While climate change is a topic that is often shrouded in doom and gloom, industry experts have suggested we shift the focus to solving the problems caused by climate change. One way to do it is through electrification. In this article, we look at what this concept holds for the future and how it affects the individual household.
What is electrification?
Electrification refers to substituting technologies that use fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas) with technologies that harness electricity as a source of energy. This notion means replacing conventional cars and appliances with electric vehicles.
It also includes powering your house with a complete solar system with solar panels, batteries and investors. An ideal electrified household would also use efficient appliances such as heat pumps for hot water and heating and cooling.
In early October 2021, Rewiring Australia, a new energy think tank, demonstrated that electrification could enable Australian households to vastly reduce their energy bills and cut domestic emissions by around one third by 2030.
The report predicted that an average household can save $5,000 on power and the cost of owning cars and appliances by 2030.
Nation-wide, electrification of households would reduce domestic emissions by around 33 per cent by 2030. This would enable Australia to pledge a higher 2030 target at the Glasgow climate conference.
There are other benefits to electrification apart from cost-savings.
Carbon emissions from buildings can be reduced when switching from fossil fuels to electricity for residential or commercial building energy needs. When you change to electric heating and cooking technologies indoors, it can also lead to substantial air quality benefits.
Some electric appliances are better for indoor air quality than their fossil fuel-based counterparts—natural gas cooking stoves, for example, release carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and other harmful pollutants when in use.
As more Australian households turn to rooftop solar, electrification is the future. Rather than worry about Australia’s position as a significant coal and gas exporter, Dr Saul Griffith says that the country should focus on seizing the opportunity to embrace cheaper energy, self-reliance, and cleaner air.
The country looks set to win the global decarbonisation race in the long run.
How would we achieve electrification?
The electrified home at a glance
According to the report published by Dr Griffith and his team, this is what an example of the electrified home looks like:
Heating systems (e.g. water heating, space heating, or cooktops) to power electric heat pumps and induction hotplates instead of electric gas
Rooftop solar panels for each household
A home battery
Other ways to increase electrification economics include weatherproofing households for optimal energy consumption, swapping lightning for LED lighting, and other energy efficiency methods.
Another household electrification swap is to electrify the cars we drive.
According to the report, cars make up 38 per cent of household emissions. They also average around $3,000 per household in annual fuel expenses. Therefore they generate the most significant household emissions and energy costs.
In an “average” Australian household, which the report considers 2.6 people and 1.8 vehicles, vehicle fuels account for 69 per cent of the total household energy use.
On the other hand, solar or renewable-powered electric vehicles only consume 25-35 per cent of the primary energy of their internal combustion engine alternatives.
Heat pumps (the technology that enables refrigeration and air conditioning function) can be run in a reversible or mini-split system within the house. In this way, households using heat or water using electricity can separate the heat and the cold from the air. The reversible or mini-split system allows homes to use about three times less energy than water heaters or space heaters that burn natural gas.
How does it impact you, the household consumer? It means shifting your focus from small, frequent investments and decisions such as purchasing stainless steel water bottles and using keep-cups. Instead, households should make a finite number of infrastructure-for-your-life decisions.
These are the types of decisions, like purchasing a home solar system or vehicle electrification, that significantly impact our lives. Yet, they only need to be made once every ten years.
Solar batteries and electrification
According to the paper, ‘Castles & Cars - Savings in the suburbs through electrifying everything’, The largest savings for households come from switching their household electricity use from the grid to tap on rooftop solar with battery storage instead.
As Dr Grffith puts it, “To give a fairly simple answer that is relatable to the things in your life – your kitchen, your basement, your garage, your cars, your rooftop – is pretty reassuring,” Dr Griffith said.
Conclusion The evidence put forward by Castles & Cars is compelling, especially amidst a global backdrop of rising oil prices. If you are looking to make the switch and purchase a home battery, contact our LG installers today. They will be able to advise you on the best solar battery for your house household needs.
Contact us today.