The Victorian and ACT governments have made key announcements signalling progress in the transition to electric cooking in both residential and commercial settings.

The Victorian government has announced that all new planning permits for residential housing including subdivision licences for housing estates will be banned from connecting to gas, from 1 January 2024. Further, all new public housing and public buildings not yet in the design stage will not be connected to gas, effective immediately.

The policy is aimed at providing cost-of-living relief for residents buying in new residential developments and demonstrates Victoria’s long-term commitment to electrification as part of the Gas Substitution Roadmap.This is particularly significant because Victorians are the nation’s biggest users of gas with more than 80% of households connected to gas for their cooking, heating or hot water.

Electrolux is seeing induction cooking continuing to grow in popularity with consumers who are enjoying the benefits of precise cooking while using renewable energy, according to managing director for Australia and New Zealand, Kurt Hegvold.

“As we move forward, we will continue to invest in induction technology as a part of our long-term product development plans. It is also beholden upon us to explore other technologies as they develop where opportunities may exist to continue to move away from non-renewable energy sources,” he told Appliance Retailer.

Global Cooksafe Coalition director, Laura Kelly said, “Australia’s leading chefs, from Neil Perry to Palisa Anderson, are cooking on induction because it’s hotter, faster and more precise. It’s also cheaper to run and doesn’t emit the harmful chemicals that gas cooktops do.

“For home cooks, induction is a major upgrade and we’re proud to support the Victorian government as they provide Victorians with the best power infrastructure and safest cooking technology on the market.”

Lee Ho Fook owner and chef, Victor Liong represented the GCC at the Victorian announcement as a strong advocate of electric cooking. 

“A lot of the flavour of restaurant cooking and the Chinese food at my own restaurant is about how hot the wok gets and how hot the ingredients get. The high temperatures on induction can give you this restaurant flavour at home,” he said.

The Energy Efficiency Council (EEC) also welcomes the decision to phase out gas connections for new homes from January 2024.

EEC CEO, Luke Menzel said, “All-electric homes are all-good for Victorian families. They are cheaper to run, healthier to live in, and help lower emissions. Induction cooktops are high quality, lightning fast and great to cook with. Getting gas out of our kitchens is the healthy option for families, with evidence linking gas cooktops to respiratory conditions like asthma.”

Dr Harry Jennens, coordinator of Healthy Futures, the leading organisation of Australian healthcare workers advocating to reduce harmful pollution and limit climate change, said the announcement is a major step in the right direction in taking a strong stance.

“Gas is a harmful fossil fuel that pollutes our air, causes disease and drives dangerous climate change. In contrast, electrical appliances are cleaner, healthier and cheaper to run than gas ones, so this announcement is a win-win-win for our health, our environment, and for lowering energy bills,” Dr Jennens said.

“It’s well established that air pollution from gas appliances causes and exacerbates asthma and other illnesses. A child living in a house with a gas stove faces roughly a 32% increased risk of asthma, which is similar to a child living in a house with cigarette smoke. Gas appliances can even cause death through carbon monoxide poisoning.”

Healthy Futures coordinated over 150 Victorian healthcare workers and 30 health organisations to advocate to the Victorian government for these reforms earlier this year. 

The ACT government is also encouraging induction cooking with a policy focused on rebates for commercial kitchens to make the change to electric.

The Commercial Kitchen Trial will provide eligible ACT businesses with a rebate of up to 50% of the total cost of transition, in addition to expert technical advice and financial assistance.

“Induction cooktops are the best cooking technology on the market, and they also save money for homes and businesses. It’s brilliant news that the ACT government is leading the world in providing financial support to food businesses, so that they can access all the benefits of the latest electric cooking technology,” Kelly added.