The gas supply chain can be thought of as comprising three distinct sectors. Upstream gas suppliers produce gas, gas is transported through transmission and distribution pipelines to downstream gas users. Large users and energy retailers organise gas contracts and on-sell gas to consumers. The ERA has several regulatory functions applying to one or more of these sectors. The ERA’s role in the gas supply chain in Western Australia is to:
- approve access arrangements for three regulated pipelines in Western Australia: the Dampier to Bunbury Natural Gas Pipeline (DBNGP), the Goldfields Gas Pipeline (GGP) and the Mid-West and South-West Gas Distribution System (GDS). Access arrangements provide the prices and terms and conditions under which third party users can access the regulated pipelines to transport and receive gas.
- administer the gas licensing regime. This role involves issuing licences to entities generating, transmitting, distributing or retailing gas in Western Australia, monitoring and enforcing compliance with licence conditions and approving customer protection measures.
- oversight of the Gas Retail Market Scheme to ensure the market is regulated and operated in a manner that is efficient, open and competitive, and fair to gas market participants and their customers.
The ERA does not have a role in setting retail electricity and gas prices, which are set by Government.