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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 gasN.I.

This section has no associated Explanatory Memorandum

14.[F1(1) The principal objective of the Department and the Authority in carrying out their respective gas functions is to promote the development and maintenance of an efficient, economic and co-ordinated gas industry in Northern Ireland, and to do so in a way that is consistent with the fulfilment by the Authority, pursuant to Article 40 of the Gas Directive, of the objectives set out in paragraphs (a) to (h) of that Article.]

(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—

[F2(a)the need to ensure a high level of protection of the interests of consumers of gas;]

(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 Gas Order or this Order;

(c)the need to secure that the prices charged in connection with the conveyance of gas through designated pipe-lines (within the meaning of Article 59) are in accordance with a common tariff which does not distinguish (whether directly or indirectly) between different parts of Northern Ireland or the extent of use of any pipe-line; and

(d)the need to protect the interests of gas licence holders in respect of the prices at which, and the other terms on which, any services are provided by one gas licence holder to another.

(3) In performing that duty, the Department or the Authority shall have regard to [F3the need to protect] the interests of—

(a)individuals who are disabled or chronically sick;

(b)individuals of pensionable age; and

(c)individuals with low incomes;

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 gas functions, have regard to the interests of consumers in relation to electricity [F4and in relation to water or sewerage services] .

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

[F5(a)to promote the efficient use of gas and efficiency and economy in the conveyance, storage or supply of gas;]

(b)to protect the public from dangers arising from the conveyance, storage, supply or use of gas;

[F6(c)to secure a diverse, viable and environmentally sustainable long-term energy supply; and]

(d)to facilitate competition between persons whose activities consist of or include storing, supplying or participating in the conveyance of gas;

and shall have regard, in carrying out those functions, to the effect on the environment of activities connected with the conveyance, storage or supply of gas.

[F7(5A) In carrying out their respective gas functions the Department or the Authority shall not discriminate between persons whose activities consist of or include storing, supplying or participating in the conveyance of gas as regards either rights or obligations.]

[F8(5B) Before 30 June 2015 the Authority shall deliver to the Department—

(a)an assessment of the gas 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 (5A), the Authority may serve on any holder of a gas licence or any exemption holder a notice requiring that person to provide the Authority with such information, assistance or advice as may be specified in the notice and that holder shall comply with that requirement.]

(6) In this Article “gas functions” means—

(a)functions under Part II of the Gas Order; and

(b)functions under this Order [F9or the Energy Act (Northern Ireland) 2011] relating to gas.

[F10(7) For the purposes of paragraph (5)(c) environmental sustainability includes the need to guard against climate change.]

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