Switching from gas to all-electric alternatives in your home can have significant benefits for both the environment and your back pocket.
But where should you start?
Firstly, realise that most people feel some sense of confusion when they have the will to change-up their systems and appliances but don’t necessarily know where to begin. For some, the decision can feel nebulous. To others, it can come with a preconception that the switch is expensive to undertake.
Don’t let an initial sense of uncertainty distract you. The switch away from gas may involve a slightly higher upfront investment level, but it’s likely to save you a whole heap of money in the long run. In fact, many customers powering towards an all-electric home bid farewell to gas bills forever, significantly reducing their carbon footprint while they’re at it.
In this article, we will explore five essential tips to guide you through the process of making the switch from gas to all-electric alternatives, empowering you to create a more sustainable and energy-efficient home for the long-term.
Ready? Let’s get cracking.
Tip 1: Get off gas by enhancing the energy-efficiency of your home
Before making the switch to all-electric alternatives, it’s essential to start by enhancing the energy efficiency of your home. To this end, there are a bunch of small, free (or generally very affordable) actions you can take to make sure your home is operating from a great baseline.
- Check gaps: Older houses are often poorly insulated, leading to heat leakage and increased energy consumption. The first step is to conduct an energy audit of your home to identify areas that need improvement. Fill and seal gaps around skirting boards, architraves, doors and windows using gap sealer or weather strips from hardware shops to prevent drafts and heat loss.
- Upgrade your insulation: Insulate walls and ceilings with batts or loose-fill insulation to regulate indoor temperatures and reduce the need for heating and cooling. For houses with under-floor access, adding insulation batts under the floors can further enhance energy efficiency.
- Improve your windows: Upgrading windows to double or triple glazing with insulative frames such as uPVC, timber, or thermally-broken aluminium can significantly improve energy efficiency. Alternatively, retro-fit magnetically attached acrylic panels or bubble-wrap can imitate the effects of double-glazing. Fitted blinds or curtains with pelmets can also help in maintaining indoor temperatures.
- Look into passive heating and cooling techniques: Taking advantage of natural shade and cooling from well-placed trees and shrubbery or installing awnings to shade west-facing windows from summer afternoon sun can further reduce cooling needs.
Tip 2: Switch from gas by changing your heating system
One of the most significant components of your gas consumption is heating. Therefore, it’s crucial to consider replacing gas-powered heating systems with electric alternatives.
Here are two energy-efficient alternatives you can begin exploring with the help of a trusted team like G Store:
- Heat pumps: Heat pumps are highly efficient and eco-friendly heating solutions. They work by harnessing renewable energy sources such as air, water, or the ground to heat your home. Importantly, heat pumps can be up to four times more energy-efficient than their gas heater counterparts, making them a vastly more cost-effective and sustainable choice.
- Electric heaters: Electric heaters come in various forms, including radiant heaters, fan heaters, and panel heaters. While they may not be as energy-efficient as heat pumps, they can still be a viable option for smaller spaces or for use as supplementary heating where an alternative is not possible. Some electric panel heaters can operate at a fraction of the cost of gas heaters at just a few cents per hour, depending on your electricity contract.
When choosing a heating system, we suggest paying special attention to the size of your home, the climate in your area, and the specifics of your budget.
For more substantial energy savings, we suggested investing in a well-insulated home with heat pumps as the primary heating source – and perhaps a brand-new solar system thrown in, if this is achievable for you.
Tip 3: Get of gas by reassessing your current hot water system
Hot water is another significant contributor to gas consumption in households.
At this point, we strongly suggest you consider replacing gas-powered water heaters with alternatives that offer higher efficiency and better performance overall:
- Heat pump hot water: Heat pump water heaters utilise heat from the ambient air outside of your house (air-source hot water heat pumps) to heat the water in your tank. Heat pumps are incredibly energy-efficient, and are known to produce up to three times more energy than they consume – a huge positive! While heat pumps may have a higher upfront cost than more traditional gas and electric hot water systems, the long-term savings and environmental benefits make them an excellent investment. Check out the Victorian government rebates available for heat pumps here.
