ACT passes law to ban new fossil fuel gas connections

blue gas flame on stovetop (momentum gas)
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The ACT Government’s Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Reduction (Natural Gas Transition) Amendment Bill has been passed in the Legislative Assembly, establishing the legal framework to end new fossil fuel gas network connections in the ACT.

Minister for Water, Energy and Emissions Reduction Shane Rattenbury said the ACT was leading the way on climate change action, and preventing new gas connections is the next necessary step in transitioning Canberra to be a zero emissions city.

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“This legislation marks a significant milestone in the ACT’s energy transition, setting the framework to prohibit new gas connections in the ACT. The first step in phasing out gas completely is to prevent the installation of any new gas,” Minister Rattenbury said.

“Utilising the legislative framework established in the legislation, I expect regulation to be in place by the end of the year, prohibiting new gas connections in new suburb or new infill developments.

“Now that the ACT is powered by 100% renewable electricity, our next energy challenge is addressing emissions from fossil fuel gas, with gas currently making up about 20% of our emissions. By 2045 Canberra will be an all-electric city, using renewable electricity—a model sustainable city.

“Research shows that electricity is the most efficient, affordable, and feasible energy source to replace fossil fuel gas use. This is why the ACT Government is encouraging Canberrans to make their next appliances electric as the territory moves away from fossil fuel gas.

“Canberra already has a strong track record of electrification, with ‘Swinger Hill’ built in 1972 as the first ever Canberra medium-density all-electric housing area. Ginninderry is also Canberra’s first all-electric suburb, while Jacka and future stages of Whitlam and Denman Prospect are set to follow in coming years,” Minister Rattenbury said.

To help develop a future regulation to prevent gas network connections, the ACT Government undertook community and stakeholder consultation in March and April this year.

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This consultation has ensured the government understands the consequences for developers, customers and the electricity network before this new regulation was made.

The regulation is anticipated to commence in late 2023.

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