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Gas Ban Set To Hurt Retailers & Suppliers Claims Industry Experts

The gas appliance industry is facing a crisis with the decision by the Victorian Government to ban gas in new homes set to impact both appliance retailers and suppliers.

According to David Gilmore, Managing Director of Glem Gas Australasia some suppliers of gas appliances “could disappear” he told ChannelNews.

He claims, “The transition will be rapid from gas to electricity, it will happen very quickly.”

While the managing director of Seeley International, Australia’s largest gas heating manufacturer, Jon Seeley claims that by removing gas from the energy mix in Australia, emissions could increase, and the ban is “foolish and short-sighted”.

Currently, Gilmore’s company is moving to new products including electric cookers, but he sees the concept of hydrogen cooking being pushed by Electrolux as being nothing but “smoke and mirrors”.

At the moment, Gilmore said there’s a lot at play with the ban requiring the introduction of new gas-free stovetops, potentially adding hydrogen to a home’s energy mix, all while charging a Tesla, devices, appliances, and powering air-conditioning at the same time.

“It’s not going to happen,” Gilmore commented claiming Victoria was “by far the biggest market for gas appliances in Australia.”

On the surface, hydrogen is a good option for a greener fuel, but Gilmore cautions that hydrogen is much more volatile and more challenging to transport than gas.

“The problem with hydrogen is it leaks, and the ignition point is in a different manifold pipe.”

If asked if hydrogen will meet the increasing demand of households, Gilmore remains unconvinced.

“The thing with hydrogen is I think we will need to use hydrogen fuel cells to generate electricity so it will not pump into the stovetop,” he said saying that the addition of hydrogen brings a new complexities with it.

Glem Gas is an international company that is already planning out a roadmap for the future despite “having gas in our name,” said Gilmore.

Victoria will prohibit gas connections to all new homes starting from 2024, and all new public buildings like hospitals, schools, police stations, and government-owned buildings must also be all-electric despite the Australian state having the highest use of residential gas in the country.

The gas sector contributes about 17% of the state’s emissions, and one of the primary purposes of the ban is to support Victoria’s roadmap to achieve net-zero emission by 2045 and reduction targets of 75% to 80% by 2035.

Observers claim that the ban on gas connections will have immediate effects on the appliance market, builders, and the very way Australians power their homes and lives.

Additionally, the ban will make an entire market of appliances obsolete, which have a domino effect on retailers and manufacturers who will struggle to keep ahead of the changes not only in manufacturing but also in innovation and production.

“Forcing people off gas causes more brown coal to be burnt in our ageing power stations while increasing the strain on an already-fragile energy grid,” Seeley said.

D’Ambrosio, however, argues that transferring to electric from gas will not only lower emissions but new homeowners will pocket savings of around $1,000 on energy bills, and by also installing solar panels, they can save closer to $2,200.

“Instead of building a new gas home that locks in higher bills for decades, we will be helping to deliver real energy savings for Victorians from day one of moving into a new electric home,” D’Ambrosio said.

Beyond lowering emissions, hydrogen pros include not transferring a flavour to food, fewer methane leaks, and being healthier overall for households, but the Institute of Public Affairs deputy executive director Daniel Wild believes the new ban is a “direct attack” on households who faced “the ever-increasing dilemma between whether to heat or eat”.

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