Natural Gas

Frequently Asked Questions

HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT NATURAL GAS?

Find the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions, here.

  • If I smell gas what should I do?

    Gas is a flammable substance with a distinctive odour, similar to rotten eggs. If you can smell gas, always eliminate ignition sources. For example:

    • Do not smoke.
    • Do not operate electrical appliances.
    • Do not operate light switches or mobile phones.

    Move away from the area and report a gas leak online or call our Faults and Emergencies team on 13 13 52* 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. (*local call fee from anywhere in the state excluding mobiles).

     

  • Who are the retailers of natural gas in WA?

    In Western Australia, residential homes and businesses are able to create an account with a retailer who will manage your connection and provide a bill to you. Retailers include AGL, Alinta, Kleenheat, Origin and Simply Energy. They are able to sell you gas if you are a household, Businesses and commercial gas users also have the option of purchasing their gas through Synergy, Perth Energy or a wholesale gas aggregator like Gas Trading Australia.

    For a full and current list of natural gas retailers, see the Economic Regulation Authority website.

     

     

  • Can I convert my existing LPG appliances to natural gas?

    Yes, most LPG appliances can be converted to run on natural gas. A licensed gasfitter or your appliance manufacturer can give you advice on converting your appliances. Do not attempt to convert appliances yourself. Only a licenced gasfitter or your appliance manufacturer should undertake this work. You can find your nearest licenced gasfitter by visiting the Master Plumbers and Gasfitters website.

  • Is natural gas available at my property?

    If you contact a gas retailer, they’ll be able to check if natural gas is available at your property’s location. If it is, and you’d like to get connected, they can set up an account for you. Your retailer will then let us know so that we can carry out the work required to connect your property to the gas network.

  • How would natural gas be connected to my home?

    Connecting your home to natural gas involves running a pipe from the gas main in your street to a meter located on your property. Another pipe is needed to run from the meter into your home, connecting your appliances to natural gas.

    ATCO can connect the pipe from the street to your home for free if the distance is less than 20 metres. But you’ll also need to contact a gas fitter who will be able to connect the pipe from your meter to your home.

    If you don’t currently have a natural gas connection to your property you can contact a retailer like AGL, Alinta or Kleenheat to set up an account. On your behalf, they will let us know that a new connection is needed at your address. We will then schedule in the job and connect your property.

    Note: Since mid-2020, Western Australia has seen unprecedented growth in land sales and, the residential building sector thanks mainly to both Federal and Local State Governments offering eligible customers, economic stimulus incentives and funding packages. 

    This positive growth has resulted in ATCO Gas Australia experiencing an increase in the number of “Requests for Gas” (RFG) being received significantly earlier in the construction phase. Approximately 70% of RFG’s received are going “On Hold” mainly due to the house not being at the construction stage when attending site to complete the installation. The current KPI for completion of a connection to a “New premise” after a job comes “Off hold” is five (5) business days.  However, the process distortion being experienced is invalidating the KPI and, is leading to inefficient work practices. 

    To mitigate this market distortion and, for the next twelve months and commencing the 1st of July 2021, the ATCO Gas Australia KPI for an RFG to a “New premise” coming “Off Hold” will change from five (5) business days to fifteen (15) business days. Connection to an “Established Premise” will remain at five business days.

  • What if there is no natural gas main in my street. What can I do?

    You may still be able to connect to natural gas. Get in touch with an energy retailer like AGL, Alinta or Kleenheat to discuss your options.

    For commercial properties looking to harness the value of natural gas, contact us and we can help determine the best way to get you connected. 

     

  • What does it cost to connect to natural gas?

    We won’t charge you a fee if works carried out are within a 20 metre distance from the gas main pipe.* However, your selected gas retailer may charge you a connection fee. Please contact your gas retailer for costs.

     

    *ATCO will offer to connect a premises to the gas distribution system in accordance with its Distribution License: https://bit.ly/3ndqz5a There will be no cost for ATCO to connect residential premises located within ATCO’s licence area, which require 20 metres or less of service pipe and where the gas main is so located that it is practicable in accordance with good industry practice to connect the relevant premises to the main. Contact ATCO for more information. Additional costs for new connections may be charged by the relevant retailer.

  • Where can I purchase new natural gas appliances?

    The majority of appliance retailers in Western Australia sell natural gas appliances. When you are buying a new natural gas appliance make sure it has the Australian Gas Association sticker on it. This sticker means the product has been approved by the Australia Gas Association.

  • Where should my meter be located on my property?

