Traditionally, gas has been seen as the cheapest option for heating, with fossil fuel-powered energy sources the preference of households and businesses across the world. Take a moment to think through the houses you’ve lived in and/or purchased over the years. Have you demonstrated an unconscious bias for gas and fossil fuels in powering your home’s systems and appliances? Don’t worry – most people have.
Climate Council Australia recently reported that coal production in developed nations, like Australia, needs to fall by 50% within 5 years, and be eliminated by 2030 in order to stem climate change. When we consider that our current coal supplies are due to run out completely in just a few decades’ time, it’s clear: time is tight. The shift towards a more energy-efficient home is one that more and more Victorian and Australian home-owners are making. But why? And how can it be done in a way that’s safe, efficient and cost-effective to boot?
In this article, we’ll look at some major points of consideration surrounding the concept of the “All-Electric Home”, including:
- A definition of “All-Electric”
- The benefits of an All-Electric Home
- Tips on how to create an All-Electric Home
- Exploration of whether or not there are downsides to creating this type of home
Ready? So are we. And with 15+ years of experience in the game, we’re here to support you in making the switch! It may well be easier (and more cost-effective) than you think. An All-Electric Home is a type of residential property that is powered entirely by electricity, rather than relying on other forms of energy such as natural gas or oil.
This typically involves the use of electric appliances and HVAC systems, as well as solar panels, batteries and/or other forms of renewable energy generation to produce the electricity needed to power the home.
What are the benefits of an All-Electric Home?
We’ll explore each of these below. The main benefits of creating an All-Electric Home include:
- Cost savings
- Energy efficiency
- Reduced impact on the environment
- Positive impact on air quality
- Increased comfort and living convenience
Remember that the biggest consumers of energy in your home are often appliances and systems used for heating, cooling, cooking, and the generation of hot water. By switching out fossil fuels for renewable, all-electric energy solutions, you’ll start noticing the differences straight away – for both the environment, and your back pocket!
- Cost savings
One of the main benefits of an All-Electric Home is the money you save in long-term costs. While the upfront investment level of installing systems that help you create an All-Electric term may be higher, the research proved it time and time again: All-Electric Homes save you money. According to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), electric appliances and heating systems are generally cheaper to operate than their fossil fuel counterparts. For example, electric water heaters are typically cheaper to operate than gas water heaters, and electric heat pumps can be up to three times more efficient than gas-fired systems.
Put simply, this means that households can save money on their energy bills by switching to an All-Electric Home model, reducing or eliminating their consumption of fossil fuel-based energy sources.
- Energy efficiency
An All-Electric Home is also more energy-efficient than a traditional home, which helps to reduce both overall greenhouse gas emissions and the carbon footprints of individual homeowners and households – a huge plus!
According to decades worth of research covered on the Australian Government’s Your Home website, electric appliances and heating systems are vastly more efficient than their fossil fuel counterparts, meaning they use less energy to produce the same amount of heat or power.
To put this into perspective, a heat pump hot water system (supported by solar) is typically 400% more efficient than a regular gas or electric hot water system – the most common systems currently found in Victorian homes.
Additionally, an All-Electric Home may include solar panels to generate electricity and reduce dependence on fossil fuels.
- Reducing impact on the environment
Another benefit of an All-Electric Home is its reduced environmental impact. According to the Australian Government’s Clean Energy Regulator, the electricity generation sector is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Australia. By switching to an All-Electric Home, homeowners can reduce their own emissions, and make a huge contribution to reducing Australia’s emissions overall.
- Increasing air quality
All-Electric Homes can also have a positive impact on air quality. According to the Australian Government’s Department of Health, indoor air pollution can have a range of negative health effects, including respiratory problems and heart disease. Electric appliances and heating systems don’t produce emissions like fossil fuels, which can contribute to indoor air pollution.
- Comfort and convenience of living
What’s more, an All-Electric Home can provide you with greater overall comfort and convenience in your living situation. But how? Note, importantly, that electric appliances and heating systems are generally quieter and more reliable than their fossil fuel-based counterparts.
Additionally, many electric appliances can be controlled remotely (e.g. using apps or other wifi-controlled systems, much like SunPower’s incredible app), which can make it easier to manage and monitor your energy use, and – importantly – save money on bills.
How do I create an All-Electric Home?
At its most fundamental level, opting to create an All-Electric Home involves replacing fossil fuel-powered appliances and systems with electric alternatives. While one of the best and most popular ways to get started on your all-electric journey is to install solar, there are many ways to kick off. Here are our best tips:
- Assess your current energy usage: Before making any changes, it’s important to understand how you currently use energy in your home. This will help you identify which appliances and systems consume the most energy and should be replaced first.
- Replace fossil fuel appliances: Consider replacing fossil fuel-powered appliances such as gas stoves, boilers, and heaters with electric alternatives. Electric appliances are typically more efficient and cheaper to operate.
- Install an electric heat pump: Electric heat pumps are an efficient alternative to gas-fired or electric resistance hot water systems. They extract heat from the air or ground to heat water, which is much more efficient than generating heat directly.
- Invest in solar panels: High-quality Solar panels (like SunPower panels, supplied and installed by G Store) can be a cost-effective way to generate electricity for your All-Electric Home – learn more about our panels here.
- Consider energy-efficient appliances: When you replace appliances, look for energy-efficient models that have a high energy star rating.
- Monitor your energy usage: After making these changes, it’s important to monitor your energy usage to ensure that you are achieving the desired energy savings.
Are there any downsides to an All-Electric Home?
When all is said and done, one of the only possible “cons” to an All-Electric Home (depending on your perspective) is the higher upfront cost of installing the systems. But remember – it’s a small price to pay when you consider the huge range of positives that going all-electric can offer!
If you’d like to discuss a quote that’s custom-built for your specific needs, interests and requirements, give our friendly team a call today on 1300 766 940 – it would be our pleasure to help.