Suppliers often couldn’t tell her how much energy each appliance used, and also tried to convince her to stay with gas, she said.
Energy consultant Tim Forcey said finding suppliers and tradespeople who were on the same page as customers could help make the transition smoother.
Budget-strapped consumers could access his Facebook group, My Efficient Electric Home, he said, where more than 60,000 members help answer each other’s questions and pass on recommendations.
Forcey said Sanctuary Magazinenot-for-profit Australian Energy Foundation, Renew Magazine and choice were also great resources.
The next step is to chose your appliances and here Energy Consumers Australia chief executive Lynne Gallagher said most people would be better off replacing their appliances one at a time as they reached the end of their life.
“Electricity prices are also rising, appliances have long lives and the time taken to recoup such investment will be long,” she said.
However, Gallagher said stronger incentives were needed to ensure consumers didn’t purchase new gas appliances that lasted up to 20 years.
Yeo took the opportunity to make the transition all at once when she renovated her house.
“There’s going to be an acceleration away from gas, so it just seemed totally crazy to install any gas appliances,” she said.
Yeo estimated she spent more than $50,000 switching her appliances all at once in the home she shares with her partner and their two children.
This included installing an induction cooktop, an electric heat pump to warm their hot water and wall-mounted hydronic heaters.
Hydronic heating works by circulating electrically heated water through the home via pipes which can also run under the floor.
Electric heat pumps for hot water can be complicated to install, but the state government is offering a 50 per cent rebate of up to $1000 on eligible heat pump hot water systems.
Top of the range induction cooktops can cost more than $10,000.
Forcey said people without that kind of money, or those who live in apartments with shared utilities, could cover their existing cooktop and put a portable induction cooktop on top. These can be purchases for $50 from Aldi or $80 from Ikea.
The next challenge is learning how to use it.
Renowned chef Neil Perry said the “now you are cooking with gas” thinking was outdated. “You’ve got heaps more control with induction than you do with gas,” he said. “People freak out because they can’t see [a flame]but the reality is, you very quickly learn.”
Consumers might also need to purchase new pots and pans that are compatible with your new cooktop.
However, Forcey, a former University of Melbourne researcher, said people could slash a third off their heating bill.
“The easiest way for a lot of people to stop using a heck of a lot of gas and start saving a lot of money is to just find the heat button on their reverse cycle air conditioner,” he said.
Spill system air-conditioners could be purchased for as little as $1000, after applying the state government’s $1000 rebate.
However, upgrading your heating will have little effect unless you adequately insulate your home. Forcey said many Victorians homes had numerous vents that were required for safety when gas heating was used.
When you have finally swapped out all of your gas appliances, it’s time to call your energy supplier to ask them to cut off your gas.
This is to avoid paying the $270 a year supply charge that’s applied regardless of whether you use it.
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