For the fourth year running The Gas Hub is partnering with Upper Hutt City Council’s Activation team to bring you The Gas Hub’s Parks and Places.
From 10 January through to the end of March 2019, a jam-packed calendar of fun activities for all ages is planned. The events will showcase some of Upper Hutt’s finest places and spaces, giving anyone and everyone the opportunity to make active choices and having fun playing!
Highlights this year include the family water day, Bike the Trail, Cardboard Chaos and the always popular Paws in the Park regional events.
A new addition to Parks and Places in 2019 is The Gas Hub’s Hydration Station. Keep hydrated and save on plastic destined for the landfill by bringing your drink bottle along and refilling at The Gas Hub’s Hydration Station. You’ll find this free water station at most major Parks and Places events.
Hot tip: be one of the first 200 visitors to The Gas Hub’s Hydration Station at Bike the Trail and score yourself a free water bottle. The Gas Hub will have a big tub of sunscreen on hand to make sure you’re not only hydrated but also sun smart for the ride.
When: Sunday 3 March
Where: start of the trail at Harcourt Park
Come and play with us! We look forward to seeing you out there.
You’ll find event information on our Facebook page, and for the events calendar head to the Activation website.
Read the media release.
Powerco and The Gas Hub’s Wellington office recently bunked off to the coast for an afternoon ahead of the Christmas break.
This wasn’t your regular lazy afternoon spent sunning or swimming. Rather, it was a beach combing activity picking up rubbish along the shoreline and roadside, followed by a charity quiz.
With the smell of fresh salty air and the Bluebridge Cook Strait Ferry cruising past, a team of around 30 donned rubber gloves and grabbed a rubbish bag. Drawing similarities to the jolly red man filling a sack full of fun presents, the challenge was on to find the most exciting piece of trash.
Scrambling around the rocks of Wellington’s infamous Breaker Bay, playing ‘is that plastic or paua shell?’ the crew thankfully didn’t come across any naked bathers.
Some interesting finds along the coast line included a bathtub nestled amongst some trees. Probably not trash, but strategically placed presumably for evenings of star gazing while listening to the waves lap at the shore.
One of the crew stumbled upon a rusted car engine, while another found a car key strategically poking out of a piece of driftwood. Not quite as rusted as the car engine, it was assumed this placement was “an attempt to reunite the key with the owner”.
Clean up complete, the team headed down to Miramar’s aptly named GasWorks establishment for refreshments and a brain-stretching quiz.
Bribes were accepted, and answers could be bought for a cost – and many were. The team raised over $100 for Challenge 2000, a Wellington-based charity committed to helping youth who require extra support through a variety of development programmes (read more here: https://www.challenge2000.org.nz)
Unofficial ‘camp leader’ Ric Barbiellini said, “given that so much of the work we do is for the community, the general feeling was it was nice to get out of the office and give directly, even if in a small way.”
A final activity is organised where the office has been invited to declutter their lives by auctioning any unwanted items on TradeMe. All money raised from the auctions will go to Challenge 2000 and TradeMe have kindly waved their set-up fees.
Contact us if you'd like to help support Challenge 2000 also!
Given the vital role gas and its infrastructure play in the New Zealand economy, it is crucial to understand the options for gas in the changing policy environment.That’s the message from a report by London-based consultants Vivid Economics which was officially released in Wellington on Monday 10 December 2018.
Taranaki-based energy companies First Gas and Powerco commissioned Vivid Economics to explore potential scenarios for future use of the gas infrastructure as New Zealand moves to a low-carbon economy.
Gas and its infrastructure provide around 20% of New Zealand’s primary energy supply. Vivid Economics’ report finds that there are many uncertainties in New Zealand’s changing policy environment around gas and it is too early to pick one preferred energy source for a low-carbon economy. It may be that some sectors’ energy needs are met with one solution, and other sectors met by another.
“Greater certainty over the relative potential for hydrogen and electrification to address GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions in hard-to-treat sectors is needed before a good decision on the role of gas transmission and distribution infrastructure in meeting the net zero target can be made,” the report says.
Hard-to-treat sectors include winter peaking in electricity generation, intermediate and high-temperature industrial heat, heavy vehicles, and agriculture, waste and industrial process emissions.
You can read the full Media Release and download a copy of the report here.
Renovating is surging in popularity, is it time you jumped on the bandwagon? We look at a home improvement that will fix your cold shower problems and have you singing with joy.
What’s not joyous about a powerful stream of endless hot water, ready on-demand when you are! Turn on the tap and say hello to continuous hot water, powered by natural gas.
Join the masses
Renovating has become very popular. Just look at the numerous TV shows pitting teams against each other in a bid to have the hottest reno on the block. Home renovation is more accessible and more achievable than ever before. Shows like these demonstrate what might be possible - at times on a shoestring budget.
Over the past year, thousands of Kiwis undertook a huge home improvement that didn’t require a big budget. They switched out their old and inefficient hot water cylinder for a natural gas continuous water heater. They’re now guaranteed a hot shower every time - that’s got to feel better all over!
