Recommended Posts

    Here's a wacky question:

     

    " instead of trying to live off the Electricity Grid, (-by installing lots of PV Cells and huge back-up batteries...etc etc)

     

     

    -How would you go removing yourself from The Gas Grid?

     

     

    Have just noticed that for a quarterly use of only 1148 MJ (costing $47.26), I'm paying a whopping $78.08 in supply charges

     

    Wouldn't it be cheaper to convert my appliances, switch to bottle gas, and then put the savings into a really efficient hot water system like the new Schott Evacuated Glass Solar collectors?"

     

    Does anyone out there have any background knowledge on this?

     

     

    JB :swoon:

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    Here's a wacky question:

     

    " instead of trying to live off the Electricity Grid, (-by installing lots of PV Cells and huge back-up batteries...etc etc)

     

     

    -How would you go removing yourself from The Gas Grid?

     

     

    Have just noticed that for a quarterly use of only 1148 MJ (costing $47.26), I'm paying a whopping $78.08 in supply charges

     

    Wouldn't it be cheaper to convert my appliances, switch to bottle gas, and then put the savings into a really efficient hot water system like the new Schott Evacuated Glass Solar collectors?"

     

    Does anyone out there have any background knowledge on this?

     

     

    JB :swoon:

    No but will be interested to hear any thoughts as when we come back we are moving into a property with bottled gas Spoke to a realtor about this and he said his cost for bottled gas on a rural property is about $1300 a year so not that cheap but depends on what he has in gas I suppose

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    I couldn't really help with going all gas but we have bottled gas for our oven & cooktop; we use about 2 45kg household bottles a year and they cost around $120 each (including renting the bottle). One of the things I miss about being on mains gas is that we can't have gas hot water but we have a solar system and to be honest we hardly ever run out (we're a family of 5 - 2 teenagers!), the only time I really notice is if I'm last in the shower at the end of an overcast winter day, both our dishwasher and washing machine run on cold water so they don't affect our hot water at all.

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    The gas supply charge is a rip off isn't it. I use an enormous amount of gas in winter for heating so can't consider it for the houses.

     

    I have two units that run from gas cylinders for their hot water. I did have two side by side (48 kg) cylinders and they lasted a year. The company did charge a monthly rental for the cylinders as well as the gas content charge.

     

    I was looking at doing the opposite! I have 7 gas barbecues that run on cylinder gas and I was going to have them converted from natural gas to cylinder gas. It would involve making the jets bigger and changing the regulator.

    If you went from natural to cylinder you would have to do it the other way and that would mean another gas hot water heater at around $1000 as the jets in your natural gas are already bigger than you need.

     

    I am presently on small 9kg cylinders and have sent the two 48 kg ones back...reason is that they are behind a property and the gas company won't carry them around there and no one our house is strong enough to do it! I get the refills from Bunnings and it costs $22....($24 for non staff)....but it does fluctuate a bit.

    There is a device that you can buy (on E bay) that allows you to fill the small cylinders from a petrol / gas station...it screws onto the cylinders and you can fill a cylinder for 80 cents a kg!! Not sure about the legalities of pulling into the servo with cylinders and filling them though! OH (former fire safety officer has a big frown!)

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    That made me smile about pulling into the servo - we were in Adelaide in December and had the loan of a ute Gauge stated to go onto red so we pulled into the little garage at McLaren Flat Jumped out to fill it only to discover it was gas and gas only ! The servo didn't sell gas ( in whoop whoop land after all ) so we had to get to McLaren Vale for the gas When we thought about it what do you do if you run out of gas in a gas only vehicle it's a two truck job !

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    thanks Flo, Philly and Tamara

     

    -Didn't know you could get a gas only truck!

     

    -Surprised, and heartened, to hear that even a household of teenagers can get (almost) enough hot showers from a solar set-up

     

    (do you find it gives them a subtle incentive to get of bed??)

     

     

    But getting back to Domestic Gas Supply:

     

     

    Renting gas bottles seems to be just another of those rip- offs, doesn't it?

     

    so, i was thinking more of buying a relatively large permanent tank, that got topped up, say, once a year.

    -maybe with an extra diddly bottle or two for emergencies (and camping trips).

