Is An Electric Hot Water System Worth It?

Is An Electric Hot Water System Worth It?

When it comes to hot water, it is something a lot of us take for granted until it isn’t working or isn’t around when it should be. Think stepping into a shower expecting a nice hot water flow, but being met with an icy stream or trying to fill the bathtub for a nice warm bath, but the water turns out to be freezing. In order to ensure this happens as little as possible in your home or office, it is super important to choose the right hot water system for your needs. Considering the huge range of available hot water system options – solar, gas, instant, electric, storage, heat pump, just to name a few – it can be quite overwhelming to take a look at them all.

Electric Hot Water System

As electric hot water systems service over 50% of Australians, which is a considerable amount when you think about how many hot water systems there are available, we therefore thought we’d take a look at the pros and cons of an electric hot water system to see if they really are worth buying, and see why they are so popular. If you have any further questions, or would like some other electrical assistance, give Captain Cook Electrical a call on 0481 134 679 today!

Water heating accounts for the second largest segment of household energy use, after space heating and cooling.

What is an electric hot water system?

An electric hot water system is an arrangement that ensures you receive hot water to the piping in your home or office. There are two kinds of system – instantaneous (otherwise known as tank-less) and storage – with storage options servicing around 1/2 of the Australian population.

Hot Water

Electric storage hot water unit

An electric storage hot water system is made up of an insulated storage tank, usually cylindrical, where hot water is stored until it is ready to be used. The temperature at which the water is kept usually sits between 60-80°C, and is heated by one or more electric resistance elements that are contained within the storage tank. When you think about it, an electric hot water system kind of works like a kettle – it heats the water in the same way, however a storage system keeps the water hot at all times. The water level ebbs and flows depending on usage, and the amount of cold water entering offsets the water temperature, which sets the electric resistance elements in motion again to commence heating the new influx of water.

Continuous flow (instant) hot water system

In comparison, when it comes to the instant electric hot water system, the heating element is coiled around the pipes to heat the water inside on demand rather than needing to store the hot water for use.

Electric Hot Water System Temperature

Pros and cons of an electric hot water system

Just like anything, there are both advantages and disadvantages to an electric hot water system. These include :


  • Low upfront costs
  • Easy and cheap to install
  • Reliable
  • Hot water supply is only slightly affected during a blackout
  • Heat in off-peak times to reduce electricity costs
  • Water ready at all times
  • Popular choice, with over 50% of Australian homes using them
  • In relation to cooking and cleaning, instantaneous electric hot water systems are very convenient
  • As instant hot water systems are tank less, this allows for under sink and small area storage


  • Expensive long-term
  • Not environmentally friendly if not run on renewable sources
  • Storage tank can take awhile to refill and reheat
  • The government is trying to phase out electric hot water systems and you may need to check regulations in your area

Is an Electric Hot Water System worth it?

When it comes down to it, it really depends on your circumstances as to whether an electric hot water system is suitable for you and worth it. Although electric storage systems tend to be more expensive to run in the long term, they have a smaller upfront cost and are reliable and easy to install. If you are environmentally conscious however, an electric hot water system is not the most appropriate option for you (unless it will run off renewable sources). Take a look at the kind of usage the system is going to receive, how many people are going to be using the system at once and your budget, among other things, to see if an electric hot water system is suitable for your needs.

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Your electric hot water experts

If you have any questions regarding electric hot water, or would like one of our electric hot water specialists to attend your home or business, give Captain Cook Electrical a call on 0481 134 679 or complete an online job booking form now.

Resources :

Energy Rating (Electric Water Heaters)

Australian Government – Department of the Environment and Energy (Hot Water Systems) :

Energy Rating (Water Heating) :

Australian Government – Your Home (Hot Water Service) :

CHOICE (Hot Water Systems) :


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