The electrification of Canberra is under way in Watson, with a 1960s ex-government house getting an all-electric retrofit.
The Ingses have gotten ahead of the ACT government's push to turn off natural gas by 2045, turning the property they purchased for $730,000 in 2015 into a $1 million-plus electric home.
The Watson home now includes a Sanden hot water heat pump, induction cooking, ceiling fans and reverse-cycle heating and cooling systems, with the gas meter decommissioned.
Using solar passive principles and thermal performance modelling, the house has been raised from a three-star energy rating to 7.7 stars, consuming 80 per cent less energy than the average new Canberra house.
The energy efficiency upgrade was completed this week, with the installation of a home battery to provide electricity storage.
Richard Ings said the largest bill they'd received this winter was around $100, with the 10.4-kilowatt solar system bringing down the cost of electricity.
Mr Ings said the previous design of the house had meant they'd once faced bills "in the thousands" to keep it warm.
"At one particular point the gas heating that we had gave out in the middle of winter," he said.
"During those two weeks, the temperature here dropped down to minus 5. My daughter got pneumonia while we were all huddled together in one room with a little radiator heater trying to stay warm."
Jenny Edwards from Light House Architects was responsible for overseeing the renovations, which meant turning the leaky house airtight using standard residential construction materials.
The original framing was fully retained and all materials removed from the site such as glass and timber were sorted and recycled.
Ms Edwards said new materials were chosen for their environmental credentials, including durability, to allow for a lighter footprint over a longer period.
She said demand for energy efficiency upgrades surged with Canberrans spending more time at home during the pandemic.
"You don't have to knock down and start again and you don't have to do a massive extension," she said.
"And ex-govies are great because they're usually little rectangular boxes, which from a thermal perspective is a positive starting point."
While Canberra has 20 years to transition, thousands of houses were already all-electric, with homes in Straithnairn and McNamara, plus some in Whitlam, not connected to gas.
Mr Ings said he believed it made no sense these days to have two energy sources for a family home, particularly for homes which had solar.
"Why people pay $365 per year for gas on top of $365 per year for electricity mystifies me in these days of high energy prices," he said.
"Going all-electric not only gives you better use of your solar but with time of use tariffs you can run so many appliances off-peak at half the tariff.
"Our beautiful home stays warm and cosy now, it's a huge difference."
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