Calculate heating running costs

Last updated: 6 September 2022
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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 1.5. For a warm climate, such as Mildura, multiply these figures by 0.8.

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.

Please note:

  • Figures last updated in August 2022.
  • The star ratings for the reverse-cycle air conditioners are based on the new (post April 2020) zoned energy rating labels.

Annual energy costs of central heating 2022 graph

Central heating – small house 100m²

Heater type Energy star rating Annual energy cost 10-year GHG emissions (tonnes)
Multi-split reverse-cycle air conditioner 1.5 star $602 15.2
2.5 star $451 11.4
Ducted reverse-cycle air conditioner (unzoned) 1 star $902 22.8
2 star $645 16.3
Gas ducted (unzoned) 3 star $1, 329 30.1
4 star $1,191 27.0
6 star $1,048 23.8
Gas hydronic (unzoned) European C rating (84%) $952 21.5
European A rating (92%) $869 19.6
Electric in-slab (unzoned) No ratings $1,631 56.9
Slow combustion wood heater (with heat shifter) 60% $1,170 4.9

Central heating – medium house 160m²

Heater type Energy star rating Annual energy cost 10-year GHG emissions (tonnes)
Multi-split reverse-cycle air conditioner 1.5 star $963 24.3
2.5 star $722 18.2
Ducted reverse-cycle air conditioner (unzoned) 1 star $1,444 36.4
2 star $1,308 31.4
Gas ducted (unzoned) 3 star $2,004 48.1
4 star $1, 797 43.2
6 star $1,584 38.1
Gas hydronic (unzoned) European C rating (84%) $1,433 34.3
European A rating (92%) $1,308 31.4
Electric in-slab (unzoned) No ratings $2,609 91.1
Slow combustion wood heater (with heat shifter) 60% $1,838 7.8

Central heating – large house 220m²

Heater type Energy star rating Annual energy cost 10-year GHG emissions (tonnes)
Multi-split reverse-cycle air conditioner 1.5 star $1,324 33.4
2.5 star $993 25.1
Ducted reverse-cycle air conditioner (unzoned) 1 star $1,985 50.1
2 star $1,418 35.8
Gas ducted (unzoned) 3 star $2,633 66.2
4 star $2,362 59.4
6 star $2,084 52.4
Gas hydronic (unzoned) European C rating (84%) $1,879 47.2
European A rating (92%) $1,716 43.1
Electric in-slab (unzoned) No ratings $3,587 125.3
Slow combustion wood heater (with heat shifter) 60% $2,574 10.7

Room heating – small room 12m²

Heater type Energy star rating Annual energy cost 10-year GHG emissions (tonnes)
Reverse-cycle air conditioner 2 star $77 1.9
3.5 star $54 1.4
Electric panel, convection or fan heater N/A $269 6.8
Gas heater (natural gas) 3 star $187 3.3
4.5 star $167 3.0
Gas heater (LPG) 3 star $323 3.8
4.5 star $287 3.4

Room heating – medium room 30m²

Heater type Energy star rating Annual energy cost 10-year GHG emissions (tonnes)
Reverse-cycle air conditioner 2 star $192 4.9
3.5 star $150 3.8
Electric panel, convection or fan heater N/A $673 17.0
Gas heater (natural gas) 3 star $442 8.3
4.5 star $393 7.4
Gas heater (LPG) 3 star $807 9.5
4.5 star $719 8.5

Room heating – large room 60m²

Heater type Energy star rating Annual energy cost 10-year GHG emissions (tonnes)
Reverse-cycle air conditioner 1.5 star $449 11.3
2.5 star $337 8.5
Electric panel, convection or fan heater N/A $1,346 34.0
Gas heater (natural gas) 3 star $802 16.6
4.5 star $714 14.8
Gas heater (LPG) 3 star $1,614 19.1
4.5 star $1,437 17.0
Slow combustion wood heater 60% $653 1.8

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