FE CMA Annex 9 FE Consultation Response

Published date27 March 2018
Energy SectorGas
1
A4-A5 Fergusons Way
Kilbegs Road
ANTRIM
BT41 4LZ
John Mills
The Utility Regulator
Queens House
14 Queen Street
Belfast
BT1 6ED 2 February 2018
Dear John,
RE: firmus energy’s response to the Utility Regulator’s consultation regarding the CMA
Decision on the GD17 referral by firmus energy
On behalf of firmus energy, I very much welcome the opportunity to respond to the Utility
Regulator’s consultation regarding the CMA Decision on the GD17 referral by firmus energy.
We recognise that this consultation, reflecting the Utility Regulator’s decisions in respect of
our Appeal Ground 2A (owner occupied connection targets) and Appeal Ground 2B (non-
additionality), are in line with directions provided by the CMA in their Final Determination of 26
June 2017.
Since publication of this consultation on 19 December 2017, we have undertaken a thorough
review and analysis of the Utility Regulator’s decision’s on each of the Appeal Grounds
remitted by the CMA for remedy.
In relation to Appeal Ground 2A, we welcome the further consideration given by the Utility
Regulator to the modelling of owner occupied connections, and welcome redetermination of
firmus energy’s owner occupied connection targets for GD17.
We also acknowledge the further considerations given by the Utility Regulator under Appeal
Ground 2B.
Within our consultation response, we have provided, what we trust you will find, constructive
observations and commentary on each of the four case studies undertaken by the Utility
Regulator.
2
In order to support our considerations of the Utility Regulator’s remedy under Appeal Ground
2B, and in particular, the Utility Regulator’s customer survey and comparative analysis of the
development of the gas market in the Republic of Ireland, firmus energy engaged Millward
Brown and Frontier Economics (Dublin).
As experts in their respective fields, we believe their analysis provides valuable input to the
matters being consulted upon under Appeal Ground 2B. Along with our commentary, we have
therefore included two appendices (i.e. one addressing the customer survey, and one
addressing the Republic of Ireland comparative analysis), which we trust will helpfully inform
your further considerations.
We recognise that in order to give effect to the CMA Determination, the Utility Regulator is
required to modify firmus energy’s Licence, and the Utility Regulator’s proposed replacement
of the table of ‘Determination Values’ at Condition 4.7 of our Licence does indeed reflect the
changes proposed within this consultation.
I trust that you and your team will find our consultation response constructive and helpful.
I, along with my team, would welcome an opportunity to discuss our consultation response
with you further, prior to publication of your decision to proceed with the requisite Licence
modifications.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Yours sincerely,
Niall Martindale
Director of Regulation and Pricing

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