NewsIn defence of natural gas
In defence of natural gas

In defence of natural gas

I'll admit it. I like natural gas and want to hang onto it. I cook with it and appreciate its warm flames on a winter's night.

The prevailing winds suggest domestic gas has had its day because it's a fossil fuel and is far more costly than it was.

In the ACT, new homes are no longer obliged to be connected to the gas, and various plans to de-gas homes are afoot in a bid to save us money.

But so far as I can see, while there is an imperative to (sometime and somehow) electrify our homes, no one asked me for my views. Have they asked you?

The switch from gas to electric appliances can be costly, and the return on investment takes time. Who is going to pay?

Where do you sit on the gas debate? Maybe you think the fuel has had its day, or perhaps you want or can only afford to hang on to it.

Hydrogen gas is meant to be one of the great cleaner energy futures, and domestic appliances can be adapted to run on it. Are we in danger of throwing out the baby with the tepid bathwater?

The technicalities of natural gas are most people's expertise. It has lower emissions than coal, but in the rush to electrify everything, much of our power still comes from the black stuff.

I'm interested in the consumer view, which is yours - because as this massive transition is being advocated, planned and costed, I'm not sure we have been adequately consulted.

I heard an ABC Radio National program on the subject last week. Very interesting but stupid - to abuse a dated catchphrase - because not one expert or one caller was against replacing gas with electricity ASAP. 

Maybe they are correct, but I doubt one-sidedness even if I tend to agree with the side being defended. In the past, I did some work for Brighter, a campaign raising awareness of natural gas's benefits, but these thoughts are my own.

The UK government plans to subsidise replacing gas heating with heat pumps (see more here). It's a billion-dollar boiler upgrade scheme, and maybe we shall see something similar here.

Back in Australia, the sums can make sense with a new house or replacing worn-out existing gas appliances, but if you are ditching a perfectly good oven or heating system, the costs may be more chilling.

It's a fascinating debate, but consumers, perhaps especially older ones, need to be a part of it too.

How do you feel about the transition away from natural gas in our home?

Any information contained in this communication is general advice, it does not take into account your individual circumstances, objectives, financial situation or needs.

Originally posted on .

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Bruce from NSW commented:

We have access to the cleanest and greenest source of energy which we currently know of: Nuclear Fission. We have plenty of Uranium which we dig up and sell to O/S markets, but we don't use it ourselves; ridiculous. The new Energy Minister clearly knows nothing based on his latest, totally wrong comments on Nuclear. France has some of the cheapest power in Europe and is not affected by the Russia/Ukraine conflict because they rely heavily on Reactors for their energy. And they are building more. The latest Reactors use less fissile material and can reprocess the spent material to use even more of it, so that the waste is miniscule. And finally, way, way more people have been killed by pollution from fossil-burning power stations in the last 10 years, than have ever been killed or injured by radiation from accidents, that have all happened with very old, out-of-date Reactors. If interested, one should research the newer SMR's (Small Modular Reactors) that Rolls Royce and New Scale Power and others are developing. And yes, I'd be happy to live in the same area as a modern Nuclear Power Station. 

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