Energy bill northern ireland 365,oral herpes symptoms first outbreak duration,medical treatment of mouth ulcers,how to clear up herpes naturally - .

admin 14.03.2015

Shia Muslim activists who occupied Iraq's parliament on Saturday begin to leave Baghdad's government district after a call by their leaders. The Committee for Enterprise, Trade & Investment is a Statutory Committee established in accordance with paragraphs 8 and 9 of the Belfast Agreement, Section 29 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 and under Assembly Standing Order 46. Consider and advise on matters brought to the Committee by the Minister for Enterprise, Trade & Investment.
The Committee has 11 members, including a Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson, and a quorum of five members. 6 On 13th April 2010 Mr Daithí McKay was appointed as a Member of the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment. 11 On 13 September 2010 Mr Paul Givan was appointed as a member of the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment. Help ensure the uninterrupted operation of gas and electricity networks through the introduction of a special administration regime relating to network companies which are threatened with insolvency or become insolvent. The provisions in relation to Clause 10, "Damage to Gas Plant" are appropriate from the point of view of both the consumer and the gas licence holder. In exercising their powers of entry to customers' premises, there are no safety issues associated with the need for a warrant to be issued by Justice of the Peace in order to gain entry to premises. The Committee for Enterprise, Trade & Investment is content with clauses 36 to 37 as drafted.
The Committee for Enterprise, Trade & Investment is content with the schedule as drafted. The Committee for Enterprise, Trade & Investment is content with the long title as drafted. Agreed: Request the full responses to the consultation prior to the Committee stage of the Bill.
Agreed: To invite key stakeholders to provide written briefings on the Bill when the Committee considers the Bill. Agreed: To raise the relevant issues with the Utility Regulator during the Committee stage of the Bill. Agreed: To consult with the relevant bodies on the issues raised during the Committee stage of the Bill. Members received an oral briefing from Jenny Pyper, Head of DETI Energy Division, Fred Frazer and Susan Stewart, DETI Energy Division.
Members discussed a letter from the NI Authority for Utility Regulation (NIAUR) regarding clarification on its views on the Energy Bill. Agreed: To explore with the Department the possibility of introducing a renewable heat incentive (RHI) through amendments to the Energy Bill, as the work on RHI was to be complete in April.
Agreed: In relation to the Energy Bill and the Tourism Bill, Members agreed that the Committee Office should collate all written evidence and forward the necessary issues relating to clauses, to the Department for a response.
Members received an oral briefing from Fred Frazer, Irene McAllister and Susan Stewart, DETI Energy Markets. Members discussed an informal meeting with Departmental officials to update new members on the Strategic Energy Framework, Energy Bill and Tourism Bill.
Agreed: To invite the Utility Regulator and the Consumer Council to provide oral evidence on the Energy Bill.
Agreed: To start next week's meeting in closed session to consider internal memos from the Examiner of Statutory Rules regarding the Energy Bill and Tourism Bill. Members received an oral briefing from John French and Richard Williams of the Consumer Council.
Members received an oral briefing from Brian McHugh of the NI Authority for Utility Regulation.
Agreed: To write to the Department to obtain clarification and views in relation to Clause 10 and 14 of the Bill. Agreed: To receive clarification from the Department regarding Clauses 10, 14 and 35 of the Bill and discuss again at the meeting of 4 November. Members briefly discussed the Energy Bill and noted that they are awaiting the Department's comments and views on Clause 10 and Clause 14 of the Bill.
Agreed: To forward the Department's comments on Clause 10 of the Bill, along with the Committee's views to the Consumer Council for comment. The Committee noted a briefing from the Consumer Council in relation to its views on clause 10 of the Energy Bill. Agreed: The Committee agreed that it would vote on an amendment to clause 10 at formal clause by clause scrutiny stage. Agreed: That the summary of the draft Bill as presented to the Committee at Committee Stage at paragraphs 22-60 stands part of the report. Agreed: That the summary of consideration of the Bill at paragraphs 61-139 stands part of the report. Agreed: That the summary of consideration of other issues of the Bill at paragraphs 140-146 stands part of the report. Agreed: That the clause-by-clause consideration of the Bill at paragraphs 147-156 stands part of the report. Agreed: That the entire report with minutes of proceedings, minutes of evidence and written evidence will be considered at next week's meeting.
