13 June 2019


Conservation Council calls on ACT Government to stop roll out of gas to new suburbs

The Conservation Council ACT Region has called on the ACT Government to stop the roll out of gas infrastructure to new suburbs to ensure policy consistency as the ACT aims for net zero emission by 2045.

The recent announcement by the ACT Government to help Canberrans switch from gas ducted heating systems to energy efficient electric heating is welcome, but completely at odds with Government laws that mandate gas infrastructure to all new homes in the ACT.

“The ACT is the only jurisdiction in Australia that mandates gas infrastructure for every house in its planning law, and given our ambitious zero emissions climate change target, this must stop,” said Helen Oakey, Executive Director.

“The Government should in fact stop all new gas infrastructure being rolled out.  We are throwing good money at a network that is likely to have a limited life, and the costs will be passed onto those who remain on the gas network.

“It has already been shown that when residents install new technologies like solar and heat pumps, they don’t want to connect their houses to the gas network.

“Unfortunately this also puts the burden of the infrastructure costs onto those who do connect or who are still connected in older suburbs. Connecting new houses to the gas network also encourages new home owners to invest in out-dated appliances that run on gas –  this will cost them money when they switch to electric in the future.

“There are so many benefits to giving up gas – the financial incentive of not paying two connection charges, that you are no longer using fossil fuels to run your home, and having access to clean, safe technology like induction cooktops and heat pumps for hot water and heating and cooling (split systems).

“Many people think that their air-conditioners are for summer only, but using split systems for heating is very efficient. These technologies can be used to heat just one or two rooms, or your whole house.

“The ACT Government has a high level of ambition to reduce greenhouse emissions and respond to the climate emergency, and has put some great programs in place to support ACT residents to reduce their household emissions. In that context, continuing to invest our money in gas infrastructure is wasted,” said Ms Oakey.


Media comment:

Helen Oakey, Executive Director, ACT Conservation Council, 0402 052 777