A practical choice
Hot water powered by natural gas is a practical home renovation. Often referred to as ‘instant’ or ‘Infinity' hot water, expect to pay around $2,300-$3,800 for the system installed and ready to go. Pricing depends on appliance choice and home layout, but won't cost you an arm and a leg.
Wave goodbye to your hot water cylinder and hello to endless hot water and extra storage space. Being externally mounted, gas continuous gives you extra space when your hot water cylinder is removed. For some people, this benefit alone stacks up.
Many say they upgrade to get better water pressure, others reckon the efficiency and cost savings of gas are best things about switching. Regardless of the main reason, the benefits are numerous.
Not a DIY renovation fan?
The struggle to find the time is real. The great news is that switching to natural gas continuous is a home renovation where you won’t have to lift a finger. This is a job strictly for the professionals. A gasfitter will remove and take away your old cylinder and get your new gas system up and running – usually all in the same day! It’s that quick and easy.
You will need a natural gas connection at your home before having a continuous hot water system installed. This is where we come in. If your home is within 40 metres of our NZ gas pipeline it’s likely your connection will be free. Our pipeline stretches around many parts of Taranaki, Wellington, Manawatu and Hawkes Bay. Check your address now.
Renovating can improve your home’s resale value. Ultimately though, it can make your home life more comfortable and convenient. Improving your home with natural gas-powered hot water means you'll never get the cold shower - even if you're last in the queue.
No matter the extent of your renovation, incorporating natural gas into your plans can make your home feel better all over. Find out more about renovating with natural gas.
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20 July 2018
Winter is the season of retreat and rest, stillness, and quiet. Be it Italy’s century-old Roman bath-houses, Japan’s onsen soaks or Scandinavian saunas and plunge pools … or New Zealand’s natural hot springs, our longstanding cultural traditions surrounding bath time support scientifically proven benefits of a long warm soak.
While keeping active, indulging in hearty healthy food and ensuring your home is warm and healthy are known winter fundamentals, regular soaks in your bath this winter can offer the following medicinal benefits:
> calms the nervous system – reducing levels of cortisol and related stress and anxiety, elevating serotonin and mood and allowing you to sleep better
> benefits aching muscles, joints and bones > improves gastrointestinal health cardiovascular function and immunity, influencing lung capacity and oxygen intake – with the steam clearing your sinuses and chest.
> improves circulation, lowers blood pressure and improved cardiac function
Keen to transform your home tub into a day spa experience? Try one of these simple home-made concoctions:
Himalayan rock salt, rose and coconut bath milk
1 cup Himalayan rock salt
1 cup coconut milk powder or can of coconut cream
10 drops vanilla essential oil
5 drops rose essential oil
Optional: rose petals and candles for extra indulgence
Combine all ingredients in running bath – with essential oils dropped in just before you dip in. This blend leaves your skin feeling luxuriously soft and aides in relaxation. Perfect for ‘me’ time and best complimented with your favourite book, a few small candles and a cup of chamomile or peppermint tea.
Eucalyptus oil salt steam
1 cup epsom salt
1 cup sea salt
¼ cup baking soda
10 drops eucalyptus oil
10 drops lavender oil
This blend is perfect for when it’s blowing a gale outside and you’re feeling cranky and run down with tired aching muscles. Sea salt contains over 50 minerals, has been used in hydrotherapy for centuries and offers a range of benefits. Epsom salt is essentially magnesium – perfect for athletes or anyone suffering stress or a common cold. Eucalyptus oil clears the sinuses, relieves pain and uplifts while lavender oil is calming and de-stressing. The added baking soda adds softness and luxury while softening the skin.
The benefit of baths powered by natural gas continuous hot water is that they typically cost you less than electricity and are always warm. Efficient and affordable, water is heated as you use it, so you only pay for what you use – and it never runs out. This means there’s always enough heated water for every member of your family to have a long warm soak.
Ready to connect to natural gas continuous hot water?
First you'll need a natural gas connection. Check your address to see whether your home is within 40 metres of our natural gas network. If it is, you may be able to connect for free.
06 July 2018
We make a point of celebrating our successes and holding regular social events and team building activities. This year our mid-winter Christmas party involved an in-office quiz followed by a meal.
The Gas Hub is a part of Powerco – a company known for caring for its employees. Powerco goes over and above what’s required to make sure its people have the support, training and resources they need to carry out their work. Powerco and The Gas Hub also offer a wide range of development opportunities and wellness initiatives including one week parental leave for partners and recognition for long service and outstanding achievements.
The Gas Hub is here to make connecting homes to natural gas in the Wellington, Hawkes Bay, Taranaki and Manawatu regions easy. Our reason for being is our customers. We take pride in the free connection we’re able to provide homeowners who have standard installations within 40 metres of our gas network – an opportunity that’s exclusive to our regions.
Keen to connect to natural gas this winter? Check your address to see whether your home is within 40 metres of the gas network. You may be able to receive a free connection.
The Gas Hub also has a hot water comparison tool that compares different options for heating your water at home. Find out whether natural gas, electricity, LPG, or solar hot water systems are the right solution for you this winter.
