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Australians should benefit from electrification policy, not be held back by scare campaigns

Electrification presents households and businesses an incredible opportunity to save money and reduce emissions while doing so. This transition is inevitable and there is an opportunity for policy makers to ensure it happens as soon as possible and in a way that doesn’t leave low income households and renters behind.

Instead of embracing this opportunity to save money in a cost of living crisis, the Australian Pipelines and Gas Association has used dodgy numbers in what appears to be an attempt to delay the electrification of Australian homes.

ACT Independent Senator David Pocock said the desperate attempt to mislead the public on the true cost of electrification shows a sector railing against the inevitable and risking any last shred of credibility.

“A peak body representing the fossil fuel industry using made-up numbers for a baseless scare campaign is as laughable as it is unsurprising,” Senator Pocock said.

“Vested fossil fuel interests should not be allowed to muddy the waters when it comes to the economic, human health and environmental benefits the clean energy transition is offering Australian households and businesses. 

“Australians know that renewable energy can save them money, that’s why we have the highest uptake of rooftop solar in the world and are now seeing a rapid increase in the rate of uptake in electric vehicles. 

“Australian rooftop solar is a global success story thanks to support from the Howard government and every government since, and we have an opportunity to do the same with household electrification.

“Light years from the $60 billion+ in subsidies some vested interest groups are claiming, credible, detailed modelling from Rewiring Australia shows a government investment of $12 billion over the decade will unlock $300 billion in energy bill savings over the following 10 years.

“A $3000 plus yearly saving on their energy bill is something Australian households need and the fossil fuel lobby should stop trying to prevent this from happening.

“The transition away from gas in our homes is well underway. Australians are being charged higher prices for Australian gas due to the war in Ukraine and are looking for the opportunity to save money over the long term with electric appliances like heat pumps. 

“More and more people are also becoming aware of the health impacts of gas in the household, with research suggesting one in eight current childhood asthma cases are due to gas stove emissions.

In coming up with their figures, it appears the Australian Pipelines and Gas Association has erroneously and over simplistically extrapolated a costing exercise undertaken by the Parliamentary Budget Office (and publicly available here) examining a small pilot program to electrify 1000 homes in the ACT. Experts have pushed the need for a pilot project to work through some of the logistical and regulatory hurdles widespread electrification presents. This process helps enable significant economies of scale when rolled out at a national level.

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