Tips & Advice

How To Calculate The Cost Of A Hot Water System | Curran Plumbing

Avoid being scalded by surprisingly high hot-water bills. 

Review the charges for different types of hot water systems then monitor your household usage so you can calculate better ways to reduce your bills.

While both homeowners and renters can ease the budget by calculating running costs and adjusting hot water consumption, home-owners can make big savings by selecting a cost-effective water heating system.

Project the costs of installing and running different hot water systems before a new-build, major renovation or energy system upgrade. A good decision can save you a lot of money over the next decade and also benefit the environment. It may involve looking beyond high installation costs, forecasting future annual usage and factoring in rebates for the full picture of what a particular system would cost your household.

Following is a guide to the key types and charges for water heating systems in Australia.

Which hot water system do I need?

Size

The appropriate size of hot water system may depend on: 

  • Its position in your home – Consider the challenges of: allocating room space for indoor systems, especially large tank models; positioning bulky outdoor systems, such as gas and heat pumps; and keeping noisy systems, such as heat pumps, away from sleeping quarters and neighbouring homes. 
  • Additional reno costs – Remodelling rooms just to fit in your water heater will increase your outlay. 
  • It’s capacity and running costs A large tank will provide a big household with hot water for longer, but have higher running costs than a tankless system. 

Type – Electric, Gas, Solar, Heat Pump

Your home’s location may limit options for the type of system you choose. Natural gas may not be available in the area. A cooler climate could make heat pumps less effective. Your property’s position and climate may not suit solar panels.  

Also find out the local government restrictions. Some councils, aiming to encourage energy-efficient systems, will restrict local new-builds from installing certain water heating systems. In some parts of Australian new residential gas connections are being phased out and gas heating appliances are banned in new developments. 

Check out our page on electric, gas, solar and heat pump systems. Following are some of the key cost implications for each system. 

Types of Hot Water System – Cost of Hot Water System 
Types of Hot Water System – Cost of Hot Water System
  • Electricity – Installation is cheaper but running costs are generally high. An off-peak electricity system, where available, costs less but requires a larger water tank and working around certain times. 
  • Gas – Natural gas running costs are becoming more expensive. However, rates don’t vary throughout the day; LPG gas running costs are higher than natural gas.
  • Solar Installation is expensive but solar is much cheaper to run, and costs can be further offset by government incentive programs and feeding excess energy back to the grid.  
  • Heat pump – Installation is expensive but heat pump running costs are moderate and could be further offset by government incentive programs.

Brand

The best brands to consider are well-known ones that have quality products and will be around to service warrantees if required.  

Poor quality products affect cost-effectiveness over time especially with components requiring early replacement such as sacrificial anodes and corroding mild-steel tanks.  

Leading brands in water heating include Rinnai, AquaMax, Rheem, Solahart, Vulcan, Dux and Bosch. Plumbing companies like Curran Plumbing can access high quality products from known brands and offer you a good deal. 

If you prioritise goods that are locally made and available, check which brands are certified to offer the ‘Australian made’ logo. 

Hot Water System Installation Cost – Cost of Hot Water System
Hot Water System Installation Cost – Cost of Hot Water System

Delivery cost and accessibility 

You will need to factor in the cost of delivering the water heating system components to your home, before the installation begins. Most water heating systems – especially the tanks – are too bulky and heavy for homeowners to transport without assistance. Delivery costs will be based on the size and weight of equipment, combined with the total travel distance. Extra fees may apply for delivery to hard-to-access properties, like multi-storey buildings without lifts, as access impacts the people and equipment required for handling, and increases delivery times. 

Hot water installation costs

Hot Water System Installation Cost - Cost of Hot Water System

The installation costs should be itemised in your professional plumber’s quote. Homeowners should only use certified plumbers – and DIY is definitely not an option for water heating installations. 

