GD23 Licence Modification Decision Paper

Published date22 February 2023
Energy SectorGas networks
Licence Modifications
Pursuant to the GD23 Final
Determination and other
Regulatory Decisions
Decision Paper
22 February 2023
About the Utility Regulator
Utility Regulator 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, Markets and Networks. The staff team includes economists,
engineers, accountants, utility specialists, legal advisors and administration professionals.
Consumer impact
We are publishing our decision on licence modifications pursuant to the GD23 Final
Determination and to other regulatory decisions following our consultation on proposed
modifications. GD23 is the price control for the gas distribution companies Phoenix Natural
Gas Ltd (PNGL), Firmus Energy (FE) and SGN Natural Gas Limited (SGN) for the six years
from 2023 onwards.
The GD23 Final Determination sets the amount the gas distribution companies will have to
run their businesses and invest in the gas network. Licence modifications are required to
bring the price control into effect.
Furthermore, we are making additional licence modifications that are consequential on other
decision papers published by the Authority or required to address some inconsistencies
between the licences held by the GDNs.
We have consulted on all proposed licence modifications in order preserve the right of licence
holders and stakeholders to challenge our price control decisions to allow consideration of
responses before making a final decision on licence modifications to bring them into effect.
Our consultation period ended on 25th November 2022 and this paper represents our
decisions following consideration of the responses received. The licence modifications
outlined in this decision paper will apply with effect from 1 January 2023.
The licensees affected, other regulated companies in the energy industry, government, other
statutory bodies and consumer groups with an interest in the energy industry.
The GD23 Final Determination sets out the allowed distribution charges for the gas
distribution companies as well as a range of measures designed to increase the number of
consumers that can connect to the natural gas network and improve customer service for
natural gas customers. The proposed licence modifications will serve to bring this package
into effect. In addition, we are making further licence modifications which will serve to apply
best regulatory practice and ensure ongoing focus of the GDNs on the development of their
networks as well as, where relevant and appropriate, equality in the treatment of licence

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