     

    Hopefully, if the main tank was situated on or near the driveway,(- in an inner suburb, rather than in the Countryside), you could bring the cost down a fair bit. Plus i wouldn't be restricted to buying from a single supplier, and could shop around.

     

     

    As for the appliance conversions:

     

    -well..... over a seven year period, even disregarding rising costs, I'd be saving something like $78 X 4 X 7 supply charges to offset out of pocket expenses

     

    So -how far would approx $2000 go to converting the space heater and cooker, plus installing the tank and getting a certificate of compliance?

     

    (- Is there anything else that needs to budgeted for?)

     

    JB :swoon:

     

    PS The cost of a Solar Set up would need to calculated separately, of course. But then, that would be an add-on feature, whichever way you went.

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Interesting idea.

     

    Like Tamara we have gas heating so its not an option for us to switch. However, if we ever get round to a woodburner (or two) installed and we then will only have a gas hob to run we would consider switching to bottles.

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    I had the plumber here earlier today and they are going to install an additional valve so that I can connect 4 cylinders instead of 2. That will allow me to connect 4 x 9kg (or 4 x 48's) cylinders but I only have hot water to supply from them.

     

    I would have thought that the swing towards electrical storage batteries would maybe be the way to go? The cost and availability of the lithium batteries has come down and I am looking at maybe upgrading my solar system in the future so that there is a storage capacity for night time. If you were starting from scratch you can get really big systems (if you have the roof space) and feed the excess into storage. If you also had a solar hot water with electrical backup that would work.

    You could also couple it to a small wind turbine!

     

    The gas companies could maybe give you a price on their bigger dumpy cylinders. We were out in the Riverland over Christmas on a campsite. They had the really big LPG storage cylinder...the long ones, above ground on the site so these ones are available.

     

    Do you know something that we don't know..."doomsday prepper" ??!! :smile:

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    John Browning neither did we know you can get a vehicle that's only gas lol When I opened the petrol door thing I thought er what's that !!

    It will be interesting to see how things work at my sons new property as we will live with him when we come back

    I do recall two large gas bottles and the hob was gas but I think the water is electric - will soon find out in early May

    An extension is planned for our granny flat or will be at some stage so it will be interesting to see what's the best method for hot water etc

    The house has solar panels but I think an upgrade on that might be needed as well if the house is made bigger

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    No I'm not preparing for anything other than a very long retirement....... i'll leave it to others to prepare for the Doomsday Bash, Tamara

     

    Please let us know what you find out at your son's place, Philly.

     

    Not sure I understand your comment, Snifter...are you saying you simply can't get a Space Heater running

    on bottled Gas?

     

    JB :swoon:

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    I totally agree with the retirement planning. Biggest mistake I made was getting solar systems that were not big enough. The battery storage system seems to be the answer but it's a bit new at the moment...like to see it around for a while, iron out the glitches and see the price of them reduce.

     

    As I understand it from talking to the plumber; If you take two gas appliances, one natural (mains gas) and the other LPG (bottled gas) there is a difference in the size of the gas jets. You can convert a LPG appliance to a natural gas appliance by making the jets bigger (they drill out the jets on a barbie for example) but you can't do it the other way around and make the jets of a natural gas appliance smaller...plus there's a regulator for the conversion as the pressure is different.

    I have had bayonet points fitted outside my houses and once the barbies need replacing I am going to get the new ones with bigger jets (some are available as a special order) and run them on mains gas to avoid having to worry about changing cylinders.

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

     

    As I understand it from talking to the plumber; If you take two gas appliances, one natural (mains gas) and the other LPG (bottled gas) there is a difference in the size of the gas jets. .

     

     

    thanks, Tamara

     

    have looked a little further into conversions: The Gas Fitter I met in the local gas showroom seemed pretty confident "all current models could be converted", (- at a price).

