Reduce Gas Use For Ukraine!

Help Ukraine by reducing gas use

Do you want to weaken Putin’s hand while making European nations more willing and able to cope with disruptions in their energy supply? 

Of course you do! One simple way to help Ukraine is to stop using gas.  

You can start immediately.

Gas stovetop? Buy a $59 TILLREDA induction cooktop from IKEA. They work better than a gas cooktop – here’s proof.  

ikea tillreda cooktop cooking bolognaise

Only have gas hot water? No worries. Bathe with bucket water warmed by an electric jug. I realize this will be inconvenient and annoying, but I don’t hesitate to recommend these actions because:

  1. It’s the moral thing to do.
  2. I don’t have gas.

But if I did have gas, I wouldn’t reduce my use. I would take the more effective action and get rid of it for good, saving money in the process.

Many Australians aren’t aware they’d save money without a gas connection.  This doesn’t apply to every home and there is an upfront cost to replacing gas appliances. But most homes will save money in the long run, especially when the cost of regularly servicing gas appliances is included.1  Rooftop solar helps to make ditching your gas meter pay for itself, but it is not necessary.  Plenty of homes without solar will still be better off.

Of course, it’s still a good idea to get solar if you don’t already have it.  Australia doesn’t generate much electricity from gas, but sending surplus solar energy into the grid will reduce it further.  This will be especially true soon as Australia builds gigawatt-hour sized batteries.

Another way Australians can help weaken Putin’s position is by burning less oil.  You can ride a bicycle, e-bike or scooter, or use public transport.  For those in the market for a new car, buying an EV will make Putin sad — assuming he’s still around by the time it arrives. 

Cutting Gas Consumption Will Help

Australia is a long way from Ukraine2, so you may be wondering how reducing our gas consumption will help. 

While it won’t directly help Ukraine, it will make it easier for European nations — which currently import over one-third of their natural gas from Russia — to impose stronger sanctions.  This includes reducing or eliminating imports of Russian natural gas.  It will also help them resist threats by Putin to cut off gas exports.

Russia Supplies Almost 40% Of Europe’s Gas

In 2020 gas generated 20% of Europe’s electricity.  It also plays major roles in industry and home heating.  In the same year, it supplied 26% of total European energy use.  Around 80% of Europe’s natural gas is imported, and usually about half comes from Russia. Last year it was over 60%

Typically, Russia supplies around 37% of Europe’s natural gas.    

This makes it obvious why Europeans are wary of having Russian gas cut off.  It would be hard to keep the lights on, industry would take a heavy hit, and they’d either be colder or poorer as gas prices soar.  But we can do our bit.

How It Works

  1. Australians use less natural gas.
  2. This makes more natural gas available for export from Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) terminals in WA and QLD.
  3. This extra natural gas is exported to Asia.
  4. While none of our natural gas goes to Europe, it will cause Asian countries to buy less from the Middle East.
  5. Middle Eastern producers send less natural gas to Asia and more to Europe.

By cutting consumption and increasing gas exports, Australia will lower the gas price and make it easier for Europe to place sanctions on the export of Russian gas for as long as Putin has forces in Ukraine — or anywhere else they shouldn’t be.

Maxing Out Our LNG Exports Is OK

If Australia dramatically cuts its natural gas use to support Ukraine, our natural gas export facilities may become maxed out. This is okay because it means more gas will be left in the ground, extending the amount of time Australia will be able to export at its maximum rate.  Most of Australia’s gas now comes from coal seam gas wells with a typical productive life of 10-20 years3. Australia’s gas production will soon start to decline without extensive, expensive, and environmentally destructive investment in new gas extraction. 

How To Get Off Gas

Getting off domestic gas is easy.  You call up your supplier and tell them you’re disconnecting.  You can stick consumer affairs or fair trading on them if they give you any trouble.  Alternatively, don’t pay your bills, and they’ll cut you off without the need to call.  But it’s better for your credit rating to call first. 

You may want to replace your gas appliances before having your gas cut off.  But if you want to strike while the anvil is hot with Putin-flavoured rage, I salute your determination, fortitude, and bravery.  I would also salute your common sense, but I’d have to find it first. 

