Energy Futures Public Forum: Dialling Down the Gas - Grattan Institute

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How do we electrify households and businesses in a fair and cost-effective way?

The Victorian Government’s decision to ban gas connections in new homes and government buildings from 2024 has brought the transition from gas to electricity firmly into the spotlight, raising several important questions, not least: is this the end of the gas-fired wok?

Join the Melbourne Energy Institute and Grattan Institute on Wednesday, 30 August 2023, for a public forum that will tackle this question and others, including: 

  • What are the economic and greenhouse-gas costs and benefits of the switch?
  • Which households face the biggest barriers to electrifying, and how do we ensure that lower-income households are not left behind with soaring gas bills?
  • What support is there for diverse dwelling types and ownership structures?
  • What measures need to be taken to address the complexities of gas distribution network stranding, and who bears the responsibility and cost?

The expert panel comprises Alison Reeve, Energy and Climate Change Deputy Program Director at Grattan Institute, Dr Sangeetha Chandrashekeran, Senior Research Fellow a the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Children and Families Over the Lifecourse, and Damian Sullivan, Principal of Climate Change and Energy at the Brotherhood of St Laurence. The panel discussion and audience Q&A will be moderated by Professor Pierluigi Mancerella, Program Leader of Energy Systems at the MEI.

With about five million Australian households currently on the gas network, this change is just one of the many required for Australia to achieve its emissions targets. Join this event to help shape the future of Australia’s energy landscape.

Date: Wednesday, 30 August 2023 
Time: 6pm-7.30pm AEST
Location: Science Gallery Theatre, Lower Ground, 700 Swanston Street, Melbourne (enter from 114 Grattan St)

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Event partners


Alison Reeve


Alison Reeve is deputy director of the Energy and Climate Change Program at Grattan Institute. She has two decades of experience in climate change, clean energy policy, and technology, in the private, public, academic, and not-for-profit sectors. Alison was previously the General Manager of Project Delivery at the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University. She led development of Australia’s National Hydrogen Strategy in 2019, as well as Commonwealth policy for offshore wind, energy innovation, energy efficiency, and structural adjustment.

Dr Sangeetha Chandra-Shekeran


Sangeetha Chandra-Shekeran is a Senior Research Fellow in the ARC Centre of Excellence on Children and Families Over the Lifecourse, and the Indigenous Knowledge Institute, at the University of Melbourne.

Sangeetha is an economic geographer with a focus on the political economic dimensions of environmental change. Her research focuses on the role of the state, and the equity and distributive aspects of the energy transition. She has published on the evolution of demand management; marketisation and social equity and environmental outcomes; and metering roll-outs and consumer/citizen benefits.

Sangeetha works with consumer welfare organisations such as Brotherhood of St Laurence and St Vincent de Paul on a just transition. She also works with First Nations’ Traditional Owners on decolonisation, decarbonisation, and water rights. Before doing her PhD, Sangeetha worked in Commonwealth climate change and energy policy.

Damian Sullivan


Damian Sullivan leads the Climate Change and Energy team in the Social Policy and Research Centre. He gained his Masters in Public Policy and Management from the University of Melbourne and his Bachelor of Science Honours, with a focus on geography/environmental science and philosophy, from Monash University.

Damian previously worked on the Trade, Environment and Sustainability campaign at Friends of the Earth International. He has also taught subjects in the Masters of Public Advocacy and the Bachelor of Arts at Victoria University and presented guest lectures in the Masters of Social Policy at the University of Melbourne.

His research, policy and advocacy work focuses on the intersection of social equity and environmental sustainability, particularly the relationship between energy affordability, energy efficiency and climate change.

Professor Pierluigi Mancarella


Pierluigi Mancarella is Chair Professor of Electrical Power Systems at the University of Melbourne, and Professor of Smart Energy Systems at the University of Manchester in the UK. His key research interests include techno-economic modelling and analysis of multi-energy systems, grid integration of renewables and distributed energy resources, energy infrastructure planning under uncertainty, and security, reliability, and resilience of low-carbon networks.

Pierluigi is the Energy Systems Program Leader at the Melbourne Energy Institute, an IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Power and Energy Society Distinguished Lecturer, the Convenor of the CIGRE (International Council of Large Electric Systems) C6/C2.34 Working Group on Flexibility Provision from Distributed Energy Resources, holds the 2017 veski innovation fellowship for his work on urban-scale virtual power plants, and is a recipient of the international Newton Prize 2018 for his work on power system resilience in Chile. He is author of several books and more than 300 research papers and reports, and is a journal editor of the IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, the IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid, and Oxford Open Energy.

In the past few years, Pierluigi has supported the Finkel Review panel, the Australian Energy Market Operator, the Australian Energy Market Commission, and the Australian Energy Regulator on research and consultancy projects on power system security, reliability, and resilience, and has led and been involved in several projects via the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and Cooperative Research Centres.