oung toddler peering over bathtub while mother sits outside the bathtub

Replace a broken hot water heater – energyFit Emergency Hot Water

When your hot water heater is broken, your priority is to get a replacement – fast. This can sometimes mean you end up with the cheapest, fastest to install, water heater which can actually cost you more than $10,000 in running cost over the years.

Emergency Hot Water Service

energyFit can help with your emergency hot water service. By asking you a few questions and using our software, we can pick the best hot water system for you. We can organise quotes and installation, providing you with a full service at your time of need.

Call us on 1800 940 464

You probably didn’t expect to pay for a new water heater today

energyFit can make sure you pay zero upfront cost for your new water heater and installation, while the savings you make on your bill cover the cost. With an energy efficient water heater, we can connect you with a finance plan, which means you can use your bill savings to make the repayments for your water heater and our service.

Our recommendations are independent and we don’t make commission off the products we recommend. We simply want to help you save money and make the best decision. Our full service fee is covered in the first year of bill savings, we typically pay for ourself twice in the first 12 months!

General Information

An average Australian home spends quarter of their electricity on hot water heating, for many homes it can be as much as half of your bill cost!

An example home of 3 people with an electric hot water system (these are a big cylinder either outside or in your laundry or a cupboard) that pays 27.5 cents for electricity would pay about $840 per year in electricity for an under 10-minute shower each day.

If you were to take that home and install a heat pump system, which takes heat from the air outside and pumps it into your hot water tank. Amazing, I know. Even if it’s cold outside this technology still works. The house with 3 people taking 8-minute showers would only pay $210 to heat their water. This is a saving of $630 per year. 

A water heater can last for 15 years. It pays (literally) to think about your choice of installation today. With electricity prices on the rise, the amount you save today could increase proportionally to the cost of electricity each year. By the 15th year of your water heater, you could be saving $890 each year. 

Choosing the right water heater now could put you on a holiday around the world! take the time and skip one cold shower to research and find the best option to reduce your bill. With one quick call to us we can help to choose the best product for you, down to the brand and model number. We can also arrange installation, we don’t take commission so you can be sure our advice is in your best interest.   commission, we are a fee for service so you know our advice is in your best interest.

Our service

At energyFit we want to help you. We want you to have the right information to make the right decisions. Our job is to analyse every option you have to reduce your energy bills, including hot water, and recommend the absolute best, tailored solution for you.

We don’t take commission and we don’t sell products, so you can be sure our advice is in your best interest. Our full service fee is designed to be less than you will save on your bill in the first year. If you’re here because your water heater is broken, call us now or request a call back and our fee will be paid for in your savings in the first 3 months! Spend a few minutes of time to save over $10,000 in cost.

Advice on Hot water based on where you live

Hot water advice Sydney
Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong and Coffs Harbour all have great weather! It’s not too hot and it not too cold, Goldilocks would love these cities. It also rains in these locations much more than the average across Australia. Surprisingly, these points have an impact on the hot water heater you should choose. Let’s take a closer look.
Firstly the two largest contributors to Australian household energy bills are heating/air conditioning and hot water. Since Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong and Coffs Harbour don’t need as much room heating compared with say Melbourne and don’t need as much air conditioning compared to say Brisbane, hot water makes up a much greater proportion of your electricity or gas bills. In Sydney hot water could easily make up 50 to 60 per cent your energy bills.