When calculating installation charges for any replacement hot water system, a key factor is whether you are replacing it with a different type, which increases the complexity of the task. Replacing a water heater with a new one of the same type is the simpler task. Replacing it with a different type of system is a more complex job that may require other kinds of pipes and fittings, even new power cables or gas lines that may involve extra tradespeople. To relocate your water heater to a different part of the house will cost more. 

A solar system requires the installation of a storage tank and solar collector panels. It is a costly process that takes longer as the installer will need to inspect the site to plan the installation.

Cost to dispose of old system 

Cost to Dispose of Old System – Cost of Hot Water System
Cost to Dispose of Old System – Cost of Hot Water System

One of the more significant ‘forgotten fees’ is the charge to remove the old hot water system during its replacement. 

Regulations applying to disposal will trigger expenses for the disposer to pass on, so check whether a disposal service is included in the quote. 

Factors like distance and difficult access might make disposal more expensive. 

Government schemes, rebates and feed-in tariffs

Government Rebates for Hot Water Systems – Cost of Hot Water System
Government Rebates for Hot Water Systems – Cost of Hot Water System

Government incentive programs and rebates encourage renewable energy solutions such as solar water heaters and air source heat pumps. Do the research on eligible systems and calculate the advantages – it could lead to savings of as much as $1200.  

Currently the federal government incentivises new solar or heat pump systems through Small-Scale Technology Certificates (STC). For example, if the high rate of $40 per STC applies, an average qualifying 30 STC system is worth a $1200 subsidy. Typically, you would ‘sell’ your STC to the hot water system supplier, who would ‘pay’ you with a $1200 discount on the solar or heat pump system you are buying. You can also trade the STCs yourself. 

There are state-based government incentives that make solar battery installation a more economical option. Your local council can help provide details on how to qualify. 

A solar feed-in tariff may also be available for every kilowatt hour of electricity you export back to the grid. Your home uses the electricity produced by your solar panels first then any excess is transported to the grid. The excess is bought from you according to rates set by your electricity retailer or the government. 

Hot water system running costs

Over the life of a long-lasting hot water system, the running costs become more significant than the initial outlay on installation.  

The following table provides a quick snapshot of the average annual running costs for different hot water systems.It is based on Victorian government data (August 2023) for a three person household using 120 litres of hot water per day. 

Table: Water heater annual running costs [Source: https://www.sustainability.vic.gov.au/energy-efficiency-and-reducing-emissions/save-energy-in-the-home/water-heating/calculate-water-heating-running-costs]

Hot Water System Running Cost – Cost of Hot Water System
Hot Water System Running Cost – Cost of Hot Water System
Water Heater Type Average Annual Running Costs
Electric
– Peak tariff tank
– Peak tariff tankless
– Off-peak tariff tank
$760–$915 
$915 
$860 
$760
Gas
– Natural gas tank
– Natural gas tankless
– LPG tank
– LPG tankless
$360–$940 
$495–$555 
$360–$400 
$840–$940 
$580–$645
Solar
– Natural gas boosted
– LPG boosted
– Electric boosted peak tariff
– Electric boosted off-peak tariff
$135–$365 
$135–$165 
$185–$235 
$260–$365 
$220–$315
Heat Pump
– Peak tariff
– Off-peak tariff
$180–$300 
$235–$300 
$180–$230

Get the right advice

There are many options you can consider when replacing your hot water system.  

Get in touch with us today for the right advice to ensure you are not spending too much on your water bills.

