Gaslighting over costs of energy switch
25 September 2022
THE column "My hidden cost of dumping gas" by Tristan Edis, (September 22) contains several factual errors.
Gas Energy Australia did not fund the modelling cited. The hidden costs for Victorian households refer to expenses not included in the state government's estimates, which at $15,500 per home are up to $26,000 under actual costs.
This does not solely rely on, as the column suggests, costs associated with removing gas heaters, repairing ceiling vent inlets, plastering and painting – though, surely it would be unwise to heat a home while leaving these rather large holes in the ceiling of each room?
Since the discrepancies in estimated versus real costs were publicised, we have received calls from Victorians advised to expect no change from $50,000 if switching their home to all-electric appliances.
The column also said that "abandoning gas could deliver a big reduction in your carbon footprint". Wrong again. We know gas, as it is today, emits as much as 50 per cent less carbon than electricity.
It will continue to be lower emitting than electricity for the next 15 years at least, due to the emissions intensity of grid-connected generators across most of Australia being dominated by coal.
By the mid-2030s, renewable net zero gases such as biomethane (from organic matter) and biopropane (a sustainable aviation fuel byproduct) will be more mainstream, achieving the same climate results without the massive costs in switching to electrification, or to taxpayers in upgrading the grid and street wiring to cope with new load requirements.
Brett Heffernan, CEO, Gas Energy Australia
Published in the Australian Financial Review on 25 September 2022.
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