Gradually replacing gas appliances is an option.  You could get rid of the oldest first or whichever consumes the most gas, usually the water heater.

But gradual replacement means paying the daily gas supply charge for a long time.  Provided it’s within your means, it can make good economic sense to replace everything at once. 

Heat With Your Airconditioner

If you have an air conditioner (AKA a heat-pump), you can use it to heat your home at a lower cost than gas. 

An existing gas heater is 90% efficient and might be made slightly more so, but a heat pump uses less than one third of the energy to harness the same amount of heat and deliver it to your building4.

You can read more about gas heating vs air-conditioning here

Get Solar

If you install solar panels or have them already, they will provide cheap electricity to run your hot water system and heat your home during the day.  A timer will allow your electric hot water system to switch on when the sun’s up5 or you can be trendy and get a home energy management system. 

Australian Grids Using Less Gas

You may be concerned ditching your gas meter will increase the amount of gas used for electricity generation.  Fortunately Australia doesn’t use a lot of gas to generate electricity, and the amount has been decreasing thanks to renewable energy and battery storage.  The percentage of electricity generated from gas last year was the lowest since 2006.

This trend will continue as Australia builds more battery storage, with the exception of temporary increases when coal power stations close.

Get Off Gas To Beat The Rush

Right now, kicking the gas habit will save many households money even if they don’t have solar power.  But it may save them a lot more soon.  Each day that passes without a ceasefire increases the odds European nations will stop buying Russian gas or that Putin will spit the dummy and cut off supply.  When that happens, the price of gas will soar worldwide6.

While Australians may be protected from price rises by government subsidies, I’m sure at least some of the cost will be passed on.  If the Australian government is serious about helping Ukraine by maximizing our gas exports, it will pass on all the increases to reduce domestic demand.  And if our government is serious about protecting Australian gas users from financial hardship, it will provide them with a separate payment they can spend on going all-electric.  If all the increase in gas prices is passed onto consumers, you’ll be glad you beat the rush. 

Going Off Oil Also Helps

Europeans are better cushioned from oil shocks than Australians.  This is because those mad fools invested in electric vehicles, public transport, and walkable and bikeable cities.  Even their internal combustion engine vehicles have close to twice the fuel efficiency of Australia’s.  We should reduce oil use to protect ourselves.  But, as a side benefit, we’ll also be helping Europeans and the rest of the world.  Cutting our consumption will make more oil available for everyone else and help limit price rises.

While we may not like higher oil prices, Europe is in a far worse position as it’s under threat of gas and oil shortages at the same time. 

I don’t have gas, so I can’t cut consumption there, but I have a Hyundai Getz and a bicycle.  It will take me time to work my way up to it because my bicycle bones are stiff and sore, but I am committing myself to riding it to the SolarQuotes office even if it kills me.  I guess this means I’m also committed to not riding it to the SolarQuotes office if it does kill me.

Putin On The Fritz

The first rule of international relations is:

Do not invade other countries. 

The second rule of international relations is:

Do not invade other countries

This rule has been broken on numerous occasions.  Sometimes flagrantly by countries that should know better7.  But Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has been one of the most blatant breaches for over 75 years.  If we want a peaceful future and continue to enjoy the relative peace the developed world has benefited from for generations, the world’s nations need to take a strong, united stand against Putin’s Russia.  This must continue until Putin withdraws Russian forces from Ukraine or resigns, and his successor does the same.

Sanctions will hurt the Russian people, but we can remove them once Russian forces are withdrawn.  A ceasefire followed by withdrawal and resignation would be the best thing Putin could do for his country and the world, but he may not do what is for the best.  

Some have said age or illness have changed Putin and made him reckless.  I don’t see it this way.  If age and illness have had an effect, it has only been to strip away layers of caution and cunning to reveal the compassionless risk-taker he has always been.  We’re now seeing the quintessential Putin.

He’s too dangerous to be allowed to act unchecked, but opposing him isn’t safe either.  Putin’s Russia has the most nuclear weapons under the control of a heartless sociopath since 14 months ago when Trump was still President. 