The Committee has a scrutiny, policy development and consultation role with respect to the Department for Enterprise, Trade & Investment and has a role in the initiation of legislation. The Report details the Committee for Enterprise, Trade & Investment's consideration of the Energy Bill (the Bill).
The Committee engaged in a call for evidence and consulted with a range of stakeholders with a variety of interests.
The Committee heard oral evidence from the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland and NIAUR.
The Committee had concerns about the how gas licence holders would recoup monies paid to customers in compensation for failure to deliver adequate standards of service.
The Consumer Council informed the Committee that, in its view, compensation payments made for failure to deliver adequate standards and service should come from the profits of the energy companies and not from a company's customer base.
In response, the Department stated that the Bill makes provision for a gas supplier or conveyer to pay a prescribed compensation to consumers where the relevant standard of performance has not been met. The Regulator has advised that, in relation to electricity standards of performance, there is no regulatory allowance within electricity price controls to cover guaranteed standards.
In giving oral evidence to the Committee the Consumer Council stated that they are concerned about the term "culpable negligence" in the Bill, stating that it implies that a person would be guilty of that offence if they did nothing to stop another damaging their meter, and would therefore, be negligent as a result of someone else's actions. The Department informed the Committee that it has liaised with the Office of Legislative Counsel (OLC) regarding this matter who has advised that "culpable negligence" denotes a high degree of negligence which merits criminal sanctions and is more commonly referred to as "gross negligence". In giving oral evidence to the Committee, the Utility Regulator's representative agreed with the Committee that it may be helpful to add the term "its repair" so that Clause 10(4) reads, "A meter removed under subsection (3) shall be kept safely by the gas conveyor until the Authority authorises its destruction, disposal or repair." The Department has been advised that the natural gas industry would be content with the revised wording and accept that, in certain circumstances, it would be feasible for meters to be repaired rather than disposed of or destroyed. In light of a query raised by the Committee in relation to Clause 14, the Department re-examined Clause 10 to ensure that its provisions for damage to gas plant fully encompass meter tampering. In response to a query from the Committee during pre-legislative scrutiny the Consumer Council responded that gas licence holders should have the same access rights as electricity licence holders to enter premises if they suspect meter or fittings have been tampered with. The Department responded that the provisions regarding power of entry to property by gas companies is in line with provisions within the Electricity (NI) Order 1992 for the electricity industry in Northern Ireland.
In order to protect individuals from 'unwarranted intrusion', a gas company wishing to enter premises must obtain the consent of the occupier of the premises. Clause 2 provides that any dispute relating to standards of performance in individual cases shall be determined (on reference to it) by the Utility Regulator.
Clause 5 gives the Utility Regulator the power to determine standards of performance in connection with the promotion of the efficient use of gas by consumers.
Clause 6 requires the Utility Regulator to collect information with respect to compensation paid under Clause 1, the level of overall performance achieved by suppliers and conveyors and the level of performance achieved by suppliers in respect of the promotion of the efficient use of gas by consumers.
Clause 7 requires each gas supplier and gas conveyor to take steps to inform customers of suppliers of the applicable overall standards of performance, and the level of performance achieved by the supplier and conveyor.
Clause 8 places each gas supplier under a duty to establish a procedure for dealing with complaints made by customers (or potential customers) and to publish that procedure (and also to send it free of charge upon request). Clause 11 provides that certain gas plant belonging to licensed gas conveyors and suppliers is exempt from certain enforcement processes. Clause 13 contains provisions that have the effect of enabling the Utility Regulator to modify the conditions of supply licences (both individually and generally) to regulate the terms and conditions of deemed contracts. Clause 15 clarifies the meaning of 'store', for the purpose of the gas storage provisions in the Gas Order.
Part 2 of the Bill (clauses 17 to 33) creates a special administration regime for gas conveyance and electricity transmission and distribution companies facing actual or threatened insolvency. Clause 17 provides that a court may make an energy administration order appointing an energy administrator in relation to a protected energy company i.e. Clause 19 provides that an application for an energy administration order can only be made by the Department or by the Utility Regulator with the consent of the Department.
Clause 22 gives the Department the power to make regulations for the purpose of applying provisions of the Insolvency Order (with or without modifications) in relation to an energy administration order or an application for such an order. Clause 23 provides that a winding up order sought by a person other than the Department in respect of a protected energy company cannot be made unless notice has been served on the Department and the Utility Regulator and at least fourteen days have passed since the last of those notices was served. Clause 24 prevents a protected energy company voluntarily winding itself up without the permission of the court and prevents the court from granting permission unless notice has been served on the Department and the Utility Regulator and at least fourteen days have elapsed since the service of the last of those notices. Clause 25 prevents a protected energy company entering ordinary administration if it is already in energy administration, or an energy administration order has been made but is not yet in force.
Clause 26 provides that an administrator cannot be appointed for a company by its secured creditors, directors or the company itself, if an energy administration order in relation to the company is in force, has been made but is not yet in force, or has been applied for.
Clause 27 provides that security over the property of a protected energy company cannot be enforced unless the Department and the Utility Regulator have been notified of the intention to enforce the security and at least 14 days have elapsed since the service of the last of those notices. Clause 28 enables the Department, with the consent of the Department of Finance and Personnel, to give a grant or loan to a company in energy administration where this appears to the Department to be appropriate to achieve the objective of energy administration. Clause 29 enables the Department, with the consent of the Department of Finance and Personnel, to indemnify persons in respect of liabilities incurred or loss or damage sustained in connection with the exercise of the energy administrator's powers and duties.
Clause 30 enables the Department, with consent of the Department of Finance and Personnel, to provide guarantees in relation to a protected energy company in energy administration. Clauses 31 and 32 enable the Department to modify the conditions of gas and electricity licences. Clause 32 outlines how the Department can amend the conditions of gas and electricity licences to secure the funding of energy administration. Clause 33 defines the terms used in Part 2, and how certain references are to be interpreted. Clause 34 of the Bill requires regulations made by the Department and the Utility Regulator under the Bill to be subject to negative resolution (and, in the case of regulations made by the Utility Regulator, such regulations must be laid before the Assembly by the Department).
The Schedule covers the content and effect of transfer schemes which can be made as described in Clause 18(3) i.e. The Utility Regulator, responding to a query from the Committee during pre-legislative scrutiny, stated that the proposed legislative changes bring gas into line with existing performance standards for electricity.
The Consumer Council, responding to a query from the Committee during pre-legislative scrutiny stated that, in its view, compensation should be paid to consumers where guaranteed standards are not met. In response, the Department stated that Clause 1, Subsection (2) of the draft Bill makes provision for a gas supplier or conveyer to pay a prescribed compensation to consumers where the relevant standard of performance has not been met.
The Department will work with the Consumer Council and the Utility Regulator in relation to the outworking of the guaranteed standards of performance legislation for the natural gas industry. In line with his statutory duties as set out in the Energy (NI) Order 2008, the Utility Regulator has already initiated work in this area and, on 28 May 2010, published a report outlining the views of NI customers on issues relating to guaranteed standards of performance across the natural gas, electricity and water sectors. While firm proposals on the way forward have yet to be developed, the Department expects that guaranteed standards will operate in the same way in the gas sector as the electricity regime. The Phoenix Group believe that the procedures for determining standards in individual cases should mirror those for determining overall standards of performance in line with legislation for electricity in Northern Ireland and gas in Great Britain.


In giving oral evidence to the Committee, the Consumer Council stated that the principle of guaranteed standards of service is to ensure that consumers receive compensation for poor standards of service rather than to provide incentives to the company to deliver high standards.
The Utility Regulator's representative agreed in oral evidence that the Utility Regulator had roles in both protecting customers and promoting the gas industry. Following consideration of the evidence the Committee was content with Clause 1 as drafted. The Phoenix Group stated that its current standards of performance set out in licences of regulated gas utilities ensure that gas companies remain focussed on delivering all aspects of customer service. The Department responded that the legislative provisions, which will allow the Department and the Utility Regulator to determine standards of performance in connection with the activities of licensed gas suppliers and those who are licensed to convey gas, are deemed necessary to bring the natural gas industry into line with provisions already in place for the electricity industry in Northern Ireland. Phoenix Group also stated that there will be cost implications associated with introducing guaranteed standards of performance and that these will have to be considered by the Utility Regulator as part of each utility's price control review. The Department responded that it will work with the Utility Regulator on the outworking of the guaranteed standards of performance legislation for the natural gas industry which is expected to operate in the same way as the established regime for the electricity industry. Phoenix Group believes that consideration should be given to implementing guaranteed standards of service across all Northern Ireland energy companies including the oil industry.
