Petr spent time during lockdowns to transition his Coburg home to all-electric.
“I wanted to remove gas from my home because it releases indoor pollution and I wanted to do something about climate change,” he says.
Petr discovered My Efficient Electric Home facebook group and discovered that many others were on the same journey.
Transitioning to clean energy
Petr had installed solar (through a Merri-bek sponsored program run by Energy Matters) as soon as he had bought the house and had long been running electric appliances during the day to make the most of cheap, clean energy. But he started his all-electric journey by replacing his gas stovetop with an induction cooktop.
Next, he learned that evaporative cooling was partly responsible for the difficulty he was having keeping his house warm over winter (the other culprit was insulation, which he installed, and poor building design – harder to rectify).
According to the Victorian Government’s Sustainability Victoria, “The ceiling outlets of ducted evaporative cooling systems can be a significant source of heat loss.” Petr removed his evaporative system, covered the vents and bought a Daikin US7, Australia’s first 7-star energy efficient heat pump air-conditioner.
With this new system he could not only cool his home efficiently, but also heat it. He covered up his gas ducted heating outlets and decommissioned the system.
Finally, Petr switched off his gas hot water system.
“Removing the gas water heater and replacing it with a heat pump hot water heater was the last piece in the puzzle,” he says.
“I can use my hot water heater like a solar battery – at the end of the day the water is hot and the heater goes off, saving power.”
Once Petr had the heat pump installed, he called his gas provider and asked them to cap their gas. “We’ve now been 18 months without a gas bill,” he adds.
Comfortable, efficient homes run by renewable energy
Now that Petr has an all-electric home, his next project is to upgrade his solar system to more efficient solar panels and perhaps one day, build a ‘passive house’ that would require minimal heating or cooling – and minimal bills – to stay comfortable year-round.
But for now, Petr is happy to keep making improvements to his home and doing as much as he can himself.
“If you’re interested in doing what I’ve done, I recommend you learn from other people: What they did, how they did it, and what savings you can make.”