Government says bill relief is coming

The government says its price cap on wholesale gas and coal will eventually drive down energy bills, despite reports retail gas prices have surged by around 20 per cent.

The federal government intervened in the energy market late last year, implementing a temporary 12-month price cap on coal and gas.

Energy Minister Chris Bowen said his government's interventions were already being reflected in markets that look at future prices.

"They have come down substantially, and that will flow through to the price increases we would have seen otherwise," he told ABC radio.

He also said households would receive more energy price relief once energy rebates were finalised with state governments.

"The price rises will be a lot less than what they would have been without the intervention."

But Opposition Leader Peter Dutton said the gas price cap was not working as intended.

"We warned it would be a disaster, and we said it shouldn't be done," he told reporters on Wednesday.

"They did it, and what are we seeing now? An increase in prices."

Since the price cap came into force, gas retailers say they have been struggling to lock in new contracts with producers, preventing them from providing affordable gas to new industrial and commercial customers.

On Tuesday, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission provided guidelines to help gas companies better understand their obligations under the temporary price order.

As well as providing advice for the gas industry, the ACCC said it would investigate producers that might be trying to avoid supplying gas below the price cap under the cover of confusion.

Industry Minister Ed Husic said Australian gas companies were "addicted" to huge war-driven profits.

"There might be some that are addicted to the Putin profits that they were making, and they're going through withdrawal symptoms. But they should be under no illusion about the determination of the government to get the balance right in terms of pricing," he told Sky News on Tuesday.

Mr Dutton said Mr Husic had "gone rogue" and his words were not conducive to a good outcome.

"When we were in government, (then Energy Minister) Angus Taylor worked closely with the regulators to provide the best possible outcome."

The opposition says increasing gas supply is the only way to drive down prices.

But the prime minister said the former government did little to boost supply while in office.

"In spite of the rhetoric about a 'gas-led recovery', what other projects began under the former government?" Anthony Albanese told reporters on Wednesday.

"Not a single one commenced or built or opened during that decade in office."