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Phil Heatley

9 November, 2012

Improvement in retail gas contracts

Gas consumers are better informed and supply contracts are becoming more customer-friendly, Energy and Resources Minister Phil Heatley said today.

An independent assessment looking at 10 contracts from seven gas suppliers has found a majority of contracts were well aligned with benchmarks in the Gas Industry Company’s Retail Gas Contracts Oversight Scheme. The Gas Industry Company is the gas industry’s co-regulatory body.

The Benchmark Assessment Report – 2012 looked at whether the contracts were well written, clearly set out the obligations of both the retailer and the consumer, reflected the structure of the gas market, and supported consumers in resolving complaints against a retailer.

“Fair and reasonable contracts between gas retailers and consumers are essential for an efficient market structure and the best long-term interests of the customer,” Mr Heatley said.

“This assessment shows that an overall improvement has been made from last year’s assessment, which is an indication that gas companies are focusing on ensuring that their customers know their rights,” he said.

The full Benchmark Assessment Report – 2012 is available from the Gas Industry Company at www.gasindustry.co.nz.