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Sports superstars back major change to powering Aussie homes

Top sports stars and entertainers have backed a push to ditch gas in favour of clean, green electric power for Australian homes.

Aussie test cricket captain Pat Cummins is among nine stars to put their names to Australian engineer and inventor’s Dr Saul Griffith’s electrification blueprint, The Big Switch.

Each of the stars has read a chapter for a new audiobook version of the book, which provides a guide for Australia to reduce emissions while saving on energy bills.

“I’m passionate about solving climate change, because I care about the future of my kids and also believe here in Australia a lot of the answers to the questions are right here in front of us,” Mr Cummins said.

Joining him were fellow cricketer Rachael Haynes, AFL aces Tom Hickey and Nicola Barr, Rugby champ Alicia Lucas, professional surfer Ace Buchan, actor Yael Stone, and former Greens leader Christine Milne.

The book suggests steps including taking advantage of Australia’s abundant solar power by swapping out gas cooktops, gas hot water, gas heating and combustion engine cars with electrified versions such as induction stoves, electric space heating and electric vehicles.

Dr Griffith, an inventor and innovation guru, was born in Sydney and went to become a Silicon Valley tech entrepreneur, adviser to the US government on electrification and project partner with NASA.

In 2021, he founded advocacy group Rewiring Australia – an inaugural study which found spending $12 billion over five years to electrify Australian homes and vehicles would reap $300 billion in household savings by 2035.

Innovation guru Saul Griffith is leading a push for electrification of Australian homes and vehicles.
Camera IconInnovation guru Saul Griffith is leading a push for electrification of Australian homes and vehicles. Credit: Supplied

The group hopes to this year identify towns and suburbs most committed to getting off gas and help them realise their ambitions, with the aim of developing a pilot program and world first example of full electrification.

“Decarbonising our homes and suburbs is not rocket science. We have all the technology available. All it really requires is some practical Aussie knowledge and a bit of elbow grease to get the job done,” Dr Griffith said.

“We need to jump on this opportunity now. Whoever wins the election on Saturday night needs to start grappling with this challenge on Monday morning, but they need to see the upside as well.”

Orange is the New Black star Yael Stone has passionately adopted the cause of reducing emissions in her own life as well as using her public profile to push for change.

“In 2019 I changed everything in my life to be able to work more solidly towards positive, active climate change solutions and Saul’s books have been important in that,” she said.

“I feel really lucky to be able to read his words. Climate change is a big bold problem and The Big Switch is offering us a big bold solution.”

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