Electrifying your home can make it a safer, more sustainable place to live – plus, you could save up to $1,899 on your annual energy bill. So, how can you get started?
What is home electrification?
From news bulletins to the Federal Budget, home electrification is becoming a bit of a buzzword. So let’s get you up to speed on the basics. Home electrification is the process of switching your energy source and appliances over to electric. That means switching off the gas and swapping those gas bayonets for power points. For most homeowners, this means upgrading your heating and cooling systems, hot water and kitchen appliances to more energy-efficient, electric options.
Benefits of home electrification
We could all do with a little extra money in our pockets, and by switching to energy-efficient electric appliances, your energy bills will likely begin to shrink – especially as electricity from renewable sources like wind, hydro and solar begin to dominate the energy grid. Australians with solar get an even better pay-off, saving an additional $800 on average each year.
When it comes to the environment, gas is a harmful pollutant, mainly composed of methane – a substance
80 times more damaging to the atmosphere over 20 years than carbon dioxide. Reducing our reliance on gas will lead energy providers to look for alternatives. We’ve already seen a promising uptick in renewable energy sources entering the market, which will continue as new technologies emerge
What can you electrify?
Most homes use gas for three key purposes – heating and cooling, water and cooking. Luckily, there are plenty of suitable electric alternatives, powered by smart new technology that make them a lot kinder on your wallet and the planet in the long run.
Hot water system
If you love a steamy hot shower, a heat pump is a great investment for your home. While they can be expensive to install, the long-term benefits are worth it. Instead of burning fuel, heat pumps harness energy from the surrounding air, geothermal energy from the ground or nearby water and transfer it into usable energy to heat the water for your home. This makes them up to five times more efficient than their gas counterparts. The result? Lower running costs and less emissions.
Another option is to install a solar hot water system. A solar hot water system can save you over $460 a year on your heating bill, but choosing the right system for your home is crucial. A solar hot water system involves placing solar collectors on the roof and linking them to a closed-coupled (passive) or pumped (active) system. We suggest talking to a professional in your area who can help you determine which is best for your home.
Pumped systems are typically better for colder climates because they can keep the internal fluid circulating even when the temperature drops. However, close-coupled systems are generally more affordable and require less maintenance, which might be a smarter choice if it doesn’t get too cold where you live.
Heating and cooling
Heat pumps aren’t just great for heating your water – they can also heat and cool your home. This technology is what powers a reverse- cycle air conditioner. Unlike gas appliances which use energy to ‘create’ heat, reverse cycle air conditioners simply absorb it from outside and transfer it into your home to keep it warm. With the flick of a switch, the process reverses to keep your home cool in summer. Their impressive energy performance means you can keep your home at a comfortable temperature year-round without running up the electricity bill.
Some people love cooking with gas, but there are three solid arguments for switching to electric.
- Induction cooking units are more than twice as energy-efficient as gas because they transfer energy directly into the pan, cooking your food faster and more evenly.
- They’re safer to operate because there’s no naked flame and no harmful gases polluting your home.
- They’re super easy to clean.
If induction cooking isn’t for you, ceramic cooktops are another alternative. They look similar and are often cheaper than induction units but generally more expensive to run.
How can I electrify my home?
Treat your transition to electric like any other renovation project. You’ll need a plan, support from the experts and an idea of your budget. We’ve created a 4-step road map to help you get started.
Step 1: Start with a plan
You don’t need to electrify your entire home in one go. Once you have a plan, you can tackle the switch one room or appliance at a time. Take our 2-minute survey and we’ll send you a personalised plan for electrifying your home.
Step 2: Talk to the experts
Now it’s time to find your tradies. We can connect you with our network of trusted tradespeople who can provide quotes and advice specific to your home. That will give you an idea of the budget and timeline, so you can either start saving or speak to us about our 0% Interest Payment Plan.
Step 3: Upgrade your appliances
It’s time to head out and purchase your new energy-efficient appliances. Pay close attention to the energy efficiency ratings on each appliance, read reviews and use our room-by-room guides to make an informed purchase.
Don’t forget to check with your state or territory government for incentives and rebates. Right now, Tasmania and the ACT are offering interest-free loans to help people upgrade to energy-efficient appliances and systems.
Step 4: Explore other ways to increase energy efficiency
Have you considered other ways to keep those energy bills down? Simple steps like using energy-efficient light bulbs and running your heating and cooling on a timer can help. A larger investment might be double-glazing your windows, installing additional insulation in your roof and investing in a solar system. These upgrades can make a huge difference to your bottom line and reduce your environmental impact over time.