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Alinta fights back against Kleenheat
The West Australian

The number of customers switching from Alinta Energy to Kleenheat Gas for natural gas has slowed in recent months but the market entrant insists its program is on track.

Wesfarmers-owned Kleenheat has captured less than 3 per cent of the residential market since launching the service about nine months ago.

The service provider is nearing 16,000 customers from a market of 600,000 between Geraldton and Busselton, up about 1000 since September.

Kleenheat general manager natural gas Mark Gadsby said slower growth had been expected over summer. "Things are going pretty well," he said. "It's still early days."

He also blamed Alinta targeting Kleenheat customers with discount offers. "They're not making this offer specifically available to their whole customer base," Mr Gadsby said.

"We think they've gone through if not all of our customer base then the vast majority of it.

"We think our approach is fairer in contrast to Alinta, who seem to be selectively offering savings only to win back customers."

Alinta declined to comment.

Mr Gadsby said Kleenheat continued to offer a price that was 10 per cent below Alinta's standard tariff.

Kleenheat responded to Alinta's tactics before Christmas by offering to double the discount to existing customers who persuaded family and friends to switch from Alinta.

In Perth, 50 per cent of Kleenheat's customers are found in the southern suburbs.

The northern suburbs account for 30 per cent, 12 per cent in the east and 8 per cent in the west.

Mr Gadsby talked up the uptake by small businesses, saying they would collectively save $1 million over one year compared with the standard regulated business tariff. "We think that's pretty significant and worth crowing about," he said.

Customers include seafood restaurant operator Cicerellos and Princi Small Goods. Crown Perth is among Kleenheat's industrial and commercial clients.

Mr Gadsby said there were no plans to extend Kleenheat's natural gas service region interstate.

"Our focus is fairly and squarely on the WA market," he said. Rich history 1950s When Wesfarmers set up Kleenheat to distribute liquefied petroleum gas and gas appliances to rural WA. Source: Wesfarmers