A six-year plan to get a million homes off gas is now in the works, including rebates for electric heat pumps and reinstating the moratorium on onshore gas drilling, thanks to the Victorian Greens committing to its election campaign to make Victoria a gas-free state. 

The Greens’ plan to get one million homes off gas will form part of its comprehensive and bold climate policy heading into the November state election.

The Greens’ plan for a gas-free Victoria includes:

  • A plan to get one million homes off gas over the next six years, with Get Off Gas rebates of up to $3,000 and zero-interest loans of up to $3,000 
  • $190 million in grants to support Victorian businesses to go gas-free 
  • Banning new gas connection to Victorian homes from 2025
  • No new gas for Victoria
    • Reinstate the moratorium on onshore gas drilling that the state lifted in 2020, ban new offshore gas drilling and rule out future gas infrastructure projects including VIVA energy’s proposal for a gas import terminal in Corio Bay

The Victorian Greens said the rebates would support households to replace old and polluting gas appliances including heating, hot water and cooking with more efficient electric heat pumps and induction cooktops.  

Gas is one of the leading causes of the climate crisis, contributing to 17 per cent of Victoria’s total greenhouse gas emissions. It is also expensive and associated with increased risk of asthma, especially in children.

There are roughly two million Victorian households currently locked into the polluting and dangerous fossil fuel and two-thirds of Australia’s household gas is used in Victorian homes. 

In June 2022, the Greens introduced a bill that would update the planning laws so that new homes would no longer be forced to connect to gas, something the State Government has since announced it will make law.

Over the last few years, the Victorian Government has reversed a hard-won ban on onshore gas drilling, has opened vast areas of pristine coastal waters to new drilling and is backing a program that is paying people to install new gas appliances. 

While the Victorian Government’s recently released gas substitution roadmap is an important first step on Victoria’s pathway off gas, the Victorian Greens said the support for households to replace appliances through the Energy Upgrades scheme is vague and will take too long to get off the ground. 

Victorian Greens acting spokesperson for climate, Dr Tim Read, said the Greens wanted to see Victoria going further and faster to transition away from fossil fuels like coal and gas.

He said that fixing up homes and making them all-electric would save money, help health and make a big dent in reducing Victoria’s emissions.

Dr Read said the federal election should have been a wake-up call for the major parties. 

“In the middle of a climate crisis our governments need to be going further and faster to ditch polluting fossil fuels like gas,” Dr Read said. 

“Yet here in Victoria, the Andrews Government is pouring more fuel on the fire by supporting new gas drilling.

“Rewiring one million homes to get off gas would save households money, help protect the health of Victorians and drive down our greenhouse gas emissions.

“It’s a no-brainer.”

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