Energy Efficiency Directive and Implementation of Fuel Switching Agreements Decision Paper

Published date23 November 2015
Energy SectorSustainability
November 2015
Energy Efficiency
Directive and
Implementation of Fuel
Switching Agreements
Decision Paper
About the Utility
The Utility Regulator (UR) is the independent non-ministerial government department
responsible for regulating Northern Ireland’s electricity, gas, water and sewerage
industries, to promote the short and long-term interests of consumers.
We are not a policy-making department of government, but we make sure that the
energy and water utility industries in Northern Ireland are regulated and developed
within ministerial policy as set out in our statutory duties.
We are governed by a Board of Directors and are accountable to the Northern Ireland
Assembly through financial and annual reporting obligations.
We are based at Queens House in the centre of Belfast. The Chief Executive leads a
management team of directors representing each of the key functional areas in the
organisation: Corporate Affairs; Electricity; Gas; Retail and Social; and Water. The staff
team includes economists, engineers, accountants, utility specialists, legal advisors and
administration professionals.
Value and sustainability in energy and water.
We will make a difference for consumers by
listening, innovating and leading.
Our Mission
Be a best practice
regulator: transparent, consistent, proportional,
Be a united
Listen and
Make a
Act with
Our Vision
Our Values
The Energy Efficiency Directive establishes a common framework of measures for the
promotion of energy efficiency within the EU in order to ensure that the EU achieves
its overall target of a 20% improvement in energy efficiency by 2020. Whilst the
Directive imposes a wide range of requirements on Member States in relation to
energy efficiency this paper focuses specifically on its requirements relating to Articles
9-11 and Article 15 of the Directive as these are the Articles which impact directly on
gas and electricity licence holders. Other provisions of the Directive such as: the
overall target for member states; provisions in relation to heating and cooling; and
provisions in relation to the renovation of commercial and residential buildings are not
within the scope of this paper and are largely being considered across the relevant
parts of the wider public sector in NI.
Fuel Switching Agreements are relevant to those generators that have the capability
of switching from one fuel type to another to provide for the recovery of costs that are
not recoverable through other mechanisms. They are referred to in the Fuel Security
Code and any such agreement will be made between SONI and the relevant
generator. The modifications to the SONI transmission licence will ensure that such
agreements contain minimum standard terms as approved by the UR.
Consumer impact from the energy efficiency modifications is likely to include
increased protection in the form of better information. There will be some costs
associated with implementation but there are also likely to be savings in relation to
better energy efficiency.
With regard to fuel switching agreements this will result in enhanced operational
security of supply through the setting out of obligations for secondary fuel capabilities,
fuel switching testing, fuel stock tests and recovery of costs to meet fuel switching

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