The Victorian Government Department of Energy, Environment, and Climate Action has announced that all new homes will be all-electric from January 2024, prompting concerns from older Victorians about what that means for gas usage in their own homes.
COTA Victoria seeks to reassure owners of existing dwellings that no action is required on their part; your connection to gas can remain as-is. For those looking to dig a little deeper, here’s all you need to know about what’s been announced.
The announcement itself
Energy and Resources Minister Lily D’Ambrosio recently revealed that residential planning permits approved from the beginning of 2024 will not allow for gas connections. The announcement does not impact existing homes or those that have reached the design stage before the deadline.
“New homes requiring a planning permit will be required to be all-electric from January 2024. This means new homes and residential subdivisions that require a planning permit cannot connect to the gas network,” reads a portion of the Department of Energy, Environment, and Climate Action’s Victoria’s Gas Substitution Roadmap.
“This will apply to new planning permit applications submitted from January 2024 for new dwellings in both greenfield and infill sites, and apartments, as well as all new public and social housing delivered by Homes Victoria,” it continued.
All new government buildings including schools and hospitals will also be all-electric.
The reasoning for the announcement
Victoria has a heavy reliance on gas; around 80% of Victorian homes are connected to gas. Victoria has the highest use of residential gas within Australia, and that accounts for 17% of its net greenhouse gas emissions (compared to 7% in NSW).
Victoria “must play its part in reducing emissions over time,” the Department of Energy, Environment, and Climate Action said. “This must be balanced with the need for reliable, safe, affordable energy.”
“Our state has been a consistent producer and net gas exporter, helping to meet the needs of Victorians and Australians in east coast gas markets,” the department continued. “Going all-electric in our homes not only takes the pressure off gas demand, it also limits consumers’ exposure to international prices.”
What the announcement means for existing homes
Simply put, the recent announcement doesn’t impact existing homes.
That said, the Department of Energy, Environment, and Climate Action – as part of its Gas Substitution Roadmap – is encouraging those in existing dwellings to embrace energy efficiency, electrification, hydrogen and biogas in order to bring down energy costs alongside carbon emissions.
Rebates are on offer to those who choose to remove their reliance on gas. Rebates of approximately $2,600 will be available to replace ducted gas heating systems and evaporative cooling systems with electric equivalents, while rebates of approximately $300 will be available to replace gas hot water systems with heat pump hot water systems.
“Going all-electric puts around $1,000 per year back in the pockets of new-home owners, or over $2,200 with solar installed,” the department said. “A new Victorian detached home built all-electric will spend around $2,600 on energy bills and can save an additional $1,200 with solar panels. A dual-fuel home would spend around $3,600 per year.
“Completely converting to an all-electric home can save $1,250 per year, in addition to the $950 saving from the existing solar system,” it continued. “Adding a medium-sized battery can also save a further $520 per year.”
For more information on these rebates, please visit the Victorian Energy Upgrades program website.
Do you have further questions about this announcement? Our COTA WISE Helpline is at your disposal. Feel free to ring 1300 153 090 or mailto:email@example.com.