You may have heard that gas is being phased out in Victoria.
Just a couple of months ago, the Victorian government announced a plan that will change the future of our state forever: the phase-out of gas in all new homes and residential subdivisions requiring a permit, signalling a significant shift in energy consumption patterns.
While it may cause an initial disruption to planning and building design, this move is not only set to reduce household emissions but also deliver substantial savings on energy bills for residents.
Let’s take some time to understand the context of – and reasons for – this shift, and how it will actually benefit you in the medium to long-term. Get ready for huge savings!
How did it get to this?
Gas prices worldwide have been on a massive upward trajectory, caused by factors such as sharply diminishing fossil fuel supplies and ongoing international conflict. For many homeowners and business owners alike, this shift has raised concerns about both affordability of gas/electricity and stability of gas supply.
Victoria, like many regions of Australia and more broadly across the world, is a place that has experienced the harsh impact of these rising costs, exacerbated by the export of gas to international markets beyond Australia’s shores. This highly specific and complex situation gives rise to the need for proactive measures to ensure much greater energy affordability for all Victorians.
Recognising the challenges posed by escalating gas costs as well as the future of energy in Australia, the Victorian government’s decision to phase out gas connections in new homes represents a significant step towards creating a safer, more affordable and vastly more sustainable energy landscape for all future Victorian generations.
What’s involved in the Victorian government’s phase-out of gas?
Starting from January 1, 2024, this significant policy change will come into effect.
All new homes and residential subdivisions will be exclusively connected to all-electric networks – that is, no new gas connections. This transition offers homes the opportunity to utilise more efficient, cost-effective, and eco-friendly gas-alternative appliances and systems, thereby reducing their carbon footprint and ensuring greater long-term savings for the future.
The shift to all-electric networks is a pivotal moment in Victoria’s energy landscape. This transition promises not only reduced household emissions but also substantial financial savings for residents. It’s estimated, for example, that the average household or family can expect to save up to $1,000 annually on energy bills by making the switch to all-electric systems. For homes that also incorporate solar power installations, the potential savings can soar to an impressive $2,200+ per year.
Put simply, the phase out of gas represents the perfect moment at which to reassess your priorities, research cost-effective alternatives, and take steps towards embracing the various government rebates and incentives available to you in order to make the switch a positive one.
The transition to all-electric systems is not confined to residential spaces alone. Public buildings, including schools, hospitals, and police stations, are also set to adopt the all-electric approach. This holistic shift reinforces the government’s commitment to sustainability and sets a precedent for other sectors to follow suit.
By incorporating all-electric systems in new public buildings, the government is setting an example for sustainable infrastructure development. This initiative extends the benefits of energy efficiency and reduced emissions to public spaces, contributing to a cleaner community and life for all.
What alternatives are there to gas appliances and systems?
It’s exciting that the planned phase-out of gas opens the door to a diverse range of all-electric alternatives. These alternatives not only contribute to reducing emissions but also offer huge long-term cost savings and benefits for homeowners and business owners alike.
All-electric alternatives encompass a wide array of appliances, such as electric stoves, ovens, water heaters, and heating systems. These options are widely recognised and celebrated for their increased energy efficiency, usually resulting in reduced energy consumption and massive long-term savings on electricity bills.
What’s more, the integration of solar panels, heat pumps as well as electric heating and cooling systems can enhance the energy efficiency of your home even further. By tapping into renewable solar energy, homeowners can establish a sustainable and independent power source. While the initial setup costs may be a consideration, the long-term savings and reduced dependence on conventional energy sources make the investment worthwhile.
Newsflash: the available Victorian government incentives and rebates can also make a high-quality, all-electric home vastly more affordable than you think, which spares you the long-term costs involved in opting for a cheaper, lower-quality alternative.
But are gas alternatives more expensive?
While the initial upfront costs of transitioning to all-electric systems may be a concern, the focus should be on the broader financial benefits over the long term. Gas alternatives might appear economical in the short run, but the unpredictability of gas prices and supply can lead to escalating expenses.
The Victorian Government’s Solar Homes program offers substantial rebates for solar panel installations and interest-free loans for household batteries. These incentives are specifically designed to alleviate any sense of initial financial burden on homeowners, making the shift to all-electric systems vastly more financially viable for those considering “going solar” and/or getting off the gas.
Additionally, gas-to-electric rebates provide further support for upgrading heating, cooling, and hot water systems.
So – where to from now?
Victoria’s shift towards all-electric systems isn’t just about economic considerations, as important as they are. This decision represents a significant step towards a cleaner and more sustainable energy future for the whole of our country by setting the standard for a smooth and gradual transition off fossil fuels.
By prioritising long-term savings and embracing renewable energy alternatives, we can all play an active role in reducing emissions, conserving resources, and creating a brighter future for not only us, but our children.
To learn more about the energy-efficient, cost-effective alternatives to gas that we recommend, sell, install and service/maintain as well as the rebates for which you may be eligible, visit our Learning Centre or give our friendly G Store team a call today on 1300 766 940.
We can’t wait to speak with you.