The NSW Liberals and Nationals Government will promote further competition in the retail gas market for households and small businesses across the South Coast by deregulating prices from July 1, 2017 said Member for South Coast, Shelley Hancock.
More than 80 per cent of the state’s 1.3 million residential gas customers have already switched away from the regulated price.
“Our successful deregulation of retail electricity prices has boosted competition in the market, put downward pressure on prices and we now want to see those benefits further replicated across the retail gas market,” Mrs Hancock said.
“Last year we signaled our intention to deregulate retail gas prices, subject to there being a significant increase in offers available to customers in regional NSW.
“The NSW Government has worked with industry and stakeholders to improve competition in the regional gas market.”
Households in regional areas such as Wagga Wagga, Gundagai, Cooma, Temora, and the Albury/ Murray Valley area previously had only one retailer. Now residents can now choose from up to three retailers and up to three times the number of offers, depending on the area.
For example, a typical household in Wagga can save around $135 per year by switching away from the regulated offer, while a typical household in Queanbeyan can save around $165 per year.
“With increased competition in the market, householders should compare retailers and shop around for the best market offer that suits your needs,” Mrs Hancock said.
The NSW Government will consult with key consumer groups to develop an information campaign to support NSW gas retail customers shop around for the best deal for their circumstances.
The NSW Government will appoint the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) to a market- monitoring role with gas, as it already does for the retail electricity market. IPART will conduct annual reviews to monitor and report on the state of competition in the market.
A draft report by IPART found competition in the NSW retail electricity market is working well, following the removal of regulated prices from 1 July 2014.
IPART’s Review of the Performance and Competitiveness of the Retail Electricity Market in NSW 2015-16 draft report competition in the NSW retail electricity market is working well, following the removal of regulated prices 1 July 2014.
IPART found typical residential customers can save between $250 and $445 per year by switching from their retailer’s standing offer to their best market offer. Small business customers can save between $460 and $850 per year.
The Australian Energy Market Commission will continue to monitor the state of competition in the electricity and gas markets.
Mrs Hancock encouraged gas customers to visit the Australian Energy Regulator’s (AER) free and independent price comparison website www.energymadeeasy.gov.au to compare retail gas offers in their area.
The NSW Government also has a $90 Gas Rebate available to eligible customers. For more information visit www.resourcesandenergy.nsw.gov.au/rebates
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