WHITE GUM VALLEY could become one of Australia’s first “electric communities”.
Greens MLC Brad Pettitt and and fellow passionate climate change activist Roy Lewisson have been working with Rewiring Australia and have put forward the progressive suburb as one of 10 partner communities to discuss a wholesale switch-over from fossil fuels to renewably-sourced electricity.
They’ll be hosting a community meeting tomorrow (Sunday November 5) with Rewiring Australia CEO Kate Minter, at Curtin University’s Legacy Living Lab at 27-29 Blinco Street from 10am – 12noon.
Rewiring Australia is a not-for-profit “that’s really trying to speed up the transition towards renewable energy and electrification,” Dr Pettitt told the Herald.
He wants every household in the valley using renewable energy and electrifying.
“That means our transport; so going from petrol and diesel cars to electric cars and trucks,” Dr Pettitt said.
Ripping out old gas lines and turning to heat pumps and induction could save every household around $3000 annually by 2030, he reckons.
“It’s huge savings, but also great for the environment and lowering carbon emissions.”
Another relevant question is how much money needs to be spent in order to fulfil a switch over.
Electrifying a house is estimated to cost about $10,000, but Dr Pettitt says the payback will be somewhere between 5 and 10 years, depending on circumstances.
Electric cars are about $20,000 more expensive than the equivalent petrol car, although that gap is rapidly closing, and Dr Pettitt says not having to pay for tune-ups and the reduced costs of driving make it work out after just a couple of years.
If you include the costs of driving or maintenance, it works out at about the same the first couple of years and after that you save money.
Dr Pettitt says local, state and federal governments should help citizens invest in electric devices and renewable energy.
by AVIA FRANKHAM and MARLENE TANNENBERGER