29 June 2018
Home heating accounts for over a third of the average New Zealand household bill. It makes sense then to focus on energy efficiency for smarter use of energy at home. While there’s an initial investment with energy efficient appliances, they’ll contribute to the health of your home and family - and your wallet will thank you over time.
Ensure your new appliance is energy efficient
Ensure your chosen appliance has an energy rating sticker. The stars on this sticker illustrate estimated energy consumption in kWh per year (based on the average expected use of the appliance over a year). It’s also worth ensuring your gas heater has an energy star sticker. This star is awarded to qualified appliances with superior energy efficiency - the higher the rating, the more heat per unit of energy used.
Set the warmth of your home
Turn your heaters off when you don’t need them - rather than leaving them on when you’re not there. Alternatively – set them to a thermostat. And when setting your heater thermostat in winter, aim for 18 to 20˚C – so the warmth and health of your home is in line with World Health Organisation recommendations. Also, Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) recommends flued gas space heaters with a four-star rating or higher – as unflued heaters make your home damp and lead to respiratory issues.
Save on hot water
With continuous hot water that’s fuelled by natural gas, you only use hot water when you need it – and it never goes cold. Some appliances promote 95% efficiency with a 7-star rating, which means they cost less to run. Keen to compare hot water options in New Zealand? Head to our hot water heating cost comparison tool to compare options in your home. http://hotwater.thegashub.co.nz/
Energy efficient appliances
Natural gas appliances are becoming increasingly energy efficient. Seeking an appliance that’s approved by the Sensitive Choice programme of the Asthma Foundation? Try Rinnai’s Energy Saver – it can be connected to a fixed line natural gas supply and is likely to heat your home faster than a heat pump of the same output. AS for central heating, Bonaire offers gas ducted central heating for a cost-effective and energy efficient way to heat your home. Head to our appliance gallery for further inspiration. http://www.thegashub.co.nz/Appliance-Gallery
28 June 2018
The shortest day of the year – the winter solstice … when the days get darker, the sun reaches its northern-most point, and the Southern Hemisphere receives just a few hours of sunshine while the chilliest days of the year, July and August make their mark.
While it’s encouraging to know summer is a few months around the corner, why wait out the cooler months of winter when there’s an opportunity to savour the season with some traditional celebrations.
Matariki (Maori New Year)
Winter solstice also coincides with Matariki – late May / early June when the Pleiades star cluster rises during winter signalling the beginning of the Maori new year. Mark this in your calendar as a time of remembrance and new beginnings with close friends and family… and be sure to light a candle and look up at the stars!
Do as those in the Northern Hemisphere would when celebrating Christmas in cooler months. A mid-winter Christmas doesn’t have to mean traditional Christmas colours and tucker. Get creative at the dinner table with celestial themes for a starry combination of rich golds and deep blues or include elements of nature and gas grill flamed gourmet tucker that’s in keeping with our way of life and celebrates the now.
Indoors or out?
Celebrate these traditions and cool crisp elements of winter with an outdoor natural gas fireplace. Invite close friends and family around, arrange your chairs in a circle around your outdoor fire and provide an ample stash of blankets!
Weather howling outside? Your natural gas centrally heated home with its warm floors and automatic settings will set you up as the perfect host. Prepare for the night with a long bath knowing your continuous hot water costs you less than electricity and won’t run out.
18 June 2018
Whilst fortunate overall to have a high standard of living, us Kiwis aren’t the best at heating our homes over winter. The average daily indoor temperature for most New Zealand homes in winter is 16 degrees Celsius – two degrees below the World Health Organisation’s ideal household temperature and five degrees below the recommended temperature for babies and the elderly, with many a home well below this average.
Our ‘tough it out’ / ‘put on another jersey’ mentality over the harsher months is in keeping with our country’s pioneering spirit, though leads to implications with our health and wellbeing, with around 42,000 New Zealand children admitted to hospital each year with respiratory and infectious diseases and almost 1600 Kiwi deaths attributed to cold homes.
Consider natural gas-powered central heating
Central heating is considered the norm in Europe and America though perceived as a luxury in New Zealand, with less than five percent of our homes centrally heated. Natural gas-powered central heating is cheaper overall than electricity or LPG and more convenient than wood-fired heating – with the ability to heat a home quickly and up to five to six star energy efficient ratings.
The simplicity of technology with natural gas powered central heating is that it remains as simple as the flick of a switch – either setting it to warm your home from afar or programming ahead of cold snaps. It is also a pretty easy way to help the kids stay healthy through winter.
If you live in Wellington, Taranaki, Hawkes Bay or Manawatu and your home is within 40 meters of the gas pipe in your street, a natural gas connection for central heating or continuous hot water is likely to be free through The Gas Hub.
22 May 2018
Looking to compare the water heating costs in New Zealand? We’ve created a hot water cost comparison tool that offers the opportunity to compare natural gas with electricity, LPG, and solar hot water systems. This tool is useful if you live in Wellington, Hawkes Bay, Taranaki or Manawatu and only takes a few minutes to calculate comparisons.