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Julia Blom
February 26, 2024
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Very good service. The plumber was polite and gave a good explanation of what the problem was with the blocked drain. I was very suprised with the low price. He got us out of a problem so we can continue to use our sink and dishwasher.
Jennifer Fraser
February 20, 2024
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Jake checked out my drainage problem and was extremely helpful in providing some solutions. He was very knowledgeable and very informative. A lovely young man who was a pleasure to talk too . Highly recommend this local family owned business
Tor W-wise
February 5, 2024
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Great service. Same day. Good advice. Explains everything really well
Shaun Bradley
February 4, 2024
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Billy and Sam were both friendly and supportive of the project. They managed to mitigate the problem with the drainage and completed the maintenance issue professionally. Billy installed the hot water system to my satisfaction and I was very impressed with the quality of the work and the cleanup work done. I would recommend Curran plumbing to my friends, neighbours and family. Thanks Billy and Sam for your services.
Stephanie Robinson
February 1, 2024
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Really helpful, guys explained everything clearly and were very thorough.
Garry Paterson
January 31, 2024
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Dylan and Jake provided great service. They were professional and respectful. Communications of the job at quote time and during the job cannot be faulted.
Sandi Sattlecker
January 29, 2024
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Great, friendly, professional service. I was kept informed at every point, even receiving updated info on the Sunday of a long weekend, about my upcoming appointment. Thank you Andrew, Jake and Josh!
ForTunes Well
January 24, 2024
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Great service and the young guy Isaac was very friendly and super informative.
Susan Russell
January 20, 2024
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Prompt reply to initial enquiry. Date and time to suit. Wonderful customer service from trades and helpful polite and skilled. Love the service partner plan
Cherie Rien
January 17, 2024
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Lovely people to talk to and so helpful. A very professional service and the tradies are all very friendly I would highly recommend Curran Plumbing to anyone who is looking for a fairly priced plumbing solution 😊
Tracey Xuereb
January 12, 2024
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Great service. On time, explained everything thoroughly, very friendly and job done professionally. Highly recommend.
Richard
January 12, 2024
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Prompt efficient service to our house in Jamberoo, happy to recommend.
Tertius de Vries
January 10, 2024
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Professional prompt and good workmanship!
Roger Summerill
January 10, 2024
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I found staff excellent and helpful they explained everything clearly
Saheel Singh
January 10, 2024
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Reliable and efficient - great service 😊
Jessica Kennedy
January 9, 2024
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Curran plumbing were on time every time we were booked in, the young men that came to our house were efficient and very friendly. I would recommend them to anyone.
Tony Crawford
January 8, 2024
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Arrived on time, fully explained what needed to be done then quoted up front. Completed the job and cleaned up afterwards. I will be using them again for future plumbing jobs.
Tessa Jane Ryland-Parsons
December 19, 2023
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Thank you Curran Plumbing. Once again excellent customer service. Prompt notification of when the technicians would arrive and honest opinion on our options.
Arvin Villano
December 10, 2023
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Excellent customer service and the quality of the work done is perfect. Very professional.
Kathy Mckenzie
December 6, 2023
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I have nothing but praise for the guys (Josh, Hunter & Bailey) that visited my house recently to undertake several electrical jobs and an air conditioner service. They were all very polite, professional & answered all of my questions. Also you can’t beat an interest free payment plan to help with the expense at this time of the year. Thank you
Steve Taylor
December 4, 2023
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The team were on time, very professional and I was informed of all that was to be done before and during and then a summary at the end of the job. We were very impressed. Thank you also for replacing our old gas hot water system so quickly
Dan
December 4, 2023
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Excellent professional service and work completed quickly and without any incidence. All work was carried out in a timely and expedient manner and workmen were very courteous
Helen Barlow
November 30, 2023
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Good service by courteous efficient and helpful tradesmen!
Lee Jourdain
November 29, 2023
