Lisa’s electrifying adventure

Momentum Energy Managing Director Lisa Chiba is in the process of electrifying her home with Goodbye Gas.

Lisa Chiba has recently returned to the office from maternity leave and her first order of business was to reach out to Goodbye Gas to start the process of electrifying her home, making her one of the first Momentum customers to work with our new partners.

She steps us through the process so far and explains why a small power company (that sells gas) would support their customers electrifying their homes and saying goodbye to their gas connections forever.

We follow her path to a more electrified life and talk to her about why she’s decided to start the journey to gradually quit gas in her home – and why she’s pleased to have taken the first step, even if there’s more to do.

Welcome to Lisa’s new place

Lisa and her partner Dan recently moved into their new home in the leafy Melbourne suburbs with their two daughters and beloved border terrier, Hachi. They’re enamored with the area, ‘just by the way it’s designed it really feels like a closed community, a little village on a river but still close to the city,’ Lisa says.

Lisa and family
Lisa and family at the gate to their new home.

Their three-story brick terrace is mid-row, which means it already had a lot going for it in terms of energy efficiency – being insulated by the surrounding homes.

‘When we moved in, the only functional heating or cooling left by the previous owner was a gas heater and a few fans.’ Lisa explains. ‘We moved in during a real warm-spell in Melbourne and found out fairly quickly how hot the top floor gets – that’s where my office is – so we had a split cycle air con installed straight away.'

They’d planned to wait and take their time with the rest of the house, but quickly discovered that some things couldn’t wait.

‘My daughter's room was absolutely freezing at night, and it was disturbing her sleep, which was disturbing our sleep, which with a newborn really isn’t ideal,’ Lisa explained while adjusting her baby girl – who joined us for the interview.

‘I also really didn’t love the old gas heater we had downstairs. When we moved in you could see black soot accumulated on the ceiling above it. There was also a small switch that flicked the pilot light on quite close to the ground and with little grabby toddlers in the house it would be easy for that to become a problem. So those were the two priorities that really made electrification urgent for me.’ 

Goodbye Gas to the rescue

Lisa wrote to Goodbye Gas to see how quickly they could help her switch out the old gas heater for split systems and found them very responsive.

‘I knew they did electrification plans and help people who want to completely electrify their homes but wasn’t sure if they could help with just heating and cooling,’ she admits. ‘I wrote to them and said, this is urgent, my daughter is keeping me up, we really need heating. We didn’t go with a full electrification plan, we just went straight to the quote for the split systems we needed, it was great.’

Lisa was happy to find out that she didn’t have to do the entire electrification plan in one go and that Goodbye Gas could help with partial electrification or just the specific upgrades they were ready for.

‘They helped us to get rid of the old gas heaters and installed two more split systems on the ground and first floor which meant we had heating and cooling for the entire house.’

Goodbye Gas replacing gas heater with a split system
Goodbye Gas helped remove the old gas heater replacing it with two split systems.

What was the process like with Goodbye Gas?

According to Lisa, the installation process was very smooth and working with Goodbye gas took a lot of the hassle and uncertainty out of it.

‘Goodbye Gas made it so easy. It was as simple as finding time for them to come over and have a look. They gave us options then organised the whole thing, it was really excellent,’ she says.

‘They coordinate everything and Ben – who is one of the founders – turned up on the first day to make sure everything started out okay.’

Having someone else organise the trades took the effort out of a process that might otherwise have been a bit overwhelming, Lisa explains. ‘We had multiple tradesmen through all in one day, there were probably five or six people in my house and they coordinated all of it.’

‘When there was some trouble with the electrical wiring in the house they quickly organised a sparky to resolve it, they organised the safe removal of the old gas heater and even recommended a trusted plasterer as well, so we were completely happy with the finish of everything. They also included the rebates we were eligible for as part of the quote.’

Ben Russell of Goodbye Gas
Ben Russell of Goodbye Gas.

Before choosing to work with Goodbye Gas, Lisa and Dan had a quote from another heating and cooling company but weren’t entirely convinced.

‘They seemed a lot less sure on how to remove the gas heaters and didn’t mention rebates. It’s worth having a conversation with Goodbye Gas because you just don’t know what you might be missing out on – I think that there’s probably a lot of people leaving rebate money on the table.’

Find out more about Victorian energy upgrades

Electrify your place, at your pace

Lisa and family will be holding onto their gas hot water system and cooktop in the kitchen, for now because it makes sense for their personal circumstances to electrify in stages. Lisa really liked the fact they weren't pushed to do it all at once.

‘When Ben came around and had a look at everything, he actually suggested we replace the gas cooktop when we remodel the kitchen – and that’s probably a few years away yet.’

‘We also have a gas hot water system that works fine but is probably next on the list, but you know, we’ve just moved in, we have the new baby, it’s a new house with a substantial mortgage and we’ve no idea what interest rates are going to do. Having an energy efficient heat pump would be good as it will save us money in the long term, but we’re just taking it one step at a time.’

As Lisa takes a measured approach to reduce their reliance on gas in their home, she’s encouraging Momentum customers to consider doing the same. ‘I’m really happy to have started the journey, but it’s something that can happen in stages.’

And as Managing Director of a power company she admits, the partnership with Goodbye Gas might look like a bit of a strange move.

Lisa Chiba working from home
Lisa Chiba working from home.

Why would Momentum Energy want to help customers electrify? (Doesn't that mean selling less gas!?)

In essence, yes. But there’s a fair bit more to it than that, Lisa explains: ‘We’re on the cusp of a big change. In Victoria, where we sell gas, new homes can no longer have gas connections installed. We do buy into electrification – and we want to be part of the solution because it's the right thing to do.’

It may sound a bit counterintuitive for an energy company to want to sell less gas, but Lisa believes Momentum’s position as a smaller energy company is what allows us to do things a bit differently for our customers.

‘We want to help customers that are interested in electrification to do it in a safe and straightforward way – and get the rebates that they deserve. It’s a complex system to navigate so we’re excited to be able to support this niche kind of service. And of course, we hope that they will keep their electricity with us as a result and go on their electrification journey with us.’

As for selling less gas, Lisa takes more of a long-term view. ‘We aren’t trying to push our customers away from gas, it is going to be around for a while and like I said, I'm a few years away from being able to completely come off gas in my own home – I'm just pleased to be on the journey.’

‘There are a bunch of good reasons for it – and we just think it’s the right thing to do to support our customers who want to electrify.’

Find out more about the benefits of electrification by reading more Electrifying Stories. You can start electrifying your place with Goodbye Gas, who also have a special deal available for Momentum customers.

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