Less gas a win for the environment

MLA, Shane Rattenbury

The latest Gas Price Trends Review shows Canberrans are making the switch away from gas, Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability Shane Rattenbury said today.

“When it comes to gas, Canberrans are making a clear choice,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“The report shows a clear downward trend in household gas consumption, with the ACT way out in front of other jurisdictions in the race to reduce gas use.

“This is very good news as gas contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions and we are moving towards a zero net emissions territory by 2050 at the latest.

These trends, and the emergence of new efficient electric technology, show that it is possible to reduce our gas usage without compromising the lifestyle Canberrans enjoy.

“As the ACT moves to 100% renewable electricity by 2020, gas will become one of the major remaining contributors to greenhouse gas pollution, so we will need to find options for reducing gas use.”

The report shows average annual household gas consumption has dropped 22% since 2010 and 13% since 2015—from 50 gigajoules in 2010 to 45 gigajoules in 2015 and 39 gigajoules in 2017. 

Since 2015, this is the biggest reduction across Australia by far, with the national average being a 2% reduction and Western Australia, the next most successful state, at 3%.

“Although we have also seen a small decline in the proportion of houses in the ACT connected to gas, from 70% in 2010 to 67.9% in 2014, we expect this to continue at a faster pace in the coming years,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“This shows that ACT residents are being smarter with their gas consumption, and are making the switch to move away from gas altogether. People are using more energy efficient gas appliances, taking energy efficiency actions like draught proofing their houses or switching to electrical appliances.

“We know the proportion of ACT households using gas for space heating fell from 60% in 2011 to 45% in 2014, with a matching increase in electric heating. While the reasons for this may include the overall increase in gas cost, the penetration of solar panels into ACT households and a strong increase in the level of efficiency in electric heaters, it is great news for the environment.

“We strongly promote the move away from gas to electricity because the territory’s electricity supply will be emissions free by 2020 as we reach our target of 100% renewable electricity.”