Majority support switching off gas, survey finds

woman using electric cooktop

A majority of Australians support switching off gas for good and moving to fully electric homes, a new report has found.

The report, compiled by thinktank The Australia Institute and market research group SEC Newgate, found very little opposition among Australian households to switching off gas and replacing it with cheaper, cleaner energy options for their homes and vehicles.

The research found that more than half of respondents (55 per cent) felt positively about electrifying Australian homes, compared to 13 per cent who felt negatively about the switch.

Somewhat surprisingly, concern for the environment (59 per cent) outweighed the potential for cheaper energy bills (18 per cent) as the main driver of the desire to switch away from gas.

When it comes to heating our homes, Australians show a clear preference for electric heating (58 per cent vs. 20 per cent for gas), electric hot water (54 per cent vs. 32 per cent) and electric ovens (63 per cent vs. 25 per cent).

Opinions were a little more divided when it came to cooktops, with 46 per cent preferring electric compared with 43 per cent who preferred gas.

Noah Schultz-Byard, director of The Australian Institute, says fully electrifying your house means you don’t need to choose between the environment and cheaper bills.

“Our research shows that getting off gas isn’t just cheaper and cleaner – it’s also very popular with families struggling in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis,” he says.

“From space heating to cooktops, Australians prefer electric over gas for every appliance type listed in our survey.

“This research has also revealed the declining popularity of petrol and diesel cars in Australia, as they are now the least preferred option behind both hybrid and electric alternatives.”

Indeed, when it comes to our cars, Australians feel most positive about hybrid electric/petrol vehicles (58 per cent), followed by fully electric vehicles (52 per cent) and finally petrol combustion engine vehicles on 44 per cent).

Of people who expect to buy a new car within the next 10 years, 25 per cent say they expect it to be fully electric, while 40 per cent expect it to be a hybrid. The stats point to a move away from fossil fuel use for transportation.

Mr Schultz-Byard says the results show a clear desire for electrification on the part of Australians, and should give the federal government better direction on future policies.

“This data shines a light on the policy pathway forward,” he says.

“Electric homes, cars and appliances underpinned by clean energy and battery storage will play a key role in confronting our economic and environmental concerns.

“Combining electric homes, battery storage and vehicles will open up a range of benefits for households and our research has shown that Australians are ready to make the switch.”

Would you support a move away from gas? Do you use electric cooking? Let us know in the comments section below.

Also read: 10 off-peak energy tips to cut your electricity bills

Written by Brad Lockyer

Brad has deep knowledge of retirement income, including Age Pension and other government entitlements, as well as health, money and lifestyle issues facing older Australians. Keen interests in current affairs, politics, sport and entertainment. Digital media professional with more than 10 years experience in the industry.

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  1. Well I support cheaper energy and keeping gas so take a bit off that 55% please. BTW surveys are like statistics, ask the right people or analyse the right data and you can get any result that supports your narrative.

  2. I wonder if the respondents to this survey by The Australia Institute ( more about them later) wondered just how their electricity power is generated…most likely from coal or gas fired we switch our household off gas only yo have it fed by more fossil fuel sources…while paying more for it….!!! Genius.

    While totally on side with the move to renewables..sometimes there are undisclosed motivations behind these surveys and published reports. often without proper disclosure.

    “The Australia Institute is a left-wing public policy think tank based in Canberra, Australia. Since its launch in 1994, it has carried out research on a broad range of economic, social, and environmental issues.”

  3. No way! Australia has an abundance of natural gas and instead of exporting it we should be using it. For cooking and hot water gas is the best.Don’t people realise that the NSW Govt. currently has its fingers crossed that they can keep supplies of electricity up in the coming cold months now that one major power station has closed, and more to come. Nobody is convinced that renewables will cope.
    Meanwhile the P.M. sprouts about electric vehicles. The system will not cope guys!
    Whats the rush to stop our 1% of the worlds emissions. China and India are right now building new coal fired power stations that on a world scale will by far negate our little 1% , AND they are using AUSTRALIAN COAL TO DO IT!

