Gas (Interim) (Regulation) Act 2002

F49[Security of supply


19A. (1) It shall be a function of the Commission:

(a) to protect the security of supply of natural gas, including measures to protect the security of the national electricity supply,

(b) to establish policies to ensure adequate levels of security of supply, and

(c) to ensure that the supply of natural gas to household customers, small and medium sized enterprises, and other customers that cannot switch their gas consumption to other energy sources is protected, at least in the event of—

(i) a partial disruption of national gas supplies during such period as may be specified from time to time by the Commission;

(ii) extremely cold temperatures during a peak period (which period may be specified from time to time by the Commission);

(iii) periods of exceptionally high gas demand during the coldest weather periods statistically occurring every 20 years.

(2) In carrying out its duties under subsection (1) the Commission may—

(a) take such measures as it considers necessary in relation to security of supply and may specify minimum security of supply standards which standards shall be complied with by a person referred to in subparagraphs (i) and (ii) of paragraph (b); and

(b) give a direction which relates to security of supply to a person who is—

(i) an energy undertaking, or

(ii) the holder of a petroleum lease under section 13 of the Petroleum and Other Minerals Development Act 1960,

which direction may relate to the making of financial arrangements by such person and which direction shall be complied with by the person to whom it is directed.

(3) The Commission shall inform the Minister of any measures which it takes pursuant to this section.

(4) Where security of supply standards have been specified by the Commission under subsection (2)(a) such standards shall be published by the Commission.

(5) The Commission shall ensure that any measure taken under subsection (2):

(a) does not place an unreasonable and disproportionate burden on persons referred to in subsection (2)(b), and

(b) is compatible with the requirements of a competitive internal gas market.

(6) In determining the measures to be taken in connection with the provisions of subsection (2), the Commission shall have regard to the list of instruments to enhance security of supply set out in the Annex to the Directive.

(7) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (2), the Commission may, by means of licence conditions, impose such requirements as it considers necessary upon a natural gas undertaking for the purpose of ensuring that the security of supply is protected.

(8) Section 16(16) does not apply to a licence condition imposed pursuant to subsection (7) relating to the protection of security of supply.

(9) (a) The Commission shall advise the Minister of any likely and substantial risk to security of supply which the Commission, believes, having consulted such persons as it considers appropriate, cannot adequately be managed through national measures.

(b) The Minister may, having considered the advice of the Commission—

(i) in accordance with Article 8(3) of the Directive, inform the Chair of the Gas Coordination Group established under Article 7 of the Directive of any likely and substantial risk to security of supply identified by the Commission, and

(ii) request that a meeting of that Group be commenced in accordance with the provisions of Article 9 of the Directive.

(10) (a) In order to ensure compliance with a direction given under subsection (2), the Commission may apply to the High Court in a summary manner ex parte or on notice for an order requiring:

(i) an energy undertaking, or

(ii) the holder of a petroleum lease under section 13 of the Petroleum and Other Minerals Development Act 1960,

to comply with such direction.

(b) The High Court may confirm, revoke or vary a direction given by the Commission and may make such other ancillary order as it thinks fit.

(11) In this section—

"Directive" means Council Directive 2004/67/EC3 of 26 April 2004 concerning measures to safeguard security of natural gas supply;

"energy undertaking" has the same meaning as it has in the Electricity Regulation Act 1999;

"security of supply" means security of supply of natural gas, including the security of the national electricity supply;

"security of supply standards" means the criteria referred to in paragraphs (i) to (iii) of subsection (1)(c).]




Inserted (17.10.2007) by European Communities (Security of Natural Gas Supply) Regulations 2007 (S.I. No. 697 of 2007), reg. 5.