Beat the Squeeze on Gas Supply by Malcolm McKelvie

Republished from the Baw Baw Sustainability Network Newsletter Dec 23 –Jan 24

Numerous reports are noting the coming squeeze on gas supply with some calling for increased gas exploration and mining and others for efficient electrification. Prices are rising sharply prompting more and more people to electrify. Even those who are unconcerned about climate impacts of fossil fuels are choosing to move away from gas.

Here’s how we made the change to an all-electric home at a unit in Melbourne.

We started with a gas storage hot water system that was ageing, a gas space heater and a gas cooktop- very similar to many Victorian homes. Gas supply charges are costing $355 per year and usage charges around $500 per year.

Step 1:

– was easy! There is also a heat pump single split system that heats and cools so the gas space heater is not needed. Just heat with the more efficient electric appliance. Cost- $0

Step 2:

– replace the ageing gas storage hot water system with a very efficient Reclaim heat pump from Earthworker. Their system is top of the range with 80% less energy used to heat water compared to an electric storage heater, plus a stainless steel tank. It should last many years.

– Cost- around $5000 installed. The plumber also disconnected and removed the space heater. There is a pre-existing solar system facing west so we set the timer on the hot water system to operate from 1pm, so ongoing energy cost for hot water is close to zero.

Step 3:

– replace the gas cooktop with induction. We went with a Miele cooktop- there are many different brands and choices of configuration, size etc. This step took a lot longer while we ummed and aahhed about a kitchen renovation but it’s finally done. Cost, about $2000.

Step 4:

– the most satisfying: ringing the gas retailer to end the contract and have the meter removed. Cost $79.

No more fossil fuels burnt onsite and ongoing power bills slashed!