Natural gas vs LPG: What should you get?

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Aside from electricity powering Aussie homes, gas can be a common source of power for many utilities. Whether it’s frying dinner on a stovetop or lunging into that well-earned bath after work, gas has a range of uses, and may even be a cost-effective alternative to relying solely on electricity. But which type of gas reigns supreme? We’re of course referring to the contest between natural gas and LPG.

What’s the difference between LPG and natural gas?

The main difference between natural gas and LPG is how they are supplied to a customer. Natural gas is distributed via the mains pipe that is connected to a home and used for cooking or heating water. Conversely, LPG is supplied in a cylinder or tank, and is then connected to a specific appliance, such as a barbeque or outdoor heater.

Is LPG Propane?

Yes, LPG consists mostly of propane – a type of gas produced as a by-product of refining or processing other fossil fuels. Otherwise known as ‘liquified petroleum gas’, LPG produces a slightly higher level of heat than natural gas, but will need to be replaced once the cylinder’s lifespan has come to end (i.e. run out of gas).

Is Natural Gas Methane?

Natural gas is composed of methane gas, an odourless and highly combustible gas sourced from onshore or offshore fuel deposits. Methane gas is lighter than air and dissipates at a much higher rate than LPG if leaking, which can be a safety benefit of natural gas.

But enough science, what are the selling points of Natural Gas and LPG?

Natural Gas Advantages

Here are the main advantages of natural gas:

  • Practical and reliable: A source of energy with a constant flow of supply directly to home
  • Cheaper running costs: Can be less expensive to run for gas cooking, hot water and heating
  • Less harsh on the environment: Emits slightly less carbon dioxide than LPG and other fossil fuels

Natural Gas Tip: Only use a licensed gas fitter to install appliances and keep all applications maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s warranty. Also, keep an eye on your gas meter or pipes for any damage that may disrupt gas supply.

LPG Advantages

Here are the biggest advantages of LPG:

  • Portability: Can be moved around, transported and stored if or when required
  • Higher heat: Burns at a higher temperature for greater cooking efficiency
  • Great for rural customers: Ideal for those who live in regional areas or without access to natural gas lines

LPG Tip: If you don’t know how much gas is left in your LPG cylinder, try pouring hot water down it. After a minute or two, place your hand on the cylinder and the area that’s cool to touch indicates its gas level.

Compare Natural Gas Plans

Gas Plans Compared in VIC

Here are some of the cheapest gas deals on our database for Victoria. These estimated annual costs are based on the Australian Gas Network in Melbourne with a daily gas usage of 80MJ, but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. We show one product per retailer, listed in order of lowest estimated cost. These are products from referral partners†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

Brand Features Price(estimated**)
Dodo Power & Gas Logo
Energy Fact Sheet

Residential Market

Conditional Discounts

  • 20% discount off gas usage charges for paying on time
OngoingBenefit Period $842
incl. conditional
discount
Go to Site
Momentum Energy Logo
Energy Fact Sheet

Self Serve

No Conditional Discounts

Other Features:

  • Online sign-up and direct debit payment required
OngoingBenefit Period $846

Go To Site
AGL Logo
Energy Fact Sheet

Essentials Saver

No Conditional Discounts

OngoingBenefit Period $848 Go to Site
Energy Australia Logo
Energy Fact Sheet

Total Plan

No Conditional Discounts

Other Features:

  • 27% guaranteed discount off gas usage and supply charges
  • Fixed rates for 12 months
12 Month
Benefit Period
$857 Go to Site
Origin Logo
Energy Fact Sheet

Max Saver

Conditional Discounts

  • 12% discount off gas usage and supply charges for paying by direct debit

Other Features:

  • Must sign up to direct debit & e-fulfilment
12 Month
Benefit Period
$865
incl. conditional
discount

 
Go To Site
Powershop Energy Logo
Energy Fact Sheet

Market Offer

Conditional Discounts

  • 5% discount off gas usage and supply charges for fulfilling e-communication requirements

Other Features:

  • Pre-payment required
OngoingBenefit Period $867
incl. conditional
discount
Go To Site

Gas Plans Compared in NSW

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 daily gas usage of 50MJ, 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.

Brand Features Price(estimated**)
AGL Logo
Basic Plan Information

Essentials Saver

Conditional Discounts

  • $75 credit off first bill for signing up online
12 Month
Benefit Period
$700
incl. conditional
discount
Go To Site
Alinta Energy Logo
Basic Plan Information

Home Deal

No Conditional Discounts

OngoingBenefit Period $732 Go To Site
Click Energy Logo
Basic Plan Information

Banksia Gas

No Conditional Discounts

OngoingBenefit Period $748

Go To Site
Simply Energy Logo
Basic Plan Information

Simply NRMA

No Conditional Discounts

Other Features:

  • Price includes a $50 sign-up credit
12 Month
Benefit Period
$749 Go To Site
Energy Aus Logo
Basic Plan Information

No Frills

No Conditional Discounts

Other Features:

  • Fixed rates for 12 months
12 Month
Benefit Period
$750

Go to Site
Origin Energy Logo
Basic Plan Information

Max Saver

No Conditional Discounts

Other Features:

  • 10% guaranteed discount off gas usage and supply charges
  • Must sign up to direct debit & e-fulfilment
12 Month
Benefit Period
$774 Go To Site

Gas Plans Compared in WA

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 daily gas usage of 24 (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.