  4. When you have a survey of this nature commissioned by the Australia Institute and published by them, the result was a foregone conclusion. If it had been any other result, it would not have seen the light of day. The AI has a clear agenda of a “war” on fossil fuels and are driven by the renewable sector and that area of politics.
    Australians switching from gas to electric cooking and heating will do nothing to benefit the environment. Any home that becomes all electric is at the mercy of that one source of energy in their daily life.
    The stated intention by 25% of those surveyed that their next car would probably be an electric one is very much a false feeling, Many people now believe that by Government decrees in various areas (check the ACT) there will be little to no choice in what the power source will be in ten years time. At present and for at least the next five years, an ICE car will still present the best value for money with equivalent EVs being between $10K and $20K more than the legacy ICE vehicle. That buys a lot of petrol (or diesel) and even the claim of the liquid fuels increasing in cost must be balanced against the fact that the costs of electricity is also climbing.
    Stay with what works best for you and do not be swayed by the dishonesty of the green zealots. Note that the big push for cooking with electricity specifically favours the induction cook top and this could make a significant number of your existing cook ware redundant. Great unnecessary cost in many ways.

  5. I agree with Bakka- it is important to know the source of surveys, especially about socially and contention issues. It is easy to create questionnaires that will give you the answer desired. The Australian Institute as a politically motivated organisation can generate the answers they want.
    Why is it that Australia wants to be a front runner in the Clean Energy race, when as mentioned before we generate so little to the world pollution. Europe has now found out the problems in trying to race to 100% “Clean Energy” and cutting emissions as fast as possible. iIt’s not going to have an immediate effect on climate – it will take years.
    Wind turbines and square kilometres of solar panels will do more damage to the environment and fauna and flora,

    Further you rarely see any clarity and truth about the cost of maintaining this equipment.. Each turbine tower has to be cleaned frequently, by people climbing up inside the towers to clean the blades, other wise they gradually slow and stop moving. Solar panels also need to be cleaned and destroy the ground underneath so it will be useless for agriculture for up to 25 years after removal.
    Take time to do this properly with less effect on the availability or power and with less burden on living costs.and vote for nuclear power which is available now- hydrogen is yet to be proved cost efficient.

  6. It is strange that I never get asked to undertake a survey. My thoughts nearly always vary greatly from the results obtained. I am only interested in the cheapest most reliable source of energy and tat is at the moment Coal followed I would think by Gas and then Nuclear.

    With regards to cars until you can find a cheap reliable vehicle for towing a caravan over long distances without constantly stopping for long periods to refuel I will be sticking with a Diesel or Petrol fuelled vehicle.

    A better survey would be to ask what will be the effect on the state of the world by all the wasted money, loss of jobs, increased cost of living being endured by Australians when India, China and other so called highly populated Third World Countries continue build and use the efficient Coal as a major source of energy.

  7. Not sure if I am doing something wrong, but my comments have not appeared?
    My comment related to infrastructure that will be needed to enable us to access charging points in the more remote parts of Australia, My wife recalled when her family took a trip from Sydney to Perth, this was in the 50s, they had to carry petrol cans with them because there were not enough service station across the Nullarbor, unfortunately we can’t carry electricity in cans. Until such time as we can service electric cars in remote areas we are still going to need fossil fuels to drive our cars, as for the debate re gas v electric, cooking can be controlled easier using gas than by using electricity or so my old mum used to say. Cart before the horse comes to mind

  8. I find it hard to believe the results of this survey. We are getting rid of our most reliable method of generating electricity and going to so called renewable methods which are not going to be as reliable and yet they now want us to stop using gas which we have an abundance of. I’ll keep my gas appliances thanks.

  9. They want us all to go Fully Electric.
    I just checked my Electricity and Gas Bills for the previous 12 months, then did a quick check (online) on how much it would cost me to replace all of my gas appliances with equivalent electric ones.
    If the price of electricity does not increase, my break even time is in excess of 17 years.
    (The cost of replacement, including Qualified Trades People doing the changeover:- $12,000, with savings of between $500 – $700 per year.)

  10. In my own home, by default we have gas heating in winter and a gas stove and we use both judiciously as I am a long-time environmentalist. I check this website to determine whether we will use gas or electricity at any one time. You’ll see it in a graph headed ‘Live Australia Electricity Generation Data’ halfway down on the right hand side, which allows me to see the fuel source of the electricity I’m consuming. I’m in SA, and as I write this, I can see that gas is producing 314 MW, wind 258, large solar 354 and rooftop solar 481. So it’s better for the environment that I use electricity to make my cup of coffee.

    But when gas is the predominant fuel, it makes no sense to use electricity which is being produced by gas boiling the water to create the steam to drive the turbines, then send it through the powerlines with associated energy losses. At that point it is better for the environment for me to make my cup of coffee by boiling water on my gas stove without all those losses in efficiency.

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