The Department stated that as the oil industry is not regulated and falls outside the remit of the Department and the Utility Regulator, DETI has no plans to introduce legislation in relation to the oil industry in Northern Ireland. If introduced, Phoenix Group would like to see guaranteed standards implemented on a phased approach. Following consideration of the evidence the Committee was content with Clause 3 as drafted. The Utility Regulator, responding to a query from the Committee during pre-legislative scrutiny stated that his office is currently considering the question of recovery of money paid to consumers as a result of failed service.
Following consideration of the evidence the Committee was content with Clause 9 as drafted. Following consideration of this evidence, members still had some concerns and agreed to write to the Consumer Council to seek its views on the Department's response. In giving further oral evidence to the Committee, DETI Energy Division officials were unable to provide any additional clarification on how the term would be applied in practice. The Department stated that Clause 10(4) was drafted to reflect equivalent provisions in paragraph 6(4) in Schedule 6 of the Electricity (Northern Ireland) Order 1992. In response to a query from the Committee during pre-legislative scrutiny, the Utility Regulator responded that the proposed changes are designed to bring the gas legislation in line with the legislation that already exists for electricity. During DETI's public consultation, the Consumer Council stated that customers on deemed contracts should be charged the published tariff, must be free to shop around and should be provided with a copy of the deemed contract (which should also be available on the supplier's website).
In response to the Consumer Council, the Department stated that the proposed provisions will place a duty on suppliers to make, and revise when appropriate, a scheme for determining terms and conditions for deemed contracts. Further, the proposed regime will provide the Utility Regulator with the power to make licence modifications for the purposes of the deemed contracts regime. Phoenix Natural Gas Ltd informed the Committee that it welcomes the proposal to replicate the deemed contract provisions for the Northern Ireland electricity industry to the Northern Ireland natural gas industry.
Following consideration of the evidence the Committee was content with Clause 12 as drafted.
Phoenix Supply Ltd informed the Committee that it accepts Clause 13 on the basis that licence modifications are by agreement with the holder of the licence similar to the provisions in the Gas Act and the Electricity Order. In providing further background to the Committee, the Department stated that the Energy Bill introduces provisions for a deemed contracts regime whereby a gas supply contract will be 'deemed' to have arisen between the supplier and the customer in certain circumstances. Clause 13 of the draft Bill states that the Utility Regulator must consult with both the holder of any licence being modified, and any other appropriate persons, before making a modification to the conditions of supply licences in relation to deemed contracts. The Department stated its position to be that deemed contracts regime is based on equivalent provisions in the Electricity Order.
The Department considers that similar licence conditions are also necessary for NI gas supply licences. Approach (a) would mean the Department relying on the existing licence modification process set out in Article 14 (and 15) of the Gas Order. The approach in Clause 13 has already been successfully used in GB and NI energy legislation. However, regardless of the approach taken in other legislation, in the Department's view, Clause 13 represents the best approach to implement the Department's policy in this area. The Department went on to state that, as Phoenix Supply Ltd does not favour approach (c), the Department would not intend to address those policy considerations in further detail here. Following consideration of the evidence the Committee was content with Clause 13 as drafted.
If, upon inspecting a meter, a gas company suspects that a meter has been tampered with, the meter will be removed for diagnostic testing, where applicable, and examination.
Advice NI cautioned that the outworking of the 'power of entry' aspect of the proposed legislation may bring to light energy debts. The Department has consulted with the two main domestic gas suppliers in Northern Ireland in relation to the issue of energy debts.
If a meter is removed for diagnostic testing and examination, it will be replaced with a pre-payment meter with a debt recovery function to ensure an uninterrupted supply of gas to the premises in question. If the results of further testing indicate that the meter has been tampered with, the gas company will contact the customer with the estimated costs of gas used from the date of tampering to the date of removal of the meter for diagnostic testing. The Department believes that the legal implications for gas companies, and the fact that some of these companies already have an effective debt management process in place, should assure consumers that bringing powers of entry into line with other NI and GB utilities will not provide incentives to a gas company to manipulate the system to deal with consumers in debt. The Department also notes that the conditions of gas supply licences require that suppliers shall not cut off the supply of gas to a pensioner's premises during any winter period unless unavoidable due to a network emergency.
In giving oral evidence to the Committee, the Consumer Council stated that safeguards should be in place to ensure that the gas companies, as is the case with electricity companies, have the right level of suspicion before they can enter a property.
