GAS IS HERE TO STAY

What does the future for gas energy look like?


Can I still connect to natural gas or LPG?

Yes, you can still connect to both. In its final recommendations to government, the Climate Change Commission did not propose a ban on new gas connections from 2025, but recommends a date is set, once a national energy strategy has been developed for New Zealand and the role gas energy will play in the future is determined.

Will natural gas be turned off in the next few years?

No. Natural gas and LPG will continue to be delivered to connected consumers until we’ve fully moved to new low and zero carbon gases, likely to be by 2050.We envisage that future gases such as green hydrogen gas, biogas and bioLPG will start being introduced or blended with existing gases in the next 3-5 years.

Will gas prices increase substantially in the coming years?

Moving to renewable energy is likely to increase the cost of all types of energy. Renewable gases are likely to be more expensive than today’s gas, but gas energy is expected to remain good value and competitive with renewable electricity.

Can I buy a new gas appliance with confidence?

Absolutely. If you currently own an appliance that uses natural gas or LPG, you can have confidence that you’ll be able to use it for its expected lifetime (typically up to 15 years).

Blending gases will be an important part of our journey as we scale up to low and zero carbon gas energy, and most modern gas appliances are already able to run on a blend of natural gas and renewable hydrogen gas (up to 20%) or biogas. Newer compatible appliances will become widely available as we move towards a more renewable gas energy future.

What will happen to my gas BBQ? 

No worries there. For now, you can keep using your gas BBQ and buying LPG bottles. In the future you’ll be able to use bioLPG instead of LPG to fuel the barbie and help us bring about a zero carbon Aotearoa. Or, you may even be cooking up a feast on a hydrogen BBQ – you’ll still get that sizzle and your sausages and steak will be that bit juicier because the only emission is water! 

When will new renewable gas energy be available? 

In New Zealand, we expect future gas blending trials to begin as early as the end of 2021, with the goal of introducing blended gas energy by 2025. Existing natural gas and LPG will continue to be delivered to consumers as the blends increase towards 100% future gases by 2050. 

Who are the main users of gas energy in New Zealand? 

430,000[1] Kiwi households use gas energy every day for cooking, hot water and heating. Natural gas also currently powers over 19,000 businesses and industrial users such as restaurants, hotels, hospitals and steel makers. Natural gas is also used to generate around 14%[2] of electricity annually, when renewables cannot meet peak demand – that’s when the lakes are low, the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining.

How much does the direct use of gas contribute to New Zealand’s CO2 emissions? 

Currently, Kiwi homes (directly using gas energy) produce less than 1%[3] of New Zealand’s total greenhouse gas emissions. 

1. Gas Industry Facts at a Glance, 2019 (Gas Industry Co Ltd)
2. MBIE Electricity Generation Year to Mar 2021
3. MoE New Zealand Greenhouse Gas Inventory 1990-2019, May 2019 
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