Gas Act 1986

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1986 c. 44


Gas Act 1986

1986 CHAPTER 44

An Act to provide for the appointment and functions of a Director General of Gas Supply and the establishment and functions of a Gas Consumers' Council; to abolish the privilege conferred on the British Gas Corporation by section 29 of the Gas Act 1972; to make new provision with respect to the supply of gas through pipes and certain related matters; to provide for the vesting of the property, rights and liabilities of the British Gas Corporation in a company nominated by the Secretary of State and the subsequent dissolution of that Corporation; to make provision with respect to, and to information furnished in connection with, agreements relating to the initial supply of gas won under the authority of a petroleum production licence; and for connected purposes.

[25th July 1986]

Ee it Enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

I Gas Supply

Part I

Gas Supply

Introductory

Introductory

S-1 The Director General of Gas Supply.

1 The Director General of Gas Supply.

(1) The Secretary of State shall appoint an officer to be known as the Director General of Gas Supply (in this Act referred to as ‘the Director’) for the purpose of performing the functions assigned to the Director by this Part.

(2) An appointment of a person to hold office as the Director shall not be for a term exceeding five years; but previous appointment to that office shall not affect eligibility for re-appointment.

(3) The Director may at any time resign his office as the Director by reasonable notice addressed to the Secretary of State; and the Secretary of State may remove any person from that office on the ground of incapacity or misbehaviour.

(4) Subject to subsections (2) and (3) above, the Director shall hold and vacate office as such in accordance with the terms of his appointment.

(5) The provisions of Schedule 1 to this Act shall have effect with respect to the Director.

S-2 The Gas Consumers' Council.

2 The Gas Consumers' Council.

(1) There shall be a body corporate to be known as the Gas Consumers' Council (in this Part referred to as ‘the Council’) for the purpose of performing the functions assigned to it by this Part.

(2) The Council shall consist of a chairman and such other members as the Secretary of State may from time to time appoint.

(3) In appointing members of the Council, the Secretary of State shall so far as practicable, ensure—

(a ) that the members of the Council include members who, by reason of their familiarity with the special requirements and circumstances of the different areas of Great Britain or of small businesses, are able together to represent the interests of consumers of gas supplied through pipes in all those areas and of such businesses; and

(b ) that the interests of consumers of gas supplied through pipes in different areas are represented by different members wherever that appears to the Secretary of State to be appropriate having regard to the manner in which the various parts of the gas supply industry in Great Britain organise themselves.

(4) A member of the Council shall hold and vacate office in accordance with the terms of the instrument appointing him and shall, on ceasing to hold office, be eligible for re-appointment.

(5) The provisions of Schedule 2 to this Act shall have effect with respect to the Council.

(6) In consequence of the provisions of this section, the National Gas Consumers' Council and the Regional Gas Consumers' Councils shall cease to exist.

S-3 Abolition of Corporation's special privilege.

3 Abolition of Corporation's special privilege.

3. As from such day as the Secretary of State may by order appoint for the purposes of this section and the following provisions of this Part (in this Act referred to as ‘the appointed day’), the privilege with respect to the supply of gas through pipes conferred on the British Gas Corporation (in this Act referred to as ‘the Corporation’) by section 29 of the 1972 Act shall cease to exist.

S-4 General duties of Secretary of State and Director.

4 General duties of Secretary of State and Director.

(1) The Secretary of State and the Director shall each have a duty to exercise the functions assigned to him by this Part in the manner which he considers is best calculated—

(a ) to secure that persons authorised by or under this Part to supply gas through pipes satisfy, so far as it is economical to do so, all reasonable demands for gas in Great Britain; and

(b ) without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (a ) above, to secure that such persons are able to finance the provision of gas supply services.

(2) Subject to subsection (1) above, the Secretary of State and the Director shall each have a duty to exercise the functions assigned to him by this Part in the manner which he considers is best calculated—

(a ) to protect the interests of consumers of gas supplied through pipes in respect of the prices charged and the other terms of supply, the continuity of supply and the quality of the gas supply services provided;

(b ) to promote efficiency and economy on the part of persons authorised by or under this Part to supply gas through pipes and the efficient use of gas supplied through pipes;

(c ) to protect the public from dangers arising from the transmission or distribution of gas through pipes or from the use of gas supplied through pipes;

(d ) to enable persons to compete effectively in the supply of gas through pipes at rates which, in relation to any premises, exceed 25,000 therms a year.

(3) In performing his duty under subsection (2) above to exercise functions assigned to him in the manner which he considers is best calculated to protect the interests of consumers of gas supplied through pipes in respect of the quality of the gas supply services provided, the Secretary of State or, as the case may be, the Director shall take into account, in particular, the interests of those who are disabled or of pensionable age.

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