Residents who live in newly built homes in outer metropolitan areas will save thousands of dollars each year if those homes are fully electrified, a new analysis has shown.
As the federal election looms, electrification advocacy non-profit group Rewiring Australia has analysed the financial benefits which average households in each electorate would expect to derive from new homes being constructed to be entirely free of gas.
On a per household basis, it found that the biggest savings would occur in the McEwen electorate in Melbourne’s outer northern fringe.
Across this electorate, average households would save an average of $5,570 each year.
This is followed by Casey in Melbourne’s outer eastern fringe (Warburton, Healesville etc.), Wright in Brisbane’s outer south-west (Logan City etc.), Bean in Canberra’s south-west and Holt in Melbourne’s outer south-east (Cranbourne, Clyde etc.) (see chart).
Overall, households within these electorates would save up to $375,000 per annum and would see creation of up to 2,300 direct and indirect jobs.
The analysis comes amid a growing push for Australia to deliver new homes and buildings which are fully electrified and which do not use gas.
In its recently published Building Electrification Guide prepared in conjunction with multi-disciplinary engineering and advisory consultancy consultants Cundall and the NSW Government, the Green Building Council outlined several pathways through which this could be achieved.
In residential premises, this included:
- replacing central gas boilers for heating and water with heat pumps, reverse cycle air-conditioning or thermal storage water tanks
- replacing gas cooktop ovens and barbeques with induction cooktops, electric ovens and electric or charcoal barbecues and;
- designing new buildings to accommodate additional load and space which is needed to support electric vehicle uptake.
Whilst natural gas cookers and boilers have in the past offered lower carbon solutions compared with grid electricity that used coal, that is now changing as buildings are increasingly powered by renewables.
Nowadays, designing buildings and homes to be fully electric and powered by renewables is seen as the most clear pathway toward decarbonisation of the built environment.
At any rate, replacing gas all-electric buildings will help to avoid emission of toxic air pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and fine, toxic particulate matter which can impact occupant health through means such as increasing asthma and respiratory illness.
Rewiring Australia chief scientist and founder Dr Saul Griffith said electrification could be an economic bonanza for Australian families.
He added that electrification of homes is the fastest and cheapest way to decarbonise the economy.
“The shift to clean, cheap energy is an extraordinary economic opportunity for Australian families,” Griffith said. “It just requires the same sort of commitment and investment that drove the Australian rooftop solar miracle, now enjoyed by more than three million Australian households.
“If we fully exploit our natural advantage with solar energy by electrifying everything, we will create thousands of jobs for tradies and ensure more money is spent in local shops. The air will be cleaner and people will be healthier.
“Hundreds of millions of dollars are being drained from local economies right now because we are dependent on imported oil. If we electrify and decarbonise we keep that money in the local community and make the world cleaner and safer.”