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Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) is delivered to thousands of Aussie homes and businesses right across our great southern land, providing a convenient fuel for cooking, heating and hot water heating. But the convenience of having LPG delivered to your home can come at a cost – and lots of the households that we surveyed are not convinced they’re getting good value for their money. That’s why we’ve produced our fifth review of LPG suppliers, to help you make a better-informed purchase decision. Not all of the providers compared here are available in all areas, but if this review gives you just one extra supplier to pick from, we’ll consider that worth it.
More than 1,200 bill-paying adults from across Australia have given us their feedback, with suppliers rated on factors including their customer service, delivery service and value for money. If you’re not getting five-star service and value from your LPG supplier, it might be time to try a new one.
Keep in mind though that, while our ratings include four of the most prominent LPG suppliers in Australia, you may find others operating in your area.
Canstar Blue surveyed 1,284 Australian households for their feedback on their LPG supplier. Respondents had to live in a house that uses bottled gas and pay the bills for their response to be eligible.
Respondents rate their satisfaction with their LPG supplier from zero to ten, where zero is extremely dissatisfied and ten is extremely satisfied. Provider satisfaction was rated by respondents on the following criteria:
The winning brand is the one that receives the highest Overall satisfaction rating once all the scores from the Overall satisfaction criteria are combined and averaged.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included, so not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The brands rated in this survey are listed below in order of best overall satisfaction.
Supagas proved a clear winner for a third year straight – not just for overall satisfaction, but also when it comes to value for money. It was four stars overall for Elgas, while Kleenheat and Origin Energy settled for three stars.
Find more detailed information on our ratings methodology.
Supagas smoked the competition once again, taking out five stars across all research categories, including overall satisfaction, value for money, customer service, delivery service, bill and cost clarity and ease of sign-up/purchase.
Supagas claims to be one of the most successful LPG and industrial gas companies in Australia, with a history dating back to 1968. The company has a strong focus on safety, for its customers, employees and the wider community. It provides LPG in a wide range of bottle sizes for different requirements, as well as gas cages which can be used for the storage of 15kg and 45kg cylinders, to be rented on a monthly basis or purchased outright. Customers can wait for home delivery or visit their nearest Supagas location to swap their empty cylinders for a new or reconditioned full cylinder. In fact, its ‘Supaswap’ service is available at service stations and convenience stores across metropolitan cities and surrounding areas. In addition to LPG, Supagas also sells and rents outdoor heaters.
Elgas was rated second overall, scoring four-star reviews across almost all research categories aside from bill and cost clarity, where it achieved a notable five stars.
Elgas is another major player in the residential LPG market. It claims to offer competitive rates, no lock-in contracts and no residential establishment fees. Elgas also boasts a range of helpful products and services, including 24/7 call centre support. Elgas says it has a strong ethos towards safety, and has a global reputation for reliability. It has gas depots throughout the country, so it is available to most Australians. For those who travel to their local depot for LPG refills, Elgas provides a long list of locations plus other helpful details on its website, including log-in facilities for customers to manage their account and pay bills, as well as check out the latest promotions.
Kleenheat earned three stars for overall satisfaction and value for money in this year’s ratings. It did, however, notch up to four stars for its customer service, bill and cost clarity, delivery service, and ease of sign-up/purchase.
Kleenheat is one of the major natural gas retailers in Perth, and is also a prominent LPG supplier in Western Australia and the Northern Territory, from Broome to Albany, Perth to Kalgoorlie and Darwin to Alice Springs. Kleenheat claims 60 years of local experience and that it delivers to more places, more often. The retailer’s website appears to be a helpful tool in organising cylinder collections, with 24/7 ordering also available. The website also provides a helpful searching tool for customers to identify their nearest dealer. When it comes to the LPG market, Kleenheat offers a discount for customers who place their first order. It also appears to provide no service charge to new LPG customers for 12 months but you’ll need to check its website for details.
Origin achieved three stars for overall satisfaction, customer service, delivery service and ease of sign-up/purchase. As for its value for money and bill and cost clarity, it managed to snag four stars.
Origin is one of Australia’s largest suppliers of residential and commercial LPG, in addition to being one of the country’s most prominent electricity, natural gas and solar retailers. When it comes to Origin LPG, the company promotes its ‘set and forget’ deal where customers don’t have to worry about ordering, as it tops them up. On top of its special deals, Origin promises competitive rates, reliable delivery and dedicated phone support. If you’re conscious about your impact on the environment, then you may also be interested in Origin’s ‘Green LPG’, whereby customers can pay an extra $3 per tank to have Origin offset their LPG emissions.
