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How Aussie dad slashed hundreds off his energy bills: 'Easy'

Victorian households could cut their energy bills by 75 per cent by ditching gas.

Mick Fischer-Brunkow standing in his kitchen. Energy savings.
Mick Fischer-Brunkow recently replaced his gas stove and is saving on energy costs. (Source: supplied)

Mick Fischer-Brunkow recently made the switch from gas to electric induction cooking and is reaping the savings.

The Melbourne architect said he made the energy switch to reduce his family of four’s gas consumption and associated greenhouse gas emissions.

“Switching from gas to electric induction cooking was quite easy and it is really super responsive too,” Mick said.

“We still use gas for our hydronic heating and potable water boosting in winter, but throughout summer, we don’t need gas any longer as the water heating is done 100 per cent through our solar array.”

In the future, Mick said they were hoping to get rid of their gas connection altogether and change over to electric heat pumps.

"Our energy costs overall are quite low, with around 3.5 KW/h used per day at a cost of $720 per year for green electricity and about $900 of gas per year, with the CO2 emissions also offset by our retailer,” Mick said.

This is mainly because the family fully renovated their home, which was originally two bedrooms, to improve its energy consumption and thermal comfort.

The renovation included insulating the external walls, timber floors and ceiling of the house, installing double-glazed, thermally broken windows, and putting in energy-saving lightbulbs and energy-efficient appliances.

“The heat really stays in the home for much longer and the thermal comfort in the home is just amazing when you compare it to the old house, where the walls were utterly cold in winter or hot in summer,” Mick said.

Switching from gas to electric

New modelling released by Environment Victoria found households in the state could save 75 per cent on their energy bills by switching from gas to electric.

An average home in Melbourne’s South-East could expect to pay $716 using gas heating in an uninsulated space over the winter months. By swapping to reverse-cycle electric appliances, the same space could cut costs to just $169, with the savings even higher for insulated homes.

Environment Victoria climate campaign manager Sarah Rogan said Victorian households could stand to gain “enormous savings” by making the switch.

“Victorian households are struggling under devastating cost-of-living increases – while massive, polluting gas companies continue to reap record profits,” Rogan said.

“The government must make it easier for all households to electrify - as renters, people living in multi-unit buildings and low-come earners don’t have the option to get off gas.”

Environment Victoria is calling on the state government to set a target in this year’s updated Gas Substitute Roadmap and offer incentives for households to switch off gas and switch on electric heat pumps.

“Gas is an expensive and polluting fuel. Amidst a cost and climate crisis it makes no sense to keep connecting new homes to the gas network,” Rogan said.

“Victorians should not be struggling to pay energy bills to be comfortable in winter. There is a solution within reach, we just need the right policies in place for Victorians to benefit from insulated electric homes.”

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