This one change to new builds could spark thousands in savings for ratepayers

Paul Eyers
By Paul Eyers
4 Min Read

Requiring all new homes and commercial buildings to be built fully electric would spark nearly $8,000 in savings per household, new energy modelling has shown. 

A new report by the economic analyst group Strategy Policy Research revealed that ratepayers could zap their property’s power bills and carbon footprint simply by using electricity ahead of other energy sources.

The Electric Savings: The case for NSW councils to reduce emissions and energy bills through electrification report showed households and businesses could save an average of $608 per year if their new builds electrification was mandatory. 

That equates to $7,900 per household over 40 years.

electrification nsw new builds
The cumulative energy bill savings by electrifying all new NSW homes and commercial properties over the next 40 years.

The change would also reduce new home and commercial building greenhouse gas emissions by 90.6 per cent and 77 per cent respectively, equating to 39 million tonnes of avoidable carbon over the next four decades.

In simpler terms, it is the same as taking 313,000 cars off Aussie roads across the same period. 

The findings could amp up the case for the mandated electrification of new builds to help meet net zero by 2050 emission targets and alleviate the cost-of-living pressures currently impacting renters, homeowners and small businesses. 

However, such a regulatory change will likely need to be enforced by local councils after NSW Premier Chris Minns indicated his government would not follow the ACT and Victoria in banning all new residential gas connections. 

Some council areas in NSW have already passed planning laws that require new developments to be electrified, including the City of Sydney, Parramatta, Waverley, Lane Cove, Newcastle, Hornsby, North Sydney, Inner West, Blue Mountains, Canada Bay, Ryde, and Canterbury-Bankstown. 

Lucy Manne, CEO of electrification advocacy group 350 Australia, says the report demonstrates electrifying new properties would help local governments kill two birds with one stone. 

“It cuts energy bills for local residents and small businesses during a cost of living crisis and reduces climate pollution at almost no cost to councils; it will be low-income people and renters who will benefit most from council-led electrification,” she said. 

Lucy Manne
350 Australia CEO Lucy Manne says home electrification would help solve both the climate and cost of living crisis

“We call on the NSW state government to follow Victoria’s and ACT’s lead in requiring new developments be fully electric. In the meantime, electrification requirements for new buildings is an effective, easy step for councils who want to join this community-led movement for cleaner, healthier homes.” 

The regulation change could become a cost-of-living game-changer for renters, who are already struggling to get by due to the housing crisis.

Better Renting spokesperson Joel Dignam says cheaper energy bills would provide renters a better quality of life.

“Higher energy costs are a challenge for everyone, especially renters who have little choice but to rent inefficient homes with expensive gas appliances,” he said.

“Having more all-electric homes will mean more options for renters and cheaper energy bills.”

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Paul Eyers has worked as a journalist for a range of media publishers including News Corp and Network Ten. He has also worked outside of Australia, including time spent with ABS-CBN in the Philippines. Stepping away from the media, Paul spent five years sharpening his tools in construction - building his skill set and expertise within the trade industry. His diverse experiences and unique journey have equipped him with an insider view of Australia’s construction game to dig deep into the big stories.