First, the good news.
Gas supplies on Australia’s east coast are looking good for 2020, compared to the shortfall which marked the gas market in 2019.
The price of gas is likely to remain stable. Being a major source of electricity generation should help stabilise energy prices.
This update from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has led the Federal Treasurer to comment that gas prices next year are expected to be cheaper than this year.
The bad news?
High gas prices remain a concern for commercial and industrial gas users, particularly in the southern states where there isn’t enough gas being produced.
According to the ACCC, “What would most relieve price pressures is developing new low-cost supply in the southern states.”
The ponderous path of energy reform continues.
The ACCC wants greater operational efficiency and transparency in the gas market and is promising to investigate contributing supply chain factors, including gas transport and storage.
Meanwhile, the Treasurer says he is chipping into the reform process by bringing forward the scheduled review of the Australian Domestic Gas Security Mechanism (ADGSM) to this year. He is also considering options to establish a prospective national gas reservation scheme and continuing reforms through the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Energy Council.
It’s hoped these will improve transparency from gas producers and LNG exporters on prices, reserves and resources, and provide a comprehensive review of pipeline regulation.
If this is true, it’s more good news for seniors struggling with high energy prices.
National Seniors Australia fought hard to get a default offer with a regulated price for electricity, and to retain the Energy Supplement for new pensioners as part of our energy affordability campaign.
Thanks to our members and campaign supporters, we’ve made significant inroads.
But there’s more to be done – and we need your help.
Add your voice to the cause, and fight for a fair go for all Australians.