Extending the national gas regulatory framework to hydrogen blends and renewable gases

Publication date: Thursday, 23rd September 2021.

On 20 August 2021, Energy Ministers agreed that the national gas regulatory framework should be amended to bring hydrogen, biomethane and other renewable gas blends within its scope.

To provide certainty and stability to industry and consumers, Energy Ministers also agreed the reforms should initially focus on gases and blends that can be used in existing natural gas appliances.

To accommodate hydrogen blends and other renewable gases in the national gas regulatory framework, amendments will need to be made to:

  • the National Gas Law (NGL), the National Gas Regulations, the National Gas Rules (NGR), Procedures and other subordinate instruments made under the NGL and/or NGR; and
  • the National Energy Retail Law (NERL), the National Energy Retail Regulations, and the National Energy Retail Rules (NERR).

Jurisdictional Officials, the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) and the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) have each been tasked with progressing different aspects of the reforms.

Officials will identify and develop amendments to the NGL, NERL and Regulations, the AEMC will identify and develop amendments to the NGR and NERR and AEMO will identify and develop amendments to the Procedures and other AEMO-made instruments required for settlement and metering in the facilitated and regulated retail gas markets.

A draft legislative package is to be presented to Ministers for approval by mid-2022 and draft rules in the latter half of 2022.

The attached information sheet provides details on the reform process, including indicative timeframes for consultation.

Key dates

21 October 2021: Initial consultation papers published

Late October – December 2021: Stakeholder forums and engagement opportunities

Late March – May 2022: Consultation on draft reports and draft legislative amendments

Mid 2022: Draft legislative amendments presented to Energy Ministers for agreement

Late 2022 – Consultation on proposed initial Rules, Procedures and other subordinate instruments

Categories