Ensuring a good fit with your home appliances and living costs
In need of a new water heating appliance that’s cost effective and efficient? The Gas Hub water comparison tool offers estimated average running costs, estimated carbon emissions and installation costs and overall useful information to enable you to decide whether natural gas is a good fit for your home – or if perhaps, you’re better off with alternative options.
Options for when you’re on the move or about to build …
For new mover scenarios, this tool will even offer you estimated annual running costs and estimated per shower costs for your new builds. 75% of new builds in the North Island choose natural gas continuous flow hot water – this tool explains why.
Why natural gas continuous hot water?
The future pricing forecast is positive for natural gas … and who doesn’t love continuous hot water heating (whether that be for a relaxing bath on a summer’s night or a quick dash in a hot shower when the mid-winter chills have hit and it’s finally your turn for a wash)? Continuous flow hot water is powerful, never runs out and provides hot water as you need it, when you need it.
Who is The Gas Hub?
Neither an energy retailer of appliance retailer, The Gas Hub is a division of PowerCo Ltd, set up to provide useful information on all things natural gas. At The Gas Hub, we’re a tad biased towards natural gas continuous flow hot water, though we reckon the results speak for themselves. Check out our gas hot water comparison calculator today.
24 April 2018
Portable gas heaters that run off LPG have been banned in Canada, some US states and New South Wales, Australia. Will New Zealand follow suit?
This article addresses the concerns with LPG portable gas heaters and compares them to the cost, convenience and comfort of natural gas.
Master Plumbers, New Zealand is in favour of taking portable gas heaters off the market, saying their risk to health is far too great. This call follows media attention around the Government’s new heating requirements that are a part of the Healthy Homes Act.
Upfront, the cost of LPG is cheaper than natural gas with a flued connection if you’re just heating a room – and especially if you’re caring for a household of more than four people and incorporating gas-powered hot water and cooking. Long term though, you’re better off with a flued natural gas connection – even with a daily fixed charge. This is especially the case in Wellington, Taranaki, Manawatu and Hawkes Bay where it’s possible (if your home is within 40 metres of our gas network) to receive a free connection.
New Zealand has one of the highest rates of asthma in the world and according to Associate Professor Nevil Pierse, LPG fuelled portable gas heaters produce toxins high enough to cause respiratory problems in homes. They are also a fire risk. A modern natural gas internal hot water or heating connection in comparison includes a flue that carries combustion by-products outside. This also reduces condensation, keeping homes warm and dry over winter.
There’s convenience in the ability to easily move an LPG powered portable gas heater between rooms such as hallways and bedrooms in your home. It’s also though easy to put yourself or your family at risk by using them in these areas – especially if rooms aren’t properly ventilated. The close proximity of the burner to the gas bottle can also lead to fire hazards.
In comparison, with a flued natural gas heating appliance, it’s a matter of flicking a switch when you arrive home … or for some, pre-programming to switch on before you arrive home. There’s also no need to rush to the local store to top up your bottle.
20 April 2018
Is natural gas safe, how does it compare with electricity, how is it installed and what’s its future in New Zealand?
Is natural gas safe?
Yes. Natural gas is a stable fuel which in its pure form is non-toxic, odourless, colourless and tasteless. A chemical called mercaptan is added as an odorant so homeowners can safely measure any escaping gas. All gas installations and gas appliances are covered by strict compliance regulations to ensure safety with natural gas having a strong safety record and reliability throughout the world.
Why use natural gas?
By using natural gas, you reduce demand on electricity supplies - it’s instant, economical, and more cost effective than electricity. The savings and average sized family can make in a year by using natural gas are huge. As an example, the standard power output of a portable electric heating appliance in your home is limited to 2.2 kilowatts; gas can deliver far in output of this.
How do I install natural gas?
It’s essential to book a gas fitter for any gas installation work around your home – they’re trained and licensed specialists in the installation of gas appliances and can also offer advice on the best system for your needs. It’s also essential (covered by law) that a registered gasfitter undertakes all gas installation work and supplies a gas certificate upon completion. This certificate confirms that pipes and appliances in your home have been tested and meet required standards and codes.
06 April 2018
We spend more time at home in winter, so why not use this season of hibernation as an opportunity to make complete use of our home – by bringing a level of comfort to the interior and indulging in an gas outdoor fireplace for cool crisp starry nights. Go all out and create the space of your dreams; or just spruce a few key elements to create a luxurious memorable winter with loved ones.
Accessorise, accessorise, accessorise
Choose staple furniture that’s both functional and aesthetically pleasing (and of quality workmanship and materials) that’s classic enough to last a good 20 years will stand you in good stead . Investing in quality staple furniture offers you to the opportunity to occasionally indulge in pops of seasonal colour with low cost accessories that will refresh your home and spirit. Think warm hues, alpaca blankets, sheepskin rugs and velvet cushions for winter …
A gas outdoor fireplace – your backyard centrepiece
Add a centrepiece (such as a gas outdoor fireplace) to coax friends and family outdoors. Perfect for the occasional dinner party, gas outdoor fireplaces are stylish and energy efficient and will keep you and your guests snug all through the evening. They’re also easy to add if you’re already connected to natural gas, and will transform your patio into a gorgeous entertainment area. Top it all off with some clever lighting; use downlighting for a gentle, diffused light, or uplighting for dramatic contrast.
