Today’s announcement by the Victorian Government foreshadowing a ban on new gas appliances in existing homes is divorced from reality, says Master Plumbers.
As part of the updated Gas Substitution Roadmap launched today, the Victorian Government will investigate a ban on new gas appliances not only in new builds, existing homes and some commercial buildings, it is considering forcing households to rip out existing gas appliances as part of Regulatory Impact Statement to be released next year.
Master Plumbers said that the plumbing industry is at the forefront of the clean energy transition to a low carbon economy. However, the rush towards electrification, without genuine consultation or consideration of the critical role gas will play would be a knee-jerk reaction by a government chasing ambitious timeframes.
Master Plumbers members are on the ground actively helping people reduce their carbon footprint and they see the limitations and costs that can come from choices which don’t deliver on consumer expectations.
The need to move away from carbon-based fuels is not in question in the longer term, but it's easy for governments to try to greenwash the benefits of electrification with promises of reduced cost which have not eventuated.
It would be entirely understandable if consumers are becoming cynical about more government announcements on future energy savings when all they see is their bills increasing and choices being restricted.
While the promise of broad consultation is welcome, Master Plumbers has warned that the community and the industry expect genuine engagement and input, not just a token process seeking to justify a foregone conclusion.
In the middle of a housing crisis and unprecedented demand for trades, the indications are that the Victorian Government will impose further pain on renters, homeowners and small businesses who will bear a disproportionate cost.