    For established homes with a long set back or difficult ground conditions, the gas meter is usually located close to the front boundary. For homes in new housing estates, the meter is most commonly located on the building, close to the front of the house. However, the meter location is specific to each property and can depend upon a range of factors. When we install new meter boxes we always consider your preferred location when assessing your property for installation, however we must also follow certain guidelines when placing a meter box on a property. For more information about suitable locations for meter boxes, view our meter box location guide.

     

     

  • Who can carry out natural gas work?

    Connecting your new or established home or business to the natural gas network, including the installation of a gas meter, can only be carried out by trained personnel from ATCO or an approved ATCO contractor. The installation of pipework from the gas meter into your property must be carried out by a licensed gasfitter. To find a qualified gasfitter in your area visit the Master Plumbers and Gasfitters Association website.

     

     

     

  • Will my property be disturbed during installation of the natural gas connection?

    We do our best to minimise the impact of natural gas installation work and in new builds the pipework is almost always installed prior to any paving or driveways being laid. Natural gas service lines must be installed underground so sometimes we have to dig a trench to install your connection. We will discuss with you where the gas pipeline will need to run and do what we can to limit the disturbance to the area. Where a new natural gas connection has been requested the cost of reinstating paths or driveways is the property owners’ responsibility.

  • Is natural gas cheaper than electricity?

    Natural gas appliances can be cheaper to run on an annual basis compared to electric appliances. Switching to natural gas for heating, cooking and hot water could save you money on your energy bills. For example a family of four could save up to $500 a year on hot water costs alone*. Find out how much you could save using our energy calculator.

    * Family of four could save up to $500 a year by using a natural gas hot water system, compared to grid based electricity in the South West Interconnected System (SWIS). Usage cost comparisons made up of average plan prices set by major gas retailers, natural gas tariffs and Synergy Home Plan (A1) electricity tariffs as of March 2021. Standing charges not included.

     

  • Is natural gas cheaper than LPG?

    Natural gas appliances can be cheaper to run on an annual basis than LPG appliances. For example for a family of four, switching to an instant natural gas hot water system from LPG could save up to $546 every year^.  Find out how much you could save using our energy calculator.

    ^Comparing Natural Gas powered storage hot water to an LPG powered hot water storage system (see: https://www.betterwithgas.com.au/about-the-calculator/) for a family of four (4). Usage cost comparisons are made up from an average of plan prices set by all major retailers, natural gas tariffs as of November 2020 and the average price of Kleenheat, Origin and Elgas LPG Gas Bottle Home Delivery services, for a 45KG bottle in Perth as of November 2020. Standing charges not included.

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Where does our gas come from?

    Western Australia has an abundance of natural gas reserves, primarily located in the north-west of the state. Our underground network of gas distribution pipelines connect to the main transmission pipelines that bring gas from the north-west to the more heavily populated areas of Western Australia. We then deliver it to homes and businesses from Geraldton, right through the Perth metropolitan area, as well as the south-west and Kalgoorlie. The ATCO gas network in Albany is standalone and is supplied from a centralised LPG storage facility in the town.

     

     

     

     

  • How much does natural gas impact our environment?

    Natural gas is recognised as one of the most efficient and eco-friendly sources of energy available. When compared with electricity produced from coal fired power stations, natural gas can be extracted and delivered to your home with far less greenhouse emissions. The gas network is also underground which means there’s less risk of outages caused by storms and no unsightly power line towers crossing our beautiful West Australian landscape.

    Natural gas is one of the cleanest forms of non-renewable energy. In WA’s south-west natural gas produces up to 70% less greenhouse emissions than grid supplied electricity.*

    *Source: Energy Networks Australia - Reliable and clean gas for Australian homes (October 2021)

     

  • How much natural gas is available?

    Current natural gas reserves in Western Australia hold enough gas for around 100 years or more. Natural gas is a core part of the energy mix and its reliability, effectiveness and efficiency is being utilised as an enabler for the continued introduction and use of renewable energy sources.

  • Can natural gas be used for cooling as well as heating?

    Yes, gas powered air conditioning (GPAC) is a great way to both heat and cool your home or business. It is economical to run and works just like electric air conditioning, with the option to have individual units in a room or ducted throughout a home or business.. For more information on GPAC, please read our GPAC web page.

     

     

     

     

  • Can natural gas dry my clothes?

    Yes, there are gas powered tumble dryers available for use in households. Find out all about the benefits of using gas-powered tumble dryers, here

     

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