The emissions difference of getting off gas

Depending on whether your home has insulation, and an efficient or inefficient electric heater, the emissions savings are massive when comparing gas to electric.

In Melbourne, to heat a 50m2 space without insulation a gas heater generated 1500kg of CO2 in 2022, compared with 604kg when using a reverse cycle air conditioner and insulating the space.

In Canberra the emissions were marginally higher prior to 2019, but the territory now has purchase agreements for 100% renewables-generated electricity. In Sydney, the savings are significantly higher. To heat a similar sized space in 2022 costs 1046kg of emissions annually using gas, while a reverse cycle air conditioner with insulation uses only 421kg. The emissions savings across the country do vary, but generally the projected saving are significantly higher into the future taking into account an all-electric heating system combined with insulation.

Critically, the emissions of electric appliances can be reduced through rooftop solar or grid-scale renewables, whereas the emissions of gas appliances are locked in on an ongoing basis. Emissions from electricity have already fallen over the last decade; taking the AEMO ‘Step Change’ scenario, Renew’s analysis projects that emissions from electric appliances will fall significantly by 2030.

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