In the ongoing debate surrounding gas and electricity as primary energy sources for homes, the allure of “saving cots” often pulls homeowners towards gas solutions.
While the prospect of a lower energy bill might seem like a great thing in the short term, it’s crucial to consider the bigger picture. Making an informed decision about the pros and cons of gas appliances and gas-reliant systems requires delving into various factors, including:
- Long-term savings
- Environmental impact
- The availability of more energy-efficient alternatives
Let’s get cracking.
Understanding the Gas vs. Electricity Dilemma
For many households, electricity is the go-to energy source due to its versatility and accessibility.
However, gas also holds a significant position in the minds of Victorian homeowners, especially when it comes to highly specific applications like stove-top cooking. The decision between gas and electricity can be complex, as both have their advantages and drawbacks.
Gas, primarily in the form of natural gas, is often considered for heating, water heating, and cooking. While electricity can fulfil these needs as well, gas appliances are typically thought of as being cheaper to run, at least in terms of usage charges.
As you’ll recognise, this immediate cost-effectiveness can be enticing, leading some customers to believe that gas is the clear winner.
Choosing Gas: Short-term Costs vs. Long-term Savings
One of the main misconceptions surrounding the gas vs. electricity debate is the focus on short-term cost savings.
Gas appliances might offer lower usage charges, but this doesn’t necessarily translate into long-term financial benefits. When evaluating the cost-effectiveness of energy sources, it’s essential to consider the total cost of ownership, including installation, maintenance, and potential upgrades.
Gas appliances, while more efficient in terms of usage, often come with higher upfront costs. Moreover, the maintenance and repair expenses for gas systems can escalate over time.
On the other hand, while electricity usage charges might be slightly higher, the lower installation and maintenance costs, coupled with advances in energy-efficient electrical appliances, can contribute to substantial long-term savings.
- Heating and cooling: Transitioning from gas heating systems to energy-efficient electric heat pump systems can result in significant savings. On average, households can save up to 30-50% on their heating and cooling costs by switching to heat pumps. This can translate to annual savings of several hundred dollars, depending on the size of the home and local energy prices.
- Hot water: Replacing gas water heaters with electric heat pump water heaters can lead to big savings. Electric heat pump water heaters, for example, have been known to be approximately 2-3 times more energy-efficient than gas water heaters. This kind of efficiency can result in annual savings of around $300 to $500, depending usage and energy rates.
- Cooking: When compared to gas cooktops, induction cooktops can offer energy efficiency gains of about 40-50% – huge! This efficiency improvement can lead to noticeable savings on monthly energy bills, although the exact amount will, of course, vary based on your cooking habits.
Heating and hot water: a cost-saving frontier
Space heating/cooling and hot water systems constitute a significant portion of household energy usage.
While gas heaters and water heaters are often considered cost-effective heating solutions due to their energy efficiency, the landscape is shifting, and modern technologies are challenging these assumptions.
For heating, reverse cycle air conditioners powered by efficient heat pump technology are gaining a great deal of ground. These systems are not only cheaper to run but also produce fewer emissions, making them an environmentally friendly alternative. An option like high-efficiency Panasonics with nanoe™ X technology also allows you to purify your air, removing dust, allergens, contaminants and other non-pure elements.
Similarly, traditional gas hot water systems are being outperformed by electric heat pumps, which offer lower running costs and decreased energy consumption.
But what if I don’t want to give up my gas cooktop?
This debate, of course, extends to the realm of cooking appliances as well.
Gas stoves have historically been favoured for their efficiency and quick heating. However, induction cooktops have emerged as a strong contender, delivering energy-efficient performance and precise control.
Modern induction appliances have become more accessible in terms of price, making them an attractive option for cost-conscious homeowners seeking long-term savings.
The case against “cheapness”: use incentives to make all-electric more affordable
Most people will agree that while gas appliances and systems might feel like a “quick and easy” replacement should your current option need replacing, gas is not a good long-term choice – for both the environment and your back pocket.
If you live in Victoria, there are ample government rebates and incentives available to help make the cost of “getting off gas” less of a shock. From Victorian government solar PV panel rebates to Solar Victoria’s new solar battery loans of up to $8,800 interest-free, get help to get off gas – because it’s available!
You can read more about the Victorian government rebates and incentives you may be eligible for here.
We can’t wait to speak with you.