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Curran were out within an hour of my call. I was fully advised by the person on the end of the phone of their procedures and they communicated with me by text and email during my wait. The technician gave me 25 mins notice of his arrival. He advised me what he would be doing, the price, and when he was about to turn the power off. Fixed the problem in 20 mins. I was very impressed with their customer service.
Kathryn Hughes
November 22, 2023
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Same day service a bonus. On time and presented well. Explained everything well. Very happy with the service. I have used them in the past and will continue to use and recommend.
Ann Cameron
November 22, 2023
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I was very pleased & impressed with the quick service & politeness of this young men & also the way they cleaned up & put everything back the way it was ,I would definitely recommend Currans Plumbing to anyone.
pwreid25
November 20, 2023
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I have no hesitation in recommending Curran's to anyone needing repairs or installations in their homes. Top service and attention to detail; tradesmen are all polite, courteous and respectful. At every stage of the job they checked before going ahead if problems were discovered. Great work Currans!
Max Zalakos
November 18, 2023
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Excellent and friendly service by experienced personnel who knew exactly what to do, and do it well, and expeditiously. Very happy!
Brendan Nolan
November 16, 2023
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Shout out to the team at Curran's for the quick response and top-quality service!
Radu Bliuc
November 15, 2023
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Great service from Jake and CJ. Professional, punctual, efficient, great in communications the technical aspect of the job. Well done!
Brett T
November 14, 2023
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Explained the job. Professional and friendly. Great after sales service.
Onge Onge
November 9, 2023
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Guys did a great job in not so easy circumstances and short notice, very polite and professional. Answered any questions I had and kept us updated all the way. No problem recommending Curran for any plumbing work.
Belinda Dakin
November 7, 2023
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Levi was informative, did the job in a timely fashion and was a pleasure to have here.
HelloBeauty Home Salon
November 2, 2023
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These guys never disappoint.professional, courteous and transparent.I wish more tradies used this business model.
David Smith
November 2, 2023
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We had a blocked sewer. Communication with the organisation wad easy. I was kept informed about the job. Nathan was polite, well presented and had a great attitude. He explained what he would do and why. The job was done well, he explained what he did and what the result of his work was. He did a great job. Thanks
Narelle Lovell
November 2, 2023
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Very professional service would recommend highly
Dianne Hosa
October 31, 2023
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They were on time. They rung before coming as they said they would. They explained what they were doing before they started doing the work. They show me what they did and made sure everything was working efficiently before leaving.
Cheryl Harris
October 27, 2023
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I found the guys at Curran Electrical and Plumbing to be great, they were open really friendly and helpful. They did the job on time with no mess. I also found them to be honest. I thought I had to replace two lights in the bathroom however while installing the new ones we found another switch so I did not need them replaced after all and the quote was adjusted to reflect this.
Bryan Rugg
October 25, 2023
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I found the work that was completed was to an excellent quality. The workers were professional in their responses to questions and they were always on time.
Paul Blanden
October 25, 2023
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Excellent work from Josh & Hunter. Very professional, polite & great work. Greatly appreciated. Thank you
Jimmy's Burger Truck
October 23, 2023
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very professional service and friendly, knowledgeable staff. tidy workers that kept the business clean as they were working throughout the job. highly recommend !
Ishy
October 18, 2023
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Very efficient and friendly service. I highly recommend these guys.
Jennifer Bean
October 16, 2023
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The contractors (both electrical and plumbing tradespeople) were personable and professional. It was great service, they arrived on time, checked each decision with me and worked hard. They were clean and tidy and treated my place respectfully.
Kevin Ryan
October 15, 2023
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Quick service and helpful staff both on the phone speaking to office staff and the young plumber who came to do the job
Michael C
October 10, 2023
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They assessed the job clearly, told us what was needed, and explained how they would work. They turned up on time, were polite, and did the work with a minimum of fuss.
Charlie Bell
October 6, 2023
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Curran were able to come to me at short notice after a sewer disaster. They kept me informed of timing and Jake the plumber was clearly knowledgeable and passionate about his trade. He was efficient, thorough and happy to answer questions and tell me why and what he was doing offering a practical solution to our ageing property’s plumbing needs. Thank you. I’ll be in touch
