Winter (gas bill) is coming

If you’ve got gas appliances at home, winter weather usually means a winter-sized gas bill too. Even if you’re keeping an eye on your usage, it’s still common for it to be anywhere from twice to four times as high as what it is over summer.

So if you’re not prepared for it, a winter bill can catch you off guard. Here are some things we recommend to help keep your gas bill in check over the next few months.

Gas hot water

  • If you’re coming in from the cold in the evenings, it can be tempting to jump straight into the shower to warm up. Give yourself a little time to warm up in your house before showering – it’ll save getting your gas to do the hard work. Look at it as time to do some dinner prep, or fit in a few star jumps.
  • When you wash your dishes, try to avoid running the hot tap for the whole time. It seems counterintuitive, but running a tap for even a couple of minutes can be less efficient than running a dishwasher.

Heating

If you’re using a gas heater, wasted heat means wasted money. Did you know you can lose up to 40% of your heat through your windows?

  • If you plan to be in your place for a while, think about investing in double-glazed windows. Or, if you’re feeling handy (and on a budget), apply an insulating layer yourself with secondary glazing – a membrane you apply to your windows yourself that helps insulate your home.
  • Blinds are great for insulating, too. Get them closed as soon as you can in the evenings to avoid losing heat from the day through the windows.
  • Depending on who’s home and who’s doing what, you can close off rooms to make sure heat is only being used where it’s needed. Get everyone in the same room for a movie night a couple of times a week to save heating multiple rooms.
  • Draught stoppers come in some pretty cool styles (our favourites are the sausage dog ones) and they’ll help stop cool air coming in from outside or from cooler parts of the house.
  • If you’ve got old windows, you can also attach draught-stopping tape to cover off any gaps they might have developed over the years.

Cooking

Think about your gas use when heating food, too.

  • If you’re heating up small amounts (like leftovers), it’s generally more economical to do it on the stove than by heating up the whole oven.
  • If you are using the oven, make sure the seal around the door is intact to prevent heat escaping.

For ways to save on your electricity too, see our general energy-saving tips page.

P.s. Like these tips? Most of them came from the CSIRO Home Energy Saving Handbook (2013).