The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal of NSW (the Tribunal) regulates "default" retail tariffs for small gas customers (those using less than 1TJ per year or around $15,000 worth) who do not choose a negotiated contract. Voluntary Transitional Pricing Arrangements (VTPAs) agreed between the Tribunal and each of the standard gas suppliers expire on 30 June 2007. The Minister for Energy has requested the Tribunal to continue regulating default tariffs, and ensure either new VTPAs or a gas pricing order (under s27 of the Gas Supply Act 1996) to operate from 1 July 2007 to 30 June 2010.
In September 2006 the Tribunal invited submissions regarding the form of regulation to apply to the retail suppliers. The Tribunal is in favour of continuing to use VTPAs, and the submissions provided support for this approach.
The submissions raised a range of issues regarding the pricing arrangements that should be included in the VTPAs. Following consideration of the submissions, and discussions with the standard gas suppliers, the Tribunal has agreed draft VTPAs with each of the standard suppliers. The draft VTPAs are the same for each business, with the exception of the Murray Valley region supplied by Origin Energy (a maximum average price increase of CPI +2% per annum is proposed for the Murray Valley region, while a maximum average increase of CPI is proposed for other areas).
The Tribunal is inviting submissions on the draft VTPAs by Friday 11 May 2007.