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# 175599 5-Jul-2015 18:44
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I am planning to construct a new house which I hope will be completed in the next 18 months. And one thing I have been thinking about is getting gas. 

 

I have checked and gas is available on the street. The main reason I wanted to get gas was because I love cooking on gas hobs. But I am also a fan of long showers and have two daughters, so was thinking gas hot water was a go-er as well. Have spoken to a mate who uses gas bottles and has gas hot water and cooking. He goes through about a bottle every two months, they come and change it for him and he rekons bottles are better than having it connected to the main supply. However I am not entirely sure.

Currently I am under the impression that if you use a lot of gas then it might be better to get to get it connected to the mains. I don't go travel a lot so paying a daily charge doesn't bother me that much.

We also need to consider our heating options and having a gas fireplace was something we are considering. Also if we do go for gas hot water, does that mean we can free up space where our HWC would be?

Thanks
(someone who has never had gas).





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  # 1337427 5-Jul-2015 18:50
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Where do you live?

The colder the location, the more sense it makes to have (reticulated ) gas.

... specially if you like fast heat when you're cooking.




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  # 1337429 5-Jul-2015 19:02
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No competition, if you can hook up to the gas...do it!  Why would you choose to have a bottle change system when the cost would be about the same for install?  

Gas instant hot water - absolute winner IMO.  Wouldn't be without it if I can ever help it.  Also love my gas hob's for cooking, fast, effective, and best of all no delicate glass tops to worry about when I am channeling Gordon Ramsey with a wok.    

Gas fireplaces are good for ambiance, and some warmth, but are not the most efficient heating source.   






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  # 1337436 5-Jul-2015 19:17
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We are building in Auckland. Yes we can hook up to the gas vector runs it down the street I am building on. We are a back house so it will cost a bit more to run it down the back. But I am basically at the stage where we are looking at the design plans, and we will need to think about heating/cooling/ventilation and water/cooking etc.

Yeh I just had a chat to my mate who is a plumber with a gasfitter cert and he reckons the infinity systems are pretty good and he told me the more gas I use the more I would want it hooked up to the main supply. To be honest I cant be bothered changing 9KG bottles if I had a gas hob only. The one thing he did say is he rekoned LPG burned a bit hotter than natural gas, and that he knew people who have had problems with hobs not lighting while on natural gas.

 

Do you reckon in the long run you will save on water heating? I am considering home heating options at this stage, any suggestions?






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  # 1337456 5-Jul-2015 19:50
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I wouldn't get gas, mostly because of cost. I know someone trying to get rid of gas. Power prices have dropped recently for me, I'm on Flick Electric, paying market prices. Long term both gas and electricity will rise, which will rise the most? Hard to say.

In a new build:
 - Heat pump water heater
 - Central heating/ventilation (there are a couple of whole house systems available)
 - Double glazing, considering solar gain, otherwise windows not too large
 - LED lights and superb insulation

I'd have a part of the house exterior designed for 2-3 heat pump outdoor units.

Also, electric is generally from renewable power in NZ, so you're doing your bit for the environment using power that's from water falling down a hill rather than burning fossil fuels.

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  # 1337457 5-Jul-2015 19:50
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scuwp: No competition, if you can hook up to the gas...do it!  Why would you choose to have a bottle change system when the cost would be about the same for install?  

Gas instant hot water - absolute winner IMO.  Wouldn't be without it if I can ever help it.  Also love my gas hob's for cooking, fast, effective, and best of all no delicate glass tops to worry about when I am channeling Gordon Ramsey with a wok.    

Gas fireplaces are good for ambiance, and some warmth, but are not the most efficient heating source.   




Becuase the daily charges are high. If you are a big user, it may make sense to hook up to mains. However if you are a small users, gas bottles can work out cheaper. I suspect in the OP's case, they will likely be a big user. 

I have gas, on mains, and find it very good. Use it for cooking, heating and water But I have a gas heated tank, which is pretty much instant hot water anyway. Tanks should have a longer life than the instant host systems, as I was told by a plumber that they give the instant hot water systems a 10 year life, and after that they not economical to repair. Where as a cylinder may have a 30 + year life based on the life of my old one. Not sure which is more economical to run, haven't seen a chart comparing them.

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  # 1337462 5-Jul-2015 19:58
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timmmay: I wouldn't get gas, mostly because of cost. I know someone trying to get rid of gas. Power prices have dropped recently for me, I'm on Flick Electric, paying market prices. Long term both gas and electricity will rise, which will rise the most? Hard to say.

In a new build:
 - Heat pump water heater
 - Central heating/ventilation (there are a couple of whole house systems available)
 - Double glazing, considering solar gain, otherwise windows not too large
 - LED lights and superb insulation

I'd have a part of the house exterior designed for 2-3 heat pump outdoor units.

Also, electric is generally from renewable power in NZ, so you're doing your bit for the environment using power that's from water falling down a hill rather than burning fossil fuels.


IMO , Heat pump hot water pumps are expensive to buy, and they have a limited life compared to your conventional hot water tanks. If I was going for one, I would go for one of the split type, so you don't have this big ugly cylinder outside. But not sure if the payback is there with them yet.

-For central heating I would go for ducted heat pump system, which could have each zone individually controlled. If the floor areas is smaller, I would look at underfloor slab heating. Would also insulate the slab edge, as that is where there can be a lot of heat loss.

