Australian households can save $450 a year on their energy bills by making the switch from gas to electricity.
As gas prices rise at almost double the rate of electricity, a Monash University report forecasts electrifying homes could save households across the nation $4.9 billion annually.
Low-income earners are being hardest hit financially, along with the negative health effects caused by indoor pollution from gas.
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Electrified houses could be more efficient, cheaper to run in the long term and can improve health, the Monash research hub’s project co-ordinator Amelia Pearson said.
“As gas prices continue to overtake the cost of electricity, electrification makes more financial sense for Australian households,” she said.
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Gas is used predominantly in space heating, accounting for 57 per cent of consumption, while hot water heating accounts for about 35 per cent and cooking about 5 per cent.
Households could save more than $2 billion with electric water heating, more than $1 billion through electric space heating and more than $340 million by switching to electric cooking.
The study found a quality heat pump for a four-person household will cost between $145 and $175 a year during off-peak times compared with $435 to $635 for a gas system.
Switching to electric not only saves households money, but it could also improve the health outcomes — which is more likely to affect vulnerable groups including people with pre-existing respiratory conditions, the report said.
Gas cookers and heaters make up two of the largest contributors to indoor pollution which can lead to respiratory issues, cancers and greater risks of mortality, the research hub’s Dr James Burgmann-Milner said.
“Making the switch from gas to electric drastically reduces exposure to pollutants that pose short and long-term health risks,” Burgmann-Milner said.
The report found the electrification of residential gas would create up to 20,000 full-time jobs.
It also rated governments across the country on their performance on policies to help households to switch to electricity.
The ACT and Victoria rated highly when it comes to financial support for making the change and reducing household emissions, while Western Australia and the Northern Territory ranked last on financial support measures.
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