The phrase 'reasonable suspicion' does not appear in Clause 14 of the Bill and neither is a Justice of the Peace referred to in the Bill. In giving oral evidence to the Committee, the Utility Regulator's representative agreed the phrase "reasonable suspicion of meter tampering" does not appear in the Bill but that the current draft allows entry on the basis of potential damage to the meter. He stated that the reference to the Justice of the Peace is in Subsection 8 of Clause 14 of the Gas Order.
He also confirmed that under this Bill, the same legislative provisions would apply to the gas industry as now apply to the electricity industry. Committee members had further concerns in relation to the provisions of the Bill applying in a similar way to the gas industry as currently apply to the electricity industry.
In relation to the Committee's suggestion to explicitly mention "meter tampering" in Clause 14 of the Bill, the Department responded that Clause 14(1) of the Energy Bill provides a general right to enter premises to inspect the gas system or fittings. Clause 14(2) of the Bill confers a right of entry where the offence of damage to gas plant has been committed as defined in Clause 10. The Department has also considered the Committee's suggestion as to whether it would be appropriate to include the term "reasonable suspicion" in Clause 14 of the Bill in relation to the circumstances whereby gas companies might utilise powers of entry in relation to suspected meter tampering.
Clause 14(8) makes reference to paragraphs 5 to 8 of Schedule 5 to the Gas (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 (attached at Annex 3) which establishes the procedures to be followed when entry to premises is required.
Following consideration of the evidence the Committee was content with Clause 14 as drafted. The Consumer Council stated in response to public consultation by DETI that it believes that the responsibility of meter testing should not reside with the gas industry but with an independent body.
In responding to a query from the Committee the Department stated that it is likely that responsibility for meter testing will be outsourced by the Utility Regulator to an organisation such as the National Measurement Office, which operates in GB. Following consideration of the evidence the Committee was content with Clause 16 as drafted.
The Utility Regulator informed the Committee that the proposed conditions will ultimately help to ensure the continuity of gas and electricity supply by putting energy consumers' interests above those of creditors and shareholders if a gas conveyance licence holder or an electricity transmission licence holder becomes insolvent. Following consideration of the evidence the Committee was content with Clause 17 as drafted. Northern Ireland Electricity PLC advised the Committee that the reference to "leave" in Clause 24(4) should be changed to "permission". The Department stated that the suggested amendment involves changing the reference to "an application for leave" to "an application for permission" in respect of voluntary winding up. The Department informed the Committee that it intends to bring a minor drafting amendment to Clause 35 at consideration stage. On 17th June 2010, the ETI Committee discussed a briefing paper, provided by DETI, on EU Energy Policy and, as a result, members agreed to explore with the Department the possibility of introducing a renewable heat incentive (RHI) in Northern Ireland through amendments to the Energy Bill.
The Department responded that, following the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) decision to incentivise renewable heat in GB, DETI has recently completed a study to determine the most appropriate method of developing and supporting the local renewable heat market and indications are that a targeted incentive for domestic and commercial customers, similar to the GB model, could be appropriate.
The Department stated that inclusion of provisions for RHI in primary legislation would bring Northern Ireland into line with the rest of the UK following the introduction of an amendment incorporating RHI into the 2008 Energy Bill in GB. The Department informed the Committee that it has investigated the possibility of introducing RHI through amendments to the Energy Bill with the Office of Legislative Counsel (OLC). The Department further asked the Committee to note that there is a statutory duty on the Department to consult upon new policy issues. The Department has stated that it will be necessary for a separate piece of primary legislation to be introduced in order to provide enabling powers for a renewable heat incentive, along with other miscellaneous provisions, which could go through the Assembly legislative process next year. The Committee was content with the Department's response and will closely follow progress with the development of a renewable heat incentive. The Committee for Enterprise, Trade & Investment is content with clauses 1 to 9 as drafted.
The Committee for Enterprise, Trade & Investment is content with clauses 11 to 23 as drafted. The Committee for Enterprise, Trade & Investment is content with clauses 25 to 34 as drafted.
Key issue discussed was the Department's response to issues arising from the Committee's consultation on the Energy Bill. Key issue discussed included the Energy Bill: powers of entry and guaranteed standards of performance. Key issue included the Energy Bill: powers of entry, guaranteed standards of performance and special administration regime for gas and electricity.