Putin was clearly hoping for a quick victory and expecting to control Ukraine by now.  If his frustration causes him to resort to more destructive measures, such as larger-scale bombing and shelling towns and cities, then the world needs to increase sanctions on Russia further.  This can and should include sanctions on Russia’s gas and oil exports.  We can and should do our small part to make this easier for Europe to do. 

Footnotes

  1. If you can’t remember the last time you had a gas appliance serviced, you may want to consider replacing it with an electric one really soon.  Like, before the next time you turn it on.
  2. It’s just “Ukraine” and not “the Ukraine”, as old people tend to call it.  You can call it “the Ukraine” if you like, but to be fair, you also have to say stupid sounding things like “the Australia” and “the Batman”.
  3. The CSIRO is taking the ethically dubious step of putting microbes down coal seam gas wells to increase production.  I suppose it makes sense given how, if the right microbes go down your gullet, it can dramatically increase personal gas production.
  4. Griffith, Saul. The Big Switch (p. 98).
  5. If you get a more efficient but more expensive heat pump hot water system, it will probably have a timer built-in, but not all do.  I think this is a bit rude considering how much they cost.
  6. Even if Putin increases the sale of gas to other countries, the lack of pipeline and LNG export and import capacity means shortages will still result, and prices will still soar.  Note China is not a guaranteed market for Russia.  One of the reasons Xi stopped Australian coal imports may have been to signal he won’t hesitate to do the same to Russia if Putin pisses off the Pooh.
  7. Sixteen British soldiers died invading Egypt in 1956.
About Ronald Brakels

Joining SolarQuotes in 2015, Ronald has a knack for reading those tediously long documents put out by solar manufacturers and translating their contents into something consumers might find interesting. Master of heavily researched deep-dive blog posts, his relentless consumer advocacy has ruffled more than a few manufacturer's feathers over the years. Read Ronald's full bio.

Comments

  1. Hey Ronald,
    Love your work but don’t forget our invasions of other countries. Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.

    • Ronald Brakels says

      If one thing is bad it doesn’t stop another thing from also being bad.

    • Finn Peacock says

      What-About-ism is poison. Past crimes do not excuse future crimes. All nations have done awful things. It excuses nothing. Or else we will be all trapped together in a downward spiral.

      • Nailed it Finn. 100%

        Putin is pure evil.
        He won’t even stop at pressing the nuclear button though of course it would be in reply to some small dirty bomb which he says has come from the Ukrainians- except it won’t have.

        We are likely in more danger now than during the Cuban missile crisis.
        Sad, scary times.

  2. ARTHUR PALMER says

    Off grid we keep gas for hot water & cooking when consecutive days of heavy cloud as in last floods 8 days zero sun 2m rain

  3. I did not see such an action against the US, after they invaded Iraq, and Afghanistan not so long ago. I did not hear you when our own ADF occupied these countries for 20 years and then fled.

    • Ronald Brakels says

      That’s one thing cleared up. I often wondered who the person with binoculars following me around for decades was.

    • Finn Peacock says

      *Sigh* I refer to the comment I made some moments ago.

      • Johan Rosman says

        Israel is committing a genocide in the Middle east, targeting the indigenous people. Since 1967 there are several dozens UN and even UNSC resolutions that they live on stolen land, that they invaded and refuse to leave. Meanwhile, they kill the natives to use their ground to put settler houses on. When people individually protest against this, they are called anti-semitic. The irony ! And the US subsidises this to the tune of 4 billion per year.
        You are not correct about the about-ism. We lost the war in Afghanistan and withdrew after 20 years less than a year ago.
        As long as we and our friends invade countries and kill (over a million people !!!), it is all fine. Once the other parties does it, they are called war criminals. But we can do it.
        I will now use gas next to my solar syatem and Tesla battery and feel good with it.
        I hate all armies, be it the Russiand, Ukrainians, Americans or our own ADF, which is not defending Australia, so should be renamed AOF. I feel terrible for the poor civilians who die because of Putin, but equally the American president or the Australian PM.

        • Finn Peacock says

          Mate, May I sincerely recommend a cup of tea, a Bex and a good lie down.

        • Geoff Miell says

          Johan Rosman.
          I will now use gas next to my solar syatem and Tesla battery and feel good with it.

