This section contains information on the development, scope and structure of the Retail Gas Contracts Oversight Scheme from the original recommendation to the more recent review of the scheme.
The Retail Gas Contracts Oversight Scheme was introduced by Gas Industry Co in 2010, following endorsement by the then Minister of Energy and Resources, and is designed to achieve improved outcomes for small gas consumers - those using less than 10 terajoules of gas per year. More than 260,000 gas consumers - or approximately 99 percent of the national total - use less than this volume each year, and the vast majority are subject to contracts covered by the Scheme. It assesses published gas supply arrangements offered by gas retailers against a set of contract Benchmarks and Reasonable Consumer Expectations (RCEs).
The Scheme addresses the 2008 Government Policy Statement (GPS) objective of ensuring that 'contractual arrangements between gas retailers and small consumers adequately protect the long-term interests of small consumers'.
Building on Gas Industry Co's previous work on retail contracts and other work on model contract guidelines done in conjunction with the Electricity Commission and Utilities Disputes (formerly known as the EGCC), a consultation was held in October 2009. The two options proposed were voluntary adoption of the benchmark terms with regular monitoring, or regulated implementation of the minimum terms, subject to the existing compliance regime.
Following further industry consultation a full proposed design for the oversight of the voluntary implementation of retail contract benchmarks was finalised and presented to the Associate Minister of Energy and Resources for consideration in March 2010 and was endorsed in May 2010. All information and relevant documents relating to this work can be found here.
Information on the review and restatement of the Retail Gas Contracts Benchmarks in 2011 can be found here.
Information on minor amendments to the Benchmarks made in 2012 can be found here.
In 2013 a review of the Scheme to assess its success was undertaken and all information relating to this review can be found here.