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Gas distribution charges

Our Gas Network

We own and operate one of 3 Victorian gas networks. Our 11,000km gas distribution network covers an area of more than 60,000 square kilometres in central and western Victoria. We deliver gas to approximately 760,000 homes and businesses.

Gas is an important part of the energy mix in Victoria. Our customers use gas primarily for cooking, heating, hot water and/or a range of industrial processes.

Victorians rely on gas more than any other state. More than 4 out of 5 Victorian homes are connected to gas, and the gas networks currently provide more energy than electricity networks.

 

The Gas Access Arrangement Review (GAAR)

The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) is responsible for regulating Australian gas distribution, which falls under a national framework.

Every 5 years, gas distributors across Victoria must submit a draft plan to the AER for the next 5-year regulatory period. This plan outlines the services we will offer customers, the costs to deliver those services, and the plan for how we will use money collected via the distribution charge on customers’ bills. This process is known as the Gas Access Arrangement Review (GAAR).

Our current regulatory period expires on 30 June 2023.  Read our current Gas Access Arrangement (2018 - 2022).

On 1 July 2022, we will submit our proposal for the upcoming regulatory period, 1 July 2023 to 31 June 2028, to the AER for review.

We engaged extensively with customers and other stakeholders throughout 2021 to understand their needs and expectations of our network, and ensure they are reflected in our plan.

Our draft proposal is now open for public consultation. It is a customer-friendly document which sets out our proposed strategy, pricing and activities for the upcoming regulatory period. It focuses on what our customers and stakeholders need from our network, and what our 2024-2028 plans will mean for them.

 

Timeline

The high-level timeline below shows the steps we are taking to develop and deliver our proposal, from the initial consultation through to the final decision and approval by the AER.

2021  We conducted extensive engagement throughout 2021 to understand our customers and stakeholders' needs, so we could develop a fit-for-purpose draft plan.
17 January 2022  Publish draft plan for consultation
January to May 2022   Engaging on draft plan
1 July 2022   Submit final draft plan to AER
August 2022   Submissions on final draft plan to AER 
November 2022   Draft decision from AER
January 2023   Submit revised plan to AER
April 2023   Final decision from AER

Customer focused planning

Understanding the needs and preferences of our customers helps us develop the best possible plans for our network. Knowing what is important to our customers allows us to allocate resources to the things that really matter and ensure we provide high-quality services and value for customers. When the AER assesses our plans, it looks for evidence that our plans meet the long-term interests of customers, as is required under the National Gas Law.

As part of the submission process, we engage extensively with customers and other stakeholders.

Much of our engagement for the 2024-2028 GAAR proposal is being undertaken jointly with the other 2 Victorian gas networks – Australian Gas Networks (AGN) and Multinet Gas Networks (MGN) - who  are developing their plans at the same time. Holding joint forums and committees makes it easier for customers and other stakeholders to have their views on the future of Victoria’s gas networks heard.

View the joint Engagement Plan.

 

Research and engagement

We conducted a number of research and engagement activities that formed the contents of our draft plan, including:

  • Customer workshops – multiple independently facilitated workshops with a wide range of customers from across Victoria
  • Future of Gas expert panel - a series of industry expert forums
  • Major users customer forum - a series of engagements with our largest gas user stakeholders
  • Future of Gas - a series of workshops with industry experts including the manufacturing, hydrogen, energy, climate change and the gas industry as well as AEMO, Clean Energy Council, ECA and CSIRO
  • Victorian Gas Networks Stakeholder Roundtable (VGNSR) - a series of workshops with a wide range of stakeholders including residential, community, business, major users and the building industry
  • Retailer Reference Group (RRG) - a series of workshops with various retailers
  • Priority Services Program (PSP) Advisory Group - working with customer advocates and support organisations to design a program for customers that require additional support.

 

Topics

We are covering many topics in these conversations with customers and other stakeholders. We have been largely guided by customers and stakeholders on the topics we are discussing. They include, but are not limited to:

  • the role of gas networks in a zero-carbon economy, and how we best prepare for the possible scenarios that eventuate
  • price and affordability of gas 
  • customer service, including for those in vulnerable circumstances
  • reliability and continuity of supply
  • public health and safety
  • major investments including mains replacement works, IT and new projects
  • use of innovation to improve the network
  • demand forecasting, and
  • incentive schemes.     

 

Have your say

Our draft Regulatory Proposal Gas Access Arrangement Review FY 2024-28 (PDF, 2.5 MB) is now ready for public review and comment.

You can provide feedback about any part of the draft plan before 31 March 2022, by emailing 2024-28GAAR@ausnetservices.com.au.

We will use this feedback to refine our plans before we submit them to the AER in July 2022.

Working with, and keeping our customers front of mind during the process, we believe we are delivering a plan that reflects what customers want and need from the network in the coming years an also lays the groundwork for a smooth transition to net zero emissions energy.

 

More information

For details of past and upcoming engagement activities occurring as part of our joint engagement program with AGN and MGN, please visit our joint engagement portal.