WA report on gas-electric appliances
Should a new home in WA be connected to gas? Under what circumstances should WA households consider switching from gas to efficient electric appliances?
These are the questions posed and examined in the new report, Is WA Still Cooking with Gas? by Renew, Australia’s leading not-for-profit organisation promoting sustainable living, formerly know as the Alternative Technology Association (ATA).
The report aims to understand the impacts of anticipated retail gas prices on households and to identify cost-effective alternatives. It complements Renew’s November 2014 study, Are We Still Cooking with Gas? which looked at scenarios for gas and efficient electric appliances in the other Australian states.
Retail prices for domestic gas are going up, a situation that is expected to worsen in coming years and make gas less affordable for many people.
At the same time, improvements in the efficiency of some electric appliances, particularly for space heating and hot water, now make them cheaper to run than efficient gas appliances.
Among the findings, the report concluded that it was not cost-effective to connect a new home to mains gas in WA when efficient electric appliances were an option, while in existing homes the economics of switching from gas appliances to efficient electric was very good.
High gas prices in WA and better performance for efficient electric appliances such as hot water heat pumps due to a warm climate stack the economics in favour of electric over gas in WA.
Damien Moyse, Renew’s policy and projects manager, urged people to make informed decisions on appliances based on efficiency and sustainability.
“Our advice to households is to do your research when your next gas appliance needs to be replaced and don’t assume that gas is the cheapest option – you may be locking yourself into higher prices for a long time to come.”