Winter is coming, and many Australians who are turning on their heating are now facing the shock of their gas bill. The worst affected are those using gas-based heating such as ducted heating, gas fireplaces or wall heaters.
This is thanks to skyrocketing gas prices, brought about by market practices where gas companies now sell domestic gas in international markets. To meet overseas demand, they must turn to costly and invasive sources such as fracking and coal seam gas.
Happily, thousands of Australians are finding a way out of this costly and environmentally-damaging gas trap by installing reverse-cycle air conditioners.
Research has shown that heating homes with modern and efficient air conditioning can be much cheaper than burning gas. For instance, a study by the University of Melbourne found an average Melbourne home can save $658 per year. In Canberra, the annual savings can be $1,733.
With the rampant deployment of rooftop solar across Australia, savings can be even greater when these panels are used to power a home's air conditioning. Homeowners can now take control of their energy bills, whilst heating their home 100 per cent carbon-free.
The heat pump technology that powers these air conditioners can also be used to efficiently heat water. Many new homes and even suburbs are being designed and built without connecting to the gas grid at all.
Australians often voice frustration with their energy retailers and dream about leaving the electricity grid - but by leaving the gas grid, thousands are already enjoying an efficient all-electric home.
When the full power of heat pumps and renewable energy is unlocked, Australians will be one step closer to never having to think about rising gas prices again.