Residential Electrification Update

Images: iStock/NAPA74, iStock/Natallia Ramanouskaya

The Federal Government has started to take the calls of resident, community and consumer groups seriously as prices continue to rise and energy remains a hot topic. 

In line with announcements made around household electrification and energy efficiency in the June Federal Budget that committed $1.3 billion to enhance Australia’s energy performance, the Senate has since referred an inquiry into residential electrification to the Senate Economics References Committee. Submissions relating to the economic opportunities, barriers, benefits and costs of Australia’s investments into this largely under-valued sector are due in late September.

With increased penetration of renewable electricity in the National Electricity Market that is already driving down the wholesale cost of electricity, Renew continues to work alongside dozens of organisations to advocate for residential electrification as one of the most cost-effective decarbonisation options. We will closely monitor the inquiry into residential electrification and report back on its findings and developments in coming months.

We know that households are only responsible for 11% of fossil gas use in Australia, with the balance used in industry, power generation and other sectors. With a move away from gas, households can affect the grid through load shifting, storage or frequency support which has the potential to lower overall electricity system costs.

Residential electrification is economical today, and delays in government action will lock in higher costs for consumers for decades. Households that continue to invest in gas appliances risk being locked into high energy costs, and purchasing assets that may become stranded if policies shift to encourage electrification.

In this vein, over the past week a dozen organisations such as the Smart Energy Council, the Australian Conservation Foundation, Climate Action Network Australia and Rewiring Australia joined forces in Canberra at the SEC’s Australian Renewables Summit to launch a joint call for $100bn national strategic public investment in Australia’s generation opportunity to lead on global energy transition. At the centre is a call for an Australian Renewable Industry Package that should be invested over the coming decade to support projects, large and small, alongside a suite of policy reforms that can help unlock Australia’s potential to be a player in the energy transition.

Renew will continue to advocate for the best outcomes for households and for the market so that energy remains equitable, affordable and sustainable.

To see a copy of the call from industry groups head here