The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has issued its draft decision on Australian Gas Networks’ (AGN) Victorian and Albury access arrangement for its natural gas customers for the five year period beginning 1 January 2018.
The draft decision is in response to AGN’s Final Plan, which was submitted to the AER on 23 December 2016.
In particular, the AER:
- Recommends an average price cut of six per cent to the distribution component of a customer’s bill to apply from 1 January 2018. This will translate to an average saving of $13 per annum for residential customers and $35 per annum for commercial customers. Actual savings will depend on how much natural gas a consumer uses
- Recognises the significant work AGN has done with its stakeholders in developing its plans for the five year period beginning 1 January 2018
- Allows for the completion of AGN’s low pressure mains replacement program by 2022, including in the CBD
AGN Chief Operating Officer, Andrew Staniford, said, “The AER’s Draft Decision supports gas as a low cost, low carbon energy source for our customers in Victoria and Albury.
“We look forward to working with the AER in the lead up to its Final Decision in order to promote the long-term interests of gas customers and the general public.
“The six per cent price reduction from 1 January next year will increase the savings available to customers using natural gas over electricity for everyday household appliances such as hot water systems and cooking.
“Not only does natural gas continue to be an efficient and economical way for families to run their major household appliances, it has also proven to significantly help reduce their household bills when compared to electricity.
“Never has the argument been more compelling for families to switch to – or increase their use of – natural gas, as the more gas appliances you have in your home, the cheaper your gas charges become.”
AGN and other interest groups/stakeholders have until 14 August 2017 to provide its response to the AER, with the AER’s Final Decision expected in November 2017.