New oversight arrangements for gas retail contracts

Monday 17 May 2010, 7:21PM
By Pansy Wong

Gas customers will benefit from new arrangements to help ensure that gas retailers' contracts meet the interests of small consumers, said Energy and Resources Associate Minister Pansy Wong today.


"I have approved recommendations put forward by the Gas Industry Company that will see a new voluntary scheme for gas retailers to benchmark their contracts with consumers," said Mrs Wong.  "I look forward to full gas retailer participation to ensure good practices are followed." 


The new scheme will feature:


  • outcome-based benchmark contract terms will be published to which retail gas supply contracts for small consumers should be aligned
  • an independent person contracted to Gas Industry Company will undertake annual assessments of the extent of alignment
  • summaries of these assessments will be published.


"The Government has been concerned that the long-term interests of small gas consumers are protected.  I thank the industry for the work completed on this scheme. These arrangements complement the new Electricity and Gas Complaints Commissioner Scheme, which now provides a service for the resolution of individual disputes on gas retail contract matters," said Mrs Wong.


"Both myself and the Minister of Consumer Affairs will be updated on the outcomes achieved by the Gas Industry Company.  Should this voluntary approach by the industry fall short of the Government's expectations to benefit consumers, then a regulated or partly regulated approach may be considered in the future."