You won't be able to just hook up bottled gas without replacing the thing that heats the water with one that is LPG compatible.

      • You could but IIRC the jets on a town gas system are a lot smaller than bottle gas, so it would heat at about half the speed.

        Of course you then have to pipe it in with something UV resistant, compliant,etc. There's nothing more embarrassing than the house exploding due to a bodged up money saver. :-)

  • You could update to a solar boosted heat pump but there are other things to consider like capacity on your meter box, noise, space and cost.

    Although i like the idea of switching off the gas entirely (we have gas heating, stove and hot water) by updating appliances to be electric, the ROI and investment upfront is a significant barrier.

    Best to look into a company with a low service charge and high fees to reduce your bills, then when the time comes when the unit needs repair, replace it then with an electric unit. Do the research now of what your after then when it breaks your not left for days without hot water while you research and find the appropriate replacement tech.

  • Presumably you'd want to change it over to solar hot water with an electric booster if you got rid of it? I have no idea how much that would cost to purchase and install, but you would want to factor that into your saving on the gas supply charge, and also I believe electric boosters would cost more to run than gas, so any saving you make might quickly dry up/not be a saving at all.

    Also consider if there is anything else you might be using gas for later, heating, stove, natural gas BBQ etc.

  • I feel there are three options for you to consider.

    1) Disconnect the gas, and run the risk of not having any hot water when you shower.
    2) Keep the gas on, and pay $30 per month to ensure you don't run out of hot water
    3) Pay a lot of money to convert it to an electric hot water system, and pay the extra electricity costs that come with it.

    Option 2 sounds the best. We have the same type of system, but I feel the solar is never able to store enough hot water (we live in Melbourne and had a very cloudy/rainy winter so I'm sure the solar rarely kicked in).

  • I pay 35c/day supply charge for gas. I'm not sure why you'd be paying $1/day. Maybe shop around for a better deal?

    Alternatively, get a few quotes for converting the gas booster to an electric booster.

  • Solar + electric heat pump but I think heat pump is like $1k minimum.

    Keep your current setup until the gas unit dies then switch over. Otherwise big investment for nothing.