British energy regulator Ofgem has decided to start the country’s Gas Day an hour earlier from 1 October 2015 to align it with Europe, the watchdog said on Friday.
The decision to change the start of the gas day to 05:00 London time comes despite an industry panel saying the proposed change should be not be implemented ( see ESGM 21 February 2014 ).
In early March, Ofgem appeared set to assess the impact of starting the Gas Day an hour earlier ( see ESGM 7 March 2014 ). But the regulator has now said it will not conduct an impact assessment because the change better facilitates compliance with EU legislation.
Ofgem also mentioned no alternative to the proposed change was suggested, which meant it had no reason to assess the impact of different proposals.
Normally Ofgem is required to publish an impact assessment of anything considered an important proposal, something the change of Gas Day to 05:00-05:00 from 06:00-06:00 is. But the watchdog said any impacts revealed by the assessment could not change its obligation to align with EU law.
Two different EU network codes are the reason a change is needed. The first is the network on capacity allocation mechanisms. This code wants to make allocation of capacity on cross-border pipelines more efficient.
The network code on gas balancing of transmission networks is the other. This code aims facilitate cross-border trade and make balancing systems more transparent.
The proposed change of the Gas Day has met with resistance from many in the industry, with half of 18 respondents to consultation coming out against it. Fionn O’Raghallaigh