-Double glazing, the frames need to be thermally broken, or timber, otherwise you get heatloss and condensation through the frames. Some people also suggest PVC, but I don't like the look of them after having lived in the UK, they have been retrofitted everywhere and IMO they look nasty. Good shading so the house doesn't overheat. Big windows for passive solar heating on the north (needs a canopy though to block summer sun), and only small windows on the south and east, to prevent heat loss and overheating.

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  # 1337465 5-Jul-2015 20:05
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True, I'd look into the viability of heat pump hot water. Solar tube may be a better bet, I believe it's far more efficient than solar photovoltaic.

Joinery, PVC. It's been the standard in the UK for decades, NZ is starting to catch up. I'd be tempted to use an ex-UK builder just because their knowledge of energy efficiency is probably far better than NZ builders.

 
 
 
 


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  # 1337519 6-Jul-2015 00:08
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we just built and went with bottles as we worked it out to be cheaper than mains gas.
the install was cheaper with bottles and the monthly charge was much cheaper with bottles.

from memory we pay about $10 a month for the bottle rental (even less if payed annually) and about $95-105 for a 45kg bottle refill which lasts around two months that with a 6 burner hob and a rinnai 26L hot water system feeding two showers and 4 people. bottles are delivered usually within 3 days of order and if we forget we can always hook up the barbie 9kg to last us a week.

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  # 1337520 6-Jul-2015 00:14
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oh and we have just normal double glazed windows and a fujitsu ducted heatpump and dont really have any condensation issues except maybe in the bathrooms and one bedroom on the south side but its not exactly streaming. ducted heatpump was a luxury that we hummed and arred about but its worth it. we use it often as just a HRV type system when the lounge and family room is heating up in the afternoon to transfer heat to the rest of the house. Its great at having a nice even temp throughout the house

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  # 1337521 6-Jul-2015 01:37
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Definitely connect to Natural gas (gas piped from the street). It is far cheaper per kW/hr than LPG. Approx 6c per kW/hr for Natural gas Vs approx 16c per kW/hr for LPG. So you will very quickly recoup the extra fixed costs. Also LPG cylinders often struggle to supply enough gas flow in cold weather. And European combi boilers often fail on NZ LPG. While they run just fine on NZ natural gas.





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  # 1337553 6-Jul-2015 08:04
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So these are only my opinions but...  

About 22 years ago I bought a house built in the late 1800s and the hot water and water pressure was so bad, I'm sure the cylinder was the original installed when the house was built!  After suffering through one winter I installed a Rinnai Infinity hot water system and this is now a "must have" - if the house doesn't have one, I get one installed as soon as I move in.  I also prefer a gas cooktop, but not to the extent that I'd change out an electric one if there was nothing wrong with it.

So if you can hook up mains gas, so it.  Shop around though - about a decade ago we had one gas company offer to connect the house to the gas main for free to get our business, and another that let us spread the cost of an Infinity installation across 12 months on our gas bill.  There might not be anyone doing this kind of thing now, but there may still be deals to be had.

ALso, I'm not a fan of gas heating - it tends to be "damp" heat that can increase condensation.  I'm also not a fan of a gas oven - it's OK for roasting but (again) as it's a damp heat it can mess up your baking.

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  # 1337557 6-Jul-2015 08:20
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We've got Gas in from the street with an infinity hot water system and a gas hob - well worth it.

My parents are rural and have got Gas via bottles - looking at their gas bill it works out almost double the cost of us, they get "free" delivery (more than likely factored in the price) but if you've got gas out on the street then just do it.

Another option is to use an induction cooktop and get a heat pump hot water cylinder however then you're very reliant on Electricity.




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  # 1337559 6-Jul-2015 08:21
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Is gas really worth having just for cooking and hot water? Given the daily charges I'm not sure. Even a standard mains pressure tank is fine, and go onto Flick with the majority of the heating happening in off peak hours and you'll save money that way.

Induction cooker works great. Different to gas but probably similarly responsive. Pans go from cold to smoking hot in 60 seconds.

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  # 1337560 6-Jul-2015 08:32
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timmmay: Is gas really worth having just for cooking and hot water? Given the daily charges I'm not sure. Even a standard mains pressure tank is fine, and go onto Flick with the majority of the heating happening in off peak hours and you'll save money that way.

Induction cooker works great. Different to gas but probably similarly responsive. Pans go from cold to smoking hot in 60 seconds.


Cooking is a preference thing - I really like Gas but then again I haven't tried induction (doesnt that need special pans). Standard hobs drive me mental.

Hot water - depends on how many people in your house. We have 5, including 2 teenagers, usually 3-4 of us shower (separately) in the morning. If we had a hot water cylinder I would have murdered both teenagers several times over by now for using all the hot water.



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  # 1337585 6-Jul-2015 09:18
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timmmay: Is gas really worth having just for cooking and hot water? Given the daily charges I'm not sure. Even a standard mains pressure tank is fine, and go onto Flick with the majority of the heating happening in off peak hours and you'll save money that way.

Induction cooker works great. Different to gas but probably similarly responsive. Pans go from cold to smoking hot in 60 seconds.

We have gas just for cooking and hot water (2 people) and, though I didn't expect it, our total bill (electric + gas) decreased after we had gas installed. Take from that what you will.

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