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Energy Act (Northern Ireland) 2011

Special administration regime for the electricity and gas sector

A special administration regime is a mechanism designed to ensure the uninterrupted operation of gas and electricity networks essential to security of supply in the event of actual or threatened insolvency of a network company.

In the normal course of events, the duties of a receiver or administrator appointed under the Insolvency (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 (the Insolvency Order) include obtaining the best possible price for the company assets on behalf of the creditors and shareholders.  In the case of an energy network company, there is a risk that this might require the company to cease operating the relevant network.    This would be against the wider public interest, especially if the security of electricity or gas supply to thousands of consumers were to be threatened.

The Act therefore introduces a 'special energy administration regime' for the energy sector.  This safeguards the provision of essential electricity and gas supplies from the local networks, by providing that the relevant network shall continue to be maintained and developed as an efficient and economic system.

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Text created by the Northern Ireland Assembly 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 accompany all Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly.


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