Brand Features Price(estimated**)
AGL Logo

Set and Forget

Conditional Discounts

  • 48% discount off gas usage charges for paying by direct debit

Other Features:

  • 10,000 flybuys points for online sign-up
24 MonthBenefit Period $775
incl. conditional
discount
Go To Site
Simply Energy Logo

Simply Plus

Conditional Discounts

  • 40% discount off gas usage charges for paying on time
24 MonthBenefit Period $863
incl. conditional
discount
Go To Site
Origin Logo

Max Saver Usage

Conditional Discounts

  • 35% discount off gas usage charges for paying on time by direct debit

Other Features:

  • Must receive bills via email and sign up to e-communication
12 MonthBenefit Period $900
incl. conditional
discount
Go To Site
Origin Logo

Monthly Energiser

Conditional Discounts

  • 35% discount off gas usage charges

Other Features:

  • Direct debit payment required and email bills
24 Month
Benefit Period
$925
incl. conditional
discount
Alinta Energy Logo

Fair Go 35

No Conditional Discounts

Other Features:

  • 35% guaranteed discount off gas usage charges
12 MonthBenefit Period $971 Go To Site

Gas Plans Compared in SA

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 daily gas usage of 40MJ, 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.

Brand Features Price(estimated**)
AGL Logo
Basic Plan Information

Essentials Saver

Conditional Discounts

  • $25 credit for signing up online
12 Month
Benefit Period
$816
incl. conditional
discount
Go To Site
Alinta Energy Logo
Basic Plan Information

No Fuss

No Conditional Discounts

OngoingBenefit Period $817 Go To Site
Lumo Logo
Basic Plan Information

Basic

No Conditional Discounts

OngoingBenefit Period $841 Go To Site
Red Energy Logo
Basic Plan Information

Qantas Red Saver

No Conditional Discounts

Other Features:

  • 2 Qantas Points per $1 spent on energy when bills paid on time
OngoingBenefit Period $855 Go To Site
Origin Energy Logo
Basic Plan Information

Max Saver

No Conditional Discounts

Other Features:

  • 10% guaranteed discount off gas usage and supply charges
  • Must sign up to direct debit & e-fulfilment
12 Month
Benefit Period
$870 Go To Site
Energy Aus Logo
Basic Plan Information

No Frills

No Conditional Discounts

Other Features:

  • Fixed rates for 12 months
  • Must pay by direct debit
12 Month
Benefit Period
$928

Go to Site

Gas Plans Compared in QLD

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 daily gas usage of 25MJ, 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.

Brand Features Price(estimated**)
AGL Logo
Basic Plan Information

Essentials Plus

Conditional Discounts

  • $75 online sign-up credit

Other Features:

  • $40/year bill credit
24 Month
Benefit Period
$585
incl. conditional discount
Go To Site
Origin Energy Logo
Basic Plan Information

Max Saver

No Conditional Discounts

  • 3% guaranteed discount off gas usage and supply charges
12 Month
Benefit Period
$724 Go To Site
Red Energy Logo
Basic Plan Information

Qantas Red Saver

No Conditional Discounts

Other Features:

  • 2 Qantas Points per $1 spent on energy when bills paid on time
OngoingBenefit Period $727 Go To Site

Is LPG cheaper than natural gas?

Natural gas is generally cheaper per megajoule (MJ) than LPG. However, natural gas customers will need to pay a supply charge – a daily fee which varies between 60c and $1 for being connected to the mains gas network. LPG customers may have to pay a ‘service charge’ that covers the cost of renting gas cylinders, but this usually only costs about $35 to $45 a year.

The price customers pay for natural gas or LPG will also depend on how much gas their household consumes. For instance, a home with higher gas usage will be better suited to natural gas, whereas customers with low to moderate usage should consider LPG, regardless of whether a mains gas connection is available.

Take the above information as a general guide only and remember that gas suppliers will vary in price depending on where you live. Also, the price of natural gas and LPG can fluctuate in line with global market supply and exchange rates, meaning gas retailers can change rates at their discretion.

LPG Gas Suppliers

Here are five LPG suppliers in Australia:

  • Agas National
  • Kleenheat
  • Origin Energy
  • Elgas
  • Supagas

Keep in mind this list does not feature all LPG suppliers as there may be local companies servicing your area.

Natural Gas Suppliers

Here is a list of natural gas suppliers in Australia.

  • AGL
  • Alinta Energy
  • Amaysim Energy
  • Click Energy
  • CovaU
  • Dodo
  • EnergyAustralia
  • GloBird Energy
  • Kleenheat
  • Lumo Energy
  • Momentum Energy
  • Origin Energy
  • Perth Energy
  • Powershop
  • Red Energy
  • Simply Energy
  • Sumo

Please note that suppliers may not retail gas in all areas and some may only sell gas when purchased with electricity.

Which is better: LPG or natural gas?

If price is what will ultimately sway your decision, then both LPG and natural gas can be affordable options. However, this will depend on a number of key factors, such as your location, gas suppliers available in your area, household gas usage and the current base rates of gas plans. There may even be greater deals or savings on offer if bundled with electricity.

The daily supply charge of natural gas will be the difference in price between LPG. That being said, if gas is used on a regular basis, natural gas could be a more reliable option as opposed to constantly replacing LPG cylinders.

Image credits: David Papazian/Shutterstock.com, lucio pepi/Shutterstock.com, ubonwanu/Shutterstock.com, RomanR/Shutterstock.com, K. Geijer/Shutterstock.com

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