Climate Council calls on govts to help Aussies quit gas

blue gas flame on stovetop (momentum gas)
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With gas bills set to rise once again, the Climate Council has renewed calls for state governments to quickly deliver measures that help all Australians kick gas out of their homes for good. 

“Australia’s cost of living crisis continues to bite, with energy companies passing on gas price hikes to consumers even as they rake in massive profits. Ending our dependence on expensive, price-volatile gas should be a top priority for our leaders,” Climate Council senior researcher Dr Carl Tidemann said. 

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“Households can save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars a year by running electric heating, hot water, and cooking systems instead of gas ones, but the up-front cost of replacing appliances is a major barrier for many families to access these savings. 

“The government can help all Australians enjoy the  cost and health benefits of getting off gas with low or zero interest loans, as well as grants for low-income households, to replace gas appliances with electric ones.

“Gas is a fossil fuel that drives dangerous climate change, a health hazard, and a growing financial burden on Australian families. Getting gas out of our homes is good for our health, our economy, and our climate. It should be a top government priority to help all Australians get off gas as quickly as possible,” Dr Tidemann said. 

The Climate Council’s ‘Switch and Save’ report shows that Australian households can save between $500 and $1,900 a year by kicking gas out of their homes, with payback periods as short as six years. 

“It’s also time to prohibit gas companies from charging exorbitant disconnection fees, and ensure that all new homes are gas-free, all-electric from the get go,” Dr Tidemann said. 

“Victoria and the ACT are leading the nation on policies that support gas-free homes. Victoria is ending forced gas connections in new homes, while ACT residents can access zero interest loans and grants to electrify their homes. Other states should follow suit,” Dr Tidemann added.

Gas Energy Australia disagrees with the push, citing a recent study comparing costs and emission profiles in switching from gas to electricity in Victorian homes and businesses.

“The analysis is compelling, exposing the flawed assumptions being peddled that electricity is better than gas on costs and emissions. It proves that switching to all-electric appliances doesn’t add up,” Gas Energy Australia CEO Brett Heffernan said in a statement in November.

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“The Victorian Residential Case Study by Frontier Economics for Gas Energy Australia and the Australian Gas Industry Trust, details the costs and emissions in replacing LPG appliances with high-efficiency electric appliances or cheaper, lower efficiency electric appliances.

“Considering energy bills and appliance costs, continuing to use LPG appliances remains lower cost for the representative household, Swan Hill in Victoria, until the 2040s, when using LPG appliances and using electrical appliances are very similar in cost.

“This scenario shows total emissions are marginally lower if using high-efficiency electrical appliances.”

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