East coast gas prices are too high, ACCC declares

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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has thrown down the gauntlet on gas producers, claiming price savings aren’t being passed down to consumers.

In a new report, the consumer watchdog found that at some points last year, retail gas prices were approximately 25 per cent above expected gas export prices for this year.

The ACCC estimates the average price east coast consumers are paying for gas at $9-$12 a gigajoule. This is in contrast to the gradual decline in average export costs resulting in prices of $7.50 a gigajoule by August 2019.

ACCC Chair, Rod Sims, has commented on the difference between gas prices offered to everyday Australians and their original export price.

“[It] is a concern for the ACCC and in 2020 we intend to now delve much deeper into the reasons why this is occurring,” he said.

Mr Sims also suggests that since August, ‘netback’, or export prices, have fallen even more.

“Average netback prices expected for 2020 have been under $7/GJ since November 2019, which is well below prices being offered to domestic buyers,” he said.

“We have been watching prices closely, and have observed instances where prices offered have included a fixed price component, on top of an LNG spot price linked component.”

The report also suggests that gas prices remained high for an extended time due to a prolonged period where supply was less than what it is today. Though the period of concern over gas supply still may not be over, as questions for the long-term supply of natural gas in southern states still looms.

In light of that, the report points the finger at natural gas producers to avoid the practice of ‘warehousing’, where development is deliberately delayed, holding gas back from the market and keeping prices high for consumers.

Can I still save on gas?

Whilst you can’t control the gas market, what you can do is make sure you’re on the cheapest gas deal available to you. Compare plans on our database below.

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 credits: Yevhen Prozhyrko/shutterstock.com

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