Getting Off Gas

The  Greens' plan for a gas-free Victoria.

Coal and gas are the leading causes of the climate crisis. Gas makes up 17% of Victoria's climate pollution.

Yet the Labor Government in Victoria lifted a hard-won ban on gas drilling and is fast-tracking new gas projects, including next to the 12 Apostles.

Fossil gas isn’t just fuelling climate change, it’s also expensive and bad for our health. Research shows using gas in our homes causes up to 12% of childhood asthma.

Around 2 million Victorian homes are currently locked into this expensive and dangerous fossil fuel.

Fixing our homes and making them all-electric by removing gas will save us money, help our health and make a big dent in Victoria’s emissions.

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

  1. A plan to get 1 million homes off gas over the next six years, with Get Off Gas rebates of up to $3000 and zero-interest loans of up to $3000 

  2. $190 million in grants to support Victorian businesses to go gas-free 

  3. Banning new gas connection to Victorian homes from 2025

  4. No new gas for Victoria. Reinstate the moratorium on onshore gas drilling that Labor 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.

Further information about our plan:

1. Get Off Gas rebates to get 1 million Victorian homes off gas

Gas use in Victorian homes is higher than anywhere else in Australia. Gas from the Bass Strait was once cheap and plentiful, and Victorian homes got hooked up. But now, gas prices are skyrocketing and fossil gas is fuelling the climate crisis. Gas use in the home is also associated with increased risk of asthma, especially in children. Victoria has a big job ahead in getting our homes off gas and powering them instead with cheap renewable energy. 

The Greens plan to get 1 million Victorian homes off gas over six years will provide rebates of up to $3000 per home to support homeowners and landlords to replace old gas appliances with new efficient electric ones. Each home will also be able to access up to $3000 in interest-free loans. These rebates and loans will cover up to 50 per cent of the replacement cost of gas heating, cooking, hot water, and rewiring, as outlined in the table below. These Get Off Gas rebates are in addition to incentives under the existing Solar Homes program that already support solar, batteries and, in some circumstances, replacement of gas hot water. 

Get Off Gas rebate eligible items1 

Reverse cycle A/C

Up to $2500

Solar / heat pump hot water heating2

Up to $1500

Induction cooktop

Up to $500

Switchboard Upgrade / Rewiring costs3

Up to $750

Get Off Gas interest-free loan eligible items, to supplement the cost of any of the above

Up to $3000

1 Up to a total of $3000 (each rebate up to maximum 50% of purchase price). Reverse cycle A/C grant can be used across multiple systems.
2 If not currently eligible under the Solar Homes program.
3 Required as part of eligible appliance upgrade. 

Going gas-free will save households more than $1800 per year on energy bills and will help ease the cost of living while also tackling climate change. It’s time for the gas-free revolution to take hold in Victoria.

2. Get-Off-Gas grants for businesses

Victoria was once a manufacturing powerhouse and the business heart of Australia. Industries like brick manufacturing and food production created jobs and helped to drive Australia’s economy. Yet in the last two decades, electricity and gas companies have hiked prices and many manufacturers have abandoned Victoria, taking jobs with them. Current record-high gas prices are pushing businesses to the brink. 

The vast majority could meet their energy needs with electricity, but got locked into gas back when it was cheap and abundant. The Greens' plan includes a $190 million grant scheme for businesses to upgrade their energy systems and go gas-free. Businesses will be supported to undertake an energy assessment and can apply for partial funding to enable their electrification.

As we replace coal and gas with cheap, clean, renewable energy, Victoria has a huge opportunity to reduce energy costs for existing businesses and bring more manufacturing to our state, powered by cheap, abundant renewable energy. 

3. Banning new gas connection so homes aren’t locked into using a polluting fossil fuel

Currently under Victorian law, new homes are forced to connect to gas where it’s available. In June this year, the Greens introduced a bill to remove this requirement, and the Victorian Government has responded by committing to make it a reality. This is an important win, thanks to the hard work of climate groups, local governments, and the Greens in state parliament. 

It’s good news that new homes won’t be forced to connect to gas, but we also need to prevent home-owners being locked into gas by property developers or the gas industry. The Greens' plan for a gas-free Victoria includes banning any new gas connections from 2025, so homes and families aren't locked into using fossil gas when we have a cheaper and more efficient alternative in electricity made from renewable energy. 

Cities and countries around the world, including the Netherlands, Norway, New York, Quebec and a new suburb in the ACT, are going gas-free. Electric homes are the future, and Victoria needs to join the club. 

4. No new gas

The climate crisis is already driving extreme weather events and putting our future at risk. Allowing more gas is pouring fuel on the fire, yet Victorian Labor is fast-tracking gas drilling next to the 12 Apostles and has opened up Victorian farms and bushland to new gas drilling. 

The United Nations and the International Energy Agency have made one thing very clear: we cannot afford a single new fossil fuel project if we are to have any chance of limiting catastrophic climate change. 

The Greens will fight to stop new gas drilling near the 12 Apostles, ban all new drilling in our pristine oceans, and reinstate the hard-won moratorium on onshore gas to keep our state free from new drilling. We will also fight to stop the environmentally destructive plan to build a gas import terminal at Corio Bay near Geelong. 

Paying for our plans

To assist Victorians to get off gas, the Greens will invest $3 billion over six years, with $2 billion over the first four years, along with $190m for business grants. 

The Greens will make the big banks, property developers and the gambling industry pay their fair share of tax so we can invest in climate action, affordable housing and public services for all. 

Our plans will also be paid for by spending smarter and making our state borrowings work for the community.

 

Victoria, Let's Get Off Gas

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