Tracy Webb
October 5, 2023
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Fast and efficient service with everything explained before the job was commenced. Professional and friendly which was very nice.
Jono Q
October 3, 2023
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Very helpful people, happy to talk through what they were doing and why.
Katrina Toland
September 25, 2023
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We use Curran's for any plumbing requirement we have. They communicate well and are conscious of the importance of everyone's time. I totally recommend their services.
Mitch Ashford
September 12, 2023
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My mother who's in her 80's needed her toilet fixed. Curran Plumbing and Electrical did everything perfectly. Service was fast, plumber did a great job after informing me of the several options I had. He was also polite, well mannered and friendly, taking the time to ensure I understood everything he did. Service was perfect and I highly recommend Curran Plumbing and Electrical
Merryn Wright
September 12, 2023
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Curran Plumbing & Electrical recently installed a new pump on my rainwater tank. I am very pleased with their work and also that they were able to do it within a few days of getting their quote. I also appreciated that when the quote was done that a video was taken of what needed to be done, so that whoever did the work knew what needed to be done.
Folilia
August 26, 2023
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Had a new toilet installed and 6 taps replaced with ‘quarter turn’ taps to aid my arthritic fingers. Perfectly happy with the work and the very professional and friendly tradesmen. Gold stars to Luke, Josh and Jake
Jeff B
July 01, 2023
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Jake arrived on time, we talked thru our issue and he checked out our storm water problem. He was easily able to pinpoint our blockage and put together 2 quote options to rectify the fault. Jake is a good representative for the business👍
John Q
June 29, 2023
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Well done team. Great to finally meet a professional company. You guys responded quickly, found the problem, gave a respectable quote (unheard-of nowadays) and got the job done. This is the place to go if you have any electrical or plumbing needs. Thanks again Curran
Kelly S
June 28, 2023
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Sam was excellent. He was on time, polite, and did a fantastic and thorough job. He gave us detailed options for the job and we appreciated his honest and professional opinion. We will 100% use Curran plumbing again.
Dave P
June 04, 2023
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Sam was bang on time and fixed our septic issue very quickly. He also sent a camera up the pipes to ensure everything else was fine before leaving. We've enjoyed our ongoing relationship with Curran after they did some major works for us last year and our membership is well worth it.
John D
May 26, 2023
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The people doing the work were friendly, professional and informative and the work was carried out in a timely manner. You should be proud of the plumbing and electrical people who completed this work
Gordon M
July 18, 2022
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Currans supplied us with constant updating of the project and when completed arranged for an inspection of the completed works.
Mitchell F
July 16, 2022
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From the first phone call Curran plumbing services were professional, showed up on time for scheduled quote , then me updated when the job was going to be completed . On the day of install all of the staff were well trained , well spoken and installed my new instantaneous gas hot water system like they were installing it in their own home . The quality in detail to make sure I was satisfied didn’t go unnoticed. At the end of the day I feel like I have gained a plumber for life . 100% recommend.
InJect A Joint V
July 13, 2022
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Luke was a Complete Gentleman and he explained every detail to my wife and i!! On this basis we excepted his Quote on the Spot and told him to go ahead and install our Brand New Australian made Hot Water System!! It was all Done that afternoon with Expert Precision d we had Hot water by 4pm!! Absolutely Marvellous Well Done! Sid you should be Very Proud of the Workmanship that Luke Performed!!
Brian D
July 13, 2022
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From my first contact with your company to completion of the job was only a few days tree roots in the sewer pipes gone, big thanks to your team.
David Collins
July 11, 2022
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Hi it's Dave from Dapto for Block drain problem, Part of Sewer drain renewal and ground was leveled nice & looks good, kitchen drain came apart and was reconnected all services where friendly and good communication excellent work. Thank you
Kingfisher Maritime
July 10, 2022
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I found Josh from Curren Plumbing to be very honest and trustworthy in the work he carried out at my home. Josh communicated everything he was going to do and the results of these actions in a manner I was able to understand. I was happy with the work Josh did at my home.
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