Save the world and save money: electrify your home

by | May 12, 2022 | Resources | 0 comments

Global action on climate change means governments and industry alike are taking measures to achieve a cleaner, greener, decarbonised future—but what’s the practical reality for Australians who want to create a modern, affordable and eco-friendly lifestyle? 

For both emissions savings, and household savings, all signs are pointing towards an all-electric future powered by rooftop solar power and associated battery storage.

Embracing electric tech powered by solar delivers savings for families

There’s a good reason many State Government’s are promoting a switch from gas to electric appliances, supporting the uptake of battery storage, and continuing to subsidise rooftop solar. Electrification of our lifestyles is an attractive option—financially and ethically. 

It’s not just a favourable regulatory environment—other factors at play include rising gas prices, better and increasingly less expensive solar power and battery storage systems coming onto the market, strong interest in electric vehicles (EV’s) and growing support for shared batteries that allow neighbours that generate solar power to pool excess electricity for later use. 

How much better off could individual households be when fully electrified? 

Australian families could be saving thousands every year by electrifying their homes and cars and powering their lives with rooftop solar power systems. That’s one key conclusion drawn by a recent discussion paper from Rewiring Australia—a non-partisan body that aims to illustrate the positive outcomes possible through rapid decarbonization using an “Electrify Everything” strategy.

Rewiring Australia’s report, Castles & Cars – Savings in the Suburbs from Electrifying Everything found that an average Aussie home currently consumes around 102kWh of energy per day: this includes home appliances and energy use from fuelling the family car/s. This energy use could be slashed to just 37kWh, by switching to electric solutions and solar panels.

An enormous amount of Aussies’ current energy costs come from what is essentially ‘wasted’ energy due to grid losses, and the inefficiencies of conventional fuels like petrol for cars and natural gas—which are also high polluting energy sources. 

In stark comparison, an home with efficient all-electric appliances, a rooftop solar system with battery storage, and an electric vehicle in the garage, can more than halve energy use, achieve zero emissions and save between $5-6,000 per year. 

The report argues that some households can achieve this ‘economic slam-dunk’ immediately. Others may need to electrify more gradually as the technologies that underpin this transition become more and more affordable in coming years. 

“By 2030 Australian families could be saving $5,000 per year by replacing their current cars with electric vehicles, switching their natural gas heating systems (water heating, space heating, or kitchen) to electric heat pumps, and furnishing their electricity with solar from their rooftops. Economics can be improved further with weatherization, LED lighting, and other efficiencies.”

Castles & Cars – Savings in the Suburbs from Electrifying Everything

Where Queenslanders can save the most: cars, cooking and water heating

A significant chunk of any household’s energy use is fuelling their vehicles. Rewiring Australia’s definition of an ‘average’ Aussie family is one with 2.6 people and 1.8 vehicles.

When it comes to your next car purchase, going electric will unlock significant savings—especially when your electric vehicle (EV) is powered by cheap, renewable electricity. In fact, Rewiring Australia’s report suggests charging an EV with rooftop solar and a home battery delivers around 67% savings in fuelling costs!

Cost per 100km comparison between EVs and petrol vehicles. Source: Rewiring Australia

Rewiring Australia’s report shows that electric hot water systems, and electric heat pumps are far more cost-effective than natural gas water heaters. Using a heat pump with solar panels and a home battery, your costs reduce to around 3x less than gas heating.

Average water heating cost for one luxurious shower. Source: Rewiring Australia

Cooking is another key area where you can save money and emissions by switching from gas, and getting your energy from the sun. Electric stovetops use energy more efficiently, and when you’re generating and storing that energy via solar systems and batteries, it’s a win-win.

Yearly stovetop cooking costs comparison. Source: Rewiring Australia

Affordable clean energy tech that you can adopt right now: solar, batteries and EVs 

Clean tech like solar, batteries and EVs are easily embraced right now. Even if you’re not ready to buy a new electric car or replace your gas water heater or stove, as old appliances break down and clean energy tech becomes even cheaper in coming years these options should be on your radar. 

But to ensure you can fully capitalise on EVs and electric appliances: you need to start by ensuring you’re benefitting from the cheapest source of energy generation—solar. 

Price history and forecasts for solar, batteries and EVs. Source: Rewiring Australia

Solar and home batteries are affordable and an easy way for Aussies to cut their power bills, gain more control over their access to energy and sustainably support a modern and comfortable lifestyle in both the short and long-term. 

Rewiring Australia’s report recommends that governments consider this transition to electrification an investment in national infrastructure and provide financial support to help people do it sooner, to reduce carbon emissions and deliver economic savings for the Australian economy. 

An existing scheme worth noting if you’re considering buying a solar system is the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme, which provides a rebate on the purchase and installation of systems less than 100kWh in size (which most household systems are).

Solar power and battery storage can power your entire lifestyle in 2022 and beyond, to help you manage household costs and do your part to reduce emissions. 

Why not start with a free solar power assessment on your home from Spinifex Energy? Contact Tom on 0419 108 638 or send us a message.

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