Going all electric at home to save money and improve health 

Going all electric at home to save money and improve health 

Uniting’s Advocacy Team recently hosted a webinar on home electrification.  

The guest presenter was Kristen McDonald, the Mobilisation and Engagement Manager of Rewiring Australia, a non-profit organisation dedicated to help people, families and communities make the transition to renewable energy. 

Rewiring Australia’s goal is to electrify everything and replace fossil fuel-based machines with efficient electric ones powered by renewable energy. They are convinced this would not only help address climate change, but reduce energy costs, improve health and be fairer for everyone.  

Rewiring Australia was co-founded by engineer, energy expert and visionary scientist Dr Saul Griffiths. It is seeking to make its ideas a reality by creating Australia’s first all-electric community in Austinmer on the NSW south coast, through the project Electrify 2515. 

In her presentation, Ms McDonald outlined the thinking behind home electrification and the main steps in making the change in a wonderfully clear way. She said that our transport (cars etc), hot water and home heating and cooling make up the bulk of household emissions and costs.  The steps to home electrification (EV, roof top solar, home battery, electric hot water, cooking, heating and cooling) don’t have to be taken all at once, but as people are able. This is important given there are obviously up-front costs involved before the substantial energy savings accrue over time.  
Ms McDonald emphasised that cost savings in energy bills longer term, as well as the health benefits of renewable electricity over gas, provide a powerful reason to switch, whether or not people are motivated to reduce emissions to tackle climate change. 

While some of the audience were new to this area, others had quite a lot of experience and knowledge already. Topics included issues such as the viability of electric vehicles in regional areas, issues about the minerals needed for batteries, and equity issues in electrification for people who are renting or on low incomes. 

Ms McDonald concluded by saying when households make steps toward electrification, they don’t just benefit themselves. By talking about why and how they made the change they contribute to greater momentum for electrification in their local communities and their nation. 

One of the participants on the webinar, Kate, later reached out to the team to let them know her family were planning to buy their household’s first new car and were leaning towards a hybrid model. After joining our webinar and hearing from Kristen McDonald, they decided to opt for a fully electric vehicle.  

This webinar was the fifth offered as part of the Uniting Climate Action Network’s Living the Change. Living the Change focusses on ways that individuals, families, and households can reduce their own greenhouse gas footprint as part of their faith. Click on the links to find out more about Living the Change or the Uniting Climate Action Network 

If you missed the webinar you can view the recording, check out the presentation slides, or see links to more information, here. 

Jon O’Brien, Uniting Advocacy team 


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