ACCC pushes for tougher gas regulations

The head of the consumer watchdog has backed a mandatory gas market code to help reduce power prices.

A mandatory code of conduct has been floated as one possible regulatory solution to soaring gas prices.

Voluntary agreements have been used to dictate how gas supply contracts are negotiated, with the government suggesting the code could be made compulsory and incorporate price.

Speaking at a conference in Melbourne, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb supported tougher regulations.

"We recommended a set of steps to make those commitments binding and enforceable," Ms Cass-Gottlieb said.

"One option ... is a mandatory code rather than a voluntary code."

In the October budget, the government revealed gas prices were expected to rise by 40 per cent during the next two years and retail electricity prices by 56 per cent.

The government says it's focused on regulation to drive energy prices down.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the government was keeping all options on the table to lower gas prices.

"We understand that there are a range of proposals out there. We want to make sure that we get it right," he said.

"What we need to do now is to make sure that we address the issue of price."

Ms Cass-Gottlieb also said price regulation was under consideration.

"We will be considering price and we will look at options. The treasurer has been very clear in relation to the question of an immediate short term need," she said.

Former ACCC chair Rod Simms has also been agitating for stronger regulation of the gas market, including a mechanism to ensure producers supply enough gas to the domestic market before exporting it to the international spot market.

He also called for a windfall profits tax on gas companies to cut power prices.

Shadow treasurer and former energy minister Angus Taylor said he supported the voluntary code of conduct already in place but would not comment on a mandatory code before seeing the details.

"There's no question that the government needs to work closely with gas producers, stop demonising them and work with them and find solutions with them," he said.

"Is taking the code of conduct to the next step part of that? Well, we'll wait and see."

His preferred method for bringing gas prices down remained boosting supply.

"The key is to get more supply, and that can be done voluntarily if it's done in the right way."

He said there was only so much gas that can be exported from Australia.

"There's only so much you can export, so if you can produce more than that, and more than the domestic market needs, you drive down the price," he told the National Press Club on Wednesday.