     

    On the other hand, not surprisingly, people who only sell the appliances reckon "you are better off buying new appliances" if you want to use bottled LPG (-suck it and see, I guess)

     

    Am interested to see Elgas can arrange delivery to any storage bottles within "line of sight" of the street, and they seem very keen on giving free credits plus Senior Discounts, as well as arranging optional automatic top ups / monthly billing, so that you can't run out or get shock when an annual bill arrives

     

    There's also a trend to digging a hole in the front yard and putting the gas bottle underground, which is an attractive idea

     

    As for the Economics of going off the Gas Grid, the Suppliers of the Grid reckon:

     

    If you use more than four large 45kg LPG bottles a year, you’ll save money on your energy bills if you convert to piped natural gas, even including the extra daily fixed charge”

     

    Now - call me an optimist, but that seems like saying that if you don't use four X 45 Kg of bottled gas per year, then you would save money staying off / going off grid ( - always bearing in mind that LPG has a higher calorific value...so you don't need as much as you might expect)

     

    So .......as a small household, -it's really beginning to look a lot more interesting to save $78 four times a year

     

     

    JB :swoon:

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Hi John,

    My existing LPG barbecues could be converted to natural gas by drilling out the jets to a bigger diameter. The plumber said that he could do this. There is a label on the inside of the barbie with the diameter of the jets that need to be converted. The plumber (an English bloke called Steve from Hot Water plumbing and gas...highly recommended) said that it would be cheaper if my OH drilled them out and he would then connect the regulator etc. My barbies are getting a bit old so I rather thought it best to get new ones that are already natural gas but Steve has already fitted bayonet connectors from the house supply to the outside barbie areas ready for the replacement.

    If you want his number just let me know. It might be interesting to have a chat.

     

    The cheapest method would be to buy the gas connector from E Bay and fill your own bottles from the servo...you would be paying the pump price which is around 75 cents per litre which is about $6.50 to fill a 9kg cylinder! Not sure about the legalities though...:smile:

     

    Here's the link:

     

    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/LPG-Propane-GAS-ADAPTOR-with-valve-filling-Australian-gas-bottle-Save-on-gas-/301874254950?hash=item46491b9466:g:DXkAAOSwBLlVJWmG

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Tamara -we seem to be on different pages here.

     

    We're talking about running an entire household on LPG...that includes , Space heating, hot water service, oven, cooking hob, - the lot.

     

    I certainly won't be filling up any BBQ bottles at a servo...

     

    But yes - i would be interested to have the number of a good plumber, thanks

     

    John B

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    Tamara -we seem to be on different pages here.

     

    We're talking about running an entire household on LPG...that includes , Space heating, hot water service, oven, cooking hob, - the lot.

     

    I certainly won't be filling up any BBQ bottles at a servo...

     

    But yes - i would be interested to have the number of a good plumber, thanks

     

    John B

     

    Yep, I know.

    But everything you want to do is related to cost...and the cheapest way to run anything on LPG is by filling them at the servo! Peanuts to fill them, no rental cost for cylinders. The easy way is as you say, bury them in the ground and a tanker fills them up.

    If you get the tank I can fill my small cylinders from your big tank...:biglaugh:

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Am I reading the posts right in that you can have a large tank underground and get it filled from a tanker ( the same as the servos do )

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    Am I reading the posts right?

     

    yes Philly that is what I'm talking about:

     

    -Going off - grid by installing a tank and then getting it filled once or twice a year.

     

    The tank doesn't have to be underground (-most aren't), and it doesn't need to all that large (-as long as the delivery truck can get to it with their hose pipe)

     

    There is a cost involved in setting up - the household appliances need to be set up (or converted) for LPG, for instance.

    -LPG is different from "Natural" Gas and runs at a different pressure ( a lower pressure, i think), but it burns cleaner and you need less of it,apparently .

     

    But after that ....... it looks like it would be pretty easy, and I'd be saving $78 every quarter on a supply charge (- which really adds up over ten years). In addition some companies will give me special rates as a Senior, as well as a series of supply credits.

    John B :swoon:

    Edited by John Browning
    addditional

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Interesting then ,the house our son is buying does have solar panels but I am not sure what usage they cover , probably not the right term but hope everyone understands

    The plan is to build a granny flat extension so we are thinking maybe the solar will need upgrading Son has allready been told the septic tank will need up grading or renewing

    Lots to think of I suppose but we will know better when we move back

    The house does have gas tanks two large ones that we saw when viewing our son though noticed the water is electric We are thinking a seperate gas after heater for us might be the go choices choices !

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Philly, yes that's right: a solar hot water system does need a back up heater, so there might be advantages to do this with LPG from the existing bottles,you would think

     

    JB

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Create an account or sign in to comment

    You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

    Create an account

    Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

    Register a new account

    Sign in

    Already have an account? Sign in here.

    Sign In Now