The ACT Government is proposing changes to the Territory Plan that will allow for the trial of all-electric energy to approximately 350 homes in Stage 1 of Ginninderry Estate.

Draft Variation 356 will make the provision of gas utility services to blocks in Stage 1 of Ginninderry Estate optional rather than a mandatory requirement.

The proposed changes will allow the pilot project of about 350 homes to assess whether they are efficient and cost effective without gas.

This will be evaluated in terms of customer experience and energy use. The homes will be highly sustainable and will become energy generators in their own right.

ACT Minister for Planning and Land Management, Mick Gentleman, said, “For future residents, this trial will mean access to affordable housing, diverse and sustainable design and savings to energy costs.”

Given the increasing supply and affordability of renewable energy sources, mandating the provision of gas is not consistent with the vision of the West Belconnen Structure Plan.

“The Ginninderry Estate Development is at the forefront of energy system design in Australia. This trial will mean higher design and insulation standards set for other developments in the ACT which will bring advances in sustainability, more affordable living and greater customer choice,” Mr Gentleman said.

The proposed changes also support the ACT Government’s commitment to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The trial will be assessed following a reasonable time period to ensure it meets consumer needs and grid security requirements.

This will include testing capacity and function in a range of climate conditions.

The trial will also ensure higher design and insulation standards are set for any future proposals.

Affordable sustainable living has been highlighted in this development with the ambitious vision to create a place underpinned by leading-edge design and development practices.

Consultation on this draft variation is open until 2 June 2018. 

Charlotte Pordage is Editor of Utility magazine, a position she has held since November 2018. She joined the team as an Associate Editor in October 2017, after sharpening her writing and editing skills across a range of print and digital publications. Charlotte graduated from Royal Holloway, University of London, in 2011 with joint honours in English and Latin. When she's not putting together Australia's only dedicated utility magazine, she can usually be found riding her horse or curled up with a good book.

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