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About natural gas

Key benefits

Comfort

A natural gas home is luxuriously comfortable. That comfort comes from the glowing warmth of a natural gas flame fire, the all-over cosiness of central heating, and flued space heaters that heat fast and are very economical. You’ll love gas heating because it is clean burning and doesn’t add moisture or dampness to your home. It’s healthy and safe, with some solutions like Rinnai’s Energy Saver gas heaters holding the Asthma + Respiratory Foundation NZ Sensitive Choice stamp for asthma and allergy-aware products.

The comfort of natural gas doesn’t end with heating. Continuous flow hot water is powerful and delivers as much hot water as you need – when you need it – and it never runs out. That means there’s always enough water for everyone to enjoy a long, hot shower or a soak in the bath. Find our more about better hot water with natural gas.

Natural gas central heating can take your whole house from cold to cosy in next to no time
Woman holding coffee cup

Control

Natural gas gives you greater control of your energy bills by giving you more control of the two things that use the most energy in your home – hot water and heating. Smart gas appliance technology, outstanding efficiency and lower per kilowatt prices for natural gas mean lower energy bills for most homes.

Enjoy programmable timers and thermostats, flick of the switch ignition, wireless remote control and wifi and smartphone apps that put control firmly in your hands. Natural gas continuous hot water allows you to control the temperature of your hot water and set it – with the push of a button – to a level that’s safe and comfortable for your family.

And if you love to cook, you’ll know that professional chefs and the very best cooks prefer to cook with gas. Gas cooking gives you the speed, power and precision you need to be a master in the kitchen. The instant flame and visible heat gives you total control of the cooking temperature. It’s convenient, fast and very easy to use.

A smart home will be sure to impress when entertaining, and makes living easy.  If you love luxury and entertaining at home, find out more on how natural gas can benefit you.

Real flame fires with no mess, flick of the switch ignition, wireless remote control and smartphone operation
Woman eating cracker delicately

Cost

Natural gas is affordable and can offer big savings over electricity. Prices have been consistently lower than electricity – around one-third the standard unit price of electricity. And they’re expected to stay that way for the foreseeable future. Even with daily fixed charges, natural gas is affordable and will almost always work out a cheaper option if there are two or more of you at home.  

If you’re currently using more than four large (45kg) LPG bottles a year, you’ll save money by converting to piped natural gas, even including the extra daily fixed charge. If you think you're paying too much for energy, find out more about saving with natural gas.

Natural gas appliances are incredibly efficient. Some appliances promote 95% efficiency and 7 star ratings – so they cost a lot less to run. And remember you can connect to natural gas for free with The Gas Hub and save around $2,000. Find out more about connecting to natural gas

Save up to 38% per year on hot water and central heating - around $490 for a family of five
Dad and daughter with  icecreams

FAQs

Connecting to natural gas is easy. Firstly check your property is within the 40 metre zone by entering your address into our handy gas checker tool on the homepage.

When you’re ready, put an application enquiry through to our team by answering a few questions. You can find the enquiry form here. Our team will then be in touch with further questions to complete your connection application. Your connection processing begins once you’ve accepted the free connection offer terms we will send to you. You can expect your gas connection to be installed in around 20 working days after you’ve accepted those terms.

Find out if natural gas is available in your street and if your place is within the 40 metre free zone by entering your address into our gas checker on the homepage.

More often than not, it’s free to get connected to natural gas. In fact, around 95% of homes within reach of our natural gas network can get a free connection if installing hot water or central heating. You'll just need to buy your appliances and have them installed by a gasfitter. Find out more about getting a free natural gas connection.

The general rule is to allow 20 working days from the date you’ve accepted our connection offer, terms and conditions and completed sign up with an energy retailer.  Depending on weather and any emergencies that may arise, we may be onsite a day either side of the scheduled connection date.

When your gas pipe is laid, the preferred option is to dig one hole, through which the pipe is then thrusted underground to another hole next to where your gas meter will be positioned. However sometimes it’s more practical and easier to open a trench and lay the pipe. Any property that is dug up will be restored.  If we trench through concrete areas, we’ll install a temporary seal to the area and return within two weeks of the connection being completed to allow the ground to settle and then complete the final reinstatement.