Off peak hot water Sydney
Now in NSW there is a lot of off peak hot water. If you are looking for it on your electricity bill it will say “controlled load”. Having off peak hot water is a good thing. It means you don’t pay full price for the electricity your hot water heater uses. Here is the bad news. Recently when the media reported that electricity companies put up the price of electricity in NSW by 20 per cent, what they didn’t report on was that electricity companies also put up the controlled load (off peak) price by 30 per cent. This means having a big, energy hungry hot water heater on off peak isn’t as good as it once was.
Options to reduce hot water costs in Sydney
So if you do want to reduce the energy consumed by your hot water system what do you do? You have a few options.
Gas hot water Sydney
You could install instantaneous gas. Instantaneous gas only produces hot water when you need it. This means you are not paying for all the heat that gets lost out the sides of the hot water storage tanks. However, the problem with instantaneous gas is you need to have gas connected. The price the gas company charges you for gas is made up of a number of things. Part of the cost is the price the gas company pays for the gas they buy to sell to you, however part of it pays for all the gas pipework to be maintained throughout the suburb. You are already paying for the electricity network throughout your suburb, do you really want to have to pay for the gas pipes and the electricity wires and poles? Why pay for two methods to deliver energy to your house when you can connect your hot water system to electricity and stop paying for all the gas network?
Basically it comes down to costs, because instantaneous gas does not loose heat from a hot water tank and because gas its self is relatively cheap, instantaneous gas is better than a standard electric water heater with a storage tank that’s not connected to off peak. However is instantaneous gas better than other electric options?
Remember the example above, the cost of electric hot water, not on off peak was $840 per year.
An instantaneous gas hot water system would use 12,920 MJ per year (the way to measure gas energy consumption), costing 2.6 cents per MJ and a daily connection fee of 67 cents. This works out to be $336 in gas usage and $245 in a daily connection fee. So if you don’t have gas for any other use, the cost is $336 + $245 = $581. However, if you would have to pay the gas connection fee anyway because you wanted to keep gas connected for say, your stove top, you could think of the cost of instantaneous gas as being just $336.
Remember the heat pump example only cost $210, so the heat pump is winning from a running cost point of view. However, the upfront cost of instantaneous gas is cheaper compared with a heat pump.
The factors that typically lead to instantaneous gas being a good idea are:
• There are less than 3 people living in the home, so the hot water energy bills are not large and therefore the energy savings from more efficient electric options are not worth the upfront cost.
• Gas is connected for cooking and you don’t want to move to induction cook tops
• Solar PV is not connected to the home and can’t be connected (see combining solar PV and electric hot water)
• There is not a lot of room for a hot water storage tank

The factors that typically lead to instantaneous gas not being a good idea are:
• There is no other use for gas in the home
• There are 3 or more people in the home (if there are around 3 it can be borderline depending on how much people use hot water)
• There is solar PV on the roof
• The gas line is not sized to allow the amount of gas instantaneous gas requires (can be an issue of gas storage was installed previously)

Solar Hot water Sydney
You could install solar hot water. Solar hot water takes energy from the sun to heat your hot water, and requires an electric or gas back up. Under test conditions in a lab, most solar hot water heaters can provide 70 per cent of your hot water needs from the sun, so you only pay electricity or gas bills for 30 per cent of the hot water you use. That’s great, however there are a few down sides to cover. The first is these system are expensive. The government does provide rebates, however even with these rebates the purchase price, plus the installation is expensive.
The other point to make about the Sydney climate is it rains quite a bit. When it’s raining, the sun isn’t shining so the solar hot water system needs to rely more on the electricity or gas back up, to heat the water. These systems perform better in western NSW (but be careful in climates with frost).
These systems are one of the few electric systems that don’t pair well with solar PV. For example, if the sun is shining, then you don’t need the electric boost, however that’s when your solar PV system is producing lots of energy that you could use for hot water heating. When the sun isn’t shining and you need the electric boost (30% of the time) the solar PV can’t provide that energy. The hot water panels also take up roof space, so if you are tight on roof space you may be deciding between putting on extra solar PV panels and solar hot water panels, which is an annoying decision for someone trying to reduce electricity bills.
Let’s again use our example above. If the standard hot water heater costs $840 to run, then using our 30% rule. The cost of solar hot water is $252 per year. Remember, our heat pump example cost $210 to run, so solar hot water may not be cheaper than a heat pump to run (does depend on the heat pump), the upfront cost is typically more for solar hot water and heat pumps combine better with solar PV.
We don’t usually recommend solar hot water as the best option for people but check the prices in your local area, it may work for you.

