Guest essay by Eric Worrall

The cold Aussie state of Victoria has announced that in the future, people will have to rely on their increasingly unstable and unaffordable electricity grid, to hold back the winter chill.

Push to turn off gas to help reach state’s climate goal

Gas appliances including heaters, hot water services and cooktops would be phased out under a proposed moratorium on new gas connections to households.

By Tom Cowie and Nick O’Malley • May 05, 2021 — 05.05am

Gas appliances including heaters, hot water services and cooktops would be phased out under a proposed moratorium on new gas connections to Victorian households to help the state achieve its 2030 target to cut carbon emissions by up to 50 per cent.

The City of Yarra is the first council to pledge to switch its buildings, including pools and community centres, from gas to renewable electricity by 2030 and wants the state government to back a ban on gas connections in new homes.

Victorians are the nation’s biggest users of natural gas for heating, hot water and cooking due to the state’s historically cheap and plentiful supply piped in from Bass Strait since the 1970s.

But the state may need to cut back on gas if it is to meet its climate goal, announced on Sunday, to reduce greenhouse pollution by 28 to 33 per cent of 2005 levels by 2025, and 45 to 50 per cent by 2030.

“I love cooking on gas too, but there are certain luxuries that we are going to have to abandon if we are serious about climate change,” City of Yarra mayor Gabrielle de Vietri said.

“We have a huge opportunity to make a significant impact by moving away from gas.”

Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said a shift to electricity was part of a plan being developed by the state government to address the way households use gas.

Read more: https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/push-to-turn-off-gas-to-help-reach-state-s-climate-goal-20210504-p57oof.html

This Victorian State Government announcement is yet another example of how back to front and harmful climate policy is.

Given green claims that renewable energy investments will slash household power bills, Instead of forcing higher costs on everyone, all the Victorian Government has to do is deliver some of these green cost savings they keep promising. Then people will switch off their gas appliances of their own free will, without the financial hardship a premature forced switch is likely to inflict.

Update (EW) Added the quote from Victorian Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio.

via Watts Up With That?

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May 5, 2021