          ‘Fugitive emissions’ from the extraction and transportation of fossil gas makes gas use worse than the GHG emissions from coal use.
          https://www.climatecouncil.org.au/resources/why-is-gas-bad-for-climate-change-and-energy-prices/

          Methane-hunting satellites are finding methane leaks from landfills, oil fields, natural gas pipelines and more are substantially worse than previous estimates.
          https://e360.yale.edu/features/in-push-to-find-methane-leaks-satellites-gear-up-for-the-hunt

          The IPCC AR6 Working Group II report titled Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability – Summary for Policymakers, published on 28 Feb 2022, includes on page SPM-17, (f) Examples of regional key risks, with those listed below considered are of at least medium confidence level, includes for:

          Australasia:
          – Degradation of tropical shallow coral reefs and associated biodiversity and ecosystem service values
          – Loss of human and natural systems in low-lying coastal areas due to sea level rise
          – Impact on livelihoods and incomes due to decline in agricultural production
          – Increase in heat-related mortality and morbidity for people and wildlife
          – Loss of alpine biodiversity in Australia due to less snow

          https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg2/

          I’d suggest your gas use (however small) is contributing to increasing the risks for facilitating the suffering of billions of people in the coming decades. Johan, do you “feel good” about that?

          In the YouTube video titled Saul Griffith on the one billion machines that will electrify America, published 5 Jun 2021, Griffith says from time interval 0:08:45:

          There’re critical machines in the economy, and we need to electrify all of them as quickly as retire them. What does that mean. Next time you buy a water heater – has to be electric. Next time you buy a clothes-dryer – has to be electric. Etc. Etc. Our water heaters last 10 to 12 years. Our clothes-dryers: 12 to15. Our kitchen ranges: 15 to 20. … Our furnaces last 20 to 25 years. Our cars and trucks around 25 years. Our load centres: 40 or so. Every single time we replace any one of these machines in the next two decades, they need to be replaced with clean electric technology.

          I’d suggest the sooner we replace gas appliances with all-electric in our homes and businesses the better.

  4. Most of the advice here about switching from gas to electric applies to houses, but what are your thoughts on replacing instantaneous (continuous flow) gas hot water with an electric system in an apartment? If the apartment’s entire hot water supply is from the instant gas hot water system, is it viable and cost-effective to replace it with an electric equivalent (or perhaps more than one electric HWS)? I’d assume that the existing wiring in the apartment might not be up to the loads this would require, and I’m not sure how cost-effective it would be to have that electrical work done. The plumbing requirements might also be different.

    If the alternative is to install an electric tank system, that might not actually be feasible either, if there’s no existing space or plumbing for a tank.

    Heat pump hot water systems usually aren’t an option for apartments (except as part of a centralised hot water system for the whole building) due to the space required and the noise of the outdoor compressor unit.

    it seems to me that once an apartment building has been built with individual instant gas hot water systems, that’s how it will stay. Apartment developers need to build in electric hot water from the start (and solar and EV charging too).

    • Timothy Grafton says

      I have a heat pump hot water system, it is less noisy than an air conditioner.

      Building standards Australia wide need vast improvements to them, no gas, solar panels mandatory except where shading is a problem, better insulated walls, floors and ceilings, DOUBLE GLAZED windows.
      Also, stronger roofs to handle the increase in severity of storms.
      Oh and forget 100 year events, this needs to be redrawn to possibly yearly, not sure anyone knows except that all climate predictions have been underestimated.

    • Geoff Miell says

      Chris,
      it seems to me that once an apartment building has been built with individual instant gas hot water systems, that’s how it will stay.

      …until fossil gas gets horrendously expensive and/or scarce – it’s inevitable.

