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Millions of Australians will be slugged thousands to connect their homes and businesses to natural gas as part of one state’s plan to halve carbon emissions. 

Victoria’s Essential Services Commission has proposed new rules that will require homes to pay $2,500 and businesses $31,000 to connect to the network. 

The cost of connecting homes to the gas network depends on where the property is located but the average upfront cost is between $1,778 and $2,378. 

The price balloons for commercial and industrial properties with business owners to pay between $7,111 and $30,993 to connect to the network. 

The rules will replace current ones that allow for network connections to be paid back over a period of time through charges on utility bills. 

Millions of Australians will be forced to cough up thousands to connect their homes and businesses to natural gas (stock image)

Millions of Australians will be forced to cough up thousands to connect their homes and businesses to natural gas (stock image)

The ESC says the plan will bring the industry into line with electricity and water connections which can cost new homeowners between $600 and $2,400.

The state’s energy regulator says this will also cap new investments into the gas network – forcing customers to pay back even more. 

Victoria is on a mission to halve carbon emissions by 2030 and is limiting any further growth of the gas network to reduce the gas assets that need to be paid off.  

Industry experts say people with lower incomes who can’t afford to convert to electricity will be the ones who cop the costs, with gas providers given the green light to charge an extra $333million over five years. 

The transition from gas to electricity comes amid modelling showing electricity prices had soared by more than 50 per cent in one year.

It comes after new homes that require a planning permit after January 1, 2024 were banned from connecting to gas as the state moves towards electric power. 

Any new public buildings which are yet to reach design stages by the cut off date – including schools, police stations and hospitals – must be entirely electric.

The Allan government hopes the transition will shave up to $1,000 from household electricity bills each year with hopes it will also lead to cash savings. 

Daniel Wild, Deputy Executive Director of the Institute of Public Affairs, previously told Daily Mail Australia the changes were a ‘direct attack on Victorian families who are facing the ever-increasing dilemma between whether to heat or eat’.

Victoria's energy regulator as proposed new rules that will require homes to pay $2,500 and businesses to pay $31,000 to connect to the gas network (stock image)

Victoria’s energy regulator as proposed new rules that will require homes to pay $2,500 and businesses to pay $31,000 to connect to the gas network (stock image)

‘Gas bills for Victorian families have increased by 50 per cent… This price rise is by far the largest increase of any state, and more than double the national average.’

Mr Wild said it would be ‘misleading’ to blame the Russian invasion of Ukraine for the price hikes – as the Victorian Energy Minister has done in the past.

‘Her government has no one else to blame for out-of-control gas price rise but themselves, which has been more reckless than any other state in banning the development of this vital resource,’ he said.

‘Banning the use of gas is fundamentally out of step with community expectations and is another example of the ever-growing intrusion of the Victorian Government into the day-to-day lives of families.’

In July, Victorian Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio proclaimed it was ‘time to put gas on the backburner’ in the wake of massive price hikes due to the invasion of Ukraine.

New data recently revealed struggling Victorians are increasingly relying on government energy bill relief grants amid the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

Earlier this year, prominent think tank the Grattan Institute suggested state and territory governments ban new natural gas connections to homes and businesses. 

Victoria is the first state to legislate such changes, and partially funds the institute. 

The Grattan report said Australia would fail to meet its net zero by 2050 carbon emissions target unless gas appliances were replaced with electric ones. 

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