The Australian Energy Market Commission has initiated a rule change request from the COAG Energy Council to undertake a range of improvements to the regulation of covered gas pipelines.
The rule change request is consistent with many of the recommendations made in the AEMC’s recent review into the scope of economic regulation applied to covered pipelines to address concerns that customers may be paying more than necessary for gas pipeline services.
The suite of changes proposed in this request aims to help pipeline users negotiate lower prices and better terms for their gas transportation agreements.
Specifically, the proposed changes would make more pipeline services subject to access arrangements. Also, prices would be set at more efficient levels and contract terms would be more balanced. Additionally, the proposed rules would give regulators more oversight of a wider range of pipeline services, and allow all stakeholders, including pipeline users, to have more input into regulators’ decisions.
The Commission consulted extensively on the issues and recommendations contained within the rule change request through its recent review process. As a result, a fast track process will be used for this request, which means there will be no first round consultation.
This request will be fast tracked under the National Gas Law and a draft rule determination will be published on 6 December 2018.