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The Energy (Northern Ireland) Order 2003

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The principal objective and general duties of the Department and the Authority in relation to electricityN.I.

This section has no associated Explanatory Memorandum

12.—(1) The principal objective of the Department and the Authority in carrying out their respective electricity functions is to protect the interests of consumers of electricity supplied by authorised suppliers, wherever appropriate by promoting effective competition between persons engaged in, or in commercial activities connected with, the generation, transmission [F1, distribution] or supply of electricity.

[F2(1A) The interests of consumers include their interests in the fulfilment by the Authority, when carrying out its functions as designated regulatory authority for Northern Ireland, of the objectives set out in Article 36(a) to (h) of the Electricity Directive.]

(2) The Department and the Authority shall carry out those functions in the manner which it considers is best calculated to further the principal objective, having regard to—

(a)the need to secure that all reasonable demands [F3in Northern Ireland or Ireland] for electricity are met; and

(b)the need to secure that licence holders are able to finance the activities which are the subject of obligations imposed by or under Part II of the Electricity Order or this Order [F4.]

(c)F5. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(3) In performing that duty, the Department or the Authority shall have regard to [F6the need to protect] the interests of—

(a)individuals who are disabled or chronically sick;

(b)individuals of pensionable age;

(c)individuals with low incomes; and

(d)individuals residing in rural areas;

but that is not to be taken as implying that regard may not be had to the interests of other descriptions of consumer.

(4) The Department and the Authority may, in carrying out any electricity functions, have regard to the interests of consumers in relation to gas [F7and in relation to water or sewerage services] .

(5) Subject to paragraph (2), the Department and the Authority shall carry out their respective electricity functions in the manner which it considers is best calculated—

(a)to promote the efficient use of electricity and efficiency and economy[F8 in the generation, distribution, transmission and supply of electricity];

(b)to protect the public from dangers arising from the generation, transmission [F9, distribution] or supply of electricity;

[F10(c)to secure a diverse, viable and environmentally sustainable long‐term energy supply;]

(d)to promote research into, and the development and use of, new techniques by or on behalf of persons authorised by a licence to generate, supply [F11, distribute] or participate in the transmission of electricity; and

(e)to secure the establishment and maintenance of machinery for promoting the health and safety of persons employed in the generation, transmission [F12, distribution] or supply of electricity;

and shall have regard, in carrying out those functions, to the effect on the environment of activities connected with the generation, transmission [F13, distribution] or supply of electricity.

[F14(5A) The duties under paragraph (5) shall, in particular, include—

(a)ensuring the provision of the incentives referred to in Article 15(1) of the Energy Efficiency Directive, where appropriate and having taken into account the costs and benefits, and ensuring that no incentives are provided contrary to Article 15(4) of that Directive; and

(b)the encouragement of demand side resources in accordance with Article 15(8), first and third indents of that Directive.

(5B) Before 30 June 2015, the Authority shall deliver to the Department—

(a)an assessment of the electricity infrastructure which complies with the requirements of Article 15(2)(a) of the Energy Efficiency Directive; and

(b)a list identifying concrete measures and investments which complies with the requirements of Article 15(2)(b) of that Directive.

(5C) For the purpose of paragraph (5B), the Authority may, by notice given to the holder of any electricity licence or any exemption holder, require that person to provide such information, assistance and advice as may be specified in the notice and that holder shall comply with that requirement.]

[F10(6) In carrying out their respective electricity functions the Department or the Authority shall not discriminate between persons whose activities consist of or include generating, supplying [F15, distributing] or transmitting electricity as regards either rights or obligations.

(7) In this Article—

  • “electricity functions” means functions under Part II of the Electricity Order and functions under this Order relating to electricity; and

  • “environmental sustainability” includes the need to guard against climate change.]

F4Words in art. 12(2)(b) substituted (1.11.2007) by Electricity Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2007 (S.R. 2007/321), regs. 1(2), 61, Sch. 3 para. 1 (with transitional provisions in Pt. IV)

F10SR 2005/335

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