Reasons to go gas free:
- Electrical appliances can do everything that gas appliances can and in the case of split system heating, induction cooking and heat pump hot water, they can do it cheaper than gas .
- A number of Australian homes have split system heaters (often installed for air conditioning) and an electric oven already.
- In states where coal-seam-gas (CSG) and fracking are allowed, gas has become the new coal pollution wise while the electric grid is becoming cleaner and offers the option of 100% renewable energy through GreenPower .
- Disconnecting the gas should save you at least $330 a year in connection fees.
For our household, disconnecting the gas has saved us around $500 a year through avoided service charges and cheaper heating with a split system heater.
Even if you had to run an electric hot water heater, you could still expect to save $250 a year if you are smart with your hot water use.
Replacing gas appliances:
Replace it with two portable induction hotplates as outlined in the Cooking section. Cost: $150
In our experience, gas ovens are less common but if you have one, it can be replaced with a portable electric oven. A 45 litre model can be had for $100. Cost: $100
Use a split system air conditioner as a heater if you have one as this is a cheaper way to heat anyway.
In a small closed off living area, even a small electric heater set on the low setting can take the edge off at a cost of $0.14 an hour. Cost: $50
Gas hot water
Use the Solar hot water for renters system. Cost $200 to $500 assuming you have a kettle.
How much will I save?
If you had all gas appliances and no split system, it would cost you $500 to $800 to eliminate gas usage in your rental and you would get your money back in under two and a half years based on a yearly supply charge of $330 .
If you have a split system heater, you could get your money back in a year and even quicker than that if your oven is electric.
If you are interested in doing this, here’s a how we disconnected the gas supply:
Contact your gas provider and cancel your account. Confirm with them that you are not asking to remove the meter (only the home owner can do that) but you just don’t need the service anymore.
Also confirm with them that you will not be required to pay the daily supply charge once your account has been cancelled. Get them to email this to you in writing if possible.
Turn off all gas appliances and pilot lights. Advise other members of the household that the gas appliances will no longer be in service. Turn off the gas at the main and note the final reading.
You may receive a letter from the gas provider titled “Dear consumer” asking you to contact them to start an account. Ignore these letters.
If you have just moved in and have not connected the gas, keep one of these letters as a reference for who provided the previous gas service. You’ll need to know this for when you move out.
The gas company will visit, take the O ring out of your gas meter and plug it so it cannot be used.
They will also take a meter reading but provided you have not used any gas, you won’t be charged from the time your account was cancelled.
If you receive a letter for an overdue bill and are a little nervous about it, contact your previous provider to confirm that you do not have to pay for the service (we did the first time and the provider assured us we could ignore any notices).
Enjoy being a gas free rental. If you have a hot water storage heater, remember to use water out of the hot tap from time to time to prevent the water from going stale.
We run our washing machine on the “hot wash” setting with both the hot and cold taps turned on even though the hot water unit is switched off. This ensures that the water gets changed over on a regular basis.
When it comes time to move out, reconnect the gas a couple of weeks beforehand to avoid hassles for the new tenant and problems with the landlord and real estate agency.
Just start an account with the previous company and ask them to end it on your move out date. Once the gas is reconnected, switch on the pilot lights for any appliances that the next tenants will expect to have running (such as the hot water unit).
Further Reading: https://theconversation.com/ditching-gas-heating-and-cooking-could-save-you-hundreds-of-dollars-36428  https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/oct/26/australia-coal-seam-gas-emissions-may-be-vastly-underestimated-report  The above calculations are based on Victorian gas and electricity prices. Payback periods should be quicker in all other states where the gap between the gas and electricity price is narrower: