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AGNB1/1 Bulletin no 1 - General information

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Australian Gas Networks Bulletin no 1 - General information

Australian Gas Networks (AGN) is one of Australia‘s largest natural gas distribution companies. In South Australia, AGN supplies natural gas through distribution networks of over 8000 km to more than 448,000 customers. As the owner of a monopoly natural gas distribution network in South Australia, AGN is subject to economic regulation by the Commission and the Australian Energy Regulator (AER).

The majority of the economic regulatory requirements placed on AGN are administered by the AER and contained in the national gas legislation and the National Energy Consumer Framework (NECF), which provide mechanisms for the regulation of prices and for consumer protections. However, under the Australian Energy Market Agreement (AEMA), the South Australian Government has retained responsibility for developing standards to ensure network security and reliability (jurisdictional service reliability standards). This responsibility has been non-exclusively delegated to the Commission. The Commission administers this responsibility through its powers and functions under the Gas Act 1997 (Gas Act) and the ESC Act, which operate alongside the national gas legislation and the NECF.

The Commission regulates AGN’s gas distribution operations in South Australia through the provision, administration and enforcement of a licensing regime, which is supported by industry codes. The Commission’s regulatory instruments that apply to AGN’s natural gas distribution operations are its Gas Distribution Licence, Gas Distribution Code, Gas Metering Code, Gas Industry Guideline No. 1 and Energy Industry Guideline No. 4.

In addition, and pursuant to Schedule 3 of its gas distribution licence, AGN is approved to operate a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) distribution network in the Mount Barker, Littlehampton and Nairne area. The approved LPG distribution network is subject to the requirements of Australian Gas Networks Limited's Gas Distribution Licence and the requirements of the Reticulated LPG Industry Code (as amended from time to time). AGN is required to report to the Commission in accordance with Guideline No 5 - Regulatory reporting requirements for small-scale networks, with respect to its LPG network. 

Currently, the Commission’s regulatory framework does not establish jurisdictional service reliability standards in the form of performance targets. The instruments applying to AGN contain requirements that are specific to South Australia, and in addition to the national regulatory framework requirements.

AGN is also regulated by other bodies such as the Office of the Technical Regulator and Australian Energy Market Operator. The Commission works closely with those bodies but is not responsible for those other regulatory requirements or outcomes.

 

AGNB2/1 Bulletin no 2 - Licensing requirements

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Australian Gas Networks Bulletin no 2 - Licensing requirements

The Commission is responsible for administering the licensing regime that applies to gas entities, as established in the Gas Act 1997. It is responsible for issuing, varying or transferring licences to participants in the gas supply industry where those participants engage in the:

  • operation of a distribution system, or
  • retailing of gas.

Section 19 of the Gas Act 1997 requires gas entities to secure a licence to provide the above operations to South Australian consumers. An application for a gas licence must be made to the Commission, complying with the following requirements: 

  • in a form approved by the Commission 
  • contain the information specified in the form  
  • payment of an application fee, as reasonable costs for determining the application, and 
  • any relevant information that the Commission requires with respect to the licence application.

The Commission has published resources for entities wishing to apply for a new, transferred, or varied gas licence. These reference documents set out the process and requirements to apply for a licence, issued by the Commission, pursuant to the Act. 

Information on licensing requirements for gas entities can be accessed at the Licence applications page.

AGNB3/1 Bulletin no 3 - Regulatory obligations

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Australian Gas Networks Bulletin no 3 - Regulatory obligations

 

Australian Gas Networks has ongoing compliance obligations in respect of its gas distribution operations. As a condition of its gas distribution licence, Australian Gas Networks is required to comply with the following regulatory instruments:

  • Gas Act 1997
  • Gas Regulations 2012
  • Gas Distribution Licence
  • Gas Distribution Code
  • Gas Metering Code
  • Reticulated LPG Industry Code (LPG network only)

The Commission expects that licensees have, and rigorously adhere to, a sound and robust compliance system. Licensees are expected to regularly examine, identify and comply with all obligations that apply to their licenced operations. 

The sections that follow summarise the types of obligations Australian Gas Networks must comply with. 

