Aussie households can save about $450 per year on their energy bills by switching from gas to electricity, a new study has found.
Gas prices are climbing at almost double the rate of electricity, making the staple increasingly difficult to afford, according to Monash University.
Low-income households, in particular, are struggling with rising prices, while concerns swirl about the negative impacts of indoor pollution caused by gas.
Meanwhile, a report from Monash University’s Climate Change Communications Research Hub has forecast that swapping out gas for electric could save Australian households $4.9 billion each year — or about $450 per household.
Gas is mostly used for space heating, which accounts for 57 per cent of its consumption, followed by hot water heating (35 per cent) and cooking (five per cent), the report said.
It found Australian households could collectively save more than $2 billion with electric water heating, more than $1 billion with electric space heating and more than $340 million with electric cooking.
Electrified houses could be more efficient, cheaper to run and healthier for their residents, according to research hub project co-ordinator Amelia Pearson.
“Ultimately, electrification is more efficient, cheaper to run, and allows us to tap into our abundant renewable energy resources like solar and wind, and will accelerate the decarbonisation of Australia’s economy,” Ms Pearson said.
“As gas prices continue to overtake the cost of electricity, electrification makes more financial sense for Australian households.”
James Burgmann-Milner, also of the research hub, said switching to electric not only saves households money, but could also improve health outcomes, which particularly affect vulnerable groups including people with pre-existing respiratory conditions.
“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 also rated state and territory governments on their performance on policies that help households to switch from gas to electricity.
It found the ACT and Victoria rated highly when it came to financial support for making the change and reducing household emissions, while WA and the NT ranked last on such financial support measures.