The Bill is intended to update current legislation applying to the natural gas sector in Northern Ireland, to benefit from policies that had already been successfully implemented in the electricity sector and to introduce legislation to create a special administration regime applicable to both the gas and electricity sectors. The Committee also sought clarification on the how it would be ensured that gas licence holders would act in a fair and reasonable manner when exercising their powers of entry to customers' premises.
The Department informed the Committee that it will work with the Consumer Council and the Utility Regulator in relation to the outworking of the guaranteed standards of performance legislation for the natural gas industry. The Department would consider it desirable to retain Clause 10(1) as originally drafted to keep the gas provisions in line with equivalent Northern Ireland electricity legislation. If occupier consent is not obtained, then the gas company must be able to demonstrate 'reasonable suspicion' and thereby satisfy a Justice of the Peace that there are grounds to warrant entry to a customer's premises. In February 2010, the Minister for Enterprise, Trade & Investment wrote to the Committee to state that it had been renamed the Energy Bill in order to take account of additional provisions which also cover electricity. The Assembly debated the principles of the Bill in the Second Stage on 15th June 2010 when the Bill was passed to the Committee for Enterprise, Trade & Investment.
The Department may make regulations concerning the practice and procedures to be followed when the Utility Regulator makes its determination.
Clause 3 gives the Utility Regulator the power to determine (and arrange for the publication of) standards of overall performance in connection with the provision of gas supply services by gas suppliers and in connection with the activities of gas conveyors.
The Utility Regulator must first obtain the Department's consent, and conduct appropriate consultation.
Under Article 22 of the Gas Order, the Utility Regulator is responsible for appointing meter examiners. It outlines that such modifications can provide for circumstances where there is a shortfall in the property of a protected energy company, which is or has been in energy administration, for meeting the costs of energy administration. Regulations under the Bill may also make any necessary transitional provisions and amendments.


The organisation believes that any compensation payments made for failure to deliver adequate standards and service should come from the profits of the energy companies and not from a company's customer base. All proposals, including those relating to compensation payments, will be subject to public consultation. The development of both overall and individual standards of performance will be taken forward by the Utility Regulator, in liaison with the Department, as part of the outworking of the guaranteed standards of performance legislation and will be subject to public consultation. They stated that the Utility Regulator has a potential conflict of interest because it must promote the gas industry while trying to provide consumer protection.
He stated that they see the promotion of the gas industry as being consistent with ensuring that customers get a good service.
The Group does not believe that implementing guaranteed standards of performance will improve the level of customer service offered to its customers. The Department believes that guaranteed standards of performance for the gas industry will provide consumers with specific, measurable, achievable, reliable and timely standards to gauge the level of service being provided by different gas companies. In relation to electricity standards of performance, there is no regulatory allowance within electricity price controls to cover guaranteed standards.
The Department noted this suggestion and stated that arrangements relating to the implementation of guaranteed standards of performance will be developed by the Utility Regulator, in liaison with the Department, as part of the outworking of the guaranteed standards of performance legislation and will be subject to public consultation. OLC has advised that the Clause could be amended to be restricted to intentional damage only. In the absence of either a clear definition or clarity on how the term would be applied in practice, concerns remained in relation to the potential for an innocent individual to be criminalised for failing to prevent the actions of another. However, having consulted with the natural gas industry regarding this amendment the Department has been advised that the industry would be content with the revised wording and accept that, in certain circumstances, it would be feasible for meters to be repaired rather than disposed of or destroyed.
It is designed to ensure continuity of supply for customers where a signed contract does not exist between a supplier and a customer. Domestic customers on deemed contracts should not be prevented from switching supplier if they are in debt, in the way domestic contracted customers are not.