Heat pump hot water Sydney
So we have mentioned heat pump hot water systems and chances are you may have never heard of them before. Heat pumps basically take heat from the air outside and pump the heat into a hot water storage tank. The technology can take heat from outside, even if it’s cold and pump it into hot water. It might sound crazy but it does work and it’s how a reverse cycle air conditioner heats your room.
The really important factor to consider when looking at a heat pump is how much heat it can take from the air for every unit of electricity it needs. We call this a Coefficient of Performance or COP. A basic heat pump hot water heater can take 2 units of heat from the air and place it into the hot water tank for every one unit of electricity. Now the unit of electricity also gets converted to heat eventually and added to the hot water, so for every one unit of electricity you get 3 units of heat in your tank.
The more expensive heat pump hot water heaters can place 4 or 5 units of heat into the tank for every one unit of electricity.
If we want to compare hot heat pumps with solar hot water, we can convert the COP into a percentage of electricity needed for a heat pump which is then comparable to the electric boost of a solar hot water heater. A COP of 4 is equivalent to needing a 25% boost, a COP of 5 is equivalent to needing only 20% electric boost. Since heat pumps are generally lower upfront cost compared to solar hot water, they generally stack up better on a cost benefit analysis. Particularly in Sydney where it’s warm but cloudy.
Let’s take a closer look at the NSW coastal and what that means for heat pumps and solar hot water. Solar hot water heaters can get government rebates, to calculate the amount of money you get from rebates, solar hot water heaters are assessed across 4 broad zones which cover all Australia. This modelling is typically all the information you get from manufacturers on the energy efficiency of solar hot water heaters. Most of NSW is in climate zone 3, however, so is Canberra and Brisbane so it’s a pretty broad category. Luckily, this zone is actually modelled on Sydney so if you ask the manufacturer for information about the efficiency in Zone 3, you should be fine. In reality the efficiency in Sydney will be around 10 per cent worse compared to western NSW due to cloud cover, however the data you get will be pretty accurate.
Heat pumps work great in climates like Sydney. It actually doesn’t matter if the sun is shining or not. It does matter how warm the outside air is. If the air has more heat in it, more heat can be pumped into the hot water tank. Recall the COP we mentioned earlier. To remind you it’s the ratio between the amount of heat that is pumped into the tank compared to the amount of electricity the hot water heater uses. Let’s look at an example of a heat pump operating at different temperatures outside. A heat pump which can pump 3 units of heat into a hot water heater when its 15 degrees outside, for every 1 units of electricity (COP 3), may be able to pump 4 units of heat for every unit of electricity (COP 4) when its 30 degrees outside. Therefore, climates like Sydney, Wollongong, Newcastle and Coffs Harbour, where it almost never gets below zero degrees outside are great for heat pumps. The coldest temperature in Wollongong this year (2018) was 5 degrees, and good heat pumps will still have a COP of 2 at this temperature.
Heat pumps also pair really well with solar PV. They don’t take up roof space and the extra electricity they do use can be supplied by solar PV. Let’s take our example above, where the electricity cost is $210. Let’s keep the same assumption we used for solar hot water; that about 70% of hot water needs are on days when the sun is shining. So 70% of the $210 cost can actually be supplied through solar PV. If we say the value of solar PV is the value you get when you sell it back to the grid, then the cost to run a heat pump, when you have solar PV installed on the roof is $106. That’s down from $840 with a standard hot water heater, saving $734 per year.
The other great point about pairing solar PV with a heat pump is you can set the controls so that the heat pump turns on at say 10am and turns off when the water is hot, probably around 4pm. The water will then stay hot in the tank all night and still give you hot water in the morning. The reason you might do this is one, as we said the heat pump works best when its warm outside (between 10am and 4pm) and two, your solar system is typically producing most of its electricity and your heat pump could use the excess electricity rather than selling it back to the grid for a low price.
The downside of heat pumps is they don’t last as long as other units. Having a compressor inside, they last about as long as an air conditioner. Hot water heaters like standard electric, gas and solar hot water heaters will typically last 3 to 5 years longer.
It’s probably a good idea to have a look at the upfront cost in your local area, the electricity or gas savings you think you might get and the life of the unit and do the calculation to see if the energy savings are worth having to replace it in 12 years rather than say 15 years.

