Forecasters thought gas demand in Australia would keep rising.

The cheapest way to heat your home with renewable energy – just flick a switch

A few years ago, similar to views about future electricity demand, forecasters thought gas demand in Australia would keep rising. As it turns out, gas demand peaked in 2012 and may halve by 2025 - as we showed in our recently published University of Melbourne Energy Institute (MEI) report, and earlier on The Conversation.

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Households are turning to sustainability

Step by step, householders are making economic decisions that will eventually lead to many completely disconnecting from the gas grid, as they find gas to be an increasingly costly secondary source of home energy.

This is particularly true when it comes to space-heating. When the cost of operating a modern reverse cycle air conditioner (known in Tasmania and elsewhere around the world as a heat pump) can be one-third the cost of heating with gas, why wouldn’t a householder have a look at the possibilities?

Another attraction is that heating with a reverse cycle air conditioner is largely renewable. Our research has quantified that reverse cycle air conditioners in Australia recover more renewable energy than do all of the millions of rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) installations. Who knew?

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