      In the Australian Energy Regulator’s report titled State of the Energy Market 2021, in Chapter 4: Gas markets in eastern Australia, it includes these points:

      * Domestic customers in eastern Australia used around 580 petajoules (PJ) of gas in 2020 (figure 4.2).
      * In 2020 eastern Australia produced 1,983 PJ of gas. The majority (68%) was exported as LNG and the remainder was sold to the domestic market (table 4.1).
      * Eastern Australia 2P gas reserves (as at Feb 2021) was 35,444 PJ, with most of it contained in the Surat-Bowen basin (76%).
      https://www.aer.gov.au/publications/state-of-the-energy-market-reports/state-of-the-energy-market-2021

      So 35,444 PJ of 2P gas reserves in eastern Australia (at Feb 2021) consumed at a rate of 1,983 PJ per annum would be fully depleted before year 2039 (i.e. all gone in less than two decades).

      Meanwhile, there are cheaper, cleaner, healthier solutions – see my comments above: https://www.solarquotes.com.au/blog/reduce-gas-use-for-ukraine/#comment-1396831

      • Geoff, I agree that the price/availability of gas might eventually force apartment owners to retrofit an electric HWS in any case. And I agree that all-electric is a better long-term solution for homes. But my question remains unanswered. How does an apartment, with currently with instantaneous (continuous flow) gas hot water, and limited or no space for an alternative system, convert to an electric solution? E.g. there may not be space for a tank, and the circuits are not currently built for the loads required by electric instant systems? What is the cost involved? The apartment owner is between a rock and a hard place.

        You said earlier that “there are cheaper, cleaner, healthier solutions”. In this case, given the likely costs of converting the apartment’s hot water system away from instant gas, I don’t think the electric solution is going to be cheaper. I’d love to hear from anyone with real examples of having done such a conversion, with the details and costs involved.

        • Geoff Miell says

          Chris,
          I’d love to hear from anyone with real examples of having done such a conversion, with the details and costs involved.

          From a quick websearch, you may wish to view YouTube videos published by Wattblock, titled:
          * 4 different hot water models in strata apartment blocks, 13 Apr 2021, duration 0:10:42;
          * Hot Water Heat Pump Case Studies for Strata Apartment Buildings, 14 Apr 2021, duration 0:10:47; and
          * Futureproof your apartment with renewable energy hot water systems, 14 Sep 2021, duration 1:04:29

          Hope this is informative.

          • Thanks, those videos were useful. The examples they give are mainly for new builds, or for apartment blocks with centralised hot water systems. In those cases the switch from gas hot water to heat pumps is relatively straightforward. They suggest that for a ground floor apartment with enough outdoor courtyard space, a heat pump could possibly replace an existing gas system.

            However they note that they haven’t yet seen any cases where a higher floor apartment switches from instant gas to a heat pump, so I think that’s a situation that still hasn’t been really resolved. Space available on the balcony, the weight load of the tank, and the possible noise impact of the heat pump, as well as wiring and plumbing, will all be factors.

          • Geoff Miell says

            Chris,
            Space available on the balcony, the weight load of the tank, and the possible noise impact of the heat pump, as well as wiring and plumbing, will all be factors.

            Some heat pumps can be noisier. Some are very quiet. Wiring and plumbing may require some careful consideration for an individual apartment hot water system situation.

            The Sanden Eco® Plus Hot Water Heat Pump outdoor unit operating noise level is rated at 37 dB (at 1 meter from the unit) – it’s very quiet – I have one. The dedicated electrical supply requirement needs to accommodate for a maximum power input of 2.3 kW (the outdoor unit’s supply cable is fitted with a 10 Amp plug), which I’d suggest is for when there’re very low ambient operating temperatures below freezing (but with all inverter-driven fan, compressor and water pump, it’s normally significantly less at higher ambient temperatures). The weight of the outdoor unit is 48 kg – it could potentially be wall-mounted with a 150 mm minimum air gap. The separate storage tank empty weights range from 29 kg (for the 160 litre unit) to 90 kg (for the 315 litre squat unit), plus add stored water weight (1 kg/litre). The unit can be programmed to operate at a particular time of the day (or night) to take advantage of lower electricity rates. Per the installation manual, there’s an installation limitation on the maximum distance between the storage tank and outdoor unit of 15 m.
            https://www.sanden-hot-water.com.au/how-it-works/

            I’d suggest the storage tank floor loading (space occupation and possibly aesthetic considerations) could be the biggest issue. Probably not something that can be progressed without body corporate approval for strata situations.

