In a groundbreaking move aimed at revolutionising energy consumption and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the Government of Victoria has announced a momentous decision – the gradual phasing out of gas connections in new homes and government buildings starting from 2024.
This seismic shift in renewables policy will not only pave the way for more energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly living but also lead to substantial savings on energy bills for Victorian households.
But how will it affect you? And how exactly can you make this revolutionary decision work in your favour?
Let’s dive into the details of the change and explore its implications and benefits for both households and businesses alike.
Why is the Victorian government phasing out gas?
Amidst the global surge in gas prices and uncertainties regarding its supply, the Victorian government has taken a decisive step to reduce dependence on gas and create a more affordable energy landscape for its residents.
Currently, gas prices are soaring, and private companies exporting gas overseas are impacting domestic costs. By transitioning to all-electric networks, the government aims to empower Victorians with more efficient, cost-effective, and cleaner energy alternatives. This is especially pertinent in a country like Australia where clean, renewable alternatives to gas are in ample supply (such as solar, for example).
Importantly, the transition aligns with Victoria’s ambitious emissions reduction targets of 75–80 percent by 2035 and net zero by 2045.
What does the government phase-out of new gas connections entail?
Starting January 1, 2024, all new homes and residential subdivisions requiring planning permits will exclusively connect to all-electric networks.
The transition away from gas will encompass a wide array of residential properties, including public and social housing developed by Homes Victoria. The changes also extend to public buildings, ensuring that new schools, hospitals, police stations, and other government-owned structures will be powered solely by electricity.
What economic and environmental benefits is the gas phase-out likely to have?
Embracing an all-electric future comes with significant advantages for Victorian households.
Firstly, the government estimates that new homeowners can save up to $1,000 annually on energy bills by opting out of gas voluntarily, while households with solar installations could enjoy even greater savings of up to $2,200. These substantial cost savings will undoubtedly alleviate the financial burden on residents, making energy more affordable and accessible.
What’s more, this transition holds the potential to curb emissions significantly. Currently, around 80 percent of Victorian homes are connected to gas, which contributes about 17 percent of the state’s emissions.
By eliminating gas connections, the government is taking a decisive step toward achieving its emissions reduction targets and fostering real steps towards an all-electric future for our state.
Which organisations are in support of the Victorian transition away from gas?
The announcement of the phase-out has garnered widespread support from various quarters.
Environmental groups, the property and construction sectors, and esteemed public organisations such as the Climate Council, Clean Energy Council, Friends of the Earth Melbourne, and the Energy Efficiency Council have all endorsed this transformative move.
The Property Council of Australia and the Masters Builders Association Victoria have also celebrated the decision, emphasising its role in providing cleaner and more energy-efficient homes – a great move for the sector as a whole.
Are there any problems or challenges likely during the transition away from gas?
While the transition to all-electric systems is undoubtedly promising, some concerns have been raised by various groups regarding potential increases in household energy bills. The opposition has pointed out the recent hike in the default electricity offer by 25 percent, raising apprehensions about a possible surge in electricity demand.
However, the government remains committed to minimising such challenges by investing in targeted training for the construction industry and collaborating closely with various stakeholders to manage potential impacts.
What will I do without a gas cooktop?!
Many myths and older views exist surrounding the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of gas systems and appliances – like the gas cooktop.
However, it’s so important to note that technology is always changing and improving – as such, a huge range of vastly more energy-efficiency and effective alternatives now exist for the systems you’ve come to know and trust.
- Induction cooktops
- Heat pump-facilitated hot water systems
- Hydronic heating and cooling systems
- High-efficiency electric heating systems
…and much more.
Are you planning a new build and trying to decide what features and systems you’ll integrate once new gas connections aren’t possible?
Our friendly, award-winning G Store team can help – we’ll get you there! Just give us a call on 1300 766 940 to chat.
Who is investing in the transition away from gas?
To ensure a seamless transition, the Victorian government has introduced a comprehensive Residential Electrification Grants program, backed by a $10 million investment.
This program aims to incentivise home builders, developers, and others to integrate energy-efficient features like solar panels, solar hot water, and heat pumps into new homes. By offering bulk rebates upfront, the program empowers new homebuyers to embrace sustainability while enjoying substantial cost savings.
What are the next steps towards the phase-out of new gas connections in Victoria?
The shift towards an all-electric future is a pivotal moment for Victoria’s energy landscape. The government’s commitment to reaching net zero emissions by 2045 is now supported by a comprehensive gas substitution roadmap that will outline additional measures for electrification and energy efficiency. This roadmap, set to be released later this year, demonstrates Victoria’s determination to lead the charge toward a cleaner, more sustainable future.
As the sun sets on the era of gas connections in Victorian homes, a new dawn of energy efficiency and sustainability is upon us.
The phased-out gas connections represent a bold step toward reducing emissions, cutting energy bills, and creating a greener environment for generations to come. With visionary initiatives like the all-electric transition, we’re not only helping shape the future of energy consumption in Victoria but also setting a powerful example for the rest of the world to follow.
Wrapping up – what can I do from here?
To learn more about the money you can save by switching off gas, just visit our Learning Centre or give our friendly G Store team a call today on 1300 766 940. We’ve got a wide range of hand-selected, energy-efficient products and systems for you to discover.