Gas is an important energy resource for New South Wales. It fuels domestic and industrial needs and is playing an increasingly significant role as a fuel source for electricity generation.
NSW is unique among the mainland states of Australia with no commercially viable reserves of natural gas within its borders or in adjacent waters at this time. Gas supplies for NSW are sourced from the Cooper Basin in South Australia and from Victoria. Small amounts of coal seam methane are sourced from reserves located around Sydney.
NSW Trade & Investment regulates and monitors policy and legislation affecting the New South Wales gas sector including gas markets, transmission pipelines and distribution networks. It also works with industry in identifying and proposing solutions to future strategic issues which may affect the gas industry and consumers.
What is gas?
The term 'gas' usually encompasses hydrocarbon-based products that occur both naturally or as a by-product of oil refining. It includes natural gas, coal seam methane and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).
Natural gas and coal seam methane occur naturally and consist mainly of methane and are reticulated, or piped, to your home or business.
LPG is produced as a by-product of oil refining and can be either supplied in cylinders or piped to your home or business. LPG is also used as an alternative to petrol for motor vehicles. LPG is a mix of propane and butane with the ratios adjusted for specific uses.
Household appliances use either natural gas or LPG. Different burners are needed in appliances for the two types of gas, and appliances can be converted to use either natural gas or LPG. However, all gas installations and conversions must be carried out by a licensed gasfitter.
For safety reasons, gas has a distinctive smell. If the smell of gas is noticed, then this should be reported to your network operator or a licensed gasfitter.
Automotive LPG cannot be safely used in domestic appliances.
Benefits of gas
Gas is an efficient, safe, clean-burning energy source, and has environmental benefits over coal-fired electricity.
The energy we use at home is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions from Australian households. The average household's energy use is responsible for about eight tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2, the main greenhouse gas) per year.
Changing from electricity to gas for applications such as water heating, space heating and cooking could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a factor of four.