The terms and conditions made by suppliers must be published in advance and sent to the Utility Regulator and the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland. Such licence conditions already exist in electricity supply licences, and can provide additional protection to customers. Under these provisions, a gas supplier must make a scheme for determining the terms and conditions which are to be incorporated in a deemed contract. It does not require the Utility Regulator to reach agreement with the holder of the licence. In the case of the electricity supply industry, there are also supply licence conditions that further regulate the content of deemed contracts. This requires licensees' consent to be obtained before modifications can be made, failing which a reference to the Competition Commission is provided for. Clause 13 contains provisions that have the effect of enabling the Utility Regulator to modify the conditions of gas supply licences (both individually and generally) to regulate the terms and conditions of deemed contracts. For example, the power is time limited, the Utility Regulator must first obtain the Department's consent and it must also conduct appropriate consultation. For example, in Article 32(1) of the Energy Order 2003 (which allows the Department to determine new standard conditions for gas conveyance licences); Article 11 of the Gas Order (which gives the Department the power to determine entirely new standard licence conditions for gas licences) and section 168 of the Energy Act 2004 (which gives the Secretary of State the power to make licence modifications in relation to GB's special energy administration regime). They stated that, in carrying out this act, natural gas licence holders must act in a reasonable and fair manner and consumers should not be left without a supply of gas until such times as it has been proven that meter tampering has occurred.
Unless there has been a previous history of meter tampering, it will be replaced with a pre-payment meter with a debt recovery function to ensure that the customer's gas supply is not interrupted. As such, where a household is deemed to be vulnerable, Advice NI believes that energy suppliers should have appropriate policies in terms of maintaining supply and recouping monies owed. As outlined above, under the draft Energy Bill, gas companies must be able to demonstrate 'reasonable suspicion' of meter tampering and thereby satisfy a Justice of the Peace, if necessary, that there are grounds to warrant entry to a customer's premises. Customers will also be advised of the costs incurred by the gas company in relation to the damage to the meter. He agreed that a potential gap exists whereby, if an authority suspects that a meter has been tampered with, but does not suspect danger to life or property, it does not have power of entry. He stated that, although there is no code of practice, potentially the safeguards in place are the Justices of the Peace.
Members felt that as the potential danger to life and property is much greater were a gas meter to be tampered with than would be the case with an electricity meter, the powers of entry should be such that an occupier should not have the opportunity to deny access to premises in order to attempt to "fix" an illegal practice before an installation can be inspected by a gas company.
The Department has sought legal advice as to whether it is necessary for this Clause to specify the exact purpose of such an inspection, e.g.
On this basis, the Department feels that Clause 14 has adequate provisions to cover meter tampering and does not require a specific reference to be added.
These specify that (apart from emergency situations where there is danger to life or property) a power of entry shall not be exercisable except by consent from the occupier, or under the authority of a warrant whereby a Justice of the Peace is satisfied that admission to the premises is "reasonably required". The Department responded that one of the existing requirements under the Gas Order is that only competent and impartial persons should be appointed as meter examiners.
The application referred to is, it states, for "permission" and this would also accord with the wording used in Section 162(4) of the Energy Act 2004. The Department consulted and received advice from the Office of Legislative Counsel who has agreed that this minor technical amendment is warranted.
The amendment is required in order to accurately reflect the name of the Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation. Further secondary legislation will also be needed in both GB and NI to implement a renewable heat incentive.
As the Bill is principally about the natural gas industry, with a very limited application to the electricity sector, a provision for renewable energy is deemed to be outside the scope of the Bill. The inclusion of a new and significant provision, such as RHI, in the Energy Bill would require a policy consultation exercise to be undertaken. As the Department was unable to provide a clear definition of the term "culpable negligence" and was unable to provide clarification on how the term would be applied in practice, the Committee has recommended that Clause 10(1) be amended to remove this term from the Bill.
The Committee sought and received approval of the Assembly in Plenary Session on 20th September 2010 to extend its consideration and scrutiny of the Bill to 29th November 2010.
Officials from the Consumer Council, the Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation and DETI gave oral evidence to the Committee. He stated that in the electricity industry compensation payments come out of company profits. This will help to create a level playing field for customer standards and allow for easier comparison of competitive offers. They stated that it would be down to a judge to determine what "culpable negligence" means. However, that would mean that the gas provisions would be out of line with electricity legislation.
The Committee divided on the issue during formal clause-by-clause scrutiny of the Bill and subsequently agreed to recommend to the Assembly that the term "culpable negligence" be removed from Clause 10(1) of the Bill. The only reason that gas companies would not repair a meter would be where the cost of repair (including delivery costs) would exceed the cost of a new replacement meter.
There are already equivalent provisions specifically making it an offence to tamper with meters under the Electricity (Northern Ireland) Order 1992, and under the Gas Act 1986 and the Electricity Act 1989 in GB.
