On 30 April 2021, the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) released its final decision on Evoenergy’s gas network plan for the five-year period commencing 1 July 2021.
Following an extensive review which included consulting with industry and the public, the AER’s final decision largely accepts what we proposed with the exception of our demand forecast which they have determined will be higher than our initial proposal. The AER estimates that the final decision will result in a reduction to retail gas bills from 1 July 2021 of about one per cent, followed by increases of about one per cent for the remaining four years of the period.
The coming five years will be a critical time for our gas network as we plan for a responsible transition to achieve the ACT’s net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 target. We will continue to work with the community and the ACT Government as we plan this transition.
The AER recognised the complex challenges our gas network faces as we plan to reduce emissions from gas, and has accepted our proposal to begin to recover the costs of some new assets over a shorter period, as well as our expectation that gas reticulation will cease in new ACT suburbs in 2021 and in urban infill developments from 2023, reflecting the ACT Government’s policy. The AER’s final decision anticipates a steady decline in gas connections and demand for gas over the next five years, but not as steep a decline as we had forecast in our revised proposal.
We’d again like to thank the community for their engagement on our gas plan over the past two years, particularly those that participated in our Citizen’s Jury process to consult on our draft plan. The feedback we received was invaluable in informing our plan and ensuring the service we provide meets the needs of our customers in the future.
Evoenergy’s approved gas plan for the 2021–26 access arrangement period will come into effect on 1 July 2021. To view the decision visit the Australian Energy Regulator’s website www.aer.gov.au/networks-pipelines/determinations-access-arrangements/evoenergy-access-arrangement-2021-26, or to find out more about the gas network access arrangement review process, visit www.evoenergy.com.au/about-us/about-our-network/gas-five-year-plan.