How you can cut your cost of living - Grattan Institute

Whether it’s groceries, mortgage payments, rent, or medical bills, it feels like everything’s going up. More Sydney families are struggling and wondering how they are going to make ends meet.

In this environment, a broken household appliance feels like the last straw. But what you choose to do next time your stove or water heater breaks down could save you almost $500 a year.

NSW households that upgrade their broken gas cooktops and water heaters from gas to electricity ultimately save around $480 each year.

Unfortunately, there’s a catch: you need to find an extra $2000 to unlock these savings in full, because electric appliances are more expensive to buy than gas ones.

But these days most of us don’t have anything extra to spend.

That’s why the Grattan Institute is recommending the Minns and Albanese Governments step in and help households unlock these savings.

Because if you can find that $2000, and you use it to go all-electric, then within four years you will have recouped the additional outlay and be saving on your bills every quarter.

In NSW, more than 1.4 million households use gas.

Most of them would be financially better off if they used efficient electric appliances for their cooking, heating, and hot water. But many don’t have spare cash in the bank and many others live in rented homes where the landlord controls those appliances.

So the Federal Government should put financing in place so you can spread the payments for your new electric appliances over time, just like you may have done when you bought your TV or car.

The NSW Government should also announce a future date after which all rental properties will have to have electric appliances. And the Federal Government should provide a tax break for landlords ahead of this date, to help with the cost of making the switch, and to stop rents from rising. 

There’s a bonus in all of this for the environment too.

To achieve the government’s target of net-zero emissions by 2050, every gas-powered home in NSW will need to upgrade from gas appliances to electric ones.

If broken gas units are replaced with electric alternatives, the upgrade can be achieved well ahead of the target date.

So Sydneysiders save money, and the environment wins too. How about it, Premier?

Alison Reeve

Energy and Climate Deputy Program Director
Alison Reeve is the Climate Change and Energy Deputy Program Director 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.

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