It is more an issue of whether a physical signed contract exists, rather than whether customers on deemed contracts pay more. In response to the Committee's call for evidence, the Consumer Council stated that it was content with the Department's response to the issues it raised. For example, in electricity, they require the licensee to take all reasonable steps to ensure that the terms of deemed contracts are not unduly onerous. As the terms and conditions of a deemed contract have not been expressly agreed between suppliers and customers, they will be subject to regulation.
For example, the relevant licence condition requires the licensee "to take reasonable steps to ensure that the terms of each of its deemed contracts are not unduly onerous". Neither of these scenarios within approach (a) is desirable because of the increased risks they pose to the timely and successful introduction of the Department's policy. The customer will be required to either pay the restitution in full or agree to a suitable payment arrangement.
They stated that NIE has guidance and agreed procedures and that they are requesting the same for gas companies. The Committee asked the Department to determine whether existing legislation provided for a gas company to gain access to premises where necessary, without forewarning the occupier.
OLC has confirmed that these paragraphs in Schedule 5 are drafted in a sufficiently general way to apply to the Energy Bill and that it is not therefore necessary to incorporate the term "reasonable suspicion" in Clause 14. In addition, the equivalent GB legislation on the subject of RHI is substantial, and drafting the required provisions for NI legislation would require additional time and resources.
The Department expects that guaranteed standards will operate in the same way in the gas sector as the electricity regime. He agreed that under this Bill, the same legislative provisions would apply to the gas industry as currently apply to the electricity industry. Proposals for guaranteed standards in relation to the natural gas industry will, however, will be subject to public consultation before any final decisions are made.
They felt it is too broad a term to be included in the Bill and suggested that it is amended. OLC has also noted that water legislation goes even further and penalises merely negligent damage to water fittings. OLC has agreed that this minor amendment could be made to the Bill without adversely impacting on any other aspect of the proposed legislation.
OLC agreed that this amendment can be made without negatively impacting on any other part of the proposed Energy Bill. The exact nature of the contract, whether it is a signed physical contract or a deemed contract, will have no bearing on what the customer will pay. For example, the consent thresholds under Article 14 of the Gas Order would at present require only two non-consenting licensees to block proposed licence amendments (this could present a particular difficulty in Northern Ireland where there are far fewer licence holders than in GB).
Gas companies should supply consumers until it can be proven that gas meter tampering has occurred. The Department responded that provision in the Gas (NI) Order 1996 which states that, when a gas company applies for a warrant to enter premises, the JP must be satisfied that either "the consent of the occupier has been refused or seeking that consent would defeat the objective of entry." OLC has confirmed that this existing provision provides that a gas company does not need to inform the occupier if to do so would defeat the purpose of entry. Advice received has suggested that this is not necessary because the current wording gives rise to a power of entry to carry out inspections which is not limited by reference to any particular purpose for the inspection. The Department therefore feels that the current legislative provisions in the Energy Bill and Gas (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 are sufficient to deal with reasonable suspicion with regards to meter tampering.
Therefore, any attempt to include provisions on RHI in the Energy Bill could considerably delay the progress of the Bill and could potentially mean that the Bill, if not enacted within this Assembly, would fall. The Department would therefore consider it desirable to retain Clause 10(1) as originally drafted to keep the gas provisions in line with equivalent Northern Ireland electricity legislation.
In giving oral evidence to the Committee, the Utility Regulator's representative agreed that under this Bill, the same legislative provisions would apply to the gas industry as now apply to the electricity industry.
A reference to the Competition Commission would have significant time and cost implications. They stated that meter tampering must be dealt with along with issues around the danger to the community.
In such a case the gas company can seek to obtain the warrant under Clause 14(1)(a) and enter the premises without any advance notice to the occupier.



Herpes sore not going away notes
Cold sore treatment wikihow
Herpes causes hiv lesions
  • Skynet, 14.03.2015 at 10:22:57
    The virus to do what they wanted stress of any sort reactivates the medicines arrest.
  • reper, 14.03.2015 at 18:24:49
    Below are the lemon balm tea virus when.
  • Oxotnick, 14.03.2015 at 16:30:12
    Frequent outbreaks reside a extra regular life, since outbreaks virus into human MSCs and injected homeopathic.
  • Bratan, 14.03.2015 at 19:14:58
    Are going to know a few of the that may kill the virus stipulate testing.
  • 4356, 14.03.2015 at 15:23:41
    Any treatment for both type of herpes virus.