Believe it or not, but your gas bills could be a whack higher than what they currently are. This is because in December 2022, the Federal Government capped gas prices for an entire year. As it stands, gas prices can’t get pricier than $12 a gigajoule.
What’s more, the government now wants to extend this cap. To help some fams through the power crisis, they want this cap in place until the middle of 2025.
So, does this updated scheme have a name? You bet it does. The Federal Government has named this scheme the gas code.
In a statement, the government said, “The gas code will ensure sufficient supply of Australian gas for Australian users at reasonable prices.”
However, there’ll also be some exemptions to this rule. If a gas company makes a reasonable effort to get their gas prices lower than $12 a gigajoule, but they can’t, they’ll be exempt. Additionally, Australia’s smaller gas producers won’t have to worry about this price fix.
In response to this proposal, the Australian Pipelines and Gas Association has stated that they’re pleased with it. But they also have a few concerns. They believe that Australia might not have enough gas to meet the current demand. This association is therefore proposing that more Australian gas stations get built.
Nevertheless, building more gas projects isn’t a sustainable way to reduce our power bills. If Australia wants to move past needing a gas code, then we need to go hard on renewables.
As Andrew Stock, a Councillor for the Climate Council, said, “Opening new gas is not the answer. We have to cut ties with gas by developing greater renewable capacity and more storage in the system, and electrifying our homes and businesses. That will cut greenhouse emissions and save Australians money on their bills, too.”
Now, it’s worth noting that Stock isn’t the only person at the Climate Council that feels this way. Dr Carl Tidemann, a senior researcher there, has also made some similar comments.
“It’s preposterous to consider expanding gas when the bulk of it is being sent abroad,” said Tidemann. “More gas will not only have disastrous climate consequences, but will continue to expose Australian households to the volatile energy prices we’ve experienced over the last two years.”
“As one of the sunniest and windiest countries on earth, the future of our energy is from renewables backed up by various energy storage technologies, including batteries and pumped hydro.”