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Small steps: first home buyers’ journey to all-electric

By September 27, 2022No Comments
Couple in kitchen

Motivated by the purchase of their first home in Brunswick West, Hannah and Luis set about finding affordable and practical solutions to electrify their home and reduce their carbon footprint.

Prior to the move, the couple had lived in a rental property. “During the pandemic, specifically, we were a bit shocked at our gas bills. From then on, we started thinking about getting off gas,” says Luis.

The young couple began discussing and researching options as part of a long-term plan.

“It’s a long journey,” says Luis. “But it’s something we decided we wanted to do not only for ourselves but for the planet, in terms of having a house that is no bigger than we need and also energy efficient”.

Start small

Making the switch can seem daunting, says Hannah, so it’s a good idea to break it down.  “We looked at things we could do, little by little”.

The couple’s new home is a 20 year-old semi-detached townhouse with double glazed windows.

Their first step was to invest in solar panels and remove the bulky roof gas ducted heating system themselves, making use of the home’s existing energy efficient reverse-cycle air conditioner.

“Many of our friends don’t realise they already have affordable electric heating in their homes: their reverse-cycle air conditioners!” says Luis.

Next, they replaced the gas hot water with the best heat pump system they could afford, and then upgraded to an induction cooktop.

Finding affordable solutions

The couple suggest starting with lower-cost updates you can do yourself, such as fixing draught gaps or adding window furnishings. They did as much as they safely could themselves, bought affordable appliances, rather than top-of-the-range, and sourced an induction stovetop that didn’t require the added expense of new, upgraded wiring.

Planning ahead and researching the best options to suit your needs before appliances reach their end of life is key, as is looking into government rebates such as those offered by Solar Victoria. Along with rebates for solar and hot water heat pumps, the couple were also able to replace all downlights for minimal cost.

Where to find reputable suppliers

Luis and Hannah turned to the My Efficient Electric Home (MEEH) Facebook group for practical tips and information on reputable brands across different price points. They also recommend Renew.