Wholesale gas prices are down but Aussies still pay too much

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If there’s one good thing to come from COVID, it’s the pandemic’s part in driving down gas prices in Australia.

The latest gas report by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) has revealed that gas prices fell significantly over the last year.

The ACCC has observed that wholesale gas prices fell from $8-14/GJ in 2019 to $6-8/GJ by mid-2020. Confused? The gist is that when it’s cheaper to buy gas, it’s cheaper to sell it, too.

This drop was thanks to record low oil and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) spot prices that were exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.

ACCC Chair, Rod Sims, has suggested that businesses could be set to benefit most from this news.

“The fall in gas prices is very welcome news for major gas users who, like many other Australian businesses, have faced enormous challenges in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

Despite a general downward trend in gas costs, whether or not that’s passed on to households is a different story.

In 2017, in response to irregularities in the market, the ACCC was tasked with monitoring the natural gas sector in Australia, and it has since published regular reports detailing gas price trends.

This report has found that regardless of lower wholesale prices, households are still paying more than export parity.

What does this mean? Well, export parity is the amount a gas supplier would expect to receive for the gas it plans to export overseas.

It should be higher than the price of selling to local suppliers, since there’s extra steps involved in preparing it for export.

So while yes, gas prices are lower, the ACCC has suggested they’re still not as low as they could be.

Gas savings easier to access than you think

While it doesn’t hurt to know about how gas is valued in the retail marketplace, Canstar Blue Editor-in-Chief, Simon Downes, has cautioned against relying too heavily on external forces to start seeing savings.

“Saving money on your gas bill doesn’t have to be complicated. You’re not in control of wholesale prices, so focus on what you can control – your plan,” he said.

“Every few months a new retailer is entering the market, offering more competitive rates for the same gas you use at home, so you’ll really want to know how your deal stacks up to competition.

“It only takes a few minutes to check up on the current value of your plan, and that few minutes can save you as much as hundreds a year.”

2021 Gas Deals

Gas Plans Compared in VIC

Here are some of the cheapest gas deals on our database for VIC. These estimated annual costs are based on the Australian Gas Network in Melbourne and yearly gas usage of 29,830MJ, but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. We show one product per retailer, listed in order of lowest estimated cost. This table includes products from referral partners†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

Gas Plans Compared in NSW

Here are some of the cheapest gas deals on our database for NSW. These estimated annual costs are based on the Jemena Gas Network in Sydney and yearly gas usage of 18,542MJ, but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. We show one product per retailer, listed in order of lowest estimated cost. This table includes products from referral partners†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

Gas Plans Compared in WA

Here are some of the cheapest gas deals on our database for WA. These estimated annual costs are based on the ATCO Network in Perth and yearly gas usage of 7,672 (units), but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. We show one product per retailer, listed in order of lowest estimated cost. This table includes products from referral partners†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

Gas Plans Compared in SA

Here are some of the cheapest gas deals on our database for SA. These estimated annual costs are based on the Australian Gas Network in Adelaide and yearly gas usage of 11,875MJ, but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. We show one product per retailer, listed in order of lowest estimated cost. This table includes products from referral partners†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

Gas Plans Compared in QLD

Here are some of the cheapest gas deals on our database for QLD. These estimated annual costs are based on the Australian Gas Network in Brisbane and yearly gas usage of 6,842MJ, but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. We show one product per retailer, listed in order of lowest estimated cost. This table includes products from referral partners†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

Image credit: Avigator Fortuner/Shutterstock.com

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