8 Steps to Calculating the Price of a Hot Water System

If you’re looking to upgrade or replace your existing hot water system, chances are you’ve discovered that making the best choice isn’t straightforward. There are so many options now. Hot water system installation choices include electric powered, gas powered, solar powered, heat pumps and a confusing mixture of all four. To try to clear up the confusion, we’ve put together a guide for the 8 steps to calculating the cost of the best hot water system installation for you.

1. Your Household Needs

First, make sure your new system is suitable for your family’s needs. A system that’s too big will be wasting money and one that’s too small will really upset your teenagers! Make no mistake, just heating your hot water is a sizable proportion of your annual energy bill.

2. Unit Size and Type

There are four main types of hot water systems. These are; electric, gas, solar and heat pump. For electric we have Storage heaters and Instant heaters. The Instant type doesn’t have a tank and simply heat the water very quickly on demand. Secondly, for gas, we again have both Storage and Instant. Thirdly, Solar water heaters are becoming popular. Bear in mind though, most solar water heaters will require a boost on a cloudy day. They are the most expensive to buy but do have lower running costs. Finally, we have Heat Pump hot water systems. Heat Pumps are efficient but they not suitable for everyone. Here’s a chart to give you an idea of purchase costs.

3. Delivery Costs

Delivery costs need to be factored into your budget. Some systems are small, such as instant water heaters but others, like a big electric storage system, can weigh up to 150kg and need 2 men to move them.

4. Installation Costs

With installation, there’s a lot of variables at play. Complexity, location, size and position all matter. Obviously, if the job requires additional plumbing, electrical work or additional valves then the cost will increase. It’s best to ask your plumber or electrician to inspect the site and give an estimate before any work starts.

5. Site Access

Every site is different and poor access, high roofs, steep or narrow stairs all add up to more time on site.

6. Government rebates

NSW offers various rebates for customers wishing to install more energy-efficient systems such as solar and heat pump. Check out the details here.

7. Disposal

There’s a charge to safely dispose of your old water system. Environmentally responsible disposal may add around $80.00.

8. Running Costs

Every system is different and Return on Investment varies greatly. The main factors include energy type, tariffs and efficiency (or energy rating). Here’s a quick guide:

TypeTariff / EfficiencyEstimated Yearly Max. Cost
Electric :Storage tank Peak tariff$950
 Instant tankless Peak tariff $785
Storage tank Off-Peak tariff $800
Natural Gas:Storage tank
4 energy star rating  
Storage tank
5.5 energy star rating
Instant tankless
5.5 energy star rating
Instant tankless
7 energy star rating
LPG (Bottle gas):  Storage tank
5.5 energy star rating
LPG (Bottle gas): Storage tank
4 energy star rating
Instant tankless
5.5 energy star rating
Instant tankless
7 energy star rating
Electric boosted storage tanks
Peak tariff standard $370
High efficiency$275
Off-peak tariff standard$260
High efficiency$180
Natural Gas Boosted 
High efficiency$75
LPG (Bottle Gas)
High efficiency$100
Heat Pump:Electric boosted storage tank
Peak tariff standard 
High efficiency$270
Off-peak tariff standard$240
High efficiency$180
Contact Sowter Electrical & Air Conditioning today to explore your best options for an efficient and affordable Hot Water System installation