Electricity the more efficient option for domestic appliances

Homeowners should think about switching their gas appliances for electrical versions if they are hoping to minimise their environmental impact, a report has claimed. The Alternative Technology Association (ATA) discovered that greenhouse gas emissions can be lowered by using electricity for heating and cooking needs.

Damien Moyse, policy and research manager at the ATA, said the conclusions have been drawn after analysing 156 household scenarios in 26 locations across the country.

CO2 emissions were found to be lower when changing all three appliances that are usually fuelled by gas to energy efficient electrical alternatives.

"In the few cases where we found there were emissions increases, they were very small and could be offset by the purchase of 100 per cent GreenPower electricity at a maximum cost of about $10 a year per home," noted Mr Moyse.

Mildura in Victoria was the only place to have witnessed a slight rise in CO2 emissions as a result of the switch. Emissions from water heating were also shown to vary between locations, as all areas in Victoria and some in the ACT and New South Wales saw minor increases.

ATA forecasts that minor increases in emissions are likely to be even more minimal over the coming years, especially as more renewable energy sources come to the fore.

The latest summary of emissions from the Australian government shows that during the three months to June 2014, emissions were up 0.4 per cent from the previous quarter. However, on a yearly basis, they were down 1.4 per cent showing that policy action is working to a certain degree.

During the year to June 2014, electricity generation was named as the largest source of emissions in the national inventory, as it accounted for a third of all activity. Nevertheless, on a seasonally adjusted basis, emissions over the course of the month were down 0.9 per cent.

Posted by Jeremy Elliott