Electrify everything: A step-by-step guide to transitioning your home

If you electrify everything in your home it can deliver major bill savings, improve your health, and save the planet. You can even claim government rebates to do it.

So if it’s a no brainer, why aren’t more people doing it? Because it can be a bit tricky if you aren’t sure what you’re doing. This step-by-step guide covers everything you need to know (and nothing you don’t, because we know you don’t care what a kWh is).

What does electrify everything mean?

Electrifying everything means switching all your fossil fuel appliances, and your car, for efficient electric ones. Once everything is electric you then run them all off renewable energy. In practice that means:

  • Electric vehicle: Replacing your petrol car with an electric one, and getting an EV charger.
  • Electric cooking: Switching gas cooking for electric or induction cooking.
  • Electric heating: Switching gas heating for a reverse cycle air conditioner.
  • Electric hot water: Switching gas hot water for an electric hot water heat pump.
  • Solar: Getting home solar and a solar battery, or switching you energy provider to a renewable energy provider.

Why electrify everything?

Save on bills

Switching from gas and petrol to electricity and solar can deliver huge bill savings for the average household, almost $4500 per year (or more than $40,000 over 10 years).

Electrify everything chart - shows the annual cost of a gas and petrol home ($5517) compared to an electrified home ($559).
Comparing the annual running costs (including petrol, gas and electricity bills) between a home that uses gas and petrol versus a home where everything is electric and they have solar panels and a battery. Source: Rewiring Australia.

The price of petrol and gas is increasing every year, so these savings will continue to go up with time.

Environmental impact

Gas and petrol are fossil fuels, and burning them contributes to climate change. If you electrify everything you switch from gas and petrol to renewable energy (either through a green energy provider or your own rooftop solar) – it’s one of the easiest ways for households to combat climate change.

Improved health

Burning gas releases nitrogen dioxide (NO2), which has an impact on human health. Studies have found that using gas at home can cause up to 12% of childhood asthma cases, which is the same as someone smoking tobacco in the home. [Source: Asthma Australia]. If you wouldn’t have a smoker at home then it’s time to electrify everything.

Petrol cars also have a significant impact on health, with car pollution killing more Australians than car crashes [Source].

Government rebates

As part of the national plan on climate change there are a range of federal, state and local council rebates that households can claim for switching to efficient electric appliances, getting home solar, and getting an EV.

How to electrify everything

Step 1: Identify the items to transition

Make a list of everything in your home that will need to be transitioned, including gas cooking (stove and oven), gas hot water, gas heaters, petrol car, and getting home solar.

Identify all the items in your home that will need to be transitioned.

If you live in an apartment it’s still possible to transition, check out our guide on getting solar for apartments.

Step 2: Decide what to replace them with

For each item you will need to find an electric replacement. There are lost of options, but if you want to get the highest bill savings then it’s best to go with the most efficient replacements. This means:

  • Replacing a petrol car with a 100% electric car (not a hybrid).
  • Replacing gas cooking with induction cooking (read our guide).
  • Replacing gas heating with a reverse cycle air conditioner (read our guide).
  • Replacing gas hot water with a hot water heat pump (read our guide).
  • Getting home solar, with a solar battery (read our guide).

Step 2: Estimate savings, costs and government rebates

Once you have selected your replacements, you will need to find out:

  • How much the replacement will cost.
  • How much the replacement will save you in energy bills.
  • Whether you qualify for any government rebates.

When calculating the savings don’t forget to take into account the extra savings you will get if you plan to get home solar. Getting solar means you can run your new electric appliances from renewable energy.

Step 3: Decide when you will transition

Switching everything to electricity is likely to take some time. You may need to save up and do it in stages. Consider the cost, as well as the benefits listed in the table below, and use these to put things in priority order.

ItemPotential bill savingsHealth impactsEnvironmental impacts
Petrol carVery HighHighVery High
Gas cookingMediumHighMedium
Gas heatingHighHighHigh
Gas hot waterHighLowHigh
Home solarVery HighLowVery High

There is no “right” order to do things in. Prioritise your list based on potential bill savings, health and environmental impacts.

Everyone’s priority will be different, for example, if you have a child with asthma you may prioritise gas cooking first, whereas if you are most concerned about cost savings you might prioritise the EV.

You could also consider when your current items will be at the end of their life, and replace them then. It’s a good idea to have this plan in advance – if your current hot water system fails, or your car breaks down, you don’t want to be stuck researching new options while you have cold showers or can’t drive to work.

Step 4: Choose new items

When you’re ready to replace an appliance, or look for an EV, do some research on the different brand names and options available. Websites such as Choice can be a good place to compare options.

Electric Vehicles (EVs)

When choosing an EV it’s important to consider how far you drive each day. Visit some showrooms and do test drives of different cars. In addition to new EVs it’s also possible to get good quality second hand EVs through places such as GoodCarCo, which are much more affordable than new ones.

Appliances

Some appliances can be purchased online, or in a store, and delivered to your house. You then arrange for an installer to come and install them. However, there are also installers who can supply the appliances directly, as well as doing the installation. Those installers can often recommend a product to suit your needs, but they will usually charge a mark-up on the appliance.

If you are planning to get home solar make sure you consider that when selecting appliances. For example, there are some hot water heat pumps that come with solar timers, so you can run them during the day when your solar panels are generating excess electricity.

Home solar

There are a wide range of things to consider when getting a solar system, including the number of panels, the direction and size of your roof, and whether it has any shade. You need to make sure that any system you get will be big enough to power all your electric appliances once you have transitioned. Use our solar calculator to estimate the size you will need.

Step 5: Find an installer and get a quote

Find an installer who can install the new appliance. When looking for an installer make sure they are:

  • Licenced to do the work.
  • Insured.
  • Provide a warranty.
  • Will remove and dispose of the old appliance.

For some appliances you may need multiple installers. For example, replacing a gas cooktop with an induction cooktop may require an electrician (to connect the new cooktop), a plumber (to disconnect the gas), and potentially even a carpenter or stonemason if the new cooktop doesn’t fit into the hole left by the old one.

Solar installers should be Clean Energy Council Accredited.

If this all sounds a bit complicated, book a free virtual consultation with us and we can help you arrange the installation.

Step 6: Installation

Book a time with the installer. Installation for an individual appliance usually only takes a few hours up to one day. Solar installation can take 1-2 days.

Step 7: Disconnect the gas

Enjoy the feeling of paying your last gas bill. Once you electrify everything, contact your gas provider and ask them to disconnect the gas. They may charge a fee for the disconnection.

If you just want the gas disconnected but are happy to leave the gas pipes and meter there then the fee is usually small, but if you want the pipes and meter removed so that nobody can use gas at that home in the future the fee can be quite large (we’ve heard of $1500 charges).

Step 8: Show off to your friends and neighbours

Remember to look smug. Once you electrify everything enjoy your bill savings, and feel good about doing your part to combat climate change and protecting your family’s health.

Need help going all electric?

We’re a social enterprise helping Australians transition their home to clean energy. Book a free virtual consultation and we’ll help you make a plan, find quality installers, and get it done.