26 September 2023

Fuel gas to be turned off for good in Territory

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Fossil fuel gas is to be a relic of the past by 2045 in Canberra, with plans announced to phase out the resource in favour of renewable electricity.

Opening an interactive online hub on the plan, Minister for Climate Action, Andrew Barr said the Government had considered all options in reaching the policy decision but it was clear that electrification was the best path for the city to phase out fossil fuel gas.

“Fossil-fuel gas currently accounts for 20 per cent of the ACT’s emissions, so reducing Canberra’s gas reliance over the next two decades is a critical part of achieving the ACT’s commitment of net zero emissions by 2045,” Mr Barr said.

“As part of the initial phase of the transition, new ‘greenfields’ suburbs will no longer be connected to gas mains, and from 2023 new gas connections will cease for future infill developments,” he said.

“These changes provide a clear signal to the community and industry of our future direction.”

Mr Barr said the new online hub would support Canberrans to understand the transition plan and explore transition options for their home or business.

He said the hub provided detail on why the transition was important, what consumers of gas could do to commence their transition, and what support was available for them from the ACT Government to do so.

“We have also released Powering Canberra: Our Pathway to Electrification, a position paper, which outlines the decision to transition away from fossil-fuel gas, modelling of future energy use in the ACT and how we will take a phased approach to the transition over the coming two decades,” the Minister for Climate Action (and Chief Minister) said.

“Government is developing an Integrated Energy Plan for release by 2024 to set the foundations for a gentle and manageable transition over the next two decades and also consider the use of renewable gas in niche applications.”

He said the plan would ensure that the ACT maintained a secure, reliable, and increasingly sustainable energy system into the future, and would help the community plan their switch at a time that was right for them.

The 32-page Position Paper can be accessed at this PS News link and the online hub at this link.

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