29 March 2018
Cold outside? Blowing a gale? Cozy up beside a flame-effect fire this winter and you won’t have a care in the world. Real flames, real heat, and real convenience; a gas-powered fireplace will add value to your home in many ways.
Modern and clean burning, gas fireplaces come in elegant designs ranging from classic to contemporary - and styles abound for both indoors and out, in a variety of sizes.
Do you have an existing inbuilt wood burner? Choose a fire that can retrofit into that space. Thinking about heating the whole home? Large fires can produce a lot of heat with some brands offering an add-on ducting kit. This enables your gas fire to work as a central heating system, with outlets in multiple rooms throughout your home.
Fires heat efficiently and quickly with the added benefit of programmable timers - and some can even be controlled by your smartphone. Natural gas fires are flued to keep the air in your home clean and healthy, and won’t contribute to smog on the outside.
Here are a few things to think about when choosing a gas fireplace:
There’s a look and size to suit everyone. For flaming fire inspiration, head over to our appliance gallery.
23 March 2018
The concept of a smart home may conjure up images of ‘The Jetsons’ for some and wacko gizmos for others … for those on the know, it’s a growing industry that’s becoming commonplace and not just for the tech-savvy and wealthy. While in its infancy, opportunities to make our homes smarter are growing by the year, with 2018 offering further integration for homeowners as artificial intelligence becomes commonplace.
The efficiency of smart home technology
Apart from the convenience and peace of mind of smart technology, a huge benefit is the energy savings you and your wallet will enjoy. By being able to monitor and control your daily usage and being able to programme new habits, you’ll save on the energy your home uses and see a decrease in your monthly bills.
Making your home smart not only makes your life easier but has the potential to save your needs, reducing strain on natural resources.
By setting up your home with the latest smart technology, you can do practically anything remotely (via smartphones, tablets or the internet). Combined with your natural gas connection you can even control your gas heating when you’re not home, or turn it on for your arrival.
The ease of it all depending on your needs
There are three main elements: the hub, the devices, and the apps
1) The hub is the brains of the operation, as it is the central device which communicates with the app to the devices at home.
2) The devices on offer span a diverse range of functions - from voice, motion or touch control light switches to your home heating, and everything in between.
3) Your chosen devices all connect to the main hub. The app on your phone, computer or tablet lets you control the devices.
Smart natural gas
The beauty of technology surrounding natural gas in your home is that it remains as simple as flicking on a switch … whether that involves setting it to warm your home at particular times or adjusting to random cold snaps.
16 March 2018
This past year The Gas Hub have focused our sponsorship on ‘zero fizz’ for health, and ‘zero waste’ for the environment. These efforts are in-line with our ethos of ‘feeling better all over’.
Included in this year’s sponsorship efforts is our principal sponsorship of ten week recreation programme Parks & Places, which has run from Upper Hutt to Wellington over the summer months and offered activities from roller skating, hapkido, target shooting, swimming, pilates, BMXing, boot camp, lawn bowls, cycling to Nordic walking.
This year has been a huge success for Parks and Places with ‘cracker’ summer days - the hottest on record since the 1930’s, and a longer programme than previous years. The activities have also catered to around 5,000 active participants of all ages from under-fives to the wide range of low-impact YMCA classes for older locals; a great way to get the community together and implement wellbeing in our lives.
Other Gas Hub sponsorship activities have included the inclusion of Paloma natural gas hot water units at Lyall Bay Surf Club and support of Taranaki Cricket events.
Keen for sponsorship of your outdoor event, environmental cause or wellness programme?
If your opportunity fits the above criteria and you’re based in Wellington, Manawatu, Hawkes Bay or Taranaki, we recommend you contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
13 March 2018
In 2015, Statistics NZ figures revealed that we spent $1.5b on renovating houses in 2014 (a boom industry up 60% from 940 million in 2012). According to a report this month from realestate.co.nz, a large number of homeowners are continuing to renovate their homes vs step up the property ladder. It’s as much about lifestyle as it is about valuation.
Renovating is in our DNA - it’s a kiwi pastime. With a careful amount of planning, you can ensure you’re making considered changes to your home renovations that contribute to your lifestyle and the overall value of your home.
> Ensure you’re not overcapitalising on your home
As a general rule of thumb, spend no more than 25% of the value of your home. Also scan other properties in your area – how does your home compare? It’s also best to ensure any alterations are in keeping with the rest of your home.
> Consider your overall lifestyle over the coming years
If you’ve longed for a natural gas-powered outdoor spa pool, it may not increase the value of your home as much as natural gas powered central heating will though is likely to add a certain comfort to your day-to-day way of life.
> Consider quick fixes that instantly freshen your home on a budget
A simple wash of white paint throughout the interior is known to instantly update a home and contribute to a sense of lightness, openness and luxury. Landscaping has its merits too - a mass of green in your garden with the simplicity of white or purple flowers has also been known to add value - whilst increasing general wellbeing.
