Gas is used in some communities as an affordable alternative fuel for cooking and heating, or to reduce the load demand on the electrical power generation system.
The most commonly available form of gas supply in rural and remote communities is bottled gas. However, bottled gas may be no cheaper than electricity due to high delivery costs. The initial capital cost of a large gas bottle can also be too expensive for households on a low income. It is important to investigate these costs and the logistics of delivery and installation of bottles before specifying bottled gas or gas powered appliances.
Some communities have opted to reduce costs and avoid the constant maintenance associated with replacing gas bottles by installing a large centralised gas cylinder and running underground gas reticulation throughout the community. When used in this way, gas may be more cost effective than electricity for cooking, heating and producing hot water.
Before specifying any sort of gas system it is important to confirm that residents are happy to use gas in houses. It may be necessary to implement a program to familiarise residents with using gas to cook food and heat their home.