Regulation to prevent new gas connections starts in December


A regulation to prevent new gas network connections to buildings in the ACT will commence on 8 December 2023 as part of the ACT Government’s plan to transition off fossil fuels.

Minister for Water, Energy and Emissions Reduction Shane Rattenbury said the new regulation will help electrify our city and achieve a sustainable, zero emissions future.

“This regulation to prevent new gas network connections in the ACT is an important step to reaching net zero emissions by 2045,” Minister Rattenbury said.

“The regulation will apply to all residential buildings, commercial land-use zones and community facility zones. This is because residential buildings and other buildings in these areas can be electrified right now as the technology and skills to support electrification already exists.

“This is demonstrated by the number of Canberra households phasing out gas in recent years – approximately one third of Canberra households are already experiencing the benefits of an all-electric home. The ACT has also seen a decrease in new buildings indicating they will connect to the gas network.

“The ACT Government acknowledges that there will be cases where electrification is not yet feasible, where the technology does not exist or is cost prohibitive. For this reason, the regulation will not apply to other land-use zones, including industrial zones.

“An exemption process will also be in place to provide options for businesses and commercial activities. Many ACT businesses can readily use all-electric alternatives and so exemptions will only be granted in limited circumstances to allow for hard to transition sectors that cannot move to a location with an existing connection or another exempt land-use zone.

“Existing gas connections will not be impacted by this regulation.

“The ACT Government knows the cost to upgrade from gas to electric appliances can be costly for households and businesses, so we want avoid these costs as much as possible by building all-electric from here on. Households and businesses can avoid costly retrofits by going all electric from the beginning.

“The ACT Government also offers a range of programs and rebates for Canberrans to help electrify their homes or businesses. This includes rebates for electrification upgrades for low-income, no-interest loans for sustainable upgrades, free advice and support to make business and households more energy efficient, concessions on energy bills and more.

“The pathway to electrification is a long road. It’s not something that will happen overnight, and there is time to plan for it, but it will happen. The regulation we’ve introduced today will help us take another step along that path and make sure that our city is set up for our future energy needs now.”

The regulation will commence on 8 December with transitional arrangements in place for Development Applications lodged and Building Approvals issued by 1 March 2024.

This initiative fulfills a commitment of the Parliamentary Agreement of the 10th Legislative Assembly by the ACT Labor-Greens Government.

More information about the regulation, as well as incentives to help Canberrans electrify is available on the Everyday Climate Choices website.