The Big 6 Factors: Gas vs Electric Hot Water Systems

gas vs electric hot water system

Has your hot water system just gone bang? Or are you simply upgrading and on the lookout for something more modern, more efficient, and better value for money? When you’re in the market for hot water, the big choice is how to power the steaming hot water that will come out of your taps. In other words: is gas or electric hot water right for you?

So many people will have their opinions: “There’s too much hype about gas – electric is still the go!” Or: electric hot water is on the way out – the only way to cook is with gas!”

When it comes to big decisions like these, it’s always better to turn to the local Adelaide plumbing professionals. At Fawcett Plumbing, it’s our intention to power your decision-making with all the facts, so today we’re considering gas vs electric. What’s right for you?

Gas or electric hot water – How to make the right call

Even as advances in efficient technology race ahead at speed, heating your water still accounts for up to a third of your already-pricey power bill, so ‘gas or electric’ is an important call to get right. Making the right choice depends on:

  • Where you live and your family size
  • How you use your water
  • What energy sources are available
  • Your technology type preference (ie. storage or instantaneous)
  • Space for a hot water system
  • Your climate
  • Hot water unit & installation costs

That’s a lot to think about! To help you boil down the right choice for your needs, preferences, lifestyle and budget, we’ve broken down the gas vs electric water heater choice into 3 factors for electric and 3 more for gas.

Electric – The Big 3

Gas may be getting more popular across Australia, but it remains true that the more traditional electric varieties are still more prevalent. Although there are some impressive ‘green’ systems, the fundamental of an electric hot water system is an element that heats up the water which is stored in a tank ready for use.

1. They’re still popular

If your system has gone bang and money is tight, the most affordable hot water systems on the market are electric storage tank varieties – although gas equivalents are not far behind. It must be noted, however, that government initiatives are making ‘greener’ options ever more competitive.

2. They’re getting more efficient

Some will tell you that other heating options are leaving the traditional electric element technology behind in terms of energy efficiency. But it’s also true that modern electric systems need to compete with the others in terms of energy ratings, which means the technology is getting better all the time. Time-of-use tariffs also provide an incentive for cheaper heating of water overnight.

3. Installation is simple

It’s not difficult for your plumber to install any variety of hot water system – but it remains true that the simplest is the tried-and-true electric unit. Coupled with a good up-front price and solid technological reliability would seem to indicate that electricity is here to stay for now.

Gas – The Big 3

While an electric hot water system uses an element to heat the water, the equivalent gas hot water system uses a burner underneath the tank to make your bath and shower steaming hot.

1. They’re cost-effective

When it comes to the comparative up-front price of gas vs electric hot water units, a gas unit might be slightly more. But that is usually offset in the medium term by the comparatively lower price of natural gas, which means lower running costs and therefore a slightly more attractive bill. You also won’t need to worry about those overnight tariffs, but if you’re not on mains gas and need to buy LPG bottles, that price needs to be factored in.

2. They’re smaller

Yes, an average gas hot water system costs a little more – but don’t forget that using gas is a little cheaper than electricity. Another important factor is the slightly more compact and tidy designs of the gas storage water heater varieties, but at least you won’t need to worry about noise – all modern water heating technology is impressively quiet.

3. They’re efficient

You might have the impression by now that market competition means that whether you choose gas or electric hot water, you’re not going to make a major mistake. But there’s no avoiding that if it’s a straight choice between traditional element or gas burner technology, the pendulum is swinging towards gas politically and culturally as it is generally more environmentally friendly and even slightly cheaper.

Gas vs electric hot water system – Let Fawcett Plumbing help you choose

So who won the day – gas or electric hot water? As we hope we’ve helped to illustrate, the choice really is yours. Depending on your utility retailer and their prices, gas systems are a little cheaper to run with a slightly higher upfront price, while electricity is a tried-and-tested technology type that is simple and affordable to replace and still being developed and improved. And if you really want to step up your quest for a smaller environmental footprint, have you explored your options for ultra-modern and efficient heat pump and solar hot water system setups?

To really empower your decision, why not get in touch with Fawcett Plumbing’s experienced and fully-licensed hot water plumbing experts? Every single day, we ensure that local residents and businesses like you make great choices that keep the hot water steaming up bathroom mirrors around the clock.

So get in touch today for great advice, options and service in Port Adelaide, Athelstone, Magill, Hallett Cove and everywhere else across South Australia.