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All electric home: Why ditching gas and going all-electric is the way to go

All electric home: Why ditching gas and going all-electric is the way to go

 

You’re planning a new build.  Or maybe you want to cut the energy costs in your existing home.  What’s best?  Gas or electric?

This post explains why ditching gas and going all-electric is the way to go.  Installing efficient electric heating and cooling, hot water and cooking appliances will save you thousands of dollars every year.  Power them with free electricity from your solar panels and you could be getting close to near-zero power bills.

On this post:

  • Gas: Why it’s getting more expensive and dirtier
  • Top 3 reasons to make your home all-electric
  • How gas can be harmful to your family

Gas. Why it’s getting more expensive and dirtier

In the past, gas was seen as the cheapest option for home heating, hot water, and cooking. But now it is one of the most expensive ways to power your home – and the dirtiest.

What’s going on?

Firstly, most of the gas we produce in Australia is now being exported.  A massive 80% of all Australian natural gas production is going overseas, leading to escalating gas wholesale prices at home.  For example, in the last 6 months wholesale gas prices in Victoria rose a massive 77 percent.  And that’s not going to change.  According to Parliament of Australia gas prices will continue their upward trajectory and “increase significantly in eastern Australia, as the development of new gas export terminals leads to a tightening of supply.”

Secondly, gas used to be seen as a cleaner alternative to coal.  But now that’s not necessarily the case.  Most of the easily extracted gas has been sourced, and environmentally damaging techniques like hydraulic fracturing are now being used.  “Fracking” leaks large amounts of greenhouse gas methane into the atmosphere, which more than 25 times as potent as carbon dioxide.

So, gas is on the way out.  It’s expensive – and getting more so.  Plus, it’s bad for the environment and that won’t change.

Electricity from the grid isn’t perfect.  It’s still mostly from dirty sources and it’s expensive. Fortunately, this is changing as federal and state governments invest more into transforming the grid into one predominantly based on renewables.

But Aussie homeowners aren’t waiting around for changes to happen.  Over 3 million Australian households have taken matters into their own hands and installed solar.  We’re the biggest solar nation on a per capita basis and that’s because it’s the best way to cut power bills – and it’s good for the environment too.

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For homeowners, the messages are:

  • New builds: Forget about gas. Invest in an all-electric solar-powered home with at least 6kW or 10kW of solar panels and battery storage if budget allows.
  • Existing homes: If you’re got a dual-fuel home, upgrade old gas appliances over time with efficient electric appliances. Invest in a 6kW or 10kW solar panels system if you haven’t already. Or add more panels to make your system bigger (this is now possible thanks to some exciting new solar technology so get in touch if this is of interest).

Top 3 reasons to make your home all-electric

In this section, we’ll delve into the top 3 reasons why you should consider an all-electric home.

Save money 

Heating, hot water and cooking are the three main gas users in the home.  Replacing these with efficient electric versions on the market will save you money from the get-go.  And the great thing is that you can then use solar power to run them for free.

Here are some facts:

“Using a reverse-cycle air conditioner over an efficient gas heater reduces energy costs by 45 per cent.” – Renew

“Turning on your reverse-cycle air con can be the cheapest way to heat your home over winter.” – Australian Energy Foundation

“Victorian homes can cut their energy bills by up to 80% by ditching gas, adding solar and switching to electric for heating, cooking, and hot water.”  Environment Victoria.

“Fully electric homes power by solar save owners between $9,000 and $18,000 over 10 years compared to home with both gas and electric, without solar.” – Climate Council report

The advice from the experts is clear – gas is expensive. Switching to electric appliances will save you hundreds of dollars every year, even without solar.  Add solar, and the savings are even greater, reducing your annual household energy costs to 20 per cent or less.

 

Safer and healthier

Whilst any energy system has some level of risk, modern electric appliances are generally safer than gas equivalents.  Electric appliances have fuses, circuit breakers, surge protectors etc., and Australian standards for solar panels systems have significantly improved in recent years with new automated, intuitive safety features to protect your home.

Gas systems, whilst having many safety features, are inherently riskier.  Gas stove tops have a naked flame and are the number one cause of kitchen fires.  Induction cooktops, on the other hand, don’t even get hot unless there is a pan placed on them, greatly reducing the possibility of kitchen burns.

The fumes from gas cooktops can also be bad for us.  A new study reported by the ABC found that leaking methane from natural gas-burning stove tops is posing a risk to health.  Worryingly, researchers said that “Our biggest surprise was that most of the methane we measured leaked to the air while the stoves were off.” There is evidence to suggest that 12% of childhood asthma is due to being exposed to the gas from stoves and cooktops.

Maintaining your gas systems properly will of course help, the same goes for electrical systems.  But the risks of poorly maintained gas heating systems are enormous including carbon monoxide poisoning or gas leaks and explosion.

The cheapest alternative to gas heating is also better for your health. Reverse-cycle air conditioners  purify the air and improve the comfort of your home. With advanced filters and humidifiers, modern air conditioning units can maintain humidity in the air at around 50% which is the optimal level for comfort and helps who suffer from allergies.

Weighing up the pros and cons of gas v. electric, modern electric appliances beat gas hands-down on safety and health criteria. The major risk facing all-electric homes is blackouts and this can be addressed with solar panels and battery storage.

Better for the environment

With the climate crisis, many people are looking to cut their carbon footprint.  Installing a 10kW solar panels system gets most Australian homes well on the road to net zero carbon emissions.  It’s the fastest way to reduce your household’s environmental impact.

With a solar system of this size (or a bit bigger), you should be able to run your all-electric home in the daytime mostly on clean solar energy.  Add battery storage, and you can power your home through the night without drawing on power from the grid.

Plus, with solar you can make an even bigger environmental contribution if you decide to get an electric car and charge it from home.  The financial benefits of powering your EV with solar are nothing short of remarkable.

A solar-powered all-electric home.  It’s a smart way to future-proof your home from rising power prices, cut your energy costs and help the environment.

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Get in touch

If you want to make the move to an all-electric home powered by solar, get in touch.  We have the expertise in electrical systems, solar and battery storage to cut your power bills and help you make the move to all-electric.  We supply and install:

 

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