Emissions down in move from gas to electric

January 22, 2015

Switching from gas to efficient electric appliances in the home is good for the environment, according to analysis released by Renew, formerly the Alternative Technology Association (ATA).

The report found that in most cases and for most households across Australia, switching from gas to efficient electric for space heating, water heating and cooking produced less greenhouse gas emissions.

The analysis studied the emissions impacts of the scenarios outlined in the ATA’s 2014 national report on the economics of gas versus efficient electric appliances, Are We Still Cooking with Gas?

Damien Moyse, Renew’s policy and research manager, said the analysis was exhaustive – covering 156 household scenarios across 26 locations in Australia.

“Overall, for the majority of households, completely moving away from gas to efficient electric is less greenhouse intensive,” he said.

“In the few cases where we found there were emissions increases, they were very small and could be offset by the purchase of 100% GreenPower electricity at a maximum cost of about $10 a year per home.”

Some of the key observations from the report are:

  • Carbon dioxide emissions were lower when switching all three traditionally gas-fueled (space heating, water heating and cooking) uses to efficient electric appliances. This was consistent across household scenarios and across all locations apart from in Mildura, Victoria, where there was a small increase as a result of the switch.
  • On a single appliance replacement basis, space heating was consistently found to be less emissions intensive when delivered by efficient electric appliances as opposed to gas;
  • The emissions impact of water heating varied by location – with all Victorian and some NSW/ACT locations experiencing a modest increase in emissions with a switch to efficient electric, while South Australia, Queensland and other parts of NSW experienced a reduction.
  • Minor emissions increases from switching to efficient electric are likely to be even smaller in coming years as Australia’s electricity grid utilises more renewable generation and the efficiency of electric appliances continues to improve.

To read the report, click here.