Australian households can pocket an extra $450 a year in energy bill savings by making the switch from gas power 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 seeing the largest hit to their hip pockets as well as negative health effects due to indoor pollution from the energy source.
But electrifying the household 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.
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 takes up about five per cent.
By making the switch, homes could save more than $2 billion through electrifying hot water, more than $1 billion through electric heating and more than $340 million by making the switch to electric stoves.
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 to $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 children, people with pre-existing respiratory conditions, and people of colour.
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 James Burgmann-Milner said.
“Making the switch from gas to electric drastically reduces exposure to pollutants that pose short and long-term health risks,” Dr Burgmann-Milner said.
The report found electrification of residential gas would create up to 20,000 full-time jobs.
Governments across the country were rated 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.
(Australian Associated Press)