New homes that are all-electric and have solar power will save their owners thousands of dollars compared to new homes with dual fuel (gas and electric) and no solar, according to a new report by not-for-profit organisation Alternative Technology Association.
The Household Fuel Choice in the National Electricity Market report found owners will be between $9000 and $16000 better off over 10 years if they establish their new home as all-electric with a 5kW solar system rather than gas/electric with no solar.
New homes with efficient electric appliances like heat pump hot water systems, split-system airconditioners and LED lighting working with large solar systems make sense economically, according to report co-author and ATA energy analyst Dean Lombard.
‘‘There is just no reason economically for new homes to be built with both electricity and gas,’’ Mr Lombard said.
‘‘This has been the case for many years in Australia’s north, but it’s now also clearly the case in colder climates like Victoria and Tasmania.
‘‘Heat pump hot water and split-system airconditioning systems are just far more efficient than gas appliances, and solar systems are cheaper than ever.’’
The report, funded by Energy Consumers Australia, calls on new home buyers as well as the building and energy industries to be educated on the substantial value of all-electric, solar-based homes.
It also found there needed to be a review of policies and programs that subsidised or supported the expansion of gas networks.
‘‘Rolling out new gas infrastructure is simply not efficient and is not in the long-term interests of residential households,’’ Mr Lombard said.
‘‘It locks people into higher energy costs in the long run.’’
The Cape, at Cape Paterson on Victoria’s Bass Coast, is a new 230-dwelling housing estate where all homes will be electric only and have rooftop solar systems as well as efficient electric appliances.
According to the ATA, homeowners at the estate will save a total of $2million over 10 years by not using gas.
‘‘By eliminating gas from the whole estate and replacing it with the highly efficient all-electric home operating systems and solar power, our householders avoid annual gas usage and gas connection costs, as well as the upfront construction costs of connecting to gas and running gas plumbing through homes that occur with gas-connected estates,’’ The Cape’s director Brendan Condon said.
■The ATA’s report is available at: www.ata.org.au/wp-content/projects/Household—fuel—choice—in—the—NEM.pdf