Energy (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2006

Functions of Commission regarding natural gas safety.

12.— Section 9 of the Act of 1999 is amended—

(a) in subsection (1) by the insertion of the following paragraphs after paragraph (e):

“(ea) to regulate the activities of natural gas undertakings and natural gas installers, with respect to safety,

(eb) to promote the safety of natural gas customers and the public generally as respects the supply, storage, transmission, distribution and use of natural gas (excluding such activities carried out at upstream pipelines or facilities except where such pipeline or facility is engaged in the storage of natural gas),

(ec) to consult with The National Standards Authority of Ireland regarding standards and specifications relating to gas safety.”,

(b) by the insertion, after subsection (1F) of the following subsections:

“(1G) (a) In carrying out its functions under subsection (1)(ea) the Commission shall, having consulted with the Minister, establish and implement a natural gas safety regulatory framework, and report annually to the Minister on the functioning of such framework.

(b) The framework established under paragraph (a) shall include—

(i) a system for the inspection and testing of all natural gas transmission and distribution pipelines, storage and LNG facilities to an extent and at a frequency specified in the framework,

(ii) a system for the regulation, certification, ongoing inspection of the work and assessment of the competence of individual trained natural gas installers,

(iii) procedures for the investigation of complaints regarding the competence of any particular natural gas installer,

(iv) procedures for the investigation of any incidents involving natural gas which in the opinion of the Commission warrant such investigation,

(v) procedures relating to the making of a report to the Minister in respect of an investigation under subparagraph (iv),

(vi) any other matter considered necessary by the Commission.

(c) The Commission may review or amend the framework referred to in paragraph (a) as often as it considers necessary.

(1H) (a) In carrying out its functions under paragraphs (ea) and (eb) of subsection (1) the Commission may require natural gas undertakings to regularly advise and provide information to their final customers and the public as respects—

(i) best practice in relation to the safe use of natural gas and on the operation and maintenance of natural gas fittings, and

(ii) the detection and reporting of natural gas leaks and other faults in natural gas fittings,

in such manner as the Commission may, from time to time, direct.

(b) Without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (a), the Commission may direct a natural gas undertaking to engage in, either on its own or in concert with any other natural gas undertaking (whether or not such other undertaking operates within the State), campaigns promoting natural gas safety, which campaigns shall take such form as the Commission may specify in its direction and each natural gas undertaking concerned shall comply with any such direction.”.