Gas (Interim) (Regulation) Act 2002

Unbundling of accounts of natural gas undertakings.


F46[17.—(1) (a) Every natural gas undertaking, except for an undertaking engaged in the production of natural gas and no other natural gas activity, whatever its system of ownership or legal form, shall—

(i) where the Companies Acts 1963 to 2003, applies to it, draw up, submit to audit and file its annual accounts in accordance with the requirements of those Acts, or

(ii) where it is not required to conduct an audit or file annual accounts under the Companies Acts 1963 to 2003, it shall cause its annual accounts to be audited as if it were a company to which paragraph (a) applied and make available for inspection at its head or principal office in the State by any member of the public a copy of the accounts it would be obliged to file if it were a company to which paragraph (a) applied.

(b) The audit of accounts referred to in paragraph (a) shall, in particular, verify that the obligation to avoid discrimination and cross-subsidies referred to in subhead (2) is respected and the auditor shall include a certificate in the report accompanying the audited accounts in relation to such matters.

(c) Paragraph (b) shall apply with effect from the first accounting period commencing after 1 July 2004.

(2) (a) For the purpose of avoiding discrimination, cross-subsidisation and distortion of competition, natural gas undertakings shall, in their internal accounting—

(i) keep separate accounts for their transmission, distribution, LNG, storage, shipping and supply activities;

(ii) keep accounts, which may be consolidated, for other natural gas activities not related to transmission, distribution, LNG, storage, shipping and supply;

(iii) where appropriate, consolidated accounts for other, non-natural gas activities, as they would be required to do if the activities in question were carried out by separate companies; and

(iv) specify the revenue from ownership of transmission and distribution pipelines.

(b) In preparing the accounts referred to in paragraph (a), natural gas undertakings shall include a balance sheet and a profit and loss account for each activity to which that paragraph relates.

(c) Natural gas undertakings shall specify in notes to the annual accounts the rules for the allocation of assets and liabilities and expenditure and income, as well as for depreciation, which they follow in drawing up the separate accounts referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b).

(d) The rules mentioned in paragraph (c) may be amended only with the approval of the Commission and any amendment to which this paragraph relates shall be mentioned and duly substantiated in the notes to the annual accounts.

(e) The annual accounts of natural gas undertakings shall indicate in notes to their annual accounts any transaction of a certain size (being a size, which, in the opinion of the Commission, would have a significant commercial impact) conducted with related undertakings, within the meaning of Article 2.22 of the Directive.

(3) (a) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (2)(a)(i), natural gas undertakings shall keep separate accounts in relation to the supply of natural gas to eligible customers and customers that are not eligible customers.

(b) In paragraph (a), "eligible customers" means persons who have a right to be made an offer by a facility or pipeline operator to enter into an agreement for third party access.

(4) (a) The Commission, for the purpose of Article 16 of the Directive, shall—

(i) have the right to require the preparation of and to have access to the accounts kept in accordance with this section of natural gas undertakings in whatever form may be required to discharge its functions under this Act, and

(ii) preserve the confidentiality of commercially sensitive information.

(b) The Commission shall determine that which constitutes commercially sensitive material and may provide for the disclosure of such information where this is necessary in order for it to carry out its functions.

(5) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (4) natural gas undertakings shall provide all documents, records, accounts, estimates or other information, whether oral or written, in relation to such activities requested, from time to time, by the Commission, for the purpose for verifying that the undertaking (or a subsidiary of the undertaking) is complying with the conditions of any licence granted or any direction given to it by the Commission, or as may be required by the Commission in the performance of its functions under this Act.]




Substituted (20.07.2004) by European Communities (Internal Market in Natural Gas) (No. 2) Regulations 2004 (S.I. No. 452 of 2004), reg. 11.