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VIC Gas-Free, Healthy Homes

Gas-free homesHelp Create Gas-Free Homes in Victoria

We're working to create healthier homes and a healthier climate, free from polluting fossil fuels. Burning gas is driving climate change and putting Australians' health at risk. In Victoria, where more gas is burned than in any other Australian state or territory, we're calling on the government to end new gas connections and support households to transition to healthier energy solutions. 

The problem

In Victoria 83% of homes are connected to gas and gas burning accounts for 16% of the state's greenhouse gas emissions. Beyond the climate risk, families are facing unacceptable physical health risks. 

Gas cooktops and heaters produce air pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide that can increase the risk of asthma, exacerbate chronic illnesses and even cause death. A child living with gas cooking in their home faces a similar risk of asthma to a child living with household cigarette smoke. Indoor gas cooking has been estimated to be responsible for up to 12% of childhood asthma in Australia.

Furthermore, skyrocketing gas prices are being felt most sharply by low income families, creating mental health pressures from financial strain. 

Now is the critical time for the Victorian Government to protect community members by ending polluting gas in homes.

The solution

The good news is, there are alternatives available right now that are cheaper, healthier and better for our climate. By transitioning to renewable-powered, energy efficient appliances, households can reduce power bills, carbon emissions and toxic air pollution. Switching your gas cooktop to an efficient induction cooktop, for instance, can reduce your energy use by a third. Similarly, reverse cycle air conditioners (also known as split systems) reduce energy use by 1/3 - 1/4 compared to a standard gas space heater.

While home-owners can implement these changes themselves, it is the Victorian Government that must protect all households - particularly the most vulnerable - and update its Gas Substitution Roadmap to adequately address this issue. Creating gas-free homes begins with banning new gas connections so any new build, renovation or retrofit will have the healthier electric alternative in place.

What are we doing?

Just as health workers led campaigns against tobacco, they too can help lead the transition to gas-free homes. Doctors, nurses, psychologists and other health professionals are best placed to advocate for people’s physical and mental wellbeing. By having informed and active health workers who use compelling images and stories and who are motivated to take part in public actions, we can erode the social licence of gas and reframe it as the health and climate threat that it is.

We're calling on the Victorian Government to ban new gas connections in homes and to provide assistance to low income households to transition to electric alternatives.

Some of our campaign activities will include:

  • Educating, empowering and organising health workers to become spokespeople for gas-free homes
  • Researching the health impacts of gas in homes and advocating for renewable energy solutions
  • Collaborating with health, environmental and social organisations to build a coalition that advocates for Healthy Homes and a Healthy Climate
  • Lobbying the Government to update its Gas Substitution Roadmap so it bans new gas connections as soon as possible
  • Advocating for equity so that low income earners do not bear the brunt of expensive and dangerous gas appliances and are supported to transition to healthier alternatives
  • Taking creative action to to create visible impact

What can you do?

If you are based in VIC and work or study in health or community services, please sign our open letter to VIC decision makers.

If you're not in health, you can use the form below to sign up to Healthy Futures' email list and hear about updates and opportunities for all community members as the campaign progresses.

Not in Victoria? We're hoping to expand our Gas-Free Homes campaign across Australia - please get in touch if you'd like to be involved.