Gas in Aotearoa

Gas, Now and Into the Future

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Natural gas has been a reliable, efficient and affordable energy source for Kiwis for over 50 years - and we believe it has a crucial role to play in New Zealand’s journey to zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Gas has been a reliable, efficient and affordable energy source for Kiwis for over 50 years

Today, natural gas provides 275,000 New Zealand homes1 with reliable, efficient gas for heating, cooking and endless hot showers, and powers over 18,0002 businesses and industrial users. LPG meets the energy needs of around 160,000 residential and 16,000 commercial users.

The cost of power is already high in New Zealand. Heating your home and hot water makes up around 63% of an average household energy bill3, and using natural gas instead of electricity is almost always cheaper4.

But, the future of energy is changing. Aotearoa is on a journey to help reduce global carbon emissions, aiming to reach net zero carbon by 2050 – and Firstgas Group is right behind this goal.

New Zealand homes provided with reliable, gas for heating, cooking and hot showers
businesses and industrial users powered
of an average household energy bill is heating home and hot water
net carbon emissions by the year 2050
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Moving to a Zero Carbon Future: It's a Team Effort

New Zealand’s energy sector needs to make some big changes if we want to reach net zero carbon emissions. Things like moving away from coal-generated power, shifting from fossil fuel vehicles and reducing emissions from agriculture.

But, the fact is, moving so many of our energy needs solely to electricity is going to put huge pressure on the electricity grid, and this will have a big impact on the cost and accessibility of power for Kiwis.

Moving to a zero carbon future: how gas can help

Studies show that electricity demand is likely to be more than double by 2050, requiring over a billion dollars-worth of upgrades to our national grid1. Transpower estimates the new generation capacity required in the next 15 years will be as much as was built in the last 40 years6. All of this comes at a cost. In fact, shifting to 100% renewable electricity for all our energy needs could see the cost of power increase by 40%7.

That’s where gas comes in.

How gas can help
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Gas can fill the gap in our energy supply

Right now, around 30% of gas produced in Aotearoa is used to make electricity8. It backs up our national grid when hydro lakes are low, the sun isn’t shining to charge solar panels or there’s not enough wind to power our wind farms. It’s also used when electricity demand is high – first thing in the morning and early evening, when everyone’s cooking, turning on their heat pumps and having hot showers.

Gas can fill the gap

If we continue to move towards electricity for our energy needs, we’ll need to depend even more on the reliability of gas – particularly as more and more kiwis start charging their electric vehicles. With 15 gas fields9 and 23 active oil and gas exploration permits across the country, there’s plenty of gas to do this.

So, while New Zealand builds its capacity to generate renewable electricity, we can use gas to fill the gap: maintaining our energy supply and keeping costs down by reducing the need for electricity network upgrades.

9. MBIE Natural Gas Data Tables

Find out how
AR edit min

Gas is more than a short term fix

But gas isn’t just a short term fix. Renewable energy doesn’t only come through electricity networks – it can also be delivered through our gas pipelines in the form of biogas and green hydrogen as well as bottled bioLPG.

Gas is more than a short term fix

Firstgas Group has been working on zero carbon gas alternatives for some time now. We’re on our way to being able to deliver a 20% hydrogen and natural gas blend through our existing pipelines from 2030, and plan to move to 100% hydrogen from 2035. Studies on bringing use of biogas and bioLPG to our users are also advanced

The plan? To use natural gas in the short term to support New Zealand’s growing demand for electricity and to keep power prices down – while continuing to develop our zero carbon gas alternatives in the background.

For Kiwi homes, businesses and industry, it potentially means a lower cost pathway to a zero carbon energy future10. For Aoteoroa, it means the reliability and diversity of more than one renewable energy option; which is good for everyone.

10. Firstgas New Zealand

Our plan
HA min