        • Heat pump systems don’t need much electricity at all, not unlike a small inverter aircon.
          It’s not like the days of old where you need a 2.5 or even 3.6kW supply for a resistance heating element..
          There is obviously still space required, but I suspect that won’t be a big issue for many people.

  5. Timothy Grafton says

    Thanks for the tip, I had one of those Ikea Induction cook tops in a box in my garage, bought it a few years ago but never used it. I got it out and placed it on top of my gas stove, then tested all my cook wear as some of the cheapo Aluminium stuff does not work with Induction. You can test by getting a fridge magnet and seeing if it sticks to the bottom, if it does it works with Induction.

    A few months ago I invested in a heat pump hot water system and kept the old instant gas hot water heater connected, so that when the electric heat pump hot water runs out, the gas cuts in. Now as long as the wife does not have one of her hour long showers, the hot water does not use any gas.

    I also got a split system AC installed in the living room and permanently put the gas plug in heater in the garage. The Split system is 5.3kw Fujisu and does not use much electricity at all. OH I could go on about how I replaced all the glass in the windows (except bathrooms), with double glazing. This insulates the house better and further reduces my bills.

    I have a work mate in Kyiv Ukraine, we need to help as much as we can.

  6. Geoff Miell says

    From a post by John Mauldin on Mar 4, titled Change Squared, includes (bold text my emphasis):

    President Biden keeps saying the sanctions are designed to not hurt American businesses. I’m sure the administration is doing what it can, but there’s just no way to order such massive, open-ended interventions and not cause collateral damage.

    At the same time, some of this is outside US control. A small example: Ukraine produces about 70% of the world’s neon gas exports. While neon signs are now mostly antiques, it is a crucial component in semiconductor production. That kind of neon gas has to be refined to ultra-high purity. Two-thirds of it comes from a single factory in Odesa, Ukraine. Furthermore, the kind of ships that can carry that gas aren’t super common and could become even less so if someone gets trigger-happy in the Black Sea.

    If those neon shipments should stop, analysts say global chipmakers probably have about eight weeks’ supply on hand. Then what? The industry is just now starting to recover from COVID-driven disruptions, which in turn affected production at a long list of downstream companies, especially automakers.

    https://www.mauldineconomics.com/frontlinethoughts/change-squared

    International business planning has become highly risky.

  7. Des Scahill says

    I replaced my top plate cooker with an induction one some years ago.

    They work great.

    Another thing you can do as well is buy a ‘slow cooker’. I’ve got one of those too. It’s a basic Russell Hobbs model that’s very good quality. The 7 litre size currently costs $59 at Big W. It lacks some of the features of the more sophisticated models, but who cares. It’s got an interior ceramic bowl, easy to clean because that’s where all the cooking gets down.

    “Slow cookers” cook at a much lower temperature, (which is why it takes so long to cook hence ‘slower”) but there’s far less destruction of food nutrients because of heat. and much less power consumed. Takes a little bit of ‘practice’ to get it “right” the first couple of times you use it, but its quite handy once you do.

  8. Des Scahill says

    Meanwhile…. in the various ‘fairy lands’ occupied by a number of governments

    Scomo has decided to ‘defer’ making a final decision about our nuclear subs until after the election (ie. wants to flick-pass the problem of perhaps ‘upsetting’ another country in our region (that already has them) to Labour, because he ‘s pretty sure that the LNP will lose the Federal Election.

    The UK have decided that (a) they are not going to accept any intake of people fleeing from Ukraine at all, and (b) that their existing immigration policies and quota levels will remain exactly as they are at present.

    It’s almost a complete replay of what went on before they decided it perhaps might be a good idea to avoid having the country taken over by the Nazi’s, and instead declare war on them. If it hadn’ been for the fact that Winston Churchill had the single deciding vote.on that issue, all of us would be living in totally different world to-day.

    Meanwhile… Sweden, which has a border with Russia, and Russian fighters already invading their air space have been told by Putin that he’ll consider any attempt by them to join NATO an ‘act of war’ and start invading them.

    It’s Putin’s usual tactic of picking on a seemingly ‘weaker’ country and threatening all sorts of dire consequence including ‘.nukes’ if they don’t give him what he wants.