Electric storage Sydney
Electric storage is the most common type of hot water heater in Sydney and NSW more generally. The technology is in about half of all homes in NSW.
The technology is typically the most expensive to run, however there are some benefits. We’ll mostly cover the benefits because if you are here chances are you already know they use a lot of energy and you are probably thinking about alternatives.
Firstly, they are often on off peak electricity. This means rather than paying the 27.5 cents per unit of electricity we used for the standard example, the cost is more like 13.5 cents per unit of electricity.
Therefore, the cost goes from $840 per year, to $412. That’s a pretty good saving for not having to pay the upfront cost of solar hot water or a heat pump. It’s obviously still not as cheap from an electricity bill perspective as a heat pump which would be $103 if you put it on controlled load (not you can in Sydney but not always in areas that get frost at night).
The other interesting aspect to consider when thinking about replacing your electric hot water heater is do you have solar PV? If you do, are you typically exporting electricity (selling it back to the grid) during the day?
If you are selling electricity back to the grid in the middle of the day, either you have your hot water heater coming on at night (get an electrician in to change it to the middle of the day now!) or you have a large solar PV system and you are already heating your hot water with solar. If we take the value you sell solar back to the grid as being 8 cents per unit of electricity, then the cost of using excess solar PV electricity to heat your hot water with a standard storage tank is $244. This is pretty cheap. Typically, if you are already supplying all your hot water through excess solar PV and you are still selling it back to the grid, we wouldn’t recommend installing a more energy efficient hot water system. You may save a bit over $100 but that won’t cover the upfront cost.
This raises an interesting question for people who are thinking about installing a more energy efficient hot water system and installing solar PV. Are you better off just installing a standard electric hot water system and a few extra PV panels? The answer I’m sorry to say is, maybe. It’s a complicated question and it depends on the value of the solar electricity you sell back to the grid. If you only get 8 cents for it maybe it’s not worth installing a more efficient hot water system, however if you get 11 cents a more efficient hot water system could make sense. It also depends on the cost of extra solar PV panels and how many you can fit on the roof.

The first thing to say about Melbourne is its gas price is really low! Now we are not talking about petrol, we are taking about gas piped to your home. Melbourne, Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, Echuca, Shepparton, Traralgon, Warrnambool and Wodonga all have really low gas prices compared to other cities in Australia. This factor as well as the fact that Victoria actually has a winter have the biggest impact on the hot water heater you should choose. Let’s take a closer look.
Options to reduce hot water costs in Melbourne and wider Victoria
So if you do want to reduce your bills you have a few options. The first think to know is, what is your current hot water heater?
• Gas storage – Looks like a large rectangle outside
• Gas instantaneous – A small box that sits on a wall outside
• Electric storage – Primarily in rural areas without gas or in apartments, looks like a cylinder
• Heat Pump – if you have one of these you probably already know what it is, a large cylinder with the outside part of an air conditioner on top or next to the tank.
• Solar Hot Water – a cylindrical tank either on the roof lying flat, or standing upright outside or in a garage. There will also be either some flat plates on the roof or a number of tubes.
If you have gas storage or electric storage, you’re in luck. There are definitely options to reduce your hot water bills. If you have one of the more efficient technologies, it might still be worth choosing an alternative. Let’s take a look.
Gas hot water Melbourne / Victoria with gas
You could install instantaneous gas. Instantaneous gas only produces hot water when you need it. This means you are not paying for all the heat that gets lost out the sides of a gas or electric storage tank. However, the problem with instantaneous gas is you need to have gas connected. Now for most Victorians this is not a problem because you are probably going to keep gas connected for heating and cooking. Check out our heating and cooking service pages for more info. If you don’t have gas on the street however, bottled gas can be quite expensive.
If are connected to the suburb gas network it’s worth noting, the price the gas company charges you for gas is made up of a number of things. Part of the cost is the price the gas company pays for the gas they buy to sell to you, however part of it pays for all the gas pipework to be maintained throughout the suburb. You are already paying for the electricity network throughout your suburb, do you really want to have to pay for the gas pipes and the electricity wires and poles? Why pay for two methods to deliver energy to your house when you can connect your hot water system to electricity and stop paying for all the gas network? This is a reasonable question to ask yourself, it doesn’t mean gas is a bad idea, however with rising energy prices it is worth thinking about for the future.
Basically it comes down to costs, because instantaneous gas does not loose heat from a hot water tank and because gas its self is relatively cheap, instantaneous gas is better than a standard electric storage water heater or a standard gas storage water heater. However is instantaneous gas better than other electric options? Let’s take a look
Remember the example above, the cost of electric hot water, not on off peak was $840 per year.
An instantaneous gas hot water system would use 12,920 MJ per year (the way to measure gas energy consumption), costing 1.95 cents per MJ and a daily connection fee of 70 cents. This works out to be $252 in gas usage and $256 in a daily connection fee. So if you don’t have gas for any other use, the cost is $252 + $256 = $508. However, if you would have to pay the gas connection fee anyway because you wanted to keep gas connected for say, your stove top, you could think of the cost of instantaneous gas as being just $252.
Remember the heat pump example only cost $210, so the heat pump is winning from a running cost point of view. However, the upfront cost of instantaneous gas is cheaper compared with a heat pump. So if you had other gas items such as cooking or room heating, the heat pump would not payback. That said, it’s always good to check what additional government rebates are going in Victoria for heat pump hot water systems.
The other point to consider when choosing instantaneous gas for your hot water, is it does not pair well with solar PV. Obviously gas water heaters cannot use electricity, however most people produce much more solar electricity than they can use during the middle of the day. Converting to some form of electric hot water storage, allows you to use that excess electricity and store the energy in hot water. For information a 400 Litre hot water heater can store about 23kWh of energy, that’s equivalent to the effective energy storage of two Tesla Power Walls.

