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Media release

Energy Consumers Australia welcomes ACCC Report on gas market

Energy Consumers Australia today welcomed the release of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) Report into the East Coast Gas Market.

The report confirms the significant increase in prices for industrial, residential and small business consumers of gas is due to supply uncertainty, pipeline pricing and market inefficiency. It comes after a 12-month review by the ACCC.

Responding to the report, ECA today called on Australian governments through the COAG Energy Council to act quickly on the report’s recommendations.

“The prices industrial, residential and small business consumers on the East Coast paid for gas have increased significantly in the past five years.” Energy Consumers Australia CEO Rosemary Sinclair said.

“The ACCC report found that the development of an Australian LNG industry is changing the way domestic gas is priced. There are structural problems with the gas market that act as a brake on new investment and stand in the way of competition, which ultimately impacts consumers.

“The ACCC has uncovered evidence that some transmission pipeline operators are charging up to five times more than they would be able to for services under a regulated arrangement.”

Ms Sinclair said the ACCC Report gives further impetus to the COAG Energy Council’s Australian Gas Market Vision, a reform process it instigated last year.

“What we now need is coordinated action at a national level to address these issues and ensure industrial, residential and small business energy consumers are not paying more than they need to for their gas.