Choose Electric Appliances
Choosing electric appliances is considered the environmentally friendly option when thinking long term to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Different forms of electricity produce different amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. Appliances that require electricity to operate will become less emissions intensive as our electricity grid is increasingly powered by renewables, like solar and wind. In contrast, gas appliances will always produce emissions while they are in use.
Furthermore, if you have a solar system, you can power appliances with your own renewable energy now while also reducing running costs.
For more detailed information check out this report from the Climate Council.
Heat pump hot water systems
Heat pumps are an efficient means of providing heat or cooling for water, air or industrial purposes. Rather than burning a fuel or using electricity to heat a coil, heat pumps source energy from the immediate environment – from the air, the ground or nearby water.
There are several other electrical water heating options. Instantaneous hot water systems are good for small spaces. Electric storage hot water systems are cheap to install but cost more to run. Solar thermal hot water systems can be expensive to buy and install, and require a sunny roof, but are cheap to run.
Find out more here.
Induction cooktops are more than twice as energy efficient as gas. With no flame or hot element, induction cooktops are safer, fumeless so better for indoor air quality and easier to clean. An induction cooktop also allows cooks to control the cooking temperature quickly and easily. When they are turned down, the only heat that remains is what is stored in the pot or pan. That provides a similar level of control to using a gas flame.
They require flat-bottomed, iron-rich cookware. Test your existing cookware with a magnet – if it sticks to the base of the pot, it will probably work. When obtaining quotes, ask the installer for advice about your kitchen power circuit and the size of the hole in your benchtop. Portable plug-in options also exist which maybe suitable for renters or those wanting to test before a full conversion.
Other electric cooktop options include Ceramic cooktops with hotplates beneath the glass. While ceramic cooktops are cheaper to buy than induction, they are more expensive to run, less responsive and harder to keep clean. Electric cooking options also include built-in ovens, microwave ovens, and a wide range of portable appliances such as rice cookers and sandwich grills.
Find out more here.
Heating and cooling
The most energy-efficient way to heat or cool your home is with a reverse cycle air conditioner which are four times more efficient than other electric or gas heaters. Even the lower efficiency rated units (for example, 2 to 3 energy stars) are significantly cheaper to run and generate less greenhouse gas emissions than other heating and cooling appliances. They are ideal for protecting indoor air quality from bushfire smoke, pollens and other outdoor air pollution.
There are many other electric heating options including fixed or portable electric bar or panel heaters, oil-filled column heaters, water-filled hydronic systems, and even ceramic heaters that look like a fireplace. Consider your heating capacity needs and look for features such as thermostats, timers or safety cut-outs.