Northern Irish regulator opens consultation on price control
The Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation (Utility Regulator) issued a report on Friday inviting comment on its aim of aligning the price controls of the country's two gas distribution networks.
Phoenix Natural Gas Limited (PNGL) operates in Belfast and its outskirts, while firmus energy operates around the north-west and south-north pipelines.
The move should mean better efficiency, as decisions can be made for both companies at the same time, would enable market-to-market comparison, and would also free up time to concentrate on developing the gas industry in Northern Ireland.
"We do anticipate that the resource commitment required to develop two price controls simultaneously will be greater than to develop just one, but also expect this commitment to be considerably less than to develop two price controls separately," the company stated.
PNGL's current price control started in 2007, and will continue until the end of 2012, while firmus's controls run until the end of 2013. This means that the new price control determination needs to be in place before the end of next year, the regulator said.
Because both companies need the new price control at different times, the Utility Regulator said it would consider delaying the five-year PNGL price control before any other options (which include pulling forward the firmus price control or setting control periods of different durations).
The consultation process closes on 26 February. Interested parties should visit www.niaur.gov.uk for more information. SL
Other Related Stories