The Great Energy Debate – Gas, Electric or Solar

Keeping your home cosy through the chill of winter and cool in the hot summer is a challenge for many – especially while trying to avoid high energy bills. It’s a balancing act that raises the question of whether to choose gas, electric or solar power.

Given that heating and cooling amounts to approximately 23 per cent of Australian household energy use, homeowners need to consider their home heating requirements and choose a system that delivers the right amount of warmth and coolness to avoid energy wastage and bill shock.

If you are building or renovating, you have a number of energy options and therefore different options for your heating and cooling. Depending on where you live, you will generally be able to choose from:

▪     Electricity – traditional heaters, air conditioning, fans

▪     Gas – widely available in capital cities, though limited supply of piped or main gas in regional and rural areas, generally used for heating

▪     Solar – widely available, however, the benefits of installing solar panels will vary depending on a number of environmental factors. Usually used to supplement the electricity grid and reduce energy costs for heating and cooling

Gas Heating

Advantages and Disadvantages

All three energy sources – electricity, gas and solar – have advantages and disadvantages.

Electricity is the most widely available energy source and can run all household appliances, but can be a more expensive source of energy.

Mains gas can be less expensive than electricity and kinder to the environment than electricity, generating around one-third of the amount of greenhouse gas emissions. It is frequently used for heating water and room heating. It easily copes with heating large spaces quickly. Mains gas, however, is not as widely available as electricity.

Solar Heating

Solar energy is a renewable energy source and produces no greenhouse gas emissions during the generation of energy. It can be used to either supplement or replace gas and electricity. Although, solar energy systems require a significant upfront investment and cannot be installed at all premises.

Electric Heating

Effective heating and cooling can be custom designed to suit every house and getting your requirements right the first time is essential if you want it to be cost effective.

by Ruth Newman