What is the average gas bill?

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Even the tightest household budget is no match for an unexpected gas bill. Unfortunately, gas bills are just one more expense many Aussies don’t see coming, which can lead to bill-payers questioning the amount due. And while it may feel natural to query a bill, chances are it’s accurate.

In this guide, we crank up the heat on average gas bills across Australia so you can compare them against your costs. We’ll give you an elaborate breakdown from most states, plus highlight average gas bills per household size and age group. So, if your home just wouldn’t feel like a home without gas cooking or heating, and you’re eager to see what your neighbours are paying, then look no further.

Average Gas Bill in Australia

A Canstar Blue survey conducted in January 2020 found the average quarterly gas bill to be $241. The highest average gas bills were recorded in the nation’s capital at $303, while those in Western Australia reported the lowest average at $152. Across the country, 92% of survey respondents believe they get a good a deal on gas, while more than half of households who recently switched gas suppliers (57%) said it was a good financial decision.

Average gas bills across the states

The following table shows average quarterly gas bills across Australia, based on a Canstar Blue survey of more than 2,700 households. The costs reported include households of all sizes.

State/Territory Average Quarterly Gas Bill
Western Australia $152
Queensland $204
New South Wales $226
South Australia $237
Victoria $299
Australian Capital Territory $303

Source: Canstar Blue research, January 2020.

As you can see above, the ACT reported the highest average natural gas bills, followed by Victoria and South Australia. Households in Western Australia had the cheapest quarterly bills, with Queensland and New South Wales trailing a bit behind. Keep reading for a thorough analysis of average gas bills across each state and territory.

Average Gas Bills in NSW

In New South Wales, we found the average quarterly gas bill to be $226. One in four NSW bill-payers shopped around and compared plans on price using comparison websites, and more than half (54%) said it proved to be a good financial decision to switch. Customers aged 30 to 39 years old reported the highest average gas bills at $252, while those aged 70 years or over had the lowest at $178.

Here are some of the cheapest gas deals on our database for NSW. These estimated annual costs are based on the Jemena Gas Network in Sydney and yearly gas usage of 18,542MJ, but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. We show one product per retailer, listed in order of lowest estimated cost. This table includes products from referral partners†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

Average Gas Bills in VIC

Victorian households reported their average gas bills to be $299 per quarter. Almost a third of Victorians shopped around and compared plans on price using comparison websites, with 55% stating it was a good financial decision to switch. 18 to 29-year-old customers had the highest average gas bills at $351.

Here are some of the cheapest gas deals on our database for VIC. These estimated annual costs are based on the Australian Gas Network in Melbourne and yearly gas usage of 29,830MJ, but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. We show one product per retailer, listed in order of lowest estimated cost. This table includes products from referral partners†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

Average Gas Bills in QLD

We found customers in Queensland had average quarterly gas bills of $204. 28% of Queenslanders shopped around for a better deal using comparison sites, while 46% of bill-payers said it proved to be a good financial decision to switch gas suppliers.

Here are some of the cheapest gas deals on our database for QLD. These estimated annual costs are based on the Australian Gas Network in Brisbane and yearly gas usage of 6,842MJ, but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. We show one product per retailer, listed in order of lowest estimated cost. This table includes products from referral partners†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

Average Gas Bills in SA

South Australian bill-payers were found to have an average quarterly gas bill of $237, with those aged 70 or over paying the least at $205. One in five survey respondents said they shopped around and compared plans on price using comparison websites, while 18% of SA households chose a brand they recognised.

Here are some of the cheapest gas deals on our database for SA. These estimated annual costs are based on the Australian Gas Network in Adelaide and yearly gas usage of 11,875MJ, but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. We show one product per retailer, listed in order of lowest estimated cost. This table includes products from referral partners†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

Average Gas Bills in WA

Bill-payers in Western Australia pay an average of $152 on natural gas per quarter, which is the lowest across the nation. Our survey also found that 73% of WA households were happy with their decision to switch gas suppliers, despite only 21% shopping around for a better deal using price comparison sites.

Here are some of the cheapest gas deals on our database for WA. These estimated annual costs are based on the ATCO Network in Perth and yearly gas usage of 7,672 (units), but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. We show one product per retailer, listed in order of lowest estimated cost. This table includes products from referral partners†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

Average Gas Bills by Household Size

In the table below, we look at how much households are paying for gas based on the number of occupants.