Solar Hot water Melbourne / Victoria
You could install solar hot water. Solar hot water takes energy from the sun to heat your hot water, and requires an electric or gas back up. Under test conditions in a lab, most solar hot water heaters can provide 70 per cent of your hot water needs from the sun, so you only pay electricity or gas bills for 30 per cent of the hot water you use. That’s great, however there are a few down sides to cover. The first is these system are expensive, particularly if you go with the gas boost. The government does provide rebates, however even with these rebates the purchase price, plus the installation is expensive.
The other point to make about the Victorian climate its cold in winter. These systems can be frost tolerant (you need to check this for the model you install) but the efficiency does reduce when it’s cold and the sun is low in the sky in winter. If we compare the efficiency between the same solar hot water heaters in Melbourne and Sydney, we find on average they are 15% more efficient in Sydney. So when a solar hot water supplier says something like “save up to 80%” or “save up to 70” of your bills they may be basing their saving on Sydney, or worse Darwin. This is particularly true if its generic literature online.
For a rough rule of thumb you can take their “up to” claim and minus 15%. Or alternatively, you can give them a call and see if they have the details of how efficient their system is, when installed at your location. Don’t be afraid to ask.
Additionally, these systems are one of the few electric systems that don’t pair well with solar PV. For example, if the sun is shining, then you don’t need the electric or gas boost, however that’s when your solar PV system is producing lots of energy that you could use for hot water heating. When the sun isn’t shining and you need the electric boost (30% of the time or more) the solar PV can’t provide that energy. The hot water panels also take up roof space, so if you are tight on roof space you may be deciding between putting on extra solar PV panels and solar hot water panels, which is an annoying decision for someone trying to reduce electricity bills.
Let’s again use our example above. If the standard hot water heater costs $840 to run, then using a 45% boost factor. The cost of solar hot water is $378 per year. Remember, our heat pump example cost $210 to run, so solar hot water may not be cheaper than a heat pump to run (does depend on the heat pump), the upfront cost is typically more for solar hot water and heat pumps combine better with solar PV.
We don’t usually recommend solar hot water as the best option for people but check the prices in your local area, it may work for you.