Kelseigh Wrigley cover’s Australia’s retail energy market, growing her industry specific expertise over the last 2 years. She holds a Bachelor of Journalism at the Queensland University of Technology and has contributed her skills to online publications Hunter & Bligh and local radio station 4ZZZ.Meet the Editorial Team
Samantha Howse is Canstar Blue’s Consumer Research Specialist, coordinating the consumer research program behind our customer satisfaction awards across Canstar and Canstar Blue in Australia and New Zealand. Sam has earned a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) from Griffith University and, with seven years in market research and 2 years in marketing, she is experienced in survey design, implementation and analysis, coupled with an understanding of marketing principles and best practice.Meet the Research Team
LPG is available in most areas across Australia. While many LPG suppliers will only operate locally, a couple of the larger companies – namely Origin and Elgas – deliver LPG to most parts of the country. But keep in mind that the further your supplier needs to travel, the more you will pay for LPG delivery.
LPG and natural gas are used for similar purposes, but there are some key differences. LPG is delivered in canisters or tanks and customers must order a refill or replacement tank every now and again. Natural gas or ‘mains gas’ however, is delivered straight to homes or businesses via a large distribution network of pipelines.
Natural gas services are similar to electricity, whereby customers have on-demand access to the gas they need and simply pay for whatever is used at the end of the billing period. Not all Aussie households have a mains gas connection, however. If you’re one of these people, then you may be able to organise a mains gas connection, though keep in mind that this can be quite expensive, so it could be more affordable just to use LPG instead.
Another point is that natural gas is comprised mostly of methane, while LPG is predominantly butane and propane, which burns hotter and cleaner than natural gas. This means LPG is the gas of choice for lots of restaurants, cafes and other businesses.
Natural gas is generally cheaper per megajoule (MJ) than LPG, but natural gas customers must pay an additional ‘supply charge’ – a fee of about 60 to 90 cents for each day you’re connected to the mains gas network. This charge applies regardless of whether you actually use any gas or not.
LPG customers may also have to pay a ‘Gas Service Charge’, which is practically a rental charge for the gas cylinders, of about $35 to $45 a year, however this works out much less than you would pay in natural gas supply charges over 12 months.
For this reason, natural gas is recommended for customers with high gas usage, such that their usage rate savings negate the additional supply charges. Households with moderate or low gas usage would possibly be better off with LPG, even if a mains gas connection is available. This all, of course, depends on a variety of variables, including the price of LPG at the time and what natural gas deals are available in your area.
Elgas says that, as a general rule, a small household will break even if it uses LPG for hot water and cooking. Any more, and natural gas is likely to be cheapest. Any less, and LPG will probably be the cheapest option.
You’re free to switch to LPG from natural gas (or vice versa) at any time, provided that you have access to the mains gas network. With that said, it’s important to be mindful of a few things:
The price you pay for LPG will likely fluctuate from time to time, depending on the global market supply and exchange rates (just like with electricity and natural gas). The international gas price benchmarks often change each month, requiring LPG distributors to reevaluate their gas prices on a regular basis. The price you pay will also depend on your location and the distance the supplier must travel to deliver LPG to your home (if you have it delivered).
When it comes to LPG refills, most suppliers will send someone out to swap over your empty (or near empty) gas cylinder with a full one whenever you let them know you’re running low. However, some of the larger providers, such as Elgas, may send out an LPG truck to top up your gas supply periodically, thus eliminating the need for you to repeatedly contact your gas company.
LPG is safe, provided it’s used appropriately as per the instructions. You should not tamper with the safety valve or other cylinder fittings, and you should leave any modifications or maintenance work to qualified gasfitters. Also, check for a gas appliance certification label on any gas appliances to ensure it is approved for LPG use. If you attempt to use a gas appliance, and it fails to light, give it a few minutes to air out the gas before attempting it again. If you notice a gas leak, then turn off the cylinder at the valve and contact your supplier.
While Origin, Elgas and Supagas operate nationally, most LPG suppliers only service particular areas, so location is going to be a major factor in picking where you get your bottled gas from. That said, if you do have more than one or two options where you live, it makes sense to look for a supplier that makes the ordering and delivery process as convenient as possible. As mentioned in this report, some suppliers have helpful and easy-to-use websites, while others are rather lacking in this space. But ultimately, your satisfaction will likely be determined by the price you pay and the customer service you receive – not just online, but on the phone and from the fella who drives to your home and replaces your empty cylinders!
Our survey found that just 38% of customers believe they get a good deal on LPG, while only a little over one in ten (13%) have switched suppliers in the last two years. This number may be so low because many households won’t have options to switch, but for those who do, it’s time to shop around.
Here are the previous winners of Canstar Blue’s LPG Suppliers – National Customer Satisfaction Award:
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