Methane gas is a polluting fuel that damages our climate. It is responsible for 17% of all Victoria’s greenhouse gas emissions, and Victoria burns far more than other states.
Our analysis shows that as we phase out coal power, gas could become responsible for a whopping 45% of the state’s emissions by 2035 and out our climate targets out of reach. So, if the gas industry gets its way, the ‘little blue flame’ could become Victoria’s big pollution problem.
Most of the methane gas burnt in Victoria is for home heating and hot water. The good news is that we have simple and effective solutions right now! Efficient, all-electric appliances are cheaper to run, safer for our health and produce less pollution.
The big barrier for households and small businesses is the upfront cost of a new efficient electric appliance. Which is why we’re calling for urgent government action to support all households, especially renters and people on low incomes, reap the benefits of cleaner, affordable home heating and efficient electric water heaters.
Going electric also means we can eliminate the need for more destructive gas mining and import projects.
Working alongside the amazing Westernport Bay community, we stopped AGL’s plan to build a polluting gas import terminal in the middle of a Ramsar listed wetland. It was a huge win for the community and the local environment. But unless we get off gas and switch to clean energy, growing gas consumption will continue to underpin these destructive projects.
Already, Viva Energy is planning to build an extremely unpopular gas import terminal in Geelong, Conoco Phillips wants to conduct seismic blasting in whale habitat to look for more polluting gas, and the Victorian government has given the green light for Beach Energy to mine for gas right next to the 12 Apostles. A plan that involves boring a hole underneath Port Campbell national park and 3.5km out into the ocean!
The only way to stop these projects is to urgently act to reduce our consumption of methane gas.
Victoria got hooked on gas through an accident of geology. Historically, the vast gas reserves in Bass Strait guaranteed a steady supply that made gas heating an attractive option for Victorian homes.
But times have changed. Bass Strait is running out. And even before Putin’s invasion of Ukraine propelled gas prices into the stratosphere, wind and solar were already far cheaper and cleaner than burning fossil fuels.
We need to get Victorian households off dirty methane gas as quickly as possible, and thanks to thousands of people showing their support, there is growing momentum.
The Victorian government’s release of their Gas Substitution Roadmap in July 2022 was a great first step. Since then, the Andrew’s government has abolished an outdated rule that forced new homes to connect to the gas network, and announced that, as of 1 January 2024, new homes and government buildings will no longer be allowed to connect to the gas network. This is something our community had been calling for and is a big win that paves the way for more all-electric fossil free homes.
The progress comes in addition to existing programs to replace 250,000 old and inefficient residential heaters, along with expanded energy efficiency schemes.
It’s a good start, but to match the scale of the energy and climate crises Victorians face right now, the plan needs to go further, with clear timelines and targets for reducing methane gas consumption. You can find out more in our analysis of the Gas Substitution Roadmap here >>
We know the fossil gas industry is lobbying hard. They intend to do whatever they can to protect their profits at the expense of our health and climate.
So getting our leaders behind the big vision for a renewable-powered Victoria is going to take people across the state speaking up.
The Victorian government is updating its plans to get Victoria off gas, so this is critical moment to show the groundswell of community support for bold action.
Our volunteers have been talking to people across Victoria and asking them what they think about gas. The results are summarised in our new report, which includes moving personal stories about why we need to get off gas and shows 76% of people want government support to electrify their homes.
So make sure your MP doesn’t miss the memo, send them a copy of our report today!