Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Regional Gas Infrastructure program?
The Victorian Government launched the Regional Gas Infrastructure Program to supply natural gas to targeted regional and rural Victoria towns. For more information, please visit http://www.rdv.vic.gov.au.
What is natural gas?
Natural gas is a colourless, naturally occurring gas, made up of methane and a small percentage of other gases. It is a very safe and clean-burning fuel source. The natural gas provided is from Victoria and has been used as a reliable energy source for over 100 years. Unlike LPG, natural gas is composed almost entirely of methane, which is lighter than air. If there is a gas leak, natural gas will disperse through natural ventilation. Natural gas is odorless however an odorant is added to assist in the identification of a gas leak.
How can I use natural gas in my home?
Instant heating (indoor and outdoor)
Instantaneous continuous hot water
Cooking (indoor and outdoor)
Pool and spa heating
What are commercial/industrial uses of natural gas?
Electricity, steam and hot water generation
As a raw material (widely used in the manufacturing of plastics and fertilizers)
A vehicle fuel source
Is naturally gas environmentally friendly?
Natural gas is a clean-burning fuel and is one of the best energy choices for the environment . As an energy source, it produces much lower greenhouse gas emissions than coal, generally about 50-70% lower. (Source: http://www.appea.com.au/oil-gas-explained/benefits/cleaner-energy/)
Where does natural gas come from?
The existing natural gas network is supplied by treatment plants, where the gas is processed to remove impurities such as water and carbon dioxide. A compressor station (also known as a mother station) located on an existing natural gas network will fill cylinders on a truck. The truck then delivers the gas to a regional town. The truck then releases the gas into a pressure reducing facility (also known as a daughter station) allowing the controlled release of gas into the town’s distribution network, which transport natural gas to households, commercial and industrial users.
How reliable will the supply of natural gas be?
Natural gas networks in Australia are recognised as an extremely reliable source of energy supply. Buried gas pipelines are not subject to the weather events that commonly affect electricity and are well protected by depth of cover, marker tape and signage as appropriate. The daughter stations are constantly monitored in terms of usage and storage levels. As such, the gas supply can be expected to be able to be relied upon.
What is the price of natural gas?
What is the cost benefit of natural gas vs LPG?
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) estimates weekly gas consumption for rural Victoria are:
a) 940 megajoules per week for homes supplied by natural gas mains, or 48,900 megajoules per annum, with homes using natural gas for heating, hot water and cooking
b) 313 megajoules per week for homes supplied by LPG, or 16,300 megajoules per annum, for homes using LPG for hot water and cooking
The chart below indicates the cost advantages of natural gas over LPG as your gas usage increases.
Natural gas cost as per published residential tariff
LPG cost $105/45Kg cylinder (4.76 cents per megajoule) + $35/45Kg bottle rental per year. Assumed 2 x 45Kg bottles per residence.
To compare LPG with natural gas, we suggest you review your LPG invoices to determine your annual usage and then apply the following conversion to estimate the natural gas equivalent:
1Litre of LPG = 25 megajoules of natural gas
What disturbance will I see to my property during the natural gas connection?
In a standard installation, the pipes will be installed using thrust boring or drilling which requires only small entry and exit holes. This technique allows faster installation and removes the need for large open cut trenches. If obstacles are present, a representative of EVN will advise if it is a non-standard installation and will discuss with you any additional costs.
Installed meter with no garden disturbance
Can I install my appliances before my meter is installed?
Absolutely! Your licensed gas fitter can install your appliances whilst EVN is coordinating the installation of the meter. This enables your new natural gas appliances to be used sooner. Once the meter installation is complete, your licensed gasfitter can connect your pre-installed appliances to the meter.
How do I connect to natural gas?
To enjoy all the benefits of a new natural gas connection, please follow these easy steps:
- Check to see if natural gas is available at your property by clicking here
- Research appliances you want to connect and get a quote to have them installed by your Licensed Gas Fitters or Preferred Retailers.
- Complete and submit an application with Tas Gas Retail, application form available here
- Tas Gas Retail will contact you to confirm receipt of your application
- Speak with a gas fitter to understand what your costs for installation are and appliance usage details
- A representative from EVN will call you to arrange a site inspection. At the inspection a meter location diagram will be left in your letterbox.
- Following site inspection, an EVN representative will contact you to arrange a convenient time for the meter installation.