 
Gas Act 1997 and Regulations
  • Requirement for licence
  • Licence fees and returns
  • Offence to contravene licence conditions
  • Transfer of licence
  • Surrender of licence
  • Seizure and dismantling of gas infrastructure
  • Temporary gas rationing
  • Minister's power to require information or documents
  • Gas officers
  • Power to carry out work on public land
  • Power to enter for purposes related to gas entity's infrastructure
  • Disconnection of supply if entry refused
  • Technical and safety requirements related to infrastructure 
  • Reporting of accidents
  • Power to make infrastructure or installation safe
  • Power to require information or documents
  • Obstruction
  • False or misleading information
AGN gas distribution licence
  • Notify a material breach of regulatory instrument 
  • Unfit or unable to continue operations
  • Compliance with applicable regulatory instruments
  • Compliance with good gas industry practice
  • Audits
  • Information to the Commission
  • Safety, Reliability, Maintenance and Technical Management Plan
  • Customer concessions and community service obligations
  • Confidentiality
Gas distribution code
  • Operation of distribution system
  • Maintain capability of distribution system
  • Preconditions to connection
  • Reconnection after disconnection
Gas metering code

  • Providing copy of the Code
  • Provision of metering installations
  • Meter installation testing
  • Meter reading data
  • Gas Measurement Management Plan
Reticulated LPG industry code (LPG network only)

  • General obligations
  • Supply 
  • Metering 
  • Billing and payment 
  • Disconnection and reconnection

Further guidance on the regulatory framework applying to small-scale gas networks is available on the Commission’s website.

AGNB4/1 Bulletin no 4 - Reporting requirements

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Australian Gas Networks Bulletin no 4 - Reporting requirements

Australian Gas Networks has ongoing monitoring and reporting obligations. As a condition of licence, Australian Gas Networks is required to report in accordance with the following regulatory instruments:

Guideline No 1 – Regulatory information requirements distribution system 
Guideline No 4 – Compliance systems and reporting
Guideline No 5 – Regulatory reporting requirements for small-scale networks

The Commission places a strong emphasis on licensees constantly monitoring performance, outcomes, and trends. 
AGN is expected to regularly examine, identify, report on, and explain performance outcomes, to provide greater transparency to consumers and stakeholders. 

Key dates for AGN’s regulatory reporting each year are shown below.

Natural gas distribution network
Date Reporting requirement Guideline
Within 3 business days of becoming aware of the breach Material compliance report No 4 - Compliance systems and reporting
31 January Quarterly report (October - December) No 1 - Regulatory information requirements
30 April Quarterly report (January - March) No 1 - Regulatory information requirements
30 June Request for alternate sign-off arrangements No 4 - Compliance systems and reporting
31 August Annual compliance report
Annual operational report
No 4 - Compliance systems and reporting
No 1 - Regulatory information requirements
31 October Quarterly report (July - September)  No 1 - Regulatory information requirements

LPG gas distribution network

Date Reporting requirement Guideline
31 August Annual return
Certificate of insurance
No 5 - Small-scale networks
As soon as reasonably practicable Material service issue report No 5 - Small-scale networks
Within 3 business days of becoming aware of the breach Material compliance breach report No 5 - Small-scale networks
Within 30 days of the change occurring Change in office holders or major shareholders  No 5 - Small-scale networks

When completed, reports and supporting information must be submitted to the Commission via email to reporting@escosa.sa.gov.au.  Alternatively, access to a secure file sharing application can be provided each year on request. 

The sections that follow summarise the types of reporting requirements small-scale gas networks must comply with. 

Guideline No 1 - Regulatory information requirements distribution system

Gas Industry Guideline No 1 requires Australian Gas Networks to monitor and report quarterly on several metrics. This reporting regime provides transparency over key areas of Australian Gas Networks’ service and reliability, and establishes a basis for future performance benchmarking (if required). The three performance indicators, and supporting metrics are:

Responsiveness to the leaks and emergencies telephone number:

  • total number of telephone calls received on the leaks and emergencies number
  • total number (and percentage) of telephone calls to the leaks and emergencies number answered within 30 seconds, and
  • average answer time (in seconds) for calls to the leaks and emergencies number.

Responsiveness to public reporting of gas leaks:

  • total number of potential gas leaks reported by the public
  • total number of high priority gas leaks reported by the public
  • total number of other gas leaks reported by the public
  • percentage of gas leak reports by the public attended within the timeframes in AGN's Leakage Management Plan, and
  • total number of publicly reported potential gas leaks where no leak was found.