09 March 2018
It’s that time again when nature prepares for a long winter’s rest and teaches us to do the same. When the crisp winds of autumn begin to blow, we need to tune in to its signal that it’s time to start slowing down and take an honest look at what’s working and what’s not in preparation for the harsher months.
We’re fortunate in New Zealand to have first world living conditions. That being said, being cold inside is an issue many either choose or have to put up with. As our lifestyles naturally change with the seasons, so should our homes.
As the days grow shorter, how do you prepare for winter? Here at The Gas Hub, we’re here to help you ease into the winter months in a comfortable cost-effective manner with our natural free gas connection and opportunity to power 70% of your home’s energy needs with natural gas.
Here are some key tips to help you prepare your home for winter:
Insulate your home
We’re a hardy lot … interestingly enough, insulation wasn’t introduced until 1978. Prior to that, wood burners were the norm – as was the concept of warming only those rooms that were being used the most. This concept remains alive and well in many parts of New Zealand, especially in older homes.
It doesn’t have to be this way; 30% of the heat generated in your home can be lost through an uninsulated ceiling and 10% through the floor - worth thinking about when you’re eagerly generating warm energy for your abode.
Luckily insulation is slowly becoming part of the norm and in many regions, subsidized by regional councils. Check with your local council if you’re eligible for funding towards insulation for your home.
Consider central heating
Central heating is considered the norm in Europe and America though perceived as a luxury in New Zealand with less than 5% of New Zealand homes centrally heated.
Despite an upfront cost of around $10,000 to install, the running cost of central heating is around 10 cents an hour – cheaper overall than electricity and more convenient than wood-fired heating or LPG. Your children will remain healthier through winter too.
Is central heating too much of an investment this year? If so, we recommend you start with a free natural gas connection for continuous hot water.
It’s the little things that count …
> Ensure your gas heating is flued to avoid condensation, mold and respiratory diseases
> Consider double glazed windows - to trap in the heat and minimize external noise
> Sort out any plumbing problems and clean your drains
> Check for patches of damp- leaks or broken windows
> Consider heavy curtains
> Heavy curtains to keep warmth in and draught out - wash with vinegar or mild bleach
> Wipe off any black mold on your walls, carpet, and curtains with mild bleach or vinegar
> Wipe down windows and walls to remove moisture
> Eliminate drafts with ‘door snakes’
> Open your windows every now and then to keep air circulated.
02 March 2018
A commonly held perception out on the streets of New Zealand and online is that natural gas is running out - in about ten years’ time. New Zealand gas isn’t forecast to run out; it’s forecast to play an integral part in an increasingly diverse range of energy options. The current gas reserves can meet residential and commercial needs for decades.
New Zealand isn’t physically connected to any international natural gas markets (by pipeline or LNG import/export facility). This means that any natural gas that’s discovered in New Zealand is to be consumed in New Zealand and not exported. Natural gas is currently produced from onshore or offshore wells in Taranaki with gas also been recently discovered down south too.
The cost of natural gas in New Zealand has been moderate when compared to the cost of electricity and is forecast to remain this way. It’s also most efficient during peak demand - when electricity demand exceeds renewables and needs to tap into natural gas to meet demand.
While the latest technology with renewables paint a fascinating future we can all look forward to, there will be times when mother nature can’t supply us with enough sunshine for solar, enough water for hydropower or enough wind for electricity. Natural gas can and will conveniently and efficiently step in when other fuels can’t and remain part of an increasingly diverse range of energy options in the future.
The opportunities with natural gas and its place in renewable energy trends are changing too... South Australia has recently invested in breakthrough technology (a key milestone in efforts to decarbonize Australia’s gas networks) which enables hydrogen to store excess renewable energy in the state’s gas network. This stored energy (which essentially acts as a massive battery storage solution using existing infrastructure) can be instantly switched on at home or for power generation when required.
This new technology offers better outcomes for Australian households and businesses, the environment and the economy. New Zealand - watch this space …
12 February 2018
According to The University of Otago, New Zealand’s average indoor winter temperature is only 16 degrees - two degrees below The World Health Organisation’s normal household temperature and five degrees below the recommended temperature for babies and the elderly.
Around 42,000 New Zealand children are admitted to hospital each year with respiratory and infectious diseases as a result of low-quality cold damp and moldy homes. Every year around 1,600 mainly older New Zealanders die from premature deaths, largely for the same reason.
The Government has recently passed a law which requires rentals to be warm, dry and well ventilated in a bid to increase housing quality and reduce the effects of cold damp and moldy homes on the health of kiwis.
The Healthy Homes Act will cover heating, insulation, ventilation, draught stopping, drainage, and moisture, in a bid to ensure rental properties meet global standards of living.
If you’re a landlord, you’ll need to guarantee by 1 July 2019 that any new tenancy is properly insulated and contains a fixed heating source. All tenancies must meet these new standards by July 1, 2024. Your property may already meet these standards. Though if you need to upgrade your property, government grants for installing heating and insulation will be available."
