How to switch your home from gas to electricity

person cooking with an induction cooktop

Danny Baggs

Posted August 02, 2023

Thinking about upgrades to your home to lower your energy bills? Learn how you can switch your household from gas to electricity and take advantage of government rebates.

Energy efficiency is top of mind for Victorian households, with many considering switching gas cooktops, heating and hot water to electric to reduce their energy consumption and bills.

New financial incentives for electric appliances will soon be added to the Victorian Energy Upgrades program to encourage households to make the switch to an all-electric home. Victorian households can already benefit from solar rebates.

There are also new rules and regulations that impact those considering building a brand new home. 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. All new public buildings, such as hospitals and schools, that have not already reached the design stage will also be all-electric.

Switching from gas to electric

Why switch from gas to electricity?

Victorians currently use more gas than any other state or territory in Australia, with around 80 per cent of Victorian homes currently connected to gas, predominantly for cooking and heating. Victorian households are therefore impacted by the rising price of gas.

The government estimates that Victorian households can save up to $1,000 off their annual energy bills due to the change – or $2,200 if they have solar installed.

As part of new rules and regulations regarding new housing builds, the government will spend $10 million on a new, forthcoming residential electrification grant program for developers and volume builders to provide solar panel, solar hot water and heat pump rebates to new home buyers.


new Australian home

New homes built in Victoria from 2024 will no longer be able to connect to the gas network. Image: Getty

Is electricity cleaner than gas?

Electricity can be produced by renewable sources like solar, wind and hydro power, while natural gas must be extracted, processed and converted before it can be transported into a gas supply system and burnt at a gas power plant or on a residential stovetop.

The Victorian state government is encouraging households to choose renewable energy and carbon-neutral energy over gas.

Is electricity cheaper than gas?

Electricity is now generally cheaper than gas to power Victorian homes.

While gas was historically a cheaper form of energy, gas prices have risen compared to ‘socket’ electricity costs – that is, what it costs to buy electric power from your energy retailer. By switching from gas to electricity, you can immediately eliminate your gas connection fee and lower your energy bills. Many electric appliances are significantly more energy efficient than their gas counterparts: a split-system air conditioner is at least five times more efficient than a gas ducted heating system in producing the same amount of heat, for example.

Installing household solar panels can make your electricity bills even cheaper, as most of your energy needs can be powered by the sun. Renewable energy produced by household solar panels combined with modern, energy efficient electrical appliances is a cost-effective way to reduce energy consumption in the home.

The state government says that Victorian households can save up to $1,000 per year on their energy bills by going fully electric, or $2,200 if solar panels are also installed. State government initiatives like the Victorian Energy Upgrades program and the Solar Homes Program will lend further financial support to Victorians making the switch.


RACV Solar technician installing a solar panel

Solar power can make your energy bills cheaper. Image: Matt Harvey

Is electricity safer than gas?

Electricity is considered safer and healthier for your family than gas power. Using gas to cook your food, warm your water and heat your home requires open flames and fumes in your home. This could be problematic because:

  • Some gas appliances can release dangerous gases like carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide.
  • Using natural gas indoors releases gases and particulates linked to respiratory problems. Gas cooking can have the same impact as passive smoking on children with asthma, according to recent research by the Climate Council.
  • Open flames on your gas stove can be dangerous, especially for children and pets.
  • Gas combustion contributes to higher moisture content in your home, leading to dampness and mould.


person cooking on induction cooktop

Induction cooktops are more efficient than gas cooktops. Image: Getty

How to switch from gas to electricity

Switching from gas to electricity can take time and money. Most households are best off replacing gas appliances one at a time or waiting until the appliance’s end of life. Solar rebates are available for Victorian households to help make the switch easier.

Switch from gas to electric heating

Heating and cooling produce around 40 per cent of the average Australian household’s energy use, so it makes sense to prioritise making this switch. Consider switching from centralised ducted gas heating to an efficient reverse-cycle air conditioner. They’re cheaper to run, more energy efficient, and can be powered by solar energy. Plus, they can cool your house in summer as well as warm it in winter. The Victorian Energy Saver program will provide rebates for replacing inefficient heating and cooling systems with an efficient electric reverse-cycle system.

Switch from gas to electric hot water

When your gas hot water system eventually reaches the end of its life, replace it with an efficient heat-pump hot water system. They are the lowest operating cost option for hot water heating technology going around. They use 60 per cent less electricity than a conventional electric hot water system and can be powered by your household solar system. The Victorian Energy Saver program will provide rebates for replacing inefficient hot water systems. Rebates through Solar Victoria are already available for hot water systems.

Switch from gas to induction cooktop

Induction cooktops are much more efficient than gas cooktops and operate with better heat distribution and temperature accuracy. If you can’t replace a full stove, you may find a single induction burner is a handy and healthier alternative – it's why RACV chefs now cook with induction cooktops.

After your cooktop, swap out your gas oven for an electric oven. Electric ovens are often cheaper to purchase, and while gas ovens are currently slightly more affordable to run, this will change as gas prices increase and electricity prices decrease. Air fryers can also be an economical alternative to switching on gas cooktop for some renters and single dwellers.


heat pump hot water system

Heat pump hot water systems are highly efficient and can help reduce your energy bill. Image: Getty

How to organise your gas disconnection

Once the above gas systems are all replaced, you can close your gas account for good so that you never receive gas bills or pay the gas supply charge.

To do this, call your gas retailer and ask them to “conduct a final meter reading, close my account, and close the stopcock or service shut-off valve that supplies gas to my meter”. This last part will ensure that no gas flows through to your meter. The retail company will send someone to visit your property to physically read the meter and close the valve, so a small fee for this service will be included in your final bill.

You don’t need to have your meter or gas supply system removed. If you really want to make sure that no gas leaks occur, you can have a gasfitter cut and cap the pipe from the meter to your house.


gas retailer worker checking gas meter

Your gas retailer can send someone out to conduct a final meter reading and disconnect your gas. Image: Getty

How do renters switch from gas to electricity?

Renters can talk with their landlords about switching from gas to electricity. This improvement may increase the longevity and liveability of their rental property, making it more desirable to future tenants. Some renters may be eligible to receive a discount on a heating and cooling system through the Victorian Energy Program.

If your landlord isn’t on board, you can instead think about energy efficient hacks for renters. Since heating and cooling is a household’s biggest energy expense, investigate temporary draught sealing such as closing off rooms not in use, putting draught stoppers under doors, and applying temporary weather seals to windows, skirting boards, cornices and skylights.


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