The Western Australian retail gas market became fully contestable in 2004. This means that gas companies can compete in the marketplace for all WA gas customers, including residential customers.
A number of gas trading and retail companies operate across the regional and metropolitan areas, servicing industrial and residential customers. Alinta is currently the major supplier of natural gas to the residential and commercial gas markets in the South West.
Gas trading licences
Gas retailers need a gas trading licence from the Economic Regulation Authority (ERA) to sell gas to small use customers (residential and small business customers using less than 1 terajoule of gas a year).
A list of licensed gas retailers is available from the ERA.
Retail Market Scheme
A Retail Market Scheme enables a retail market administrator to manage the gas market.
A gas retailer must be a member of an approved Retail Market Scheme to sell gas to customers through a gas distribution system, when there are already one or more companies selling gas through that system.
In WA, there is one Retail Market Scheme that covers all of ATCO Gas Australia’s distribution systems. The Retail Energy Market Company is the scheme administrator. The ERA has regulatory oversight of this scheme as well as any future WA schemes.