South Australia’s 435,000 households and small businesses connected to natural gas are about to receive significant reductions in their bills – on average, ranging from $144 to $750 per annum respectively.
This follows the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) issuing its Final Decision on Australian Gas Networks’ (AGN) South Australian Access Arrangement for the five-year period commencing today.
The Final Decision provides for a 23 per cent cut to gas distribution charges in real terms from 1 July 2016. These charges make up about half the average residential bill.
AGN chief operating officer Andrew Staniford said the reduction in the network charges will take the pressure off household and small business gas bills.
“The price drop will significantly improve the affordability of natural gas and will be a boon for South Australia,” he said.
“Lower network prices provide a real incentive for households to choose gas for cooking, hot water and heating. Further, natural gas can also be used for outdoor kitchens, barbeques and patio heating. You can even install a natural gas powered air-conditioner.”
Mr Staniford said gas charges per unit of energy consumed become cheaper as consumers install more gas appliances in their home.
“One smart and cost-effective strategy to make your household budget go further is to choose gas,” he said.
“The improved affordability of gas combined with its environmental advantages makes natural gas a compelling proposition for every South Australian where gas is available. And that is being made achievable to more South Australians all the time by AGN’s continual improvement and upgrade of its gas network.”
AGN recently announced it had invested $6 million to build a new pipeline to supply natural gas to the McLaren Vale region for the first time. It has also recently funded a significant $6 million upgrade to the Seaford Aldinga high pressure network – the main gas pipeline supplying Adelaide’s southern coastal region including Seaford, Aldinga and Seaford Meadows –to improve/increase gas supplies to thousands of homes and businesses in the region.
Mr Staniford said AGN’s network expansion plans were set to continue with the AER decision also approving the Company’s plan to grow and extend its natural gas network.
“The AER decision provides for the connection of an additional 34,000 customers over the next five years,” Mr Staniford said.
“This expansion builds on the decisions already taken by the Company to take gas to Tanunda, McLaren Vale and Buckland Park,” he said.