Offering an integrated heating and ventilation system for your rental reduces the chance of mildew and condensation build up and the overall cost of heating for your tenants in winter. Installing natural gas with a free connection reduces your upgrade costs and offers your tenants long-term affordable heating.
The cost, comfort, and control natural gas offers to yourself and your tenants is a win-win situation for all:
> free to connect if your property is in Wellington, Taranaki, Hawkes Bay or Manawatu - if you install gas hot water and /or central heating within 40 meters of the gas pipe in your street
> can power 70% of your tenant's energy needs (heating, hot water, and cooking)
> long-term affordable and energy efficient: big savings can be made compared to electricity per unit when there’s a full gas energy setup for the house
> clean burning which means it doesn’t add moisture or dampness to your property (so it’s safe for tenants with asthma or respiratory illnesses)
> continuous hot water that costs less but is always hot and can be set at a safe temperature
> instantly available at the flick of a switch - helping your tenants to warm up quicker in winter
> adds value to your property and sets you up as a landlord who cares about the health and wellbeing of your tenants.
02 February 2018
While a long-held tradition - especially in the western hemisphere, less than 10% of people keep to their new year’s resolutions. There’s a number of reasons for this including setting overly ambitious and restrictive goals, getting derailed by others plans and small failures or simply forgetting about what you’ve started. This being said, those who make smart New Year resolutions are more likely to succeed than those who decide to make life changes during other times of the year.
While goal-oriented methods with an end result work well for some, there’s a new train of thought that recommends that we focus on our process, journey and feelings – as these affect our actions. Quoting Epicurus “It’s not what we have but what we enjoy that constitutes our abundance.”
A simple resolution that will pay off, in the long run, is to consider the comforts of your home and the effect these have on other resolutions such as feeling healthy and warm, with greater control over unnecessary costs and the freedom to enjoy more of life’s luxuries.
Your home - a hub of comfort and health
There’s huge comfort in arriving home from the pressures of a hectic day at work and sub-Antarctic chills that hit close to the bone, to know that at a flick of a switch, your home will be heated within a matter of minutes and your health remains a priority. You’ll also take comfort in knowing that you can take time out to mindfully bathe in continuous hot water that can be set at a comfortable and safe temperature and won’t suddenly run cold. And when you’re back in the kitchen, your dinner can be seared to perfection with the speed and precision of the master chef you’ve aspired to become.
Greater control over costs and the freedom to enjoy life
Having greater control over the cost of your energy bills and increase in wellbeing offers you a greater ability to get out there and enjoy life’s luxuries - and necessities. Connect for free to natural gas for your hot water, heating, and cooking and expect to pay around one-third of the cost of electricity. Natural gas appliances are also becoming increasingly smarter and more efficient. With up to 7 star ratings and 95% efficiency ratings, you’ll find they are costing a lot less to run.
24 January 2018
Summer – our quintessential season of effortless outdoor living and entertaining …There’s something magical about entertaining under the stars and basking in the warm glow of a natural gas outdoor fireplace.
Bring the indoors outdoors
If you’re keen for an outdoor lifestyle this summer, we recommend you consider extending your natural gas connection to fuel your BBQ, spa, swimming pool and outdoor fire. Natural gas performs just as well outside your home as it does inside. If you already use natural gas for hot water, it’s cheaper than bottled gas and it never runs out unexpectedly.
Designer gas appliances abound
There’s a huge range of outdoor gas fires available so it’s easy to find a style that’s a perfect fit for your home. Choose a casual rustic look or make an architectural statement with a sleek, contemporary design. Or pick a double-sided design that provides a stunning fireplace for your living area and an outdoor fire all in the same stylish unit.
Increase the value of your home
Whatever the look, it’s bound to add to the appeal of your home. When it comes time to sell, your outdoor living space could be just the feature that catches a buyer’s eye and turns ‘like it’ into ‘love it’. Modern outdoor gas-powered fireplaces are designed to be functional too – with touch pad controls, clever safety features and weatherproof design.
Enjoy your spa pool leisure at a third of the cost
Power your outdoor spa pool with natural gas when you want to and enjoy the savings. It’ll be more economical because you’ll already be using gas indoors, and variable energy rates are about a third the price of electricity.
The luxury of a heated swimming pool
Enjoy the luxury of heating your swimming pool at a fraction of an electricity heated swimming pool … makes sense if you live in a less than tropical climate.
Turn bath time into ‘you time’
Make use of summer fixed costs and the efficiency of ‘unlimited’ hot water by enjoying luxury gas powered bath time. Gas continuous hot water systems heat the water as you need it so you never have to run out. Time spent in the water needn’t be just for the outdoors.
Installing gas outside is ‘simple as’
A licenced gas fitter will be able to help extend your connection outdoors. Installation is as simple as installing one or more bayonet points and a socket to plug your natural gas outdoor appliances into your outdoor entertaining area. Once installed, it’s easy to start – just flick the switch. Head here for a list of licensed reputable gas fitters in your area.
