The removal of retail gas price regulation will promote greater competition in the market, and place downward pressure on the cost of living. More retailers competing for your business means that you have greater control over your gas bill.

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

    The NSW Government is keeping a close eye on retail prices and has appointed the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) as the gas market monitor. IPART will report annually on competition in the market and keep an eye on retail gas prices. If IPART identifies retailer behaviour that is not consistent with an effective market, the Minister for Energy and Utilities can request an in-depth special review of retailer behaviour and pricing.

    Previously, AGL, ActewAGL and Origin Energy were required to offer regulated prices which were agreed with the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART). With deregulated retail gas prices, all gas retailers set their own prices, as they do already for their market contracts. The only thing that changed is that AGL, ActewAGL and Origin Energy are no longer required to offer a regulated price.

    The monitoring of both the electricity and gas market will give the NSW Government advanced warning of any changes in competition. This allows the Government to act to ensure customers continue to benefit from a competitive market.

    Households and small businesses are supplied gas under one of the following types of contracts:

    • Transitional contract – customers who were previously on a regulated contract and had not signed up for market or standard contract by 1 July 2017, were automatically placed on a transitional contract. This pricing is set by individual gas providers. It will be in effect through to 30 June 2018 for small businesses and 30 June 2019 for households. Customers may change at any time from a transitional contract to a standard or market contract with no exit fee.
    • Standard contract – all retailers are required to offer customers a standard price offer. These prices are set by the retailer and can only vary once every 6 months and retailers have to adhere to a robust set of customer protection rules. The terms and conditions of these contracts are set in legislation. These contracts have no end date.
    • Market contract – any retailer can offer customers gas priced under a market offer. The price is generally set by the retailer and often the contract period is fixed, but the retailer may offer incentives such as pay on time discounts or levy charges such as exit fees. Prices under a market contract can change at any time, so long as the retailer notifies the customer in line with the national energy rules and it is in accordance with the contract.

    Most households and small businesses have already switched to a standard or market contract. If you have not signed up to a gas contract with a fixed-term period, discount or other incentive, then you have likely been on a regulated contract, which moved to a transitional contract on 1 July 2017.

    AGL, ActewAGL and Origin Energy were the only retailers in NSW who offered regulated contracts. However, just because you are with one of these retailers does not mean that you are on a transitional contract – most customers are not and these retailers also offer the full range of contracts, along with other gas retailers.

    If you are unsure what kind of contract you have, you can phone your gas retailer to find out. The transitional offer retailers, their supply area and phone numbers are:


    Supply Area

    Phone Number


    Sydney, Wollongong, Newcastle, Dubbo, Orange, Parkes and parts of the Riverina region

    131 245


    NSW/ACT border and South East NSW including the Shoalhaven

    13 18 86

    Origin Energy

    Albury, Murray Valley area, Wagga Wagga and Tamworth area

    13 24 61

    If your gas retailer is not on this list, then you have already changed to a standard or market contract. Call your gas retailer to find out more information about your current plan.

    If you were supplied gas at the regulated price but didn’t get around to choosing a new plan by 1 July 2017, don’t worry. You have been automatically placed on a transitional price. This is a two-year pricing agreement for households, and a one-year pricing agreement for small businesses. This price agreement gives you time to shop around and choose a gas plan that suits your needs. Customers can choose to move to a new offer at any time with no exit fee.

    To shop around and find the best deal for your, visit the Australian Energy Regulator’s free, independent price comparison website to compare gas plans in your area

    Customers who had already moved to a market price were not affected by retail gas price deregulation.

    Please contact your retailer for more information about their transitional price plan.

    Existing customer protection measures did not change when retail gas price regulation was removed.

    Customers still have access to the NSW Gas Rebate, Energy Accounts Payment Assistance (EAPA) scheme, hardship programs, and payment plans. There are also protections around disconnection.

    All of these protections will remain unchanged.

    Option 1: Do nothing.

    On 1 July 2017, changes for customers who were still on the regulated price plan happened automatically. The transitional price is a two year price agreement for households and one year for small businesses to provide time for you to investigate your options. Customers can choose to move to a new offer at any time with no exit fee. At the end of the transitional period, any remaining customers will be transferred to a standing offer with the same retailer.

    Option 2: Shop around for a better deal.

    Retailers offer a variety of contracts. Some might have discounts for paying bills on time or fixed monthly prices. Like any market, different products will offer different benefits and prices. You should review the details of the offer before signing up.

    To guide you through the process, the Australian Energy Regulator runs a free, impartial, easy to use website and call centre to help you make a decision to suit your needs: or call 1300 585 165.

    You can shop around for a new gas offer at any time.

    We have undertaken work with ActewAGL Retail and Distribution, AGL, Jemena Gas Networks, and the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) to remove barriers to competition in the Shoalhaven region.

    The removal of regulatory barriers to competition in this region was finalised on 5 April 2017, opening the Shoalhaven region to retail gas contestability for the first time. We expect new retailers to enter the Shoalhaven region in late 2017.

    The NSW Government offers a number of rebates to help customers pay their energy bills. These rebates include:

    • Gas Rebate – to help eligible customers pay for their natural gas bills.
    • Low Income Household Rebate – for customers who hold eligible concession cards issued by the Federal Department of Human Services or the Department of Veterans Affairs.
    • Family Energy Rebate – available to customers who have received the Family Tax Benefit.
    • Life Support Rebate – for households where residents use certain medical equipment necessary to sustain life.
    • Medical Energy Rebate – for eligible customers how have a medically diagnosed inability to self-regulate body temperature when exposed to extremes of environmental temperatures.

