Why we should ‘Get off gas’

East Gippsland Climate Action Network Media release

With headlines once again saying there will be gas shortages this winter in Victoria, it’s the right time to get off gas.

Many homes in East Gippsland use natural or bottled gas — for heating and cooking. Burning gas for energy produces carbon dioxide. CO2 and methane is released at every stage of gas production from the well to the house. Twice as much gas is used to process gas for export than is actually used in our homes! The recent United Nations and IPCC report are clear that we must electrify everything and stop burning fossil fuels.

Gas prices are high, with producers able to make massive extra profit due to the war in Ukraine. Now is the best time to get off gas!

If you are thinking of building a new home or your gas appliances are nearing the end of their life or you have been thinking of shifting from electric appliances to gas, now is the time to Stop and Plan:

Don’t connect to gas in the first place: You will only have one supply charge for energy, saving hundreds of dollars a year before you use any energy. Buying gas appliances is a wasted investment and we will need to replace existing gas to reduce carbon emissions. It is likely that regulations will discourage new gas connections. In future people will see buying a house reliant on fossil fuels (gas) as poor value.

What you can use instead: Heat pumps have almost miraculous efficiency. A heat pump can range  from 200% to more than 500% efficient. You buy 1 unit of energy and get two to more than 5 times the energy in heating or cooling! The added bonus for reverse cycle air-conditioners they efficiently cool a house in summer.

If you have solar panels on your roof you get a double benefit. Your heat pump hot water service can be set to heat during the day using your solar output. In hot weather you can cool your house using your solar during the day.

Even without rooftop solar, you will be using increasing amounts of renewable electricity. Australia already produces more than 30% of its power from renewables with significant periods much higher. As more renewables are installed our electricity will become even cleaner.

A significant concern with gas appliances is that they produce emissions in the home with serious affects on health. There is a higher chance of children in a home with gas cooking to develop asthma and people of all ages are affected by the dangerous pollution created in the home by cooking with gas.

East Gippsland Climate Action Network is calling on government and individuals to work together to get off gas.