On 1 July 2017, retail gas prices in NSW were deregulated. This had implications for a small proportion of NSW households and businesses who were on contracts with regulated gas prices. This is where the retailer agrees the gas price with the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART). Regulated price plans are not a cap and it does not prevent gas prices from rising when the cost of gas rises. It may not be the lowest price on offer in the market.

From 1 July 2017, IPART no longer agrees a regulated price with retailers. IPART is now responsible for monitoring the performance and competitiveness of the retail market annually.

For more than 8 in 10 NSW households and businesses, retail gas price deregulation did not have any impact as those customers have already switched away from a regulated retail price to what’s called a market price. This is where the energy retailer sets their own prices for gas. In fact, for these customers, there is now increased scrutiny of all offers in the market by IPART. This is in addition to current work by the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission to look at gas prices.

Retail gas price deregulation does not change how you look for a better deal or your consumer protections.

How do I look for a better gas deal?

  1. Find your latest gas bill
    1. Your latest gas bill will be a useful guide when discussing your gas usage and allow you to compare the available plans. Have your postcode handy and be ready to answer questions about your household or small business gas usage.
  2. Visit www.energymadeeasy.gov.au
    1. This independent price comparison tool is provided by the Australian Energy Regulator. It allows consumers to compare energy offers on the market in their local area. Enter your postcode and use your latest bill to answer questions about your gas usage. The tool will generate a comparison of energy deals based on your history so you can see which deal is the best for you. You can also call the Australian Energy Regulator on 1300 585 165 to guide you through the process.
  3. Make your choice
    1. Download the Energy Price Factsheet for offers that appeal to you. Pick up the phone and call your gas retailer and their competitors to discuss available options, offers and discounts. Your preferred retailer will walk you through the steps of signing up for a new deal.

    Click here for more frequently asked questions about retail gas price deregulation.

    About the change

    Following increased competition in the retail gas market, the NSW Government announced that retail gas prices will no longer be regulated. This commenced on 1 July 2017.

    In close consultation with industry and stakeholders, the government has worked hard to improve competition in the regional gas market, and is satisfied that this has been achieved.

    Barriers to entry in the regional gas market were examined in 2015-16 by a working group of industry and stakeholders, which prompted increased competition in a number of regions since deregulation of retail gas prices was first considered in 2015. For more information on the actions and outcomes from the working group, click here.

    There are now more retailers and gas plans for customers to choose from in these regional areas, with one or more new retailers entering the market in various locations.

    In June 2016, the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) published its Final Report for the 2016 Retail Competition Review which found that “there is sufficient competition in the New South Wales retail gas market for customers to benefit from the removal of retail price regulation from 1 July 2017”.

    Households and small businesses can continue to buy gas under standard contracts and market contracts.

    Just like with electricity, retail gas price deregulation promotes greater competition in the market, encouraging more retailers to operate in NSW and offer a range of gas deals. More than 80 percent of households and small businesses have already moved off the regulated pricing and onto a market or standard contract.

    To ensure that the retail gas market continues to operate effectively, the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal’s (IPART) role has been expanded to monitor retail gas prices.

    IPART will report annually on the findings of its market monitoring work. The AEMC will also continue to undertake annual reviews of gas and electricity market competition conditions.