- Once the meter has been installed, your licensed gasfitter can connect the meter. A minimum of 48 hours prior to connecting the meter, the gasfitter should advise Tas Gas Retail so that unlocking the meter can be scheduled to occur when the appliance installation is completed.
Can I get gas if I’m not in front of the gas pipeline?
If, unfortunately your home does not appear to front the natural gas pipeline, then please submit your expression of interest (EOI) here . EVN registers and evaluates all EOIs based on the distance from the pipeline, density of the street and how many others have expressed an interest in the area. In all instances, EVN will let you know the outcomes of its evaluation.
I am planning excavations that might be near the pipeline. What should I do?
If you are planning any kind of excavation or construction that you think may be on or near the pipeline, always dial before you dig by calling 1100.
What are the consequences of tampering with a gas meter?
Tampering with a gas meter is illegal, and potentially exposes people to the risk of a gas explosion, serious injury or even death. Those who tamper with gas meters not only put themselves at risk, but also other occupants of that property, neighbours and members of the general public. It is also illegal to ask, pay or allow someone else to tamper with your meter.
Are people who tamper with meters liable to be prosecuted?
Gas meter tampering is a criminal offence. Members of the public who tamper with their own or other people’s meters are guilty of an offence and so liable for prosecution. If convicted of an offence under the Gas Safety Act they may be liable to pay a fine of 40 penalty points (200 penalty points for a business) of which the 2017 value is $6,343 ($31,714 for a business). In addition, offenders may have their gas service permanently removed.
How are meters tampered with?
The method of interfering with the meter varies but in all cases such activity is illegal and dangerous. By law, only EVN representatives and Registered Gas Installers are authorised to work on natural gas meters and gas pipework. By tampering with a meter, unauthorised people are not just putting their own safety at risk, but the safety of their families, neighbours and the general public.
If a suspected case of tampering is reported, what happens?
All sites suspected of meter tampering are visited by an EVN approved person and the meter is inspected. If they suspect interference, the meter will be either exchanged or removed. If the meter is exchanged the customer can still consume gas at this point.
The removed meter is returned to EVN and re-inspected, tested and evidence of tampering is reconfirmed. The removed meter is stored securely and EVN will issue a letter to the occupant of the premises advising them of the interference found at the site and the necessary steps to resolve the matter. At the same time, EVN will advise Energy Safe Victoria who will carry out their own investigations which may lead to prosecution procedings.
What is involved if tampering has been confirmed at a residential property?
When meter tampering has been confirmed at a residential site, EVN requires the end-user to make payment for the damaged meter and to arrange for a licensed gas fitter to recommission the installation and provide updated or new certificate of compliance details in accordance with the Gas Safety (Gas Installation) Regulations 2018.
Tas Gas Retail may also be in contact in relation to the unrecorded consumption as a result of the meter tampering.
Should tampering be uncovered at an industrial or commercial site, the costs associated are considerably higher than those applied at a residential property.
What is a Certificate of Compliance
Under the Gas Safety (Gas Installation) Regulations 2018, a natural gas installation must be carried out by a licensed gas fitter. Once the installation is complete and has been tested and commissioned, the gas fitter will lodge a Certificate of Compliance with the Victorian Building Authority and provide you with a copy. For more detail please click on the following link:- http://www.vba.vic.gov.au/consumers/compliance-certificates. EVN will not supply gas to your property until your retailer has confirmed that the Certificate of Compliance has been properly lodged.
EVN recommends that gas users have their gas appliances serviced and their installation inspected for safety every 12 months, and this work should only be carried out by a licensed gas fitter.
Is there a risk that the gas supply will be disconnected?
If, on initial inspection, there is an obvious and deliberate attempt to interfere with any EVN equipment, then the supply may be immediately disconnected and you will not be able to continue to use the gas supply. If EVN deems that there is a safety concern on the site, or if the matter is not resolved, the supply may also be disconnected.
Where EVN has provided the end-user with a new gas meter and a payment has been received, the new or updated Certificate of Compliance must be lodged within 48 hours. Failure to meet this deadline will result in the disconnection of the supply at the site.
What is the reconnection fee at a residential property?
If the supply is disconnected, the residential end-user can re-connect by paying the reconnection fee to Tas Gas Retail.
How do I report if I suspect someone of tampering with a meter?
If you suspect meter tampering is taking place, you can confidentially report it to EVN on 1800 760 771. Reports are taken very seriously and will be investigated.