Bank Australia will offer customers free home electrification assessments and recommendations on suppliers and installers, as part of a new pilot program to test how to create a smooth, convenient customer experience of electrifying households.
The bank will conduct the pilot in Victoria, where the push to electrify homes has policy momentum behind it, following the state government’s decision to ban residential gas connections to new homes starting in 2024.
The pilot will first target customers in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley – a coal centre whose communities are among the most vulnerable in the transition to renewables – before being extended out to other customers in the state.
It will work by offering customers an online home electrification assessment provided by BoomPower, an digital platform that weighs up a household’s energy usage, current systems and appliances, and calculates the impact on costs and emissions of going electric.
Boom’s platform also connects customers with qualified and pre-vetted suppliers and installers, if needed. The customers can then assess the personalised recommendations and choose the option that best suits their budget.
Bank Australia, which offers a range of Clean Energy home loan products, says the program is about removing barriers to the shift to all-electric, while also providing households with ongoing insights on the impact of their actions.
The pilot is hoping to attract 50 participating customers, with financing options available to help with the upfront cost of electrifying their homes.
“Bank Australia is aware that costs and complexities in the process of going electric can be a barrier for households, and this pilot will support customers through each step of the process,” it said in a statement this week.
The pilot also aims to better identify the roles that banks can play in electrifying homes, as both a climate imperative and as a core business strategy for meeting their own corporate emissions reduction targets.
“Over 90% of Bank Australia’s emissions come from the homes we finance, so we know electrifying homes needs to play a big role,” said managing director Damien Walsh.
“From this pilot, we hope to learn what the challenges are for our customers in getting a home off gas, and show the role banks can play in electrifying homes at scale.”
Boom CEO and co-Founder Alex Houlston says another key message that the pilot aims to convery to consumers is that electrifying their homes “also happens to make good financial sense.”