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Heating running costs

Close-up of a hand on a wall-mounted temperature control unit

The table below provides approximate annual running costs for a range of types and sizes of different heating options.

Room size Heater types Energy star rating Annual energy cost Annual GHG emissions (kg/yr)
Room / Space heating
Small room 12m2 Gas heater 3 star rating $110 345
5 star rating $90 290
Portable electric heater N/A $330 1,585
Reverse-cycle air conditioner 2 star rating $120 570
5 star rating $70 335
Medium room 30m2
Gas heater 3 star rating $262 850
5 star rating $225 725
Electric panel, convection or fan heater N/A $810 3,880
Reverse-cycle air conditioner 2 star rating $265  1,280
5 star rating $170 820
Large area 60m2 Gas heater 3 star rating $525 1,690
5 star rating $450 1,445
Electric panel, convection or fan heater N/A $1,605 7,715
Reverse-cycle split system air conditioner (8kW) 2 star rating $510 2,445
5 star rating $340 1,625
Central heating
Small house 100m2 Gas ducted heating Not zoned 3 star rating $860 2,865
4 star rating $755 2,520
6 star rating $655 2,175
Zoned 3 star rating $855 2,845
4 star rating $750 2,500
6 star rating $650 2,160
Gas hydronic Not zoned Standard $785 2,535
High $655 2,110
Zoned Standard $780 2,515
High  $650 2,095
Ducted reverse-cycle air conditioner Not zoned 2 star rating $840 4,040
5 star rating $525 2,515
Zoned 2 star rating $835 4,015
5 star rating $520 2,500
Medium house 160m2 Gas ducted heating Not zoned 3 star rating $1,375 4,858
4 star rating $1,210 4,030
6 star rating $1,045 3,480
Zoned 3 star rating $1,370 4,555
4 star rating $1,205 4,000
6 star rating $1,040 3,445
Gas hydronic Not zoned Standard $1,255 4,050
High $1,045 3,375
Zoned Standard $1,245 4,025
High $1,040 3,355
Ducted reverse-cycle air conditioner
Not zoned 2 star rating $1,295 6.225
5 star rating $835 4,015
Zoned 2 star rating $1,285 6,190
5 star rating $830 3,990
Large house 220m2 Gas ducted heating Not zoned 3 star rating $1,895 6,300
4 star rating $1,665 5,535
6 star rating $1,440 4,785
Zoned 3 star rating $1,880 6,260
4 star rating $1,655 5,500
6 star rating $1,430 4,755
Gas hydronic Not zoned Standard $1,720 5,570
High $1,435 4,640
Zoned Standard $1,710 5,535
High $1,425 4,610
Ducted reverse-cycle air conditioner Not zoned 2 star rating $1,750 8,415
5 star rating $1,145 5,510
Zoned 2 star rating $1,740 8,365
5 star rating $1,140 5,475

* Approximate costs per year, based on an average (pre-2005) 2-star house in a Melbourne climate, heating all day on the weekend and in the morning and evening on weekdays. Based on electricity tariff of 27.5cents / kWh, and winter natural gas tariffs of 1.74 cents / MJ (gas ducted heating) and 2.05 cents / MJ (gas room heating). Actual costs for your house will depend on the area heated, how long you run the heating for, your thermostat settings, how well insulated the house is, your energy tariffs and your local climate. To estimate the running cost for a cold climate (for example, Ballarat) multiply these figures by 1.3 and for a warm climate (for example, Mildura) multiply these by 0.7. To estimate the running cost for a 5-star house simply mulitply these figures by 0.4, and for a 6-star house multiply these figures by 0.3.

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