Victorian Gas Deregulation - The Next Tranche!

01 Aug 2001Archived News Climate Change Matters

On September 1, all Victorian consumers who use between 5,000 and 10,000 GJ of gas pa will be eligible to enter contestable contracts. But, as with all deregulation processes, there are a few traps for the un-prepared.

 

Firstly, the Office of the Regulator General (ORG) has approved a series of deemed contracts along with stapled tariffs. These contracts effectively provide a safety net. Consumers are free to remain on this safety net, but there is no right of return, nor does it apply to new connections.

Secondly, there are metering costs. At the moment there is no commonly agreed process to settle contestable gas accounts that do not have interval meters. This is an additional cost that will have to be incurred by customers who enter into a negotiated contract with anybody but their franchise retailer. (It is envisaged that a suitable process to deal with this will be introduced with Full Retail Contestability).

Thirdly, don't take the first offer. Check to make sure that you are on the most appropriate deemed tariff and then compare several offers both in terms of price and risk exposure. (Particularly uplift payments). As we approach summer, gas demand is likely to be low and gas prices are not expected to rise. So time is on your side.

Most importantly, in the absence of real savings, think carefully about leaving the safety net.

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