Search Legislation

Energy Act 2010

Commentary on Sections

Section 16: Amendments of section 4AA of the Gas Act 1986 (c. 44)

80.This section amends the principal objective and general duties of the Secretary of State and Ofgem as set out in section 4AA of the Gas Act 1986.

81.The amendments clarify the relationship between the principal objective and the obligation to further this objective through the promotion of competition wherever appropriate. Subsection (2) amends section 4AA(1) of the Gas Act 1986 to remove the reference to ‘promoting effective competition’. The reference to promoting competition is re-inserted in the new subsection (1B) (see subsection (3) of section 16) in which it is combined with the general duties in section 4AA(2) as to how the Secretary of State and Ofgem are to carry out their functions (see paragraph 79 below).

82.Subsection (3) adds three additional subsections (1A, 1B and 1C), between subsections (1) and (2) of section 4AA of the Gas Act 1986, to clarify the interests of consumers and how the Secretary of State and Ofgem are to carry out their functions.

83.The new subsection (1A) of section 4AA makes it clear that the interests of consumers include their interests in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions caused by the shipping, transportation or supply of gas, and their interests in a secure supply of gas. Subsection (7) inserts a new subsection 4AA(5B) which inserts definitions for the purposes of new subsection (1A), and adopts the meanings of some words used in the Climate Change Act 2008.

84.The new subsection (1B) closely follows the phrase that was removed from section 4AA(1) by subsection (2) of section 16. It requires the Secretary of State or Ofgem to carry out their functions (in relation to the supply of gas) in a way best calculated to protect the interests of consumers, using the promotion of competition to do so where that is appropriate.

85.The new subsection (1C) provides that when carrying out their functions the Secretary of State or Ofgem must consider:

  • to what extent the interests of consumers are protected by actions focused on the promotion of competition, and

  • if there are any other actions (whether or not they would promote competition) that might better protect the interests of consumers.

86.Subsections (4), (5), (6) and (8) make minor amendments to take account of the new subsections 4AA(1A), 4AA(1B) and 4AA(1C). Subsection (4) also makes a minor amendment to ensure that any financial obligations which may be imposed under this Act are taken into account when the Secretary of State or the Authority are having regard to the need for licence holders to finance their activities.

Back to top


Print Options


Explanatory Notes

Text created by the government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Public Acts except Appropriation, Consolidated Fund, Finance and Consolidation Acts.


More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources