Esperance Electrification Project Marks Energy Transition First

  • Horizon Power’s Esperance electrification project sets benchmark in Australia
  • Private gas network owner and operator ends reticulated gas supply to region
  • Residents and businesses supported with energy transition, opportunity to reduce energy bills and carbon emissions

Esperance has successfully transitioned to electric power through a unique Horizon Power initiative that paves the way for a renewable energy future in the town.

The private gas network owner and operator has today ceased supplying reticulated gas to the Esperance community.

The majority of residents and businesses have now made the switch from reticulated gas to an alternative energy source, with the majority electing for electrification. This transition will help customers reduce energy bills and carbon emissions. 

Western Australia’s regional energy provider, Horizon Power, has been supporting customers in Esperance since September 2021, when the private gas network owner and operator announced it intended to stop supplying reticulated gas to customers.

Since then, Horizon Power, on behalf of the State Government, has been working with registered homeowners, businesses and tradespeople in Esperance to ensure the transition occurred seamlessly and to address the unique needs of the customers.

A small number of customers will transition in the coming months. Some businesses have made the commercial decision to postpone while other customers are awaiting specific appliances. In the meantime, these customers will retain continuity of service and the impact to business operations will be minimal.

Customers who have made the switch from reticulated gas to an entirely electric solution will have the opportunity to benefit from lower utility bills, while avoiding unregulated gas price rises. It will also allow them to decrease their carbon footprint with energy efficient electric appliances creating less greenhouse gas emissions than gas counterparts.

Following the private gas network owner and operator’s 2021 announcement, Horizon Power negotiated a 12-month extension to give Esperance residential and business customers time to transition to a new energy source.

Transitioning from reticulated gas was found to provide the greatest benefits for customers and the broader community, with the least risks.

On behalf of the State Government, Horizon Power then developed an Energy Transition Plan to support impacted customers with the transition off the reticulated gas network to alternative longer-term energy solutions.

The State Government has invested $10.5 million to ensure all affected customers are transitioned to a longer-term energy solution that best suits their needs, ensuring continued access to reliable and secure energy.

The Esperance Energy Transition Plan has provided financial assistance to customers for like-for-like replacement, guidance from energy efficiency experts, connection with local tradespeople, and dedicated phone and email support. Horizon Power has worked closely with local businesses throughout the process, with 88 per cent of residential transitions completed by local trades.

As stated by Energy Minister Bill Johnston:

“This is a significant milestone for the State, demonstrating the first electrification of its kind for Australia. The project sets a benchmark for the rest of the country. While other organisations are in their planning stages, Horizon Power is making things happen.

“WA’s remote and regional energy provider, Horizon Power, really is a pioneer when it comes to innovative, renewable solutions, helping us accelerate towards net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

“This project will serve as a blueprint for other electrification works around the country. We thank the dedicated project team, trades, suppliers, energy experts and the Esperance community, who have worked together to ensure the success of this innovative project.”

As stated by Agricultural Region MLC Shelley Payne:

“The transition to electric power in Esperance represents a significant milestone for the town, ushering in cheaper energy prices for households and businesses and positioning the community for a renewable energy future.

“I want to thank the people of Esperance for embracing this opportunity and working with Horizon Power to effect what is a significant change in the way their power is delivered.

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