Not necessarily. We don’t require anyone to be present unless there are access issues, for example locked gates, dogs etc.

We call our customers two weeks in advance of the connection date to confirm details and let them know the scheduled connection date.  Depending on weather and any emergencies that may arise, we may be onsite a day either side of the scheduled connection date.  We do our best to meet the date we've set and to keep you informed if you’ve requested to be present when the connection is being completed.

We have certain requirements and rules that we have to follow when installing gas pipes and meters.  As part of the gas connection process we’ll assess your requested meter position to confirm if it meets the requirements and rules.  We’ll talk you through the process if this is not the case. You can contact our customer team to ask where the acceptable locations around your house are for a gas meter to be placed.  As a general rule the location can be along the front of your house or no more than 3 metres down either side - but the meter needs to be away from opening windows, sources of ignition etc, so do check with us.

A gasfitter is a licensed and/or certified tradesperson who will install your gas appliances and associated gas pipework in and around your house.  Any work to install or service gas appliances must be carried out by a licensed gasfitter, and any new installations or alterations must be certified as compliant by them.

Leave gasfitting work to the experts - it's the law. 

An energy retailer is the company supply you and bill you for the natural gas you consume.  As part of the connection process, we’ll send your application to your nominated energy retailer and they will contact you to create a gas account for you. It's a competitive market and we recommend shopping around for special offers. On our get connected page you're able to request a list of local energy retailers.

For alterations to your meter box location a request must come through your energy retailer. Contact your energy retailer to discuss.

No we don’t deal with LPG - also referred to as bottled gas. Our business is in connecting Kiwi homes and businesses to the underground natural gas pipeline - and we can likely offer you a free connection! Natural gas is sometimes called mains, piped or reticulated gas. The pipelines run underground, so it's reliable 24/7 and won't run out.

Let us point you to our water heating cost comparison tool. Use this handy tool to compare different options for heating the water at your place. Compares upfront and running costs within our natural gas network regions - Wellington, Taranaki, Manawatu and Hawke's Bay -  and have the results emailed to you. It’s quick and easy. You’ll find our cost comparison tool here.

The majority of people choose natural gas continuous flow for endless hot water, high efficiency and practical space-saving reasons.  Often referred to as 'instant', 'infinity' or 'califont' hot water systems, there are sizes for any household, with many able to handle multiple bathrooms. 

If you're after a cylinder, natural gas-powered gas cylinders have an advantage as some still work during a power cut. 

Combi boilers can heat your hot water as well as your home, so maybe worth looking at if you are building new or completing renovations. 

Find out more about better hot water with natural gas.

What’s not to love about having unlimited hot water on demand? It is extremely efficient and cost effective, delivering only as much hot water as you need. And because you’re only heating what you need, you only pay for what you use, unlike a cylinder which has standby losses.

Once you’ve covered the energy retailer's daily charge, you can expect to pay around one-third the kilowatt unit price of electricity or around .09c per unit for natural gas compared to 0.25c per unit for electricity.  Like endless hot water, the benefits go on and on and on….

Find out more about better hot water with natural gas

Heating your home accounts for around one-third of your energy bill, so choosing the right heating is important. Today, you can choose from gas fireplaces, flued gas space heaters, ducted central heating, radiators and underfloor heating for you home. Flued gas heating is healthy and won't add moisture to your home, and its reliable, no matter the weather. There's a natural gas heating solution for every home and every budget - and their performance is outstanding!

If you already use natural gas for hot water, the 'per kilowatt hour' or unit cost of heating your home with gas compared to electricity is a lot cheaper - around one-third the price of electricity. 

Have a chat to a gasfitter or gas expert to find out what kind of gas heating solution would work best for your home, your lifestyle and your budget.

Find out more about better heating with natural gas.

Well the heat pump sales people may think so, but we’re not so sure!

We talk with a lot of people at homeshows who say their heat pumps just aren’t up to scratch – going into defrost mode when it’s too cold outside, taking ages to heat, expensive to run and not heating enough of the home.

Flued natural gas space heaters, like Rinnai’s Energysaver range, are comparable to heat pumps. They are reliable no matter the weather, fast, highly efficient and won’t add moisture to your home.