Household Size Average Quarterly Gas Bill
1 $220
2 $225
3 $258
4 $301
5 $307
More than 5 $248

Source: Canstar Blue research, January 2020.

It’s pretty evident that the more occupants in a home, the higher gas expenses are likely to be. That being said, a household of more than five recorded an average quarterly gas bill of $248, lower than some smaller household sizes, which could mean that larger households are using enough gas to pay cheaper block rates. Block rate energy tariffs charge customers different rates once they exceed a certain ‘block’. For example, the first 27 megajoules (MJ) per day may be charged at 3.5 cents per MJ, while the next 20 MJ per day could be charged at 3 cents per MJ.

Average Gas Bills by Age Group

Here are the average gas bills reported across Australia by age group of the survey respondent.

Age Group Average Quarterly Gas Bill
18 to 29 years $296
30 to 39 years $258
40 to 49 years $231
50 to 59 years $245
60 to 69 years $235
70 years and over $202

Source: Canstar Blue research, January 2020.

For the most part, there’s a trend of gas bills decreasing the older the customer is. This may be the result of customers being eligible for certain energy rebates or concessions, or it could be down to gas consumption habits between age groups, or simply that most Aussies aged 60 and over have already kicked the kids out.

Gas Bill Frequency

In our survey, 56% of customers said they receive gas bills every quarter, while 25% of households receive theirs bi-monthly, and 15% monthly. Some gas suppliers will have multiple billing options, while others require a specific billing cycle, which is why it’s best to check the fine print before signing up to a deal.

What impacts average gas bills?

Gas meter with coins in front

Natural gas is fairly similar to electricity in that there are many factors that contribute to your overall costs. Before choosing a gas plan, it’s important to think about which features are most important to you. Here’s what you should consider:

  • Usage charges: Some gas suppliers have set rates for all gas usage, while others charge gas usage in ‘blocks’, meaning prices will change depending on how much gas your household consumes.
  • Supply charges: Gas supply charges are the underlying costs of supplying gas to your home – via the gas mains network. Supply charges are generally the fixed price component of a gas bill.
  • Hidden fees: Some gas suppliers may tuck fees away in the fine print, such as a connection fee, credit card surcharge, late payment fee, or a paper billing charge. This is why reading every detail of a gas plan is important.
  • Customer service: Is the level of service you receive from your gas supplier really up to scratch? Whether it’s having longer call centre hours, or an easy sign-up process, customer service is worth thinking about.
  • Location: Geography plays a major part in the price of natural gas. Customers should consider the difference in supply and running costs, especially if you live in a regional area or have lower gas usage needs.
  • Incentives: Whether it’s discounts or a rewards program, incentives are a great way for providers to compete for your business. It might even be a larger discount for bundling utilities with the same provider.

Can I get a better-than-average gas deal?

This will ultimately come down to your personal circumstances, but to cut a long story short, gas prices can change quite frequently, meaning there are always new deals popping up. Here are the cheapest published gas prices on our database at the time of publication, based on a specific set of usage assumptions in each area.

State Cheapest Quarterly Gas Bill
Victoria $199
New South Wales $172
South Australia $178
Queensland $133

Source: Canstar Blue gas comparison database, June 2020. Costs are quarterly estimates only and based on specific gas usage rates across certain distribution zones. Postcodes used for example, 3000, 2000, 6000, 5000, 4000.

How do your gas bills stack up? If you’re paying more than the figures listed above for your state, you could probably find a better deal by shopping around. As a general rule of thumb, you should compare gas prices at least every six months to ensure you’re still getting a fair deal.

Want to be better than average?

If you’re still reading this page, then you’re probably not convinced you’re paying the cheapest gas prices you could – and that’s okay. At least now you’re making a conscious effort to dial back some of your energy costs. By now you should understand that being complacent with an average gas bill will usually mean you’re not on the most competitive plan. To get a better-than-average gas deal, you’ll need to keep an eye on gas prices and be willing to switch if a better deal comes your way.

Image credits: Yevhen Prozhyrko/Shutterstock.com

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