The Australian Institute of Architects Victorian Chapter has welcomed the Victorian Government’s plan to ban gas connections to new homes starting 1 January 2024.
The policy supports the long-held policy position of the Institute that all new homes should be solely electrified in order to reduce Australia’s emissions.
The Institute’s Victorian Chapter President David Wagner said the Institute has advocated for new homes in Australia to be gas free for many years.
‘Moving away from gas in homes will help Australia to reach its emissions reduction targets,” he said. “As our electricity grid moves to more renewable generation, this will help reduce our reliance on fossil fuel energy with its resultant carbon emissions and effect on our climate.
“It should also reduce costs as new homes will only need one utility connection rather than two. Electric heat-pump heating and cooling1 and induction cooktops are more energy efficient2, and this should ensure new home owners have the cheapest energy costs.
The Institute notes that some of the upfront costs of electrification, such as induction cooktops and heat pumps, can be higher than their gas counterparts. The Institute, therefore, calls on the Victorian government to consider subsidising some of these upfront costs for new social and affordable housing.
The benefits go beyond lower costs and reduced emissions as well, noted Mr Wagner. A recent Australian Journal of General Practice3 article observed that removing gas can have health benefits, such as the potential to reduce the incidence of asthma and carbon monoxide poisoning.
The Institute will continue to call for upgraded energy efficiency measures for buildings. According to the World Green Building Council, properties are responsible for 39 per cent of global emissions, 28% of which is from operational emissions and 11% from materials and construction4.
For further information, please contact: Rosanne Barrett on behalf of the Australian Institute of Architects | M. +61 (0) 425 420 024 | email@example.com
1 Electric heat pumps use much less energy than furnaces, and can cool houses too – here’s how they work – The Conversation 14 June 2021
2 Is an induction cooktop right for you? – Energy Australia
3 Health risks from indoor gas appliances – The Australian Journal of General Practice, Vol 51, issue 12 (2022)
4 Bringing Embodied Carbon Upfront – World Green Building Council