Heat pump hot water Melbourne / Victoria
So we have mentioned heat pump hot water systems and chances are you may have never heard of them before. Heat pumps basically take heat from the air outside and pump the heat into a hot water storage tank. The technology can take heat from outside, even if it’s cold and pump it into hot water. It might sound crazy but it does work and it’s how a reverse cycle air conditioner heats your room.
The really important factor to consider when looking at a heat pump is how much heat it can take from the air for every unit of electricity it needs. We call this a Coefficient of Performance or COP. A basic heat pump hot water heater can take 2 units of heat from the air and place it into the hot water tank for every one unit of electricity. Now the unit of electricity also gets converted to heat eventually and added to the hot water, so for every one unit of electricity you get 3 units of heat in your tank.
The more expensive heat pump hot water heaters can place 4 or 5 units of heat into the tank for every one unit of electricity.
If we want to compare hot heat pumps with solar hot water, we can convert the COP into a percentage of electricity needed for a heat pump which is then comparable to the electric boost of a solar hot water heater. A COP of 4 is equivalent to needing a 25% boost, a COP of 5 is equivalent to needing only 20% electric boost. Since heat pumps are generally lower upfront cost compared to solar hot water, they generally stack up better on a cost benefit analysis. However heap pumps are less efficient when operating in cold climates so it’s worth thinking about how one might perform in your location.
Let’s take a closer look at the both coastal Victoria (Melbourne and surrounds) and Regional Victoria to what that means for heat pumps.
Heat pumps work great when it’s warm outside but they do loose efficiency when it’s cold. In Melbourne the COP is not likely to drop below 1.5 for good heat pumps. This means even at -3 degrees C 33% of the heat going into your hot water heater is free energy. Mostly in Melbourne the day time winter temperature is around 14 degrees C, so a good heat pump will still have a COP of 3. This means in winter 67% of your water heating is still free.
Heat pumps also pair really well with solar PV. They don’t take up roof space and the extra electricity they do use can be supplied by solar PV. Let’s take our example above, where the electricity cost is $210. Let’s keep the same assumption we used for solar hot water; that about 55% of hot water needs are on days when the sun is shining. So 55% of the $210 cost can actually be supplied through solar PV. If we say the value of solar PV is the value you get when you sell it back to the grid, then the cost to run a heat pump, when you have solar PV installed on the roof is $140. That’s down from $840 with a standard hot water heater, saving $700 per year.
The other great point about pairing solar PV with a heat pump is you can set the controls so that the heat pump turns on at say 10am and turns off when the water is hot, probably around 4pm. The water will then stay hot in the tank all night and still give you hot water in the morning. The reason you might do this is one, as we said the heat pump works best when its warm outside (between 10am and 4pm) and two, your solar system is typically producing most of its electricity and your heat pump could use the excess electricity rather than selling it back to the grid for a low price.
The downside of heat pumps is they don’t last as long as other units. Having a compressor inside, they last about as long as an air conditioner. Hot water heaters like standard electric, gas and solar hot water heaters will typically last 3 to 5 years longer.
It’s probably a good idea to have a look at the upfront cost in your local area, the electricity or gas savings you think you might get and the life of the unit and do the calculation to see if the energy savings are worth having to replace it in 12 years rather than say 15 years.

Electric storage
Electric storage is not common larger Victorian towns and cities. It is more common in rural areas that don’t have gas.
The technology is typically the most expensive to run, however there are some benefits. We’ll mostly cover the benefits because if you are here chances are you already know they use a lot of energy and you are probably thinking about alternatives.
The most interesting aspect to consider when thinking about replacing your electric hot water heater is do you have solar PV? If you do, are you typically exporting electricity (selling it back to the grid) during the day?
If you are selling electricity back to the grid in the middle of the day, either you have your hot water heater coming on at night (get an electrician in to change it to the middle of the day now!) or you have a large solar PV system and you are already heating your hot water with solar. If we take the value you sell solar back to the grid as being 8 cents per unit of electricity, then the cost of using excess solar PV electricity to heat your hot water with a standard storage tank is $244. This is pretty cheap. Typically, if you are already supplying all your hot water through excess solar PV and you are still selling it back to the grid, we wouldn’t recommend installing a more energy efficient hot water system. You may save a bit over $100 but that won’t cover the upfront cost.
This raises an interesting question for people who are thinking about installing a more energy efficient hot water system and installing solar PV. Are you better off just installing a standard electric hot water system and a few extra PV panels? The answer I’m sorry to say is, maybe. It’s a complicated question and it depends on the value of the solar electricity you sell back to the grid. If you only get 8 cents for it maybe it’s not worth installing a more efficient hot water system, however if you get 11 cents a more efficient hot water system could make sense. It also depends on the cost of extra solar PV panels and how many you can fit on the roof.