When it comes to the energy sources available for driving building systems and processes, such as air-conditioning and water systems, refrigeration systems, cooking, and the like, natural gas and electricity are the two obvious choices. Natural gas comes with benefits, like lesser cost, ease of transportation and cleaner burning compared to other fossil fuels. The value of electricity is not easily calculable as prices change depending on whereabouts and the source of power generation. The main factors to consider when choosing between the two are price, efficiency, environmental impact and reliability.
Natural gas has always scored higher when it comes to affordability and is expected to do so in the near future. Electricity tariffs tend to increase as your consumption increases but, with gas, you tend to save more. This is because the cost per unit of gas comes down as your consumption increases, in most installations by a reputed Plumber Sydney has.
The initial installation cost for gas appliances may be a bit more, but running costs are usually lower, which means that in the long run, gas saves you money. Hiring an efficient Gas Fitting Sydney service will definitely help you get the best value of your money. As an illustration, we take a look at the annual running cost of one cooktop and hot water system operating in a typical Australian household:
- When run on electricity, the cost comes to around $1529 in South Australia and $1196 in Victoria
- When run on gas, the cost comes to around $971 in South Australia and $701 in Victoria
Over the years, natural gas appliances have proved to be the more efficient ones, with equipment efficiencies nearing 97% in water heaters and condensing boilers. However, electrical appliances, too, have witnessed significant improvements in their energy efficiency partly due to programs like LEED and Energy Star.
Although natural gas is a fossil fuel, it scores higher than electricity when it comes to environment-friendliness. With a different chemical structure as compared to coal, its emissions are much lower.
However, there are some issues with natural gas extraction. “Conventional” natural gas, a term for some types of natural gas, is accessible and economic to extract. “Non-conventional” natural gases pose accessibility issues in that they require deep drilling or methods like hydraulic fracturing (fracking) for extraction. These extraction methods are not entirely environmentally-friendly. Still, the following statistics speak in favour of natural gas:
- In South Australia, the CO2emission for a gas hot water system is 62% less than its electric counterpart, and in Victoria, it is 83% less.
- 44% of Australia’s household energy requirement is met by gas but it accounts for only 13% of household greenhouse gas emissions.
- The yield rate from extraction to delivery is 90% for gas which is higher than electricity.
- International Gas Union has reported that 60% more coal needs to be burned in the oldest power-generating facilities to generate the same power as a natural gas power plant.
Natural gas infrastructure enables distributors to carry gas to customers as per demand, without facing the supply and reliability concerns associated with electricity.
Thus, weighing the pros and cons of both systems, it seems that natural gas is the winner at present.
Related: Industry and Environment