The Victorian Government has announced a landmark decision to phase out gas in new homes from January 1, 2024.
From 2024, planning permits for new homes and residential subdivisions will only connect to all electric networks, with houses taking advantage of more efficient, cheaper and cleaner electric appliances.
These changes will apply to all new homes requiring a planning permit, including new public and social housing delivered by Homes Victoria.
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The government says the move will slash around $1,000 per year off household energy bills—or up to $2,200 for households that also have solar installed.
Commencing immediately, all new public buildings that haven’t reached design stage will also be all-electric. This includes new schools, hospitals, police stations and other government-owned buildings.
Victoria has the highest use of residential gas in Australia, with around 80% of homes connected. The gas sector contributes about 17% of the state’s emissions, and the move to electric systems is a key element of meeting Victoria’s nation leading emissions reduction targets of 75–80% by 2035 and net zero by 2045.
These moves build on the 2022 reform that removed the requirements for gas connections for new homes. Since then, Victoria’s leading builders and developers have already begun delivering energy-bill saving and low emissions all electric homes.
To ensure homeowners can maximise the benefits of household renewable energy, the Government is investing $10 million in a new Residential Electrification Grants program. Grants will be available to volume home builders, developers and others to provide bulk rebates for solar panels, solar hot water and heat pumps to new home buyers up front.
This will mean new home buyers will save $4,600 before they even move in and will remove double handling of installations—saving buyers money and hassle.
To help prepare for the transition, the Government is also investing $1 million in targeted training to ensure the construction industry is supported in the transition to all electric and 7 star homes.
To make it easier to go all-electric, eligible new home builders, as well as existing homeowners and renters, can access the nation leading Solar Homes program—offering $1,400 solar panel rebates and interest free loans of $8,800 for household batteries.
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All Victorian households and businesses are also eligible for the VEU gas to electric rebates to upgrade heating and cooling and hot water heaters.
Minister for Energy and Resources Lily D’Ambrosio said, “We know that with every bill that arrives, gas is only going to get more expensive. That’s why we’re stepping in to help even more Victorians get the best deal on their energy bills.
“Reducing our reliance on gas is critical to meeting our ambitious emission reduction target of net zero by 2045 and getting more Victorians on more efficient electric appliances which will save them money on their bills.”