This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

Architects Team Up To Ditch Gas In Australian Homes

Sustainable Homes

If you follow any Australian architects on social media, you might have noticed a recent campaign encouraging the industry to ‘get off the gas.’

Supported by leading practices including Breathe, Kennedy Nolan, Hayball, Bates Smart, Auhaus, and Plus, the campaign was launched to encourage more homes powered purely by electricity (ideally from renewable resources) to help tackle the climate crisis.

There’s never been a better time to go all-electric. Temperatures around the world are soaring; gas prices are rising; solar power is more accessible than ever; and local gas shortages are currently triggering emergency measures. It can also help save you money

Here’s everything you need to know to ditch gas for good.

22nd July, 2022

Elemental House by Ben Callery Architects is an all-electric home that operates off-grid. Photo – Marnie Hawson. Styling – Belle Hemming

Garden House by Austin Maynard Architects is completely self-powered. The house creates enough energy to charge the family’s electric car and power the entire home (including hydronic heating, cooktops, ovens and a heated pool), has no gas connection. Photography – Derek Swalwell. Furniture, art and object styling– Simone Haag

The all-electric kitchen at Garden House by Austin Maynard Architects. Photography – Derek Swalwell. Furniture, art and object styling– Simone Haag

An electric car charging at Garden House by Austin Maynard Architects. Photography – Derek Swalwell. Furniture, art and object styling– Simone Haag

Vivarium by Architecture Architecture runs on 100% electricity, ensuring zero gas use. The house is connected to three-phase power, to run electric hydronic heating and in anticipation of an electric car. Photos – Tom Ross

The Cove II by The Sociable Weaver. Photo – Marnie Hawson.

Fireside House by Breathe Architecture is gas-free, with an all-electric services system connected to 100% GreenPower and a 9.6kW PV array, which has provision for future battery storage. Photos– Tom Ross

Elemental House by Ben Callery Architects. Photo – Marnie Hawson. Styling – Belle Hemming

Amelia Barnes
Friday 22nd July 2022

‘This is [about] progress over perfection. It’s totally okay to take one small, manageable step at a time, moving towards an all-electric future. The key is committing not to buy any new gas appliances.’ – Jeremy McLeod.

The world is in the midst of a climate crisis caused primarily by burning fossil fuels such as oil, coal, and gas.

Armed with this simple fact and a passion to change the status quo, a group of leading local architects and designers (Breathe, Kennedy Nolan, Hayball, Bates Smart, Auhaus, Plus, Nest, Maddison, Bower, John Wardle, and more) recently teamed up to launch ‘get off the gas’ — a social media campaign encouraging more all-electric homes.

Around 70 per cent of Australian homes use a form of gas for their cooking, bathing, or heating — but there are alternatives. An all-electric home is not only more environmentally sustainable when powered by solar or GreenPower, it’s often cheaper to run in the long term, and just as elegant in appearance. 

The recent residential work of Austin Maynard Architects, Ben Callery Architects, The Sociable Weaver, Architecture Architecture, and EME Design are just a few examples of beautiful homes with no gas connection. 

So if all-electric homes are possible, why don’t we all have them?

According to Jeremy McLeod, founding director of Breathe Architecture, Australians have built a reliance on gas after decades of advertising and lobbying from the gas industry. 

The requirement that all new builds be connected to the gas network was removed just weeks ago in Victoria.

There’s also a longstanding perception that gas, especially when used for heating, is cheaper than electricity. However, with gas prices rising, and electric appliances becoming more efficient, Jeremy says this is no longer the case.

‘Some of the all-electric technology like induction cooktops and heat pumps for hot water are more expensive to buy than their gas equivalent, but their installation is generally simpler and more affordable. Also, these appliances are generally more efficient and are cheaper to run over the life of the building.’

As more homes transition to becoming all-electric, Jeremy says energy generators will increase supply to meet that demand. ‘Importantly, as we push down demand for gas, this will also lead to less reliance on gas and future gas exploration.’

This is especially important in the current climate, with Australia experiencing recent shortages of electricity and gas. Just this week, the national energy operator activated emergency measures to guarantee gas supplies for Victoria amid concerns the state faces a winter shortage.

‘All-electric households with solar (and eventually batteries and electric vehicles) will increasingly be an integral part of the energy system, helping to balance supply and demand across the day and through the seasons,’ says Jeremy.  

Going all-electric is particularly relevant to new homes that don’t require replacing gas appliances and infrastructure. In the case of homes with existing gas systems (that have already contributed significant carbon emissions in their manufacturing) Jeremy says these may be worth keeping until the end of their lifespan. 

‘This is [about] progress over perfection. It’s totally okay to take one small, manageable step at a time, moving towards an all-electric future. The key is committing not to buy any new gas appliances,’ he says. 

Companies such as Goodbye Gas in Victoria can help home owners navigate these decisions to make the switch. 

