South Australia will see renewable gas in its network for the first time, following the release of the Australian Energy Regulator’s (AER) final 2021–26 access arrangement for Australian Gas Networks (AGN).
AER Chair Clare Savage said AGN will expect to collect $1.12 billion in revenue over the next five years that will support the provision of network services to South Australian consumers, as well as enabling the use of biogas in the network.
“AGN has recognised the need to innovate to reduce emissions by considering alternatives to natural gas and is looking into new energy sources for its future network,” Ms Savage said.
“The AER’s decision allows for biogas to be blended with the networks’ natural gas before distribution in a step towards reducing carbon emissions that’s supported by AGN consumers, whilst also ensuring the 450,000 South Australians pay no more than they need to for safe and reliable gas.
“Safety and reliability for the South Australian community will also be upheld through funding a mains replacement program, which will replace old cast iron and unprotected steel pipes to reduce the risk of leakage.
“A new Vulnerable Consumer Assistance Program will also provide consumers in need with dedicated safety checks, and additional financial and customer service support. This program is the culmination of AGN’s genuine and productive engagement with their consumers.”
Gas bills are made up of network costs, wholesale costs and retail costs.
AGN’s 2021–26 access arrangement will deliver a reduction in network costs for South Australian consumers in the first year with annual household gas bills estimated to decrease by $35, a 3.7 per cent drop from the current average bill, and $348, a 3.5 per cent drop, for small businesses.
Prices will then increase by $14 for household consumers and $142 for small business each year over the remaining four years of the 2021–26 period.
Find out more by visiting Australian Gas Networks (SA) - Access arrangement 2021–26.