Productivity of gas suppliers falling, says report

By the year 2020, the government expects that natural gas consumption will have increased from 30 per cent - the proportion from 1990 - to 37 per cent of total energy use.

Dwellings using gas for their whole-house and water heating systems are expected to rise significantly in the next eight years, and as of 2005 the natural gas network covered 46 per cent of Australian households.

In general, gas can be a more favourable option for consumers because of its lower prices and association with sustainability and eco-friendliness.

However, according to a new independent report, gas suppliers and other utility retailers are experiencing productivity problems.

The Productivity Commission released its findings today (April 5) and the Energy Supply Association of Australia (ESAA) is calling on the government to action reforms such as price deregulation to boost the efficiency of the industry.  

ESAA chief executive Matthew Warren said: "Australia began important reforms of its energy markets at the end of the 20th century. The report found these were successful in unlocking value and improving efficiency.

"While we need to replace ageing infrastructure, we don't need regulations which artificially cap prices, block competition and stifle innovation."

Posted by Callum Fleming