At the last Lane Cove Council Meeting, the council voted to adopt a new Development Control Plan (DCP), which has been updated to include new sustainability requirements.
The new DCP bans the use of gas appliances in all new developments from 1 October 2023. This also includes pool heaters.
The DCP now includes the following:
Why Has Lane Cove Council Banned Gas?
Whilst it might be second nature, more and more research is emerging suggesting the adverse effects of using gas in the home.
Studies have been conducted highlighting the pollution emitted by stove gas stops.
A recent Melbourne University study involved Stanford University and PSE Health Energy researchers measuring the emissions from a gas cooktop in a rental in Camberwell, Melbourne.
This study was built off the previous tests they had conducted in Europe and the US, where they found alarming amounts of health-damaging pollutants from gas stovetops, such as respiratory aggravation gasses like nitrogen dioxide.
The research found that after 30 minutes of burning gas on a stovetop, the nitrogen dioxide levels rose from 11ppb (parts per billion) to 530ppb, with the Australian standard being 99ppb averaging over one hour. Not only that, but they discovered that more than 75% of methane emissions from a stovetop occurred when they were switched off. Read more details about the Australian study here.
Other studies have concluded the same issues linked to gas. According to a 2018 study in the Medical Journal of Australia, cooking with gas in Australia increases the load of asthma by approximately 12 per cent. This is the equivalent of the effects of having a cigarette smoker in the household.
Cost of Living Reasons
Esther Suckling, Research Associate, Grattan Institute, wrote an article for The Conversation where she noted:
“If every Australian household that uses gas went all-electric today, we would “save” more than 30 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions over the next ten years. That’s because there are more than 5 million households on the gas network, and the avoided emissions per home ranges from 5-25 tonnes over the coming decade, depending on the location.
Most people would spend less money on energy, too. Electric appliances use less energy than gas appliances to do the same job, making them cheaper to run.
Our new report shows how much most households can save by switching from gas to electricity for heating, hot water and cooking. The extra cash couldn’t come at a better time: about a quarter of Australian households say they found it difficult to pay their energy bills this year.
But many households face hurdles that stop them or make it hard for them to go all-electric. Governments could make it easier for people and bring emissions-reduction targets closer to reality.”
Read the full article here.
Gas Bans in Other Areas
The ACT government was the first in Australia to place a ban on gas in new homes. The ACT will prohibit the use of fossil gasses in homes and businesses. The ban will come into effect in November 2023.
On top of this, the ACT already uses 100 per cent renewables to source its electricity. Switching to electrical substitutes is also considered to be a fast a cheap way to drop energy emissions and reduce the cost of living. The ban on gas in the home does not however include bottled LPG that is used for the operation of many household barbecues. Read more about it here.
From 1 January 2024 in Victoria, planning permits for new homes and residential subdivisions will only connect to all-electric networks.
The then Premier Dan Andrews said:
“Going all-electric can be delivered at no extra cost to the buyer – and will slash around $1,000 per year off household energy bills – or up to $2,200 for households that also have solar installed.”
The Minister for Energy and Resources Lily D’Ambrosio said
“We know that with every bill that arrives, gas is only going to get more expensive. That’s why we’re stepping in to help even more Victorians get the best deal on their energy bills.”
“Reducing our reliance on gas is critical to meeting our ambitious emission reduction target of net zero by 2045 and getting more Victorians on more efficient electric appliances which will save them money on their bills.”
The Minister for Planning Sonya Kilkenny said:
“All-electric homes are healthier, cleaner and cheaper to run. Going all-electric ensures Victorians building a new home are part of this exciting energy transition.”
The City of Sydney recently voted to insert new clauses into planning rules which require new homes and businesses, including apartments, to include electric appliances like stoves, cooktops, heaters and hot water units, instead of gas.
Two other councils have amended planning laws to ban gas. Waverley Council, amended their DCP to prohibit gas cooktops, ovens and heaters in new residential developments.
In 2021 Parramatta Council banned gas appliances in residential and commercial developments in its CBD.
New York City and more than 50 California towns, cities, and counties have banned gas hookups in new buildings. Elsewhere, 20 states have barred the enactment of natural gas bans. (The Conversation – read the full article here)
After the Victorian Government announced their gas ban, the NSW Premier ruled out a state-wide gas ban in NSW.