SHANE Rattenbury is calling on the Government to undertake a review of the future use of gas in the ACT, to ensure we plan ahead to meet our sustainability goals and don’t impose unfair costs on gas consumers.
“As gas prices are predicated to go up in the medium term, and electric home heating becomes more efficient, many Canberrans will choose to make the switch away from natural gas, and yet we are still rolling out expensive gas infrastructure in our new suburbs,” Shane said.
“Canberrans also understand the need to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and will choose electricity over gas so that their homes can be run on renewable electricity provided through the ACT’s large-scale feed in tariff.
“The cumulative effect of this is that there could be less consumer uptake of gas, meaning that the costs of the network are pushed onto fewer people.
“The ACT needs to be clear about the policy direction on gas and consider if it’s good value for us to roll out expensive infrastructure that might be out of date before it’s paid off.
“The risk is that when Canberrans switch to electric, those who have less financial capacity to install new heating systems could find themselves worse off, paying higher costs for their gas to subsidise the remainder of the network.
“Canberra has ambitious renewable energy targets, with greenhouse gas emission reduction targets of 40% of 1990 emission levels by 2020 and zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2060.
“The Government needs to indicate how it its climate change policies might impact on uptake of gas in the ACT. Already government incentives have been provided to new home buyers in Molonglo to install electric hot water, which reduces the desire to connect to the gas network.
“The last thing we want to see is that gas consumers across Canberra have to pick up the tab for gas infrastructure in new suburbs that the residents there don’t want or need,” said Mr Rattenbury.