the City of Sydney supported a gas ban
8 out of 10 councillors supported a motion to support a ban on gas in the municipality. Image: Canva.
  • The City of Sydney has passed a motion for new homes and business to be all-electric.
  • Premier Chris Minns says he will not implement a state wide ban on gas.
  • The Grattan Institute's report recommends all Australian homes become all-electric.

The City of Sydney council has voted to support a gas ban in new homes and businesses.

The motion, which was recently passed and supported by eight out of 10 councillors, will insert new clauses into the council’s planning rules to require new homes and businesses to include electric appliances like stoves, cooktops, heaters and hot water units, instead of gas ones.

This follows Waverley and Parramatta councils’ recent motion to pass new planning rules that prevent gas appliances in new homes and businesses.

However, New South Wales Premier, Chris Minns, has ruled out a state-wide ban, saying it could further aggravate the state’s energy challenges.

“We congratulate the City of Sydney for taking bold climate leadership and taking action where the state government is falling behind,” said 350 Australia CEO, Lucy Manne.

The Property Council of Australia NSW executive director, Katie Stevenson, told The Property Tribune that buildings account for 50% of the country’s electricity use and 25% of all emissions, so policies and programs should be in place to drive the sector’s transition to net zero.

“We are hopeful more councils will show leadership in this area, and that the NSW Government will reconsider their position and consider phasing out gas in new homes.”

Katie Stevenson, Property Council of Australia NSW executive director

Grattan Institute’s findings

Carbon emissions from producing and using gas account for 22% of Australia’s overall emissions, according to Grattan Institute’s latest report, Getting Off Gas: Why, how and who should pay? 

The report also states that to reach net zero, governments need to start changing asset replacement patterns now, and recommends that governments should start by ensuring all Australian homes become all-electric.

Percentage of national emissions in 2020
Percentage of emissions in 2020. Source: Grattan analysis

Furthermore, the report estimates about five million households in Australia are reliant on gas, and in Victoria, the state which relies the most on gas, 200 households a day will need to stop using gas by 2045 to reach net zero.

For households across the country, the report states that the sale of gas appliances should be phased out well before 2050 so that the last remaining gas appliances in homes are able to be replaced with electric ones when they reach the end of their life.

However, for industrial purposes and some power generation, the report notes electrification would not always be a viable solution.

Energy bill savings

According to research conducted by Strategy Policy Research and commissioned by environmental organisation 350 Australia, the move could save every new household that’s built in Sydney an average of $430 per year on their energy bills.

Solar Analytics CEO and co-founder, Stefan Jarnason, says banning gas on new premises is like mandating home insulation through Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) in that it prevents consumers from being sold a home that will be expensive to heat and cool.

“Even the gas companies have stated that ultimately the residential gas networks will end, so it is important not to burden new homes with this additional cost,” he said.

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