About this project

To tackle global climate change, the ACT Government has committed to a legislated target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045. As of 2020, 100% of the ACT’s electricity is sourced through world-leading reverse auction contracts for renewable wind, solar and hydro power. The gas network now contributes approximately 22% of the ACT’s remaining emissions (around 60% comes from transport and the remainder from waste and other sources), and the Government has committed to phasing out these emissions from the gas network by 2045.

Households make up 99% of gas connections in the ACT. Until early 2020, housing developers were required to install gas infrastructure in all new suburbs, and Canberrans have used ducted gas heating, gas water heaters and gas cooktops for several decades. With around 150,000 households connected to the gas network in 2020, 5000 households need to go all-electric every year for the ACT Government to achieve its net-zero emissions target by 2045.

This project supports the ACT’s emission reduction targets by supporting Canberrans to switch from using gas as a home energy fuel to using the Territory’s 100% renewable electricity.

The website aims to answer questions people may have about gas versus electricity and educate Canberrans about the effectiveness of technologies in our cold climate, and the savings that can be made by going all-electric. It provides independent information about the environmental impacts of the gas industry and practical advice about how householders can go gas-free and take meaningful action to address climate change.


The Conservation Council ACT Region created this website to help households move from gas appliances to a home run only on renewable electricity.The Conservation Council ACT Region is the peak non-government environment organisation for the ACT and surrounding region. We have been advocating for the environment since 1981.

We represent more than 45 member groups who in turn represent over 20,000 supporters. We harness the collective expertise and experience of our member groups and networks. We work collaboratively with Government, business and the community to achieve the highest quality environment for Canberra and its region.

 
The site also promotes energy-efficiency measures to help households further reduce their energy consumption and utility bills, and directs people to financial support to help them go all-electric.

Whilst this project was developed by and for Canberrans, most of the content is applicable to all buildings that use gas. We hope that it sparks a conversation about the need to eliminate gas from our homes and workplaces.

Acknowledgements

This website was developed with support from:

Dr Ben Elliston

Independent energy consultant,
Certified Passive House Designer

Calculator design, data modelling &
technical content consultant

Jenny Edwards

Light House Architecture & Science,
ACT licensed Building Energy Efficiency Assessor

Energy consultant, video presenter

Limegreentangerine

Website design & development

Crux Media

Video production

Ben Murphy

Global Energy Training Solutions
Video presenter

James De Salis

Laros Technology
Video presenter

Danielle Brito

Winning Appliances
Video presenter

Funding

This project was funded by the ACT Government under the 2019 Community Zero Emissions Grants.

The Conservation Council ACT Region is a not-for-profit organisation funded by donations, membership fees, and the ACT Government. It is not affiliated with and does not receive funding from any energy or appliance company.

The content of this website was developed independent of government and does not necessarily represent government policy.

About the calculator and the data

This calculator has been developed by a team of experts to help householders understand the impacts of their gas usage, and their options for and potential savings over 10 years from switching from gas to an all-electric home. The aim was to strike a balance between being straightforward enough for most people to get easy-to-understand results and complex enough to allow some individual customisation.

The calculator is intended to be indicative only. People should do more research into their options and should not rely on a single source of information.

Developed in Canberra, the calculator uses assumptions based on ACT gas and electricity retail prices, typical household energy consumption, and Australian appliance retail prices and performance. All of these factors are subject to potentially substantial variations.

Canberra is located at 35°S, 149°E and about 600 metres above sea level. Canberra’s climate has distinct seasons: winter days range from 0° to 11°C (average) with frosty and foggy mornings and extreme lows of -5°C; summer days range from 13° to 28°C (average), with an average of 33 days above 30°C and extremes of up to 42°C. Canberra generally has low humidity, clear sunny days, and annual average of 615mm rainfall.

The team researched gas and electric appliances and energy supply data to generate meaningful default values and options.

Caveats and explanations

Calculator results are indicative estimates only. Individuals should consider their own needs and usage, house size and fittings, budget, and so on. People should do their own research about appliances and electricity retailers, and obtain multiple quotes for installation before making decisions. The Conservation Council ACT Region cannot be held responsible for individual outcomes.

Installation costs are estimates for a straightforward installation in Canberra. Installation costs can be highly variable due to the varied complexity of each installation and the wide range in hourly rates charged by different tradespeople. Additional costs may be incurred for things like capping gas lines, wiring upgrades, new circuits, additional zones in ducted systems, two storey installations, etc.

The Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) rebates are included in the upfront costs for solar hot water and hot water heat pumps. No other rebates have been factored into the calculations. See Energy rebates and financial support.

We have not attempted to predict the future prices of gas or electricity.

The calculator does not include household solar photovoltaic power generation as this would make the form too complex for the average user. Households with solar power will likely save more money than estimated here.

Assumptions

  • All data and assumptions are based on the most recent available information as at August 2020.
  • All prices and costs include GST.
  • The calculator assumes that users buy electricity from the National Electricity Market network through a retailer such as ActewAGL, and that electricity is zero-emissions under the ACT Government’s 100% renewable energy contracts. The emissions factor of pipeline natural gas is 51.4 kg CO2-e/GJ (National Greenhouse Gas Accounts Factors).
  • Upfront costs include installation. Installation costs were estimated from quotes,   discussions with tradespeople, and advertised installation prices. There is considerable variability in the prices quoted for installation work. Where possible, installation prices were taken from retailer websites where a retailer offers an installation service. These prices tend to be very competitive, but are quoted on the basis that the installation is straightforward. The prices of some larger appliances (eg hot water) are quoted including installation and so these are already included in the upfront costs.
  • Solar hot water and hot water heat pumps attract a rebate in the form of Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) and this rebate is included in the upfront cost of these appliance types. There may be additional rebates available for these systems. See Energy rebates and financial support.
  • A default (but modifiable) electricity tariff of 22.5 c/kWh ($0.225 per kWh).
  • A default (but modifiable) gas tariff of 3.6 c/MJ ($0.036 per MJ). This is approximately the “middle” tier tariff, which applies to the bulk of a household’s gas consumption.
  • Typical retailer energy discounts are excluded as these are generally available for both gas and electricity.
  • Annual gas supply charge of $320 per year.
  • The calculator for newly built houses assumes that the house will have 150 m2 conditioned floor area and be built to the minimum 6.0 star NatHERS standard for a concrete slab, which equates to a heating demand of 154 MJ per m2 per year in Canberra. The user may adjust the floor area in the calculator.
  • More complex analyses of total system losses are neglected in favour of simplicity. This means that the efficiency of ducted gas and ducted heat pump systems will be overstated. Similarly, standing losses of storage hot water tanks, although limited by national energy efficiency standards, are neglected.
  • A discount rate of 3% real is used to discount the future operating costs of appliances. (The discount rate is the interest rate used to calculate the present value of future cash flows from a project or investment, ie the same amount of money is assumed to be worth less in the future than it is now.)
  • Hot water heat pumps are assumed to run during the day when ambient air temperatures are higher, giving slightly improved performance.

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