- Solar hot water systems: Unsurprisingly, solar hot water systems utilise solar energy from the sun in order to heat your hot water. Available in a variety of specifications, solar hot water units are some of the most efficient hot water systems available on the market – and there are ample government rebates available too!
Tip 4: Get of gas by refreshing your cooking appliances
As you’re likely aware, gas stoves are a common feature in many households.
However, with the Victorian government’s recent announcement that gas connections will be phased out for all new houses from 1 January 2024, now is the time to switch to more energy-efficient alternatives.
But while many people are aware of the long-term benefits of getting off gas, those same people can be reluctant to do so because of their beliefs surrounding gas to be a quicker and more reliable heating source in the short-term.
Is that you? Don’t worry – we’ve fought those feelings too!
Luckily, non-gas cooking appliances have a vome a very long way – likely since you last looked. Let’s check out two great alternatives: induction cooktops and electric ovens:
- Induction cooktops: Induction cooktops are becoming increasingly popular due to their precise temperature control and faster cooking times. They use electromagnetic technology to heat your cookware directly, making them highly energy-efficient and safer as they don’t produce an open flame. Many induction cooktops also have impressive safety features like auto-off for accidental boil-over.
- Electric ovens: Electric ovens are a standard alternative to gas ovens and can offer comparable cooking performance. Many contemporary convection ovens offer you combined microwave/oven functionality, Look for ovens with energy-saving features, such as convection fans and programmable settings, to further enhance the efficiency of your oven.
Tip 5: Get of gas by putting a solid plan in place
While many people feel like making switch from gas to all-electric alternatives requires careful planning, budgeting and commitment, our advice is much more simple: just get started on the journey.
Making sure you take small steps early on can set a plan in place involving decades of significant, long-term savings for you and your household. Let’s take a look at some small-but-important first steps you can take today:
Step 1: Prioritise Your Appliances
Start by identifying any gas-powered appliances and old/energy-inefficient in your home that you may wish to replace. List them based on their condition and expected lifespan, making it easier to plan for their replacement in a timely, cost-effective manner.
Step 2: Choose alternative appliances
Research and choose suitable electric alternatives for each gas-powered appliance on your list. Consider factors such as energy efficiency, performance, and cost. Opt for appliances that meet your needs while minimising energy consumption. Unsure about choosing the best appliance for your needs? You can call G Store any time on 1300 766 940!
Step 3: Set a Timeline
Create a timeline for your transition, taking into account factors such as your budget, planned renovations, and availability of good prices at sales. By setting a timeline, you can minimise inconvenience, reduce costs, and make an orderly replacement based on your specific needs, in a way that works for your budget and cashflow.
Step 4: Seek out energy rebates and financial support
Australia offers numerous schemes and programs to support energy-efficient households. These schemes are provided by various government entities accessible to Victorians including the Australian government, Victorian government, other state/territory governments, local councils, energy and appliance retailers, installers, and community groups.
You can check out the current 2023 solar and associated rebates available in Victoria.
Step 5: Recycle your old appliances
When replacing your gas-powered appliances, you can also inquire with your chosen installer about disposing of your old ones. It is essential to ensure that old appliances are taken to a scrap metal recycler instead of ending up in landfills. This is particularly crucial for old heat pumps (and air conditioners) that contain refrigerant, which should be safely recovered in accordance with Australian standards.
Some major retailers offer “disposal and take-back” services that include the removal of polystyrene packaging, making the recycling process even more convenient and accessible for homeowners – however, do make sure you check where your disposed goods are likely to end up! It pays to keep companies accountable.
What’s our top advice?
Don’t let overwhelm stop you from taking the first steps on your journey towards getting of gas. As experts in the art of patient guidance and support, you’ll love G Store’s award-winning customer service – we’re certain of it.
We can’t wait to meet you.