Calculate heating costs

Last updated: 18 February 2021

This page provides approximate annual running costs and greenhouse gas emissions for a range of types and sizes of heating options.

These should be used as a guide only. Actual energy costs will depend on:

  • the area being heated
  • how well insulated your house is
  • your thermostat settings
  • the amount of time the heating is run
  • your local climate
  • your energy tariffs.

The calculations are based on an average 2-star house in a Melbourne climate.

To estimate the running cost for a cold climate, such as Ballarat, multiply these figures by 1.3. For a warm climate, such as Mildura, multiply these figures by 0.7.

To estimate the running cost for a 5-star house in a Melbourne climate multiply these figures by 0.4. For a 6-Star house multiply these figures by 0.3.

The calculations for slow combustion wood heaters only include greenhouse gas emissions. Wood heaters can also produce smoke pollution.

Read EPA’s advice on reducing wood smoke pollution.

Central heating

Small house 100m²

Heater type Energy star rating Annual energy cost Annual emissions (kg/year)
Gas ducted 3 star $835 2810
4 star $735 2470
6 star $635 2135
Gas hydronic European C rating (84%) $675 2250
European A rating (92%) $620 2055
Electric ducted reverse-cycle 2 star $840 3415
4 star $585 2380
Electric multi-split reverse-cycle 2 star $730 2965
3.5 star $580 2355
Electric in-slab No ratings $1955 11,185
Slow combustion wood heater Standard $760 200

Medium house 160m²

Heater type Energy star rating Annual energy cost Annual emissions (kg/year)
Gas ducted 3 star $1250 4500
4 star $1095 3955
6 star $950 3415
Gas hydronic European C rating (84%) $1005 3595
European A rating (92%) $920 3285
Electric ducted reverse-cycle 2 star $1295 5270
4 star $990 4030
Electric multi-split reverse-cycle 2 star $1140 4640
3.5 star $915 3720
Electric in-slab No ratings $3120 17,865
Slow combustion wood heater Standard $1215 320

Large house 220m²

Heater type Energy star rating Annual energy cost Annual emissions (kg/year)
Gas ducted 3 star $1645 6185
4 star $1445 5435
6 star $1250 4695
Gas hydronic European C rating (84%) $1325 4945
European A rating (92%) $1210 4515
Electric ducted reverse-cycle 2 star $1750 7120
4 star $1360 5535
Electric multi-split reverse-cycle 2 star $1555 6315
3.5 star $1250 5080
Electric in-slab No ratings $4280 24,515
Slow combustion wood heater Standard $1670 440

Room heating

Small room 12m²

Heater type Energy star rating Annual energy cost Annual emissions (kg/year)
Gas room heater 3 star (natural gas) $125 345
5 star (natural gas) $105 290
3 star (LPG) $265 395
5 star (LPG) $225 335
Electric room reverse-cycle 2 star $120 485
5 star $70 285
Electric portable heater No ratings $330 1340
Electric fixed heater No ratings $330 1340

Medium room 30m²

Heater type Energy star rating Annual energy cost Annual emissions (kg/year)
Gas room heater 3 star (natural gas) $295 845
5 star (natural gas) $250 720
3 star (LPG) $655 970
5 star (LPG) $560 830
Electric room reverse-cycle 2 star $270 1080
5 star $170 695
Electric portable heater No ratings $810 3285
Electric fixed heater No ratings $810 3285

Large room 60m²

Heater type Energy star rating Annual energy cost Annual emissions (kg/year)
Gas room heater 3 star (natural gas) $530 1,680
5 star (natural gas) $455 1,440
3 star (LPG) $1,305 1,935
5 star (LPG) $1,115 1,655
Electric room reverse-cycle 2 star $555 2,245
5 star $380 1,535
Electric portable heater No ratings $1,605 6,525
Electric fixed heater No ratings $1,605 6,525
Slow combustion wood heater Standard $545 145