Gas (Interim) (Regulation) Act 2002

Public service obligations.


21.F52[(1) The Minister, following consultation with the Commission and such interested parties as may be determined by the Minister, may by order direct the Commission to impose on such classes of natural gas undertakings as may be specified in the order in the general economic interest, public service obligations which may include security, including security of supply and technical or public safety, regularity, quality and price of supplies, and to environmental protection including energy efficiency and climate protection. Any obligations imposed shall be clearly defined, transparent, non-discriminatory and verifiable.]

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), an order made under that subsection may provide for the charging of a levy (“levy”) by natural gas undertakings to customers in relation to—

(a) the costs of delivery of natural gas, and

(b) any other costs as may be deemed appropriate from time to time by the Minister, including a reasonable rate of return on the capital represented by such costs, where appropriate, incurred by natural gas undertakings in complying with an order under subsection (1) including costs incurred after the variation or revocation of such an order.

(3) Notwithstanding the generality of subsection (2), an order made under this section may provide for:

(a) the method of calculation of levy and the manner in which it shall be apportioned to customers,

(b) the collection of levy from final customers by natural gas undertakings,

(c) the establishment and the administration by the Commission of a fund to be used for—

(i) the collection of payments made by natural gas undertakings, and

(ii) the disbursement of payments as provided under paragraph (e),

(d) the transfer, at such times specified in the order, of collected payments referred to in paragraph (b) by natural gas undertakings to the fund, and

(e) the making, out of the fund, by the Commission of payments to natural gas undertakings for the achievement of the purpose of the fund.

(4) An order made under this section may—

(a) impose requirements (whether as to the furnishing of records or other information or the affording of facilities for the examination and testing of meters or otherwise) on natural gas undertakings,

(b) provide for the times at which payments are to be made (whether payments by way of levy or payments to natural gas undertakings), and

(c) require the amount of any overpayment or underpayment which is made by or to any person to be set off against or added to any subsequent liability or entitlement of that person.

(5) The Minister shall exercise the powers conferred by this section so as to ensure that any sums realised by levy are sufficient (after the payment of the administrative expenses of natural gas undertakings incurred in the collection of levy, or of the Commission in the administration of the fund) to pay to natural gas undertakings the payment required to be made by the order.

(6) The Minister may by order amend or revoke an order made under this section (including an order made under this subsection).

(7) For the avoidance of doubt, a public service obligation may not be imposed for the purpose of extending the natural gas system to new areas of supply on a non-commercial basis.

(8) The reference in section 29(1)(b)(i) of the Act of 1999 to an order made under section 39 shall, in the case of a proposed modification of a natural gas licence or a consent given by the Minister prior to the appointed day under section 8(7) or 40(1) of the Gas Act, 1976, or a consent given by the Commission under section 39A(1) (inserted by section 12 ) of the Gas Act, 1976, be taken to mean an order made under subsection (1).

(9) In this section “public service obligation” means an obligation placed on natural gas undertakings which takes account of general social, economic and environmental factors.




Substituted (20.07.2004) by European Communities (Internal Market in Natural Gas) (No. 2) Regulations 2004 (S.I. No. 452 of 2004), reg. 5.