The ACT Government today announced plans to phase out fossil-fuel gas as part of the ACT’s commitment of net zero emissions by 2045.
The Government has committed to replacing gas with renewable electricity after considering other options including hydrogen and biogas.
Gas currently accounts for 20% of the ACT’s fossil-fuel emissions.
ACT Minister for Climate Action, Andrew Barr said the days of cheap gas in Australia are likely over and the ACT’s 100% renewable electricity is now the cheapest and cleanest power source available.
He said the Government was developing an Integrated Energy Plan for release by 2024 to set the foundations for a gradual transition.
“Like the transition from analogue to digital TV, or the phase out of leaded petrol, this will be a staged and managed transition,” Mr Barr said.
“We will support consumers to make the transition from gas to electric as straightforward and easy as possible by providing decades of notice for them to transition at a time that is right for them.
“There are government supports and incentives available now for those ready to upgrade from gas to efficient electric appliances including the Sustainable Household Scheme, Home Energy Support Program and Business Water and Energy Program.”
Minister for Water, Energy and Emissions Reduction, Shane Rattenbury said many Canberrans were already switching away from gas to electric options.
“We know that some gas users, particularly some businesses, can’t transition yet due to cost barriers or substitute technology not yet being available,” Mr Rattenbury said.
“We’re committed to working collaboratively to manage this long-term transition, remove these barriers and understand the niche areas of the economy where renewable gas technologies may be necessary.
“The right time to move to an electric appliance is when your gas appliance is due for replacement. You can do your part by choosing energy efficient electric systems that can run on our 100% renewable electricity.”
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.
An online hub has also been launched to support Canberrans during the transition. More information can be found at climatechoices.act.gov.au.