    The NSW Government also funds the Energy Accounts Payment Assistance (EAPA) Scheme which helps people experiencing a short term financial crisis or emergency to pay their electricity or gas bill. The scheme helps people stay connected to essential energy services during a financial crisis. EAPA is administered by participating community welfare organisations.

    In addition to NSW Government assistance, retailers may offer customers flexible payment options, such as an extension on the bill due date, or other programs to help customers better manage their energy bills. Contact your retailer if you think you would benefit from one of these options.

    There are also protections in place regarding contract terms and conditions as well as rules around disconnections.

    Step one: find your latest gas bill

    Your latest gas bill will be a useful guide when discussing your gas usage and will 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.

    Step two: visit

    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.

    Step three: make your choice

    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.

    Changing retailers is an easy process. You can enter into a contract with a retailer in person, over the phone, by mail or by email.

    When you enter into a new contract, your new retailer must provide you with a copy of the contract and an Energy Price Fact Sheet. These will include details about:

    • the start date of the contract
    • prices, early termination fees, and billing and payment arrangements
    • your right to make complaints and instructions for who to contact
    • information about the cooling-off period.

    By law, you have a cooling-off period of 10 business days if you sign a new contract and you change your mind.

    When you enter a new contract, your existing contract is automatically cancelled and you will be sent a final bill from your old retailer. This process may take a few months from the time you enter a new contract as the transfer cannot occur until after your next meter reading.

    By law, you have a cooling-off period of 10 business days if you sign a new contract and you change your mind. This means you can cancel your new energy contract within the cooling-off period without having to pay any costs. You should take this time to carefully read through the contract. If you cancel during this period you will remain on your current plan.

    Some of the things you should consider when looking for a better gas deal include:

    • How does the tariff compare to your current arrangements? You should consider the service availability charge and whether you have a gas hot water service.
    • Are there any discounts that may be applied to the entire bill or parts of the bills?
    • Will the usage charge (cents per megajoule or c/MJ) or the fixed service charge (cents per day) change or are these fixed? Check which charges can change.
    • How long will the contract last? What happens when it ends?
    • Are there any fees to change the address?
    • What are the fees and charges? There may be a range of fixed fees and charges, including late payment fees and contract exit fees. In some cases, if you pay your bill late, you may not only lose any pay-on-time discount, but may also be charged a fee.

    Customers who are looking for advice on switching retailers can visit: or phone 1300 585 165.

    For more tips, visit the Energy and Water Ombudsman NSW (EWON).

    Importantly, it pays to shop around so you can compare prices and services. If you feel pressured by time, don't sign or agree to anything. You can tell the marketer you will get back to them after you have read and considered everything. Ask someone you trust or an independent advisor to review the contract terms before you agree or sign. If need be, you can contact the Financial Rights Legal Centre on 1800 007 007 for advice on contracts or a referral.

    You have rights under the Australian Consumer Law when a salesperson approaches you at your front door, over the phone or in a public place. These rights cover things such as:

    Any person selling you an energy contract must provide you with an Energy Price Fact Sheet. In addition, if a salesperson contacts you, they must tell you who they are and why they are contacting you.

    If the contact is in person, they must show you identification and leave your home or property if you ask them to.

    If you sign up to a new energy contract, the salesperson must give you a written copy of the sales agreement, inform you of your right to cancel the contract and the steps to do this, and not ask you to waive your right to cancel within the cooling off period.

    Salespeople for energy retailers cannot force or pressure you into signing up to an energy contract or to buy services you are not interested in.

    You can also ask to be placed on any energy retailer's 'do not contact' list which means they cannot contact you by email or in person at your home for the purpose of selling products.

    If you do not want to be contacted by door to door salespeople, you can also display a 'do not knock' sticker. These are available free of charge from:

    If you do not wish to be contacted by telephone salespeople, you can add your telephone number(s) to the Australian Communications and Media Authority's 'Do not call' register.

    If you think a salesperson who has contacted you has not met their legal requirements, try to remember any details provided (e.g. name) and the energy retailer they represent and contact the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's Infocentre on 1300 302 502.

    Further information is available at the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission website.

    The National Energy Retail Rules (Rules) also regulate energy marketing activities and are enforced by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER).

    The AER has a range of powers to deal with situations in which with retailers (and their marketers) are in breach of the Rules. These powers range from issuing financial penalties to revoking the retailer's legal authorisation to operate as an energy retailer.

    If you are currently on a transitional price agreement or a standing offer contract, there are no penalties for changing to a new contract or a new retailer.

    If you are currently on a market contract, there may be a contract exit fee (also known as an early termination fee) if you choose to leave your contract early. You are on a market contract if you have signed up for a gas contract with a fixed-term period, discount or other incentive.

    If you are unsure what type of contract you have, or whether an exit fee would apply to you, you can contact your retailer for help.

    If you need help regarding your current gas contract, such as what type of contract you have or what fees and charges you may owe, you should contract your current retailer.

    If you need information about available energy rebates or emergency assistance, please contact your retailer, or visit the NSW energy rebates web page.

    If you have a dispute with your retailer, you can contact the NSW Energy and Water Ombudsman (EWON) on 1300 246 545 or at

    For general information about energy in NSW, please phone Service NSW on 13 77 88 or visit