    It’s almost reached the point where someone has to call his bluff. A “smaller’ war now -awful though that would be – is still far less than the prospect of a far bigger one that might arise if Putin gets sufficient time to re-group, replenish his munitions, while expanding his ’empire’ considerably.

  9. Timothy Grafton says

    At last some intelligent and well informed comments.

    Finland is also in danger.

    Re: A “smaller’ war now -awful though that would be –
    Not sure what you mean by this.

    • Ronald Brakels says

      While it’s usually pretty good these days, there are still sometimes translation problems with news from Europe. I find it much more believable the original report was “Finaldn on vaara” which is, “Finland is a danger”.

    • Des Scahill says

      I didn’t express that as well as I should have.

      What I meant overall was: If we don’t face up to the problem NOW, even though doing so might possibly lead to a war in the region, that war would likely be of a lesser size than would otherwise eventually be the future case,

    • George Kaplan says

      As is Moldova according to the map the Belarusian dictator was filmed standing next to. Finland and Sweden are only supposedly at risk if they sign on to having NATO defend them from Russian imperialism.

      Then again Finland has a history of Russia invading them.

  10. Johan Rosman says

    I have always liked this site and contributed and bought over you my products.

    With this one eye political viewpoint, Ron, you have politicized the site to your own advantage. I am sure you will not publish my last criticism about your and Finn Peacocks opinion.

    I will now un subscribe from your website and inform those where I bought my product about the fact that this has become a site with a political agenda. You probably will start a campaign for Trump in 2024.
    Not with me.

    Our mutual fight for sustainable energy should not be tainted by politics.

    • Ronald Brakels says

      Maybe get some rest tonight and then tomorrow read through the article again and tell me what you don’t like about it. Because at this moment I really don’t understand what the problem is.

    • Des Scahill says

      Johan,

      Sorry to see you leave us. There is in fact a fair amount of sympathy from the general Australian public for those of the Muslim faith who already reside in Australia,- who were once just everyday normal people like ourselves who just simply wanted to be left in peace – but found themselves unable to do so for a variety of very complex reasons.and actions during the last 75 to 80 years or so and left.

      In a democracy like Australia’s I can also assure you that far from the majority of the population are specifically ‘Trump followers” or believe at all just about everything he says,

      “Energy Policy’ in Australia has unfortunately been politicized and so elements of the political divide between ‘Trump’ and ‘non-trump’ views are sometimes reflected in some of the comments..

      Anyway, all the best for your own future and that of your family.

    • John Mitchell says

      Johan – if your still reading – I just wanted to say that even in rather moderate Australia it’s impossible to keep politics out of the renewable energy sector. I’m sure Ronald would agree that whether you favour conservative, the centre or the left of politics, reducing your carbon footprint is a responsibility we should all share. However, I think you missed the fact that Ronald writes with his tongue firmly planted in his rather hirsute cheek. To think that reducing your gas usage (with the extremely long bow that was used in the article) would have any affect on Putin’s decision making is clearly an attempt at humour. It appears you missed the joke or maybe you’re just having a bad day. Either way, all the best.

  11. Timothy Grafton says

    RE: even though doing so might possibly lead to a war in the region

    There is already a war in the region, so your answer does not clarify anything.
    Anyway, enough said on this.

  12. Adam Creed says

    I would love to replace gas with electric but the major issue seems to be working out a replacement for the gas ducted heating underfloor. In an old brick house in Melbourne with 3 bedrooms along a hall, then the lounge, then the kitchen all in a line, where do you put a split system for heating? The quote I got for just one split system went skywards when I told them the house had double brick walls.

  13. I got an induction cooktop about 2 months ago, i was just swapping from a old element style cooktop, not gas.
    But i LOVE it, it is so good to cook with. and i would recommend them to anyone else.

  14. Peter Harris says

    Take my fast-wok-heating gas cooktop and pretty gas fire from my very cold dead hands.

  15. Thanks Timothy. Are you in an apartment though? Is your heat pump hot water system on a balcony? I’ve got a split-system air con too, and the outdoor unit is on the balcony, and is as far removed from bedrooms and neighbouring apartments as it can be. It’s reasonably quiet and I’d expect a heat pump HWS would be similar in noise level, However it would be running every day, while my air con only gets used a few times a year on the hottest and coldest days.