Trends in unplanned interruptions:

  • Customers experiencing multiple interruptions – the number of customers that have two or more interruptions within a year where the interruption is unplanned and caused by operator actions, third party damage or asset condition.
  • Customers experiencing long duration interruptions – the number of events within a year where a gas supply is not restored within 12 hours and where the interruption is unplanned and caused by operator actions, third party damage or asset condition. 

Reporting proformas and sign-off requirements are detailed in the guideline. Australian Gas Networks should ensure the correct proforma is used and that reports are approved and signed per the guideline requirements. 

 
Guideline No 4 - Compliance systems and reporting

The Commission adopts a multi-tiered approach to compliance reporting, based on a risk assessment of obligations arising under applicable regulatory instruments (for example, the Gas Act, Regulation and gas distribution licence). 

The Commission expects that Australian Gas Networks will monitor compliance with all regulatory obligations throughout the year and resolve any potential non-compliances as they arise. However, the Commission only requires reporting on these regulatory obligations as follows:

Material breach compliance reports must be provided to the Commission in the form set out in Guideline No.1.  If Australian Gas Networks breaches a Type 1 obligation (as prescribed in Guideline No. 4), or an obligation that the Commission or licensee otherwise considers to be “material”, a report must be provided as soon as the Australian Gas Networks becomes aware of the breach and, in any event, no later than 3 days after becoming aware that the breach has occurred.

Annual compliance reports must be provided to the Commission by 31 August of each reporting year, in respect of all regulatory obligations in the form set out in Energy Guideline No. 4. Australian Gas Networks is required to warrant to the Commission, the accuracy of information contained in its annual compliance report.

Reporting proformas and sign-off requirements are detailed in the guideline. Australian Gas Networks should ensure the correct proforma is used and that reports are approved and signed per the guideline requirements. 

Australian Gas Networks may request an alternate sign-off arrangements. This request must be received by 30 June in the relevant reporting year. Requests may be submitted to compliance@escosa.sa.gov.au using the form available below. 

 
Guideline No 5 - Regulatory reporting requirements for small-scale networks (LPG network only)

Guideline No. 5 - Regulatory reporting requirements for small-scale networks, has been developed to support the implementation of the Commission’s VTA regulatory approach.

Australian Gas Networks is required to provide an annual return, which must contain the following information:

  • a list of office holders
  • connection and customer numbers
  • number of customers on flexible payment arrangements
  • number of customers receiving a concession toward their energy or water bill
  • number of customers registered as life support customers
  • identification of any material changes to operations
  • information on all licensee compliance breaches in the preceding 12 months
  • information on all licensee material service issues in the preceding 12 months, and
  • a signed statement of assurance confirming that it is complying with its obligations

In addition, Australian Gas Networks must also: 

  • provide information to the Commission, as soon as reasonably practicably, in relation to any material service issue that arises
  • notify the Commission if it commits a material breach of an applicable law or industry code, a material compliance breach, within 3 business days of becoming aware of that breach
  • notify the Commission in writing of any changes to its officer holders and major shareholders (if applicable) within 30 business days of that change occurring, and
  • provide as part of its annual return a current certificate of insurance certifying that the required insurance is
  • adequate and appropriate given the nature of the licensed operations (if applicable).

Reporting proformas and sign-off requirements are detailed in the guideline. Australian Gas Networks should ensure the correct proforma is used and that reports are approved and signed per the guideline requirements. 

Further guidance on the regulatory framework applying to small-scale gas networks is available on the Commission’s website.

 

Please refer to Guideline No 1 – Regulatory information requirements distribution system, Guideline No 4 - Compliance systems and reporting and Guideline No 5 – Regulatory Reporting Requirements for small-scale networks, for further information. 

Completed reports must be submitted to the Commission via email to reporting@escosa.sa.gov.au.  Alternatively, access to a secure file sharing application can be provided each year on request.  

 

 

AGNB5/1 Bulletin no 5 - Templates

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Australian Gas Networks Bulletin no 5 - Templates

Completed reports must be submitted to the Commission via email to reporting@escosa.sa.gov.au.  
Alternatively, access to a secure file sharing application can be provided each year on request.

Completed forms must be submitted to the Commission via email to compliance@escosa.sa.gov.au
Alternatively, access to a secure file sharing application can be provided each year on request.