Many Australians believe that “natural gas” is a clean, green and cheap way to power many aspects of their homes. This is incorrect and not just because gas is a fossil fuel which emits pollution when burnt.
You would expect a company that sells gas to homes and businesses would say that gas heating, cooking etc is best but energy retailer AGL has recently admitted online that “switching to an all-electric household could save you money and help the environment.”
Heat Pumps are the best for Hot Water, Heating and Cooling
AGL says and I agree that heat pump electric hot water systems are more expensive to buy (government discounts are available) upfront than gas or old fashioned resistive electric tanks but they
“use 60% less electricity than a conventional electric hot water system, saving you significantly in the long run. They can also help reduce your carbon footprint, creating less CO2 emissions than a typical gas water heater”.
The same electric heat pump technology can be used to heat and cool your home using a super efficient reverse cycle air conditioner.
As long as it’s been kept clean and is less than 15 years old a reverse cycle aircon will heat your home during Winter for much less money spent on electricity than the gas burnt by a gas heater.
You also get the benefit of not getting small gas pollution particles blown through your house and as a bonus the same reverse cycle aircon can also cool your home in Summer.
Whether heating your water, heating your home or cooling it heat pump technology is super efficient because it can turn one unit of electricity used into three to six times as much heating or cooling energy extracted from the air.
Many home cooks are used to gas burners but they may not realise as AGL says:
“while cooking with gas is fast, two-thirds of the heat energy from your stove will end up in your room, not your pot. In fact, of all gas appliances in your home, cooktops are the most inefficient (generally achieving 30% efficiency).”
In comparison electric induction cooktops are 90% efficient, as well as allowing customisable heat levels, instant heat as soon as they start and being safe to touch by hand (don’t try touching a gas flame!)
Best of all if your home has solar panels like mine does, they will generate enough power to cover most of the cost of heating your hot water, heating/cooling your home and cooking food.
That really helps the family budget. Since my house went fully electric we’ve been saving about $400 a year just in not having to pay for the gas hot water system and gas account daily connection charge.
That’s on top of the money our electricity company pays for us exporting unused solar power to the grid and the money saved by our lights and appliances running for free during sunny daylight hours, all powered by our own solar system.