ERA keeps ATCO prices low

Western Australia’s Economic Regulation Authority (ERA) has limited a rise in customer prices for ATCO gas despite the company’s hydrogen endeavours.

In July, ATCO unveiled its $3.6 million Clean Energy Innovation Hub in Jandakot, WA, where it is investigating the potential of integrating hydrogen into the natural gas mix.

ATCO had pushed for a greater increase in customer cost to use its 14,000 km WA gas pipeline network in order to subsidise the hydrogen project, but the ERA has made the decision to limit any price rise.

Instead, the average cost for residential customers to use ATCO’s network will rise by about 5.77 per cent next year and by around 0.5 per cent each year until 2024.

ERA Chair Nicky Cusworth said WA gas customers would remain in a good position.

“The ERA’s decision puts some upward pressure on gas prices but it is necessary to ensure that ATCO can recover the cost of operating the network,” said Ms Cusworth.

“Customers paying the capped price will probably not see any change in their bill, but gas retailers may choose to reduce the size of discounts on offer to recover some or all of the increase.”

According to The West Australian, ATCO said it was “disappointing the ERA have disallowed the Clean Energy Innovation Hub”.

ATCO’s hydrogen project has received $1.6 million from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

ATCO’s gas network in WA services approximately 760,000 customers.

For more information visit the ATCO website.

If you have news you would like featured in Gas Today contact Managing Editor David Convery at dconvery@gs-press.com.au

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