Time to Move Away from Gas

Over the past decade, gas prices in Tasmania have seen a significant upward trend, impacting both households and businesses. The state's limited natural gas availability, coupled with a smaller market size, contributes to higher gas bills compared to mainland Australia.

Tasmanian increases are in stark contrast to the national average of 13.04%. Aurora Energy's residential and small business gas bills are among the highest in the country; residential gas bills have increased by a whopping 22.05% since last year, while Tas Gas' bills have risen by 9.49% over the same period.

The disparity is even more pronounced for small business customers, with Aurora Energy's bills soaring by 23.48% and Tas Gas' by 9.70%, compared to the national average of 11.72%. As we shift towards sustainable energy in Tasmania, understanding the context of these rising gas prices is crucial for exploring alternative solutions.

The Big Picture

Over and above Tasmania’s small market size and limited availability, the increase can be attributed - but not limited to -  several factors:

●       Globally, factors like the war in Ukraine have led to shortages and price hikes.

●       Australia's gas market is considered "broken," with experts arguing that gas giants have prioritised exports over local supply, leading to higher prices domestically.

●       Then there’s the argument that overall its role in the country’s energy system is becoming irrelevant, backed by the environmental impact.

●       The complexity and long history of Australia's gas market, coupled with policy failures, have made it challenging to regulate and stabilise prices.

The Australian Government has limited control over energy prices, mainly influencing them through policies like carbon pricing. With discussions around gas reservation policies, it's becoming increasingly important for individuals and small businesses to look into sustainable energy options to manage rising costs.

Australia's Renewable Energy Landscape

Australia's renewable energy sector is thriving, with solar and wind power leading the charge. The country's geography offers abundant sunshine and strong winds, making it ideal for these renewable sources. Hydropower, though less prominent, remains a steady contributor to the energy mix. Initiatives like the Renewable Energy Target (RET) and investment in grid infrastructure are propelling this growth

Tasmania's Unique Position

Tasmania stands out in renewable energy, boasting 100% self-sufficiency in renewable electricity generation, and has set an ambitious goal to double its renewable capacity by 2040, aiming for 200% generation, as outlined in Tasmanian Renewable Energy Action Plan.

This commitment positions Tasmania as a leader in green energy, with the lowest emissions from grid-purchased electricity in Australia. With a rich history in renewable energy, abundant hydro resources, and strong wind farms, Tasmania is a model for sustainable energy use and generation.

The state is embracing solar energy and electric vehicles (EVs) with initiatives like the Tasmanian Renewable Energy Action Plan and the Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff Scheme.

The Business Case for Renewable Energy

Switching to renewable energy is a smart move for businesses, offering cost savings and environmental benefits. As global standards for energy emissions and consumption become stricter, showcasing clean energy credentials will be crucial. With energy production, including burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas) being the largest contributor to Australia's carbon emissions, transitioning to low-carbon sources like renewables is vital for tackling climate change.

By adopting green energy, businesses can reduce costs, enhance sustainability, and improve their brand reputation, while also driving economic growth through job creation and investment in renewable technologies.

To support Tasmanian business’s and household’s transitioning to renewable energy the following incentives:

●       The Tasmanian Government's Energy Saver Loan Scheme (ESLS), is available to enhance your home or business's energy efficiency while managing costs effectively.

●       The Small Business Energy Incentive offers a 20% tax deduction on up to $100,000 of expenditure on eligible energy-efficient upgrades for businesses with an annual turnover of less than $50 million. Eligible investments include electric heating and cooling systems, efficient fridges, induction cooktops, batteries, and heat pumps, with the assets or upgrades needing to be first used or installed between 1 July 2023 and 30 June 2024.

  • Solar feed-in tariffs (FiTs) are a way for households and businesses to get paid for the excess solar electricity they generate and feed back into the grid.

Toward a Sustainable Future

As Tasmania and Australia navigate the energy transition, the move to renewable energy becomes increasingly crucial.

With gas prices becoming unsustainable for the environment, and contributing to our higher cost of living, for businesses and households it makes sense to embrace renewable solutions now, not just for saving money, but also for environmental preservation. By investing in renewable energy, we can ensure a greener, more prosperous future for all.

Sackett’s on board and sustainable energy is at the forefront of everything we do.

We’ve been part of the bigger push in recent developments that are built for sustainability, including:

●       HIA - CSR 2023 Apartment of the Year in Belerive

●       HIA - CSR 2023 Home of the Year in Otago Bay

●       Tasmania’s premier carbon-positive residential apartment building development, The Commons, Bathurst Street, Hobart

Sackett Services offers energy efficiency for your home or business through a range of services and we can even assist with your energy saver loan application.

Talk to the friendly team at Sackett today, to prepare for your energy efficient future.