First time gas user? Here’s what you need to know
Looking for a more efficient way to heat your home? Running out of hot water in the shower? Dodgy electrical stovetop ruining your ribeye?
Gas could be the answer to your woes.
Responsive, clean-burning and cost-effective, gas is an excellent energy option for anyone who wants more control over their heating and cooking. New Zealand is blessed with an abundance of gas resources, providing Kiwis with a reliable source of energy for decades to come.
If you’re a newcomer to gas, you’ll probably have some questions about how it all works. We’ve got you covered. We’ve rounded up all the essential information you need to know before making the switch to gas.
LPG vs natural gas: What’s the difference?
In New Zealand, we use two main types of gas in our homes.
1. Natural gas
Sometimes referred to as “mains gas”, “piped gas” or “reticulated gas”, natural gas is a colourless hydrocarbon largely made up of methane. It burns cleanly and produces no smoke, dust or ash. Natural gas is the most common form of household gas in New Zealand.
Unlike LPG, natural gas is piped directly into your home where it is used to power your gas appliances. Because natural gas is connected via the mains, you don’t need to manage your supply, which means you effectively have an unlimited supply of gas at your disposal.
The only drawback of natural gas is that it is not available in all areas. To check if your home can be hooked up to natural gas, give us a call on 0800 473 976. Natural gas is available for most homes in the North Island but is not available in the South Island due to a lack of natural gas deposits in the region.
Liquefied petroleum gas is usually made using a mix of propane and butane. The main difference between LPG and natural gas is that LPG is delivered in bottles. This makes it an excellent option for households in regions where natural gas is not available or if it’s not economically feasible to install natural gas.
It’s important to note that LPG is just as versatile as natural gas. It’s easy to assume that LPG is mostly just used to fire up the barbie, but it actually has a wide range of applications and can be used to power your hot water cylinder and clothes dryer, provide fuel for your furnace and give you an unparalleled level of cooking precision in the kitchen.
In contrast to natural gas, you’ll need to monitor and manage your own supply of LPG. You can do so by simply checking the regulator located on the top of your cylinders. Red indicates that the cylinder is empty. If one cylinder is empty, your system will automatically switch over to your second cylinder, but it’s a good idea to order a refill straight away to avoid running out of gas. If you would like to add LPG to your Grey Power Electricity account, please fill in the form here or call 0800 473 976.
Whether you’re getting natural gas or LPG, you’ll be pleased to know the connection process is quick and straightforward.
Connecting natural gas
If you don't already have gas hooked up to your home, you’ll need to get in touch with a registered gasfitter, who will be able to provide you with a quote and take care of the installation. The installation might involve digging a small trench along your driveway to connect your home to the natural gas network.
If you do already have gas in place, making the switch to Grey Power Electricity is as simple as adding natural gas to your account or calling us on 0800 473 976. Our friendly service team will contact your current supplier and take care of everything on your behalf to make the switch as simple as possible. It may take up to 23 working days to move from your supplier to Grey Power Electricity.
If you’re new to LPG, you’ll need to contact a registered gasfitter to install and connect your system. This involves installing an internal gas piping system for your appliances and connecting the installation to the gas cylinders once they have been delivered. Your gas appliances need to be installed and certified before we can supply you with LPG.
If you use another supplier for LPG and would like to switch to Grey Power Electricity, please fill out our online form or give us a call on 0800 473 976. We’ll work our magic behind the scenes to ensure the transition goes smoothly and deliver your new LPG cylinders to you within the next 2-7 working days.
Safety tips for new gas users
Gas is widely considered to be a very safe energy option. Modern gas appliances are governed by strict regulations and often include a variety of advanced safety features designed to minimise the risk of injury and keep you safe.
Nevertheless, both natural gas and LPG are highly flammable and can pose a serious risk if handled incorrectly.
Here are a few tips to help keep you safe when using gas:
- Always use a registered gasfitter: Whether you’re installing gas appliances or making changes to your system, it’s essential that you always use a licensed gasfitter. This is important from both a legal and safety perspective.
- Keep flames away from gas: Natural gas and LPG are incredibly flammable. Keep open flames away from both your gas appliances and gas supply.
- Be mindful of gas leaks: Natural gas and LPG are naturally odourless, but are odourised with a stenching agent to give them a distinct rotten egg smell. If you smell a gas leak, immediately turn off your gas supply and gas appliances and contact a registered gas fitter.
- Install carbon monoxide alarms: Natural gas and LPG may produce carbon monoxide (a toxic gas that can cause carbon monoxide poisoning) if your gas appliances are defective or poorly maintained. Mitigate this risk by installing at least one carbon monoxide alarm on every floor of your house and keeping your appliances well maintained.
- Check before digging: Depending on where you are in the country, there could be a network of natural gas pipelines in your backyard. These pipes are very strong, but they can be damaged if you dig into them, which could result in a gas leak. If you’re planting a tree, digging a hole or building something in the garden, give us a call on 0800 473 976 and we’ll double check to make sure it’s safe to dig.
Become a Grey Power Electricity Gas customer
Here at Grey Power Electricity, we’re proud to offer LPG and natural gas to all our electricity customers. By combining your electricity and gas with Grey Power Electricity, you will receive our All Energy Discount of 0.40c per day, which adds up to almost $150 per year!
If you’re thinking about becoming a Grey Power Electricity gas customer, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us today on 0800 473 976 or fill out our online enquiry form and a member of the team will be in touch with you shortly.