19 December 2017
Christmas on a scorching summer day – it’s a kiwi pastime.Your collective Christmas feast is prepared, and everyone’s enjoying the aroma of freshly caught snapper and scallops sizzling on the barbeque when the gas bottle dies … leaving you with no option but to cook inside, or make a mad dash to the service station. It doesn’t have to be that way. Natural gas is a non-stop fuel supply that gives you the freedom to stay out of the kitchen and enjoy the party. Get a natural gas-powered barbeque and stay connected 24/7.
Here’s why cookin’ with gas this Kiwi Christmas is better …
The effortless convenience of a switch
On the spur of the moment, gas powered bbq’s win over LPG, wood or charcoal. Natural gas is the restaurant industry standard because it’s so easy to control. As with restaurant gas powered ovens, gas powered bbqs run on speed and efficiency; the hob is hot from the get go, and cools down instantly. Instant heat with a natural gas powered bbq means far less preparation and more time with your family.
The convenience of a pro
Natural gas is the restaurant industry standard because it is so easy to control. Restaurants run on speed and efficiency; the hob is hot from the get go, and cools down instantly. With a gas powered bbq, you can channel your inner master-chef and get creative; quickly roast vegetables on the open flame without the fuss and wait of the oven or for the more adventurous, light brandy in a pan on fire to flambé for that delicious smoky flavour.
A portable connection to the indoors
Some portable barbeques can be configured to run on natural gas. Have some bayonet points installed by your gas fitter and you can move your barbeque, patio heaters and other natural gas appliances around by plugging them in at different spots around your deck or yard.
07 December 2017
The shower goes on, the shampoo comes out, the water goes cold …. you may be familiar with this scenario.According to Energywise, electric hot water cylinders are still the most common form of hot water heating in New Zealand. That being said, around 95% of people using natural gas hot water choose continuous flow. This energy efficient cost saving option enables them to opt out of the all too common electric cylinder ‘ice bucket challenge.’
Electric hot water cylinders have been part of our homes for decades, but there are now alternatives that can do the job better for less money – especially over the long term.
Key benefits of natural gas continuous flow units include:
> only heating what you need and paying for what you use
When you turn on the tap, there’s no need to store any water – and no standing losses. The earth will thank you and so will your wallet!
> on par with the cost of installing an electric cylinder and cheaper to run over time
Natural gas prices have been consistently lower than electricity and they’re expected to stay that way for the foreseeable future. Even with a fixed charge for gas, your natural gas connection will always work out a cheaper option to other types of water heating systems in a typical kiwi household.
> an endless supply of hot water that’s efficient to run.
Instant gas hot water systems provide continuous hot water that never goes cold, as the water is heated as it flows to the tap. That offers you the comfort and convenience of no more running out of hot water mid-lather.
> efficient use of your household space
Your instant gas unit sits on the outside of your house and unlike a hot water cylinder, doesn’t take up precious cupboard real-estate.
> control of heat
Many modern units let you set the temperature with a control panel, making them a safer choice for families with young children.
12 December 2017
When it comes to your home, nothing compares to natural gas. A natural gas powered home is warm, dry and luxuriously comfortable with better control and big savings over electricity. Though as you would with a car – or yourself, servicing your gas appliances at least every two years ensures validity of the warranty, extends the life and performance of energy in your home and prevents small issues from becoming big ones.
Natural gas appliances are incredibly efficient when well maintained and serviced. Some appliances promote 95% efficiency and 7 star ratings – so they cost a lot less to run than electrical appliances. Even with daily fixed charges, natural gas will almost always work out a cheaper option for families and busy households. Smart appliance technology, outstanding efficiency and lower per kilowatt prices for natural gas mean lower energy bills for most homes.
While most appliances will last a good ten years, to maintain cost efficiency and safety of your gas appliances over time, we recommend:
Service your appliance at least every two years
Consider this a spring clean for a comfortable safe and efficient winter…
Each appliance will have efficiency ratings. Check on your heater, boiler, gas hob and other gas appliances for the manufacturer’s ratings and recommended maintenance. Brands such as Rinnai, Paloma and Bosche recommend that you service your appliance at least every two years. Check their websites for further advice and nominated service agents.
Only have an authorised gas fitter check your appliance
New Zealand’s Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board (PGDB) offers a host of information on how to sort the pros from the cons.
They recommend that you shop around for a range of quotes and if you have doubts about your tradesperson, searching for them on the PGDP public register or requesting a copy of their NZ practicing licence. You can also phone PGDB on 0800 743 262 for this information.
All authorised tradesperson are required to carry their NZ practicing license.
Upgrade your tired appliances with modern technology
Modern gas appliances have made massive leaps and bounds in the technology and looks department.
Want a smart home with the comfort, cost and control of modern gas? With modern natural gas appliances you’ll enjoy programmable timers and thermostats, flick of the switch ignition, wireless/wifi remote control, and smartphone apps that put control firmly in your hands. There’s a good chance your modern gas appliance will be more efficient too.
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.
If your appliance hasn’t been serviced properly for a while or you feel it’s not operating correctly and you’re unsure who your manufacturer would recommend, head to The Gas Hub website for recommended service agents and special offers on new appliances.
Here’s to energy efficient comfortable and safe homes.