The City of Yarra, a 20 square kilometre part of Melbourne that’s home to 100,000 people, says it has started working with a local non-profit to become an all-electric precinct, as part of its plans to reach net zero emissions by 2030.
The local government, the Yarra Council, already sources all of its electricity from rooftop solar and other renewables, and has eliminated gas use in 26 of its own buildings. This involved replacing gas cookers with electric induction stoves, gas heaters with heat pumps, and gas-fired hot water systems with electric ones.
The council says it’s now working with the Yarra Energy Foundation to fully electrify households across the precinct.
In partnership with another local community group, Electrify 3068, it will use the suburbs of Clifton Hill and Fitzroy North to create a blueprint for others to follow, as this area has “a range of building types and services, technological compatibility and engaged community.”
Yarra City Council mayor Edward Crossland said the electrification programme “will be planned, considered and strategic.”
Dean Kline, CEO of the Yarra Energy Foundation, which has launched a number of inner-city community batteries in Melbourne, said: “Transitioning Yarra to an all-electric precinct is a massive task, and one that requires everyone to do their part.”
“Through the Wired for Tomorrow initiative we’re looking to develop knowledge and support local communities on the journey to all-electric precincts.”
The Yarra Energy Foundation said in a LinkedIn post that it aimed to “show communities how the entire energy system is connected and what an all-electric future might actually look like in their neighbourhood.”
The broader state, Victoria, banned gas connections in new homes from January 2024.