How to plan and create an all-electric home

man cooking with an electric stovetop and oven

Danny Baggs

Posted February 05, 2024

All-electric houses have many benefits, including reducing your reliance on gas and saving money on utility bills.

Under Victorian law, new residential dwellings built in Victoria after 1 January 2024 will no longer be built with gas connections. This will cover all residential planning permits approved from the beginning of 2024.

Switching out gas appliances for energy efficient, all-electric ones can save a household up to $1,000 off their annual energy bills, according to the Victorian Government. This increases to $2,200 if they have solar installed.

"Transitioning away from gas to efficient all-electric homes powered by solar is a great way to save money over the long term – particularly here in Victoria," says RACV Head of Commercial Energy, Tim Nichols.

"At RACV, we understand that many people are in the process of building a new home, so helping households plan to go all-electric from the start is important. This includes helping them install hardware that makes this possible, whether it be a solar panel system, a battery, or an electric vehicle charger.

"But it’s not only the cost saving that makes this transition important; it’s been shown that switching from gas to electric in your home comes with health benefits."

Asthma Australia’s 2023 ‘Homes, Health and Asthma in Australia’ report revealed that indoor air pollution from cooking and heating with gas can trigger asthma flare-ups or contribute to a new asthma diagnosis. Gas pollutants include nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, and fine particulate matter (PM2.5).

CEO of Asthma Australia Michele Goldman commented that “The report shows that nearly half (48 per cent) of Aussies are using a gas cooktop. That means many of us are potentially exposed to toxic emissions every time we cook a meal for ourselves and our loved ones, which can worsen or cause asthma, especially in our children.” Cooking with gas was estimated to be responsible for up to 12 per cent of the childhood asthma burden in Australia.

While existing homes can retrofit gas appliances to electric ones, you can ensure your new build is all-electric with these handy tips. You'll also be saving on gas connection fees by not being connected to the gas network from the start.

All-electric new build or renovation of existing home: what to consider

Heating and cooling

The first thing to think about when planning an all-electric new build is your heating and cooling system. Fans are a low-cost cooling option that always run off electricity. Alternatively, an electric split-system or reverse-cycle air conditioner can both heat and cool your home.

Choose an electric heat pump reverse-cycle air conditioner to maximise your energy efficiency. Make sure to keep it regularly serviced for optimal efficiency.


RACV worker maintaining an air conditioner

Regularly maintain your air conditioner for optimal efficiency. Image: Supplied

Hot water systems

The Department of Climate Change, the Environment, Energy and Water (DCCEEW) reports that water heating makes up 15 to 27 per cent of an Australian household’s energy use. That's the second largest household energy hog in the home after heating and cooling.

The best hot water system in terms of affordability and environmental impact is a solar hot water system or a heat pump hot water system. Heat pump hot water systems are almost 80 per cent more efficient than a traditional electric hot water system. They also cost less to run in the long term than gas water heaters.

Make sure to check the quality and environmental credentials of the heat pump hot water system you choose. It's also worth checking that the product has been tested to perform in cold climates.

Smart hot water heat pumps are ideal when paired with a solar system. They can use any excess solar energy to heat the water, rather than sending the excess energy back to the grid.

Induction cooktops

There are three main types of cooktops available for domestic kitchens: gas, electric or induction. The safest and most efficient type of cooktop is an induction cooktop, which uses electricity as fuel but heats using a modern technology called electromagnetism. Induction cooktops heat food up to 50 per cent faster than gas or electric cooktops while using less energy. Even RACV Club chefs now cook with induction cooktops thanks to their practicality.

For an all-electric home, make sure to keep your ovens, barbeques and other cooking appliances electric too. Air fryers are a great electric-powered kitchen appliance that provide an easier, healthier alternative to deep frying – and there are plenty of delicious recipes available.


woman cooking on induction cooktop

Induction cooktops and safe and efficient. Image: Matt Harvey

Solar panels

Rooftop solar panels can generate electricity to power your all-electric home, so you can cut down your energy bills. Australia has the highest population of residential rooftop solar energy in the world, with more than three million rooftop solar systems and counting. Make sure to use a good solar provider for the best results.

Any excess solar power produced by your solar panels can be stored in a solar battery for later use, or used to heat your hot water if you go all-electric. If you make more solar energy than your household can consume, you can sell the energy back to the electricity-grid for other homes and business to use while landing you a feed-in tariff.

Solar battery

A solar battery system for your home can store excess solar energy produced by your solar panels to use at night or during peak energy demand. They can also provide blackout protection.

According to Solar Victoria, over 15,000 solar battery systems have been installed across Victoria since August 2018, helping households save up to $640 each year on energy bills.


three RACV Solar technicians installing solar panels

Solar panels can power your all-electric home. Image: Matt Harvey

EV charging

Installing an electric vehicle (EV) charging station in your garage, carport or driveway allows you to charge your EV at home. Wall-mounted home charging units can charge EVs at a rate around 3 to 10 times faster than a standard wall outlet.

With a home rooftop solar system, you could even potentially charge your EV directly from your excess solar power.

Energy management tools

Smart energy management tools allow you to monitor your real-time energy consumption and identify opportunities for further efficiency improvements. For example, a smart energy meter records electricity usage every 30 minutes so you can see your usage patterns and percentages. You can even set up your system to warn you of excessive energy consumption.

Other smart home devices include plugs that cut power when an appliance isn’t in use, thermostats that can maximise air conditioner energy savings, and window blinds that automatically close when your windows start heating up.

In addition, it's important to consider your home's switchboard. The switchboard is a critical part of the electric home. It needs to have enough space to support your electric appliances, and the ability to add on space later if required. An electrician can advise on what the home needs depending on the appliances being installed.


man charging EV from home EV charging station

An EV charging station allows you to charge your EV at home. Image: Matt Harvey

Rebates and grants

Energy efficient electric alternatives in the home often attract government rebates and other financial incentives.

For example, green loans are sometimes available for purchasing solar panels, solar batteries, EV home chargers, and energy efficient appliances like heat pump hot water systems.

There are also several rebates for solar products like solar panels, solar batteries, and solar hot water systems or heat pump hot water systems.

The Victorian Energy Upgrades program offers discounts for energy efficient electric clothes dryers, fridges and freezers, air conditioners, and other appliances for eligible Victorian households.


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