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Cost of hot water systems

Which hot water system is right for you?

Your budget will have a big influence on the type hot water system you choose to replace an old unit or install when building your home.

Whether you're upgrading an old hot water system or installing a new setup deciding which system to go with can be daunting. Despite the difficulty don't be tempted to just throw in the same model you had before, you could be missing out on significant energy savings. The choice should not be made without examining all possibilities as you're likely to be stuck with your decision for a long time.

Anyone who has lived in a home where the hot water system (HWS) doesn't cope with the demand knows that the wrong HWS can mean a bothersome daily argument around who used all the hot water.

Fortunately (or unfortunately) there is an abundance of options to choose from.

One of the first points to consider is your power source choices include, gas, electricity, solar, or heat pump. To help narrow down the alternatives there are several points you will need to consider.

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Compare the cost of hot water systems

Cost of a gas hot water system

Many residents of Sydney have access to natural gas however if this is not available to your home LPG is still an option and can be cheaper than electricity. Installing an LPG gas hot water heater requires arranging for periodic gas bottle replacements.

A definite advantage of using gas is the price constant throughout the day so you don't need to worry about peak tariffs or running out of water from off-peak connections.

Gas hot water systems are divided into storage and instant styles, and then further into natural gas or LPG. The cost variation between natural gas and LPG at purchase is minimal, however, the running costs for LPG powered hot water systems are often higher.

  • Average price of a gas storage hot water system - $800 to $1500^
  • Average price of a gas instant hot water system - $450 to $220^

Cost of electric hot water system

Electric storage hot water systems are probably the most low-cost option to buy, however, they can be the most expensive to run depending on your household needs. Electricity is readily available in most homes which usually means a straight forward swap over if you already have an electric system.

Often electric HWS units have the option of being connected to an off-peak tariff to reduce power costs, however, make sure the tank is large enough to provide hot water for the whole day to avoid running short and that off-peak electricity is available to your home.

Electric storage units range from compact 10L under kitchen bench models suitable for a single tap to large family, multiple bathroom 400L units.

  • Average price of an electric hot water system - $200 to $1500^
Hot Water System Comparison

Typical cost of solar hot water system

Unless you live in a cave underground (or in an apartment) solar is probably available to you, Australia is lucky to have an abundance of sunshine, even during the winter, which makes solar a popular eco-friendly choice. Modern solar HWS are effective even during cold weather and on overcast days.

The effectiveness of a solar hot water system in your home will depend on the direction your roof faces (north facing is ideal but not essential), the shading it receives through the day from other buildings and trees, as well as the amount of usable roof space your home has.

Solar hot water heaters are fitted with a booster system for cloudy days which is usually gas or electricity powered.

STC rebates* can reduce the purchase cost of a solar hot water unit, check with the place of purchase for the individual rebate available.

  • Average cost of a solar hot water system - $2000 to $7000^

Price of a heat pump water heater

Heat pump hot water systems are fairly new to the Australian market and have been getting mixed reviews here, however, other countries, even those with very cold climates, have used them to great effect. Ensure the model you purchase is designed to work well in the cooler conditions of Sydney.

Heat pump systems work by extracting warmth from the surrounding air or the ground to heat the water. They use electricity to do this, much like a refrigerator but are around three times more efficient than a traditional electric HWS, meaning big savings on running costs. Just like solar HWS, they're fitted with a booster for very cold days.

This style is a great renewable energy option for homes without suitable roof space for a solar hot water unit.

  • Average cost of a heat pump water heater - $2000 to $5200^

Hopefully, this information will set you in the right direction when choosing which hot water system is right for your budget and is most suitable for your home. If you are unsure of which system is right for your home or what your options are, speak to your local plumber for specific advice for your home.

*as at the time of publishing.

^hot water system cost averages sourced from a review of major Australian hot water retailers. Prices correct at the time of publishing and should be used as a guide only.

Need more help with your hot water system choices? Contact our experienced hot water team at 9191 7374 or book in our online hot water request form today.

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