But for all-over cosiness you can't beat natural gas central heating. Central heating systems can cost around the same as two heat pumps, but wouldn't you rather heat every room in your home with toasty-warmth, instead of just one or two?  There are some ducted heat pump systems in the market that perform similarly to central heating - except they can cost you a whole lot more to buy.

View our appliance gallery to see different gas heating options.

The best chefs prefer cooking with gas. People love it because the flame is instant and very precise, giving you total control. Love cooking up a storm for friends and family?

If you love entertaining, find out more about getting creative in the kitchen with natural gas.

Have you ever wished you could connect your LPG bbq to natural gas instead so you'll never run out of gas in the middle of cooking?

It is possible to convert some bbqs to natural gas. Conversions would need to be done by a gasfitter at your expense – and the bbq would need to be certified as compliant by them. You'd also need the gasfitter to install a bayonet point in your backyard - this is like a plug for you to connect the bbq into.

Conversion kits are available via your local plumbing and gasfitting store. Not all makes and models will be able to convert, but it is worth asking so you can get even more value from your natural gas connection. Find out more about outdoor entertaining with natural gas

Many people use a natural gas-powered hob, also known as a cooktop, with an electric oven underneath. These dual fuel ovens are really common. There are options around for gas-powered ovens also.

Talk to your local whiteware store but firstly get inspired with our appliance gallery.

Natural gas has an outstanding safety record. It’s one of the safest energy sources you can use in and around your home. You're responsible for gas safety in your home, so make sure you have your gas appliances serviced regularly by a gasfitter.  

Find out more about gas safety at home.

In the unlikely event that you smell gas in or around your home: 

  • Keep flames and cigarettes away from the area
  • Do not operate any electrical switches
  • Do not use your mobile phone in the area
  • If it can be done safely, turn off valves to gas appliances
  • Open doors and windows to ventilate the area.  

If the smell persists, call a licensed gasfitter to report the incident or call Powerco on 0800 111 848

Find out more about gas safety.

If you hit a gas pipe, please call Powerco on 0800 111 848

For gas plans for pipes around your property, please call BeforeUDig on 0800 248 344.

Environment

Piped direct to your home, natural gas treads pretty lightly on the planet. It is clean burning, and the high-efficiency of gas appliances means there is a reduced effect on the planet when gas is used directly in the home. And at about a third the price of electricity per unit, it can be easy on your pocket too.

You might be surprised to know that even with New Zealand’s impressive amount of renewable energy, gas and coal fired power stations are needed to generate electricity during peak demand times – like when we all get home from work and turn on the heating, cook dinner and bath the children. Natural gas being a fossil fuel may get a hard time, but it has an important part to play in New Zealand’s energy future. 

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Reliability

Natural gas packs quite a punch. All the heat, hot water and flame for cooking you could ever want, on tap, ready when you are. Kiwis can rely on natural gas as an energy source because there’s heaps of it right on our doorstep.  Natural gas is not running out, and the experts think there’s enough gas to keep us all warm and toasty for generations to come.

The power of natural gas is so convincing, major services and businesses rely on it every day to keep things ticking over – some even 24/7. Just as well it’s delivered on tap.  Who’s using gas in your community?  Te Papa, Wellington Hospital, the Beehive, Victoria University, many gyms including Les Mills, City Fitness and Jetts, most public swimming pools, Taranaki Base Hospital, Fonterra, Tegel,  Hawke’s Bay Hospital, Quality Bakers, Heinz Watties, McCains Foods, Palmerston North Hospital, NZ Defense Force, Massey University and the list goes on. See more about our company Powerco including a video about natural gas and electricity.

Safety

Natural gas has an outstanding safety record in New Zealand. It’s one of the safest energy sources you can use around your home, especially with the new generation of safety-savvy gas appliances.  

All gas appliances sold in New Zealand must be installed and certified by a gasfitter – it’s the law. Gasfitters are licensed and follow strict safety standards to ensure correct and safe installation of appliances in your home. 

For the year ending 31 March 2016, Powerco invested over $182 million in developing and maintaining its electricity and gas networks. This helps to ensure the natural gas network is safe in your community – from your street all the way to the gas meter box on your property. Safety in your home is your responsibility, so please take a moment to find out what you need to know about gas safety at home.

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