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About the gas price cap and exemptions
The Competition and Consumer (Gas Market Emergency Price) Order 2022 is an emergency measure that applies a temporary price cap on the supply of regulated gas.
This emergency measure applies to new contract sales of gas sourced from fields which were on 23 December 2022 subject to a production lease or licence during the 12-month period that commenced on 23 December 2022.
Under the emergency measure, regulated gas producers and affiliates of regulated gas producers can apply for a price cap exemption.
The Minister has delegated the power to grant price cap exemptions to the ACCC. The ACCC can only grant a price cap exemption when it is satisfied that it is appropriate, having regard to the matters mentioned in the Order.
Regulated gas producers and affiliates of a regulated gas producer that are granted an exemption under this process are not subject to the price cap.
The Minister made this emergency measure under Part IVBB of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.
How to apply for an exemption
1. Prepare the application
The application should:
- respond to all items, or explain why an item is not relevant to the application or cannot be reasonably estimated
- provide answers that are specific, comprehensive and accurate
- include supporting documents.
2. Submit the application
Submit the completed application form and supporting material, marked to the attention of Gas Price Cap Exemptions:
What happens after we receive an application
Once we have received an application and made sure that it is valid, we'll start our assessment.
The ACCC will give the applicant notice of the decision as soon as practicable. The written notice will state the reasons for the decision. If the decision is to grant the price cap exemption, a copy of the price cap exemption will be included with the notice.
A regulated gas producer or affiliate of a regulated gas producer that is granted a price cap exemption should contact the ACCC if requesting a variation to the exemption.
If the ACCC decides to grant a price cap exemption, the name of the exemption holder will be included on the ACCC’s public register.
Gas price cap compliance and enforcement guidelines
The ACCC has prepared guidelines that set out our position on the investigation and enforcement of possible contraventions of the Order.
The guidelines also cover the new provisions under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 prohibiting conduct which avoids the application of the Order.
Background to the emergency price orders
In December 2022, the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 was amended to introduce a new part that relates to the gas market. Under this new part, the Minister may make orders, known as emergency gas market price orders, regulating the terms (including prices) on which gas is supplied or acquired.
On 23 December, the Order made by the Minister under the Competition and Consumer (Gas Market Emergency Price) Order 2022 came into effect which sets out a price cap of $12 per gigajoule.
The Minister has delegated the power to grant a price cap exemption to the ACCC by delegation that commenced on 23 December 2022.
The Act was also amended to prohibit conduct engaged in for the purpose of avoiding the application of an order, and to allow for a mandatory code of conduct to be introduced.
The ACCC is responsible for enforcing these new laws.