Review of Australian Gas Networks regulatory framework - draft decision

The Commission has made a Draft Decision on the review of its regulatory framework for Australian Gas Networks. 

The purpose of this review is to determine whether jurisdictional service reliability standards are required to ensure Australian Gas Networks is providing gas distribution services at the quality and reliability levels valued by customers. The review is also considering the effectiveness of each of the Commission’s Australian Gas Networks regulatory instruments, including: Australian Gas Networks’ Gas Distribution Licence, the Gas Metering Code, the Gas Distribution Code and the Gas Industry Guideline No. 1. 

The Draft Decision has three elements:

To continue the current arrangement of not setting jurisdictional service reliability standards in the form of performance targets 

The Commission will not set jurisdictional service reliability standards in the form of performance targets for Australian Gas Networks for the 2021 – 2026 regulatory period. This continues the current arrangement. The safety requirements prescribed by the Technical Regulator continue to deliver appropriate levels of network security and reliability, and customers are satisfied with Australian Gas Networks’ level of service. 

To maintain the current monitoring and reporting regime

The Commission will retain the current monitoring and reporting regime. The regime requires AGN to monitor and report quarterly on several metrics, against three performance indicators: responsiveness to the leaks and emergencies telephone number, responsiveness to public reports of gas leaks, and trends in unplanned interruptions.  

This reporting regime provides transparency over key areas of Australian Gas Networks’ service and reliability, and will establish a basis for future performance benchmarking if required.

To make minor amendments to each of the Commission’s Australian Gas Networks regulatory instruments to improve clarity and alignment with the national framework

The Commission will make amendments to each of its Australian Gas Networks regulatory instruments. This will reduce duplication, enhance clarity, remove redundancy, and harmonise jurisdictional requirements with those of the national gas legislative framework. 

These include 10 amendments proposed in the July 2019 Consultation Paper, and 49 amendments proposed by Australian Gas Networks in response to the Consultation Paper. They do not result in any material changes to Australian Gas Networks’ regulatory obligations. 

The amendments to the Commission’s regulatory instruments are proposed to take effect from 1 July 2020. 

The Commission is seeking feedback on this Draft Decision. Submissions should be provided by Friday 13 December 2019. The Commission will consider all submissions and representations as it prepares a Final Decision, due to be released in March 2020.

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