Australia’s built environment industry is a long way off being proud of their carbon footprint, but Jeremy says investing in an all-electric future is a move in the right direction. 

‘We’re optimists at Breathe, but we’re also pragmatists. This is such an easy step for all of us to take, but it also has an incredible impact.’ 

Architects, clients and builders can further encourage a more sustainable residential environment by creating smaller homes; renovating over rebuilding; orienting buildings to the sun; and investing in low carbon, locally-sourced, and natural materials wherever possible. 

Similar Stories

Sustainable Homes

An 8.4 Star Home In Australia’s Most Sustainable Housing Development

A South Gippsland home by EME Design that proves sustainable design can beautiful, clever, and cost effective.

Sustainable Homes

A Lush Inner-Melbourne Home That Powers Itself

The owners of Garden House by Austin Maynard Architects pay nothing for fuel or power – it all comes from this epic, high-tech sustainable...

Sustainable Homes

A Sustainable Light-Filled Frankston Home Producing Negative Power Bills

This Frankston home proves sustainable building and materials can produce a home that's just as charming and comfortable than the next - and...

This Week

Gardens

A Sensitively Built Coastal Garden, Designed To Look ‘Untouched’

The Garden Social carefully designed a garden, built into waterfront sand dunes on NSW's South Coast, where the serene seascape beyond takes...
Christina Karras

Interiors

The Central Coast Home Of The Block Alumni Kyal + Kara

The Australian coastal meets Mediterranean family home of former The Block stars Kyal and Kara Demmrich, on the NSW Central Coast.
Amelia Barnes
  10 hours ago

Creative People

Meet The Small Melbourne Brand Reinventing The Humble Gumboot

From a humble farm in South Gippsland, Merry People has grown from a grassroots start-up, to a successful brand sold across the globe!
Christina Karras
  18 hours ago

Architecture

A Contemporary Brunswick Addition That Contorts Out Of Sight

A major Brunswick home extension by Lisa Breeze Architect takes its cues from the surrounding neighbourhood and its Edwardian facade.

News

New Melbourne Brand Saule Have Created The Dreamiest Robes, Just In Time For Summer

Local creative Sally Tabart has designed the ultimate robe for the home, beach and beyond – and it’s all made here in Melbourne!
Christina Karras

News

See Ethiopian-Norwegian Artist Olana Janfa's Colourful, Debut Solo Show!

The Melbourne-based painter’s first solo show is opening tonight, exploring themes of language, race and status in his playful works.
Christina Karras

Interiors

A 1915 Horse Stables Turned Family Home In The Adelaide Hills

SpaceCraft transformed a circa 1915 horse stable into a family’s elevated version of a traditional farmhouse in the Adelaide Hills.

Interiors

How To Turn Home Inspiration Into Reality, With Style Sourcebook

This free web-based mood board tool is the perfect place to refine your interior design vision. We show you how it's done!

Architecture

An Architect + Interior Designer’s Coastal Home, Grounded In Nature

This Sydney family home is like a private treehouse by the beach, with views at every turn, and unexpected interiors.
Christina Karras

Stays

Escape To This Magical Tiny Home In The Gold Coast Hinterlands

Step inside an adorable, off-grid getaway on a farm, with 'no distractions', limited phone reception and a wood-fired hot tub.
Christina Karras

Shopping

Say Hello To Your New Favourite Summer Shoes With This FRANKiE4 Giveaway!

Everything you need to know for your chance to win one of five pairs of shoes (of your choice!) from Australian label FRANKiE4!

Sustainable Homes

‘Future Ready’: Inside One Of Melbourne’s Newest Sustainable Developments

Mirvac are hoping to encourage sustainable living with their innovative 'future ready' display home in Melbourne's inner west.
Christina Karras

News

The Melbourne Label Making Stylish Kids' Wetsuits That Grow On Trees

Fants make kids’ wetsuits from natural rubber that look good and do good.
Sponsored

Homes

A Tiny Slice Of Japan Inside A Pink Darlinghurst Terrace

Ceramicist Laura Butler shares her 1890s Darlinghurst pink terrace, renovated by Trias in accordance with Japanese design principles.

Architecture

A Floating House Entangled In Brush Box Trees On North Stradbroke Island

The tree canopy takes precedence over ocean views in this holiday home for three families, designed by Conrad Gargett architects.

Similar Stories

Sustainable Homes

An 8.4 Star Home In Australia’s Most Sustainable Housing Development

A South Gippsland home that proves sustainable design can beautiful, clever, and cost effective.

Sustainable Homes

A Lush Inner-Melbourne Home That Powers Itself

The owners of Garden House by Austin Maynard Architects pay nothing for fuel or power – it all comes from their home!

Sustainable Homes

A Sustainable Light-Filled Frankston Home Producing Negative Power Bills

This Frankston home proves sustainable building and materials can produce a home that's just as charming and comfortable than the next - and...

The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net