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ENERGY FOR THE REGIONS

 

AusNet Services is committed to providing a safe and reliable supply of natural gas to customers and connecting new homes and businesses to the reticulated natural gas network through efficient investment.

 

In addition to ongoing expansion of the network, AusNet Services has agreed to extend its gas network to several towns identified in the Victorian Government’s Energy for the Regions program.

 

The government has committed $100 million to the program, which will explore the viability of connecting natural gas to new regions by extending the existing underground distribution network or through non-traditional means. Regional Development Victoria (RDV) is delivering the program on behalf of the government.

 

To date, AusNet Services has an agreement with RDV to extend its 10,000km reticulated natural gas network to:

  • Huntly
  • Avoca
  • Bannockburn
  • Winchelsea

 

In the last five years, AusNet Services has carried out works costing more than $580m in operating, maintaining and extending its natural gas network to 92,000 new homes and businesses.

 

This included connecting 15,000 properties as part of the State Government’s previous natural gas extension program in 12 Victorians towns (Barwon Heads, Camperdown, Creswick, Gisborne, Lancefield, Macedon, Maiden Gully, New Gisborne, Port Fairy, Riddells Creek, Romsey and Woodend).

 

  Towns to be Connected
Huntly

Construction: Expected from October 2013 to June 2014

Potential connections: more than 580

Click here to view the proposed gas network extension map

Avoca

Construction: Expected from May 2015 to December 2016

Potential connections: more than 650

Click here to view the proposed gas network extension map

Bannockburn

Construction: Expected from May 2015 to October 2017

Potential connections: more than 1490

Click here to view the proposed gas network extension map

Winchelsea

 

Construction: Expected from June 2015 to December 2016

Potential connections: more than 600

Click here to view the proposed gas network extension map

 

 

FAQs

 

Natural gas

 

What is natural gas?

Natural gas is an environmentally friendly, clean burning and naturally occurring energy source often used for heating, cooking and electricity generation. Consisting primarily of methane and other hydrocarbons, natural gas is regarded as an affordable, reliable and safe energy source.

 

How does natural gas differ to liquid petroleum gas (LPG)?

There is negligible difference between the running efficiency of LPG and natural gas. However, natural gas is delivered via underground mains (pipes) as opposed to truck deliveries – bulk supplied or bottles – for LPG.

 

Regarding price, the cost of LPG is determined by the retail outlet, whereas natural gas is typically more stable and cheaper, as its delivery cost is regulated by the Australian Energy Regulator.

 

Can you convert LPG appliances to natural gas?

Most appliances can be converted, however, check with a registered plumber beforehand. The costs of converting your LPG appliance to natural gas are usually recovered within a short period after conversion. Conversion costs can vary with the make and model of the appliance.

 

Note: All LPG ‘flue-less’ heaters are not able to be converted to natural gas in Victoria.

 

Apart from the low energy cost, why else would I value connecting to natural gas?

  • Greater choice of appliances
  • Natural gas is convenient and has an excellent record for reliability of supply.
  • Natural gas meters are a fraction of the size of obtrusive LPG tanks.
  • LPG delivery trucks are less likely to frequent your street making it safer for pedestrians and a more tranquil setting.
  • Natural gas adds value to your house.
  • Compared to electricity, natural gas appliances are many times better for the environment with lower greenhouse emissions.
  • Replacing wood heating with natural gas is more convenient and cleaner for your neighbourhood.
  • Your natural gas bill typically comes bimonthly, allowing you a longer period before payment is required, whereas LPG and wood are generally upfront purchases.

 

Energy for the Regions program

 

What is the Energy for the Regions program?

The Victorian Government launched the Energy for the Regions program to supply natural gas to 14 targeted regional and rural Victoria towns.

 

The government has committed $100 million to the program, which will explore the viability of connecting natural gas to new regions by extending the existing underground distribution network or through non-traditional means.

 

Regional Development Victoria (RDV) is delivering the program on behalf of the government. Any formal agreement between RDV and the gas distribution network owner – AusNet Services, Envestra and Multinet – to extend the network to these towns is subject to Australian Energy Regulator approval.

 

How do I know if my home or business will be connected?

AusNet Services has developed maps illustrating where the gas mains (pipes) will be rolled out.

 

If a gas main is installed within your street then you can lodge an application to your chosen natural gas retailer for connection to the network.

The energy retailer will then contact AusNet Services to assess the economics of the connection. For most domestic connections there is no charge from AusNet Services for connection. If there is an economic shortfall for connection, you will be notified by the retailer and given the opportunity to contribute funds to gain access to natural gas.

 

What are my options if my home is outside the current reticulation area?

Residents are encouraged to speak with their neighbours and register their interest with an application to a natural gas retailer. The energy retailer will then contact AusNet Services to assess the economics of the mains extension and an offer to connect will then be fed back to you via the energy retailer. There may be cost associated with the connection.

 

Click here for more information.

 

Will it cost me any money if I’m connected under the Energy for the Regions program?

In the majority of cases, new connections to the gas network are provided free of charge from AusNet Services.

 

There may be specific circumstances where customer contributions are necessary to facilitate connection.

 

AusNet Services will consult with customers – through the retailer – on these potential cost prior to connection.

 

Where will the natural gas mains be laid in the street and inside my property?

In the street, the natural gas main is generally laid in the nature strip or if this is not possible, the main may be laid under the roadway or footpath. Typically only one main is laid in each street.

 

From the street main, a service pipe into the customer’s property is typically laid at right angles to the designated location of the gas meter. The gas meter is typically located at the front non-driveway corner of each residential or commercial premise.

 

In rare circumstance where the primary residence is located a far distance from the property line, the gas meter may be located at the property boundary.

 

Will I experience any interruptions in my power supply during the change over?

No. Your gas service and electricity service cables are independent of each other.

 

If I do not wish to use this new gas supply can I remain with the old system?

It is your choice to convert to natural gas or continue using bottled gas, but we encourage you to pursue the benefits of natural gas conversion.

 

Will the consumer piping need to be replaced once the appliances are converted to natural gas?

For most residential connections, AusNet Services installs its own meter upstand piping up to the front non-driveway corner of the home where the meter is fixed. After this point consumer piping connects your appliances to the gas meter and all work on this section is the householder’s responsibility.

 

AusNet Services provides a pressure of 2.75 kPa (at the gas meter) to match the pre-existing pressure of LPG so that customer piping replacement costs, if any, are kept to a minimum, provided it was originally installed to the plumbing code AS5601. We recommend checking with your plumber to determine if your consumer piping requires changing. In all cases LPG appliances need to be converted to run on natural gas to enable sufficient energy to the appliance.

 

What do I need to do once the pipes are laid?

You will need to apply for gas with a gas retailer. Once registered, AusNet Services will arrange through your retailer for appropriate works to be done, such as installing a service line and gas meter to your property.

 

Why is it important for householders to put in early applications for natural gas in the new town projects?

The natural gas rollout for new towns is going to be guided by the number of applications we receive in from the energy retailers for given streets. Therefore where possible we will prioritise those streets with the most gas applications.

General Enquiries

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