    • I have had a Bosch heat pump for almost 5 years now, it is louder then my 7kw Air con. It has a vibration noise when running my Aircon just dose not have.
      I have it on the opposite side of my house to the bedrooms and have it set up to only operate from about 8.30am-4pm.
      If you wanted to run it at night i would not recommend it(though it dose have an element booster that would bypass the noise)
      In my situation it is perfect, runs during the day and uses about 600w 85% of the time. i can power it off solar even on a very cloudy day, essentially giving me free hot water. And even if the solar was not working it would use bugger all electricity.

  16. George Kaplan says

    Oh that sort of gas!!! I don’t think Australia uses much Russian petrol, but I’ve been reading too much US news so assumed Ronald meant petrol when he said gas. Whoops! lol

    #2 is the simplest point. Easy to espouse something when you don’t have it yourself! 😀

    America is allegedly looking to reduce their reliance on Russian oil, but not through increased self-sufficiency, or restoring the Keystone XL pipeline. Rather they may import from Russian allies and ardent human rights abusers Venezuela, Libya, possibly Iran, and begging for increased production by Saudi Arabia – which also has a questionable human rights record.

    Note while Americans are screaming about soaring ‘gas’ prices, they’re still paying less than Australia.

    Dig at Trump aside, the world is a far more dangerous place now that Biden is in the White House and Democrats still have control of the federal government, though that should change later this year.

    PS. Not sure where ‘the Ukraine’ habit came from, but it’s not just ‘old people’ that use it, though it could be those who’ve immersed themselves in older literature?

    • Joseph King says

      We may not use Russian gas but there are quite a few cars using Russian petrol. I see them Russian around all over the place and through red light cameras. ?

  17. Timothy Grafton says

    Sorry I am not in an apartment. I have a house with plenty of room in the backyard.
    The heat pump hot water system is quite large and you would need a large balcony to put it on.
    I have a family of 5, so it runs nearly every day.
    But if you only have 1 or 2 10 minute showers a day, then it will not run every day. When it does run it takes about 2 1/2 hours to heat the water, it uses less than 1kw, so that is a total of about 2 1/2 KWH. Not much. I scheduled it to run from 12pm when the air is warm and therefore it is most efficient. The installers set it to start at 10am. I reset it to 12pm after they left.
    It is from Solarheart.

  18. John Mitchell says

    But the BBQ…. nooooo

    • Ronald Brakels says

      Three cent carbon price per BBQ! Or we can add hydrogen to chip fat, etc. to make carbon-neutral propane. Not sure how practical that will be.

      • Finn Peacock says
        • Ronald Brakels says

          Those ones still need LPG with the added disadvantage of not being able to melt stolen bars of Nazi gold. Think I’ll stick with an electric grill. We have the most powerful household current in the world so I may as well use it. I’ll happily wait 2 minutes for it to warm up to save half an hour mucking around with cylinders and trips to the servo and then waiting 5 minutes for a slab of iron to heat up. If people want flame I’m quite capable of making that without bottled gas.

          • John Mitchell says

            Finn, that’s my BBQ (Crossray)! No LPG cylinders for me – mine’s connected to natural gas. It takes about 5 minutes to cook a fantastic steak. It’s amazing. So much better than the old LPG cylinders and rail burners. In all seriousness, I only use gas for that and instant hot water heating to back up my solar tube thermal system. Think that’s a pretty moderate usage pattern.

            Can you point me to a decent electric BBQ – because all the one’s I’ve tried have been, how should I put it… crap.

          • Ronald Brakels says

            I actually cook food inside and then bring it outside. Cooking outside on a BBQ isn’t going to improve what people get.

          • There is an idea for a blog.
            How to BBQ without a BBQ.
            We have already seen Ronald’s slow cooking ability so it might be a good idea to have a professional show us how its done.

          • Ronald Brakels says

            Not a bad idea. Looking online I see I can get one for only around $150. Now I just have to con… I mean, talk… Finn into buying me one.

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