Is It Time to Switch From Natural Gas to Electricity?
Natural gas has long been lauded as the top choice for household energy supplies. Compared to electricity it’s cheaper and better for the environment.
However, that’s not entirely true. The switch from gas to electricity is no longer an uncommon one. It’s a move that is paying off for countless households in both the short and long term.
While there is some work involved in making the switch there are considerable benefits. For a start, natural gas is a fossil fuel and is no longer a sustainable fuel. Gas prices are rising as the natural gas supply decreases.
In stark contrast, modern electricity supplies can be based on renewable energy – solar or wind – and in some cases is a cleaner, greener way to power our homes. If done right, changing to electricity will help reducing greenhouse gas emissions around the country.
The switch from gas also means your household will be safer. There’s no chance of a gas leak or the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning. However, it might not be the right move for everyone. So, if you are considering turning off the gas in favour of an all-electric home, this is what you should know about the switch.
Why People Are Making the Switch
There are three key reasons why Australians are switching from natural gas to electricity. Firstly, there’s the connection fee. Gas suppliers charge customers gas connection fees, with the exact cost dependent on your energy provider. Given you’re already likely paying for supply charges for electricity, this is an instant saving of hundreds of dollars per year.
Secondly, there’s the rising cost of natural gas. Although electricity prices are rising, traditionally low gas prices are also increasing. Gas has been considered superior for a long time because it’s cheaper to run, but natural gas is no longer the way of the future.
It’s a fossil fuel and not climate friendly so global stocks are decreasing. In turn, it’s possible to be far more energy efficient and reduce greenhouse gas emissions with solar-based electricity supplies.
Thirdly, there are the health benefits. Recent studies indicate that burning natural gas within the home can lead to increased cases of asthma. Proper ventilation ensures there are minimal health risks, however, there are those who prefer to go without.
Still, not everyone is ready for the switch. Nor is it necessary. It’s more of a personal choice that could pay off.
Benefits of Changing to Electric Heating
There are a number of benefits in switching from gas to electric heating, the most obvious one being energy efficiency. Gas heating has been considered superior for a long time because it’s cheaper to run, but natural gas is no longer the way of the future.
If you have gas ducted heating or gas wall furnaces, the system will have to be changed by a qualified technician.
But the transition is relatively straightforward for an electric heating professional, and you have plenty of choices, including:
- An electric ducted heating and cooling system
- A reverse cycle air conditioning unit
- Electric heat pump system
- Hydronic heating
- Electric boosted solar power
Ducted systems allow you to control your home’s climate in different zones, so you can turn vents off in rooms that you don’t need to heat or cool. This will lead to better energy efficiency and savings on power bills.
Electricity Cooks Up Something New
Plenty of chefs swear by the benefits of cooking with natural gas, the change to electricity in the kitchen makes as much sense as converting your heating and hot water service. The switch from a gas stove to an electric stove is as simple as several replacements and upgrades.
However, the work will need to be done by a professional electrician; it’s definitely not a DIY job. For a start, a qualified technician will make sure the gas line is properly sealed and closed off so there are no leaks in future.
A gas stove does use some electricity, but not as much as an electric stove. Once again, installation of higher-capacity wiring must be done by a fully trained electrician. As with heating, an electric stove is easier to maintain as well as being safer for your household.
Save Money on Hot Water
While gas water heaters are less expensive to run, electric water heaters are becoming more efficient. At least if you opt for a heat pump hot water system. Although electric hot water systems are also less expensive up front, they produce higher running costs as water is heated 24/7.
In many cases a continuous flow hot water system is the more affordable option as the operating costs are greatly reduced.
These costs are mitigated if your water heater is powered by solar or uses heat pump technology. The combination of renewable energy instantly reduces your impact on the environment. Older gas hot water systems can also be inefficient and take a lot of energy to run.
The right electric water heaters are 100% effective and perfect for reducing your carbon footprint. In other words, for every unit of electricity used, the hot water system is going to create a unit of heat.
Converting to an electric water heater needs to be done by a qualified plumber. The transition from gas to electric is no simple task for an amateur. Your gas meter and gas supply will also need to be decommissioned if you’re fully transitioning. Therefore, make sure you contact your gas supplier, too.
Electric heating appliances, in general, require less maintenance as the system doesn’t need to be cleaned and checked as often. But the most important factor is you’re not burning fossil fuels, and your household is safer with no chance of gas leaks or carbon monoxide poisoning.
So, if your gas appliances are getting older and you’re considering replacing them, it could be the ideal time to power up with renewable energy and go all-electric.
Please note: This information is provided for advice purposes only. Regulations differ from state to state, so please consult your local authorities or an industry professional before proceeding with any work. See our Terms & Conditions here.