Natural Gas: Separating the Myths and Realities
From leafy suburban houses in Kew to ultra-modern apartments in South Yarra, office buildings in Box Hill to leading educational facilities such as Monash University - natural gas has been a fixture in homes and commercial spaces across Melbourne and the rest of Australia for many decades.
Natural gas is popular because it is cheaper and cleaner than coal based electricity, and it significantly improves our comfort and standard of living, be it through cooking, heating, water heating, and much more.
But there are still a few myths surrounding natural gas, read on to discover the truths.
Myth 1: gas is being phased out and has no place in the renewable future
Reality 1: the flame is not going out, the future of Australian gas is renewable
One myth that has been popping up in the media lately questions the future of gas. We are very much committed delivering carbon neutral 100% Renewable Gas to our customers by 2040 at a stretch (no later than 2050).
Renewable gas is not just a new name, it’s a totally different gas, produced renewably with no additional emissions. In South Australia we launched Hydrogen Park South Australia in early 2021 and already supply up to a 5% renewable hydrogen and natural gas blend to around 700 households in Mitchell Park SA, with plans in place to increase that to 4000 households in 2023. Hydrogen Park Murray Valley is the next project being worked on, targeting first production in 2024 and supplying 40,000 households in the Murray Valley region with up to a 10% blend (subject to approvals). If you’re interested in learning more about renewable gas click here.
You may have also seen mentions of governments banning gas – these eye catching headlines only tell a very small part of a much bigger story; don’t panic, your heating, hot-water and stove top are not going anywhere. Governments across Australia have recognised the need to decarbonise and are planning on how we efficiently reach net zero targets. This is aligned with our own Net Zero Vision which targets 100% renewable gas by 2050 at the latest.
Victoria recently released its 'Gas Substitution Roadmap' which outlines options to decarbonise the gas sector, which means reducing our reliance on natural gas and substituting it with renewable options. The Gas Substitution Roadmap highlights the importance of energy diversity and of renewable gases such as green hydrogen and biomethane. Renewable gases are a new gas that allow us to still have the benefits of reliable energy in our home while also lowering our carbon emissions. So we and the Victorian Government are planning the transition from natural gas to renewable gas, in just the same way electricity is planning to reduce the 70% of electricity* that comes from coal.
Most of our gas network is ready for the transition to 100% renewable gas.
Myth 2: getting a gas connection is complicated
Reality 2: connecting to natural gas is simple
This myth couldn’t be further from the truth, especially in Melbourne’s well established and extensive gas network that’s growing and connecting more homes everyday.
No matter if you’re connecting natural gas to a new or an existing home, the process is actually very straightforward. By following these simple steps, and with the aid of qualified tradies when needed, just about any Melbourne resident can be cooking with gas in no time:
- Check to see if natural gas is available in your area.
- Choose your preferred gas retailer.
- They will liaise with us to have your Melbourne gas service line connected.
- Your gas fitter will coordinate with your gas retailer to arrange for us to install, test and commission the gas meter.
- Choose your gas appliances and have them installed.
To find out more about the new connection process, read this full breakdown of what’s involved when connecting to an existing home.
If you’re building a new home in Melbourne, it’s even easier to connect to natural gas with our rebates. Talk to your builder who can include the free connection as a part of the building process so its ready for your gas appliances.
Converting your hot water service to natural gas is also made easy. This is because your chosen gas fitter or plumber can often provide you with a temporary portable gas hot water system to make sure you always have hot water.
Myth 3: natural gas is more expensive than electricity
Reality 3: natural gas is highly affordable
Switch to natural gas and you could save. Natural gas is a significantly cheaper energy than grid electricity, which in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland is mostly generated from coal. Actual savings will depend on the efficiency of the appliances you select, so we recommend choosing high efficiency appliances, such as 7 star instantaneous natural gas hot water or ducted natural gas home heating systems where ever possible. Contrary to the myths surrounding its cost, natural gas is a highly affordable, efficient option.
Unlike electricity, natural gas charges get lower the more you use it. This is because the cost per additional unit of natural gas decreases as your consumption increases. Electricity does the opposite - prices increase the more you use!
So the more natural gas appliances you have, the lower your running costs will be.
Remember, energy prices do vary between the energy retailers, so shop around for the best natural gas prices, or use the Australian government tool Energy Made Easy or a similar gas and energy price comparison website.
Myth 4: natural gas is great for hot water and stove tops, nothing more
Reality 4: natural gas is so versatile
Natural gas is no longer just for cooking and heating.. it can be used in so many innovative ways indoors and outdoors. You name it, natural gas can almost certainly power it.
Across Melbourne today, natural gas is being used for virtually every household function, including underfloor heating, gas fireplaces, natural gas clothes dryers, outdoor heaters, barbeques and fire pits and swimming pool heaters .. all with the superior performance you would expect from natural gas.
Myth 5: gas appliances are outdated
Reality 5: gas appliances are modern, chic and most importantly perform in all conditions
If you haven’t seen the latest is natural gas appliances, its time you did! Modern gas appliances, designed by top brands will suit any home, no matter your preferred home decor aesthetic.
Modern gas appliances come in a wide range of styles, colours and sizes. Premium styling and design, with precise flame and heat control and easy clean wipe down glass surfaces.
For these reasons, it’s little wonder so many manufacturers all over the globe are betting on the development of gas appliances today.
* Find out more about energy consumption here: https://aemo.com.au/energy-systems/electricity