Knowledge Highlights 11 March 2022
The Energy (Resilience Measures and Miscellaneous Amendments) Act 2021 (“Amendment Act”), partially came into force on 29 January 2022. The Amendment Act amends the Energy Market Authority of Singapore Act 2001 (“EMA Act”), Electricity Act 2001 (“Electricity Act”) and Gas Act 2001 (“Gas Act”) to:
- safeguard energy security (in particular, the reliability, availability and continuity of the supply of electricity) by enabling the Energy Market Authority (“EMA”) to, among other things, construct, acquire and manage electricity infrastructure required for the generation, import or export of electricity;
- enhance protection of critical electricity and gas infrastructure;
- enable EMA to implement policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the generation, transmission, import, export or supply of electricity; and
- make various technical amendments.
The Amendment Act also makes several miscellaneous amendments to the Electricity Act, Gas Act, EMA Act, and related amendments to the District Cooling Act 2001. These include streamlining the licence application and extension process for all electricity and gas licensees, clarifying the prudential obligations of specified licensees in the event of an insolvency situation, and updating key terms and definitions in the Electricity Act. More details on the changes introduced by the Amendment Act are set out in our article “Energy (Resilience Measures and Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill passed, MTI and EMA issue response to feedback on draft Bill”.
From 29 January 2022, majority of the provisions in the Amendment Act came into force except sections 3(m) and (q), and 4(b), (g), (h) and (i).
Provisions not yet in force
A summary of the provisions of the Amendment Act that have yet to come into force is set out below:
- Incorporation by reference: When in force, sections 3(m) and (q), and 4(g) and (i) of the Amendment Act will (i) repeal the current provisions relating to EMA’s power to issue guidelines replace them with a new section on advisory guidelines, and (ii) introduce a new section on incorporation by reference, in the Electricity Act and Gas Act. The general effect of these amendments is to enable EMA to (i) apply, adopt or incorporate by reference in regulations any code of practice, standard, requirement, specification or other document that relates to any subject matter of any regulations made under the Electricity Act or Gas Act, and (ii) issue advisory guidelines to provide practical guidance or certainty in respect of requirements imposed by or under the Electricity Act or Gas Act, and for the effect of such advisory guidelines.
- Clearer obligations and duties of gas transporter, offence for failure to carry out inspection, maintenance, repair or renewal: Section 4(b) of the Amendment Act will delete and substitute subsection (4) of section 29 of the Gas Act, and insert new subsections (5) and (6). The general effect of these amendments is set out below:
- The new subsection (4) will more clearly set out the obligations and duties of the gas transporter in establishing and implementing a programme for regular and periodic inspections of any part of a gas installation or any part of a gas service pipe linking a gas service isolation valve to the gas installation.
- The new subsection (5) will provide that the person prescribed under subsection (3) and responsible for ensuring that inspections, maintenance, repairs or renewals are carried out is to bear the expenses of the same. Subsection (3) provides that EMA may, from time to time, prescribe such person or class of persons to be responsible for the inspection, maintenance, repair or renewal of any part of a gas installation or any part of a gas service pipe linking a gas service isolation valve to the gas installation (“prescribed person”).
- Where a prescribed person is responsible for ensuring that any inspection, or any maintenance, repair or renewal that the gas transporter or person has identified to be necessary, is carried out, it will be an offence under the new subsection (6) for the person to fail to ensure that the inspection, maintenance, repair or renewal (as the case may be) is carried out.
- EMA’s power expanded to make certain regulations relating to section 29 of Gas Act: Section 4(h) of the Amendment Act would introduce new provisions to expand EMA’s power to make regulations to include matters relating to the person who must be engaged to carry out any inspection, maintenance, repair or renewal of gas service pipes and gas installations under section 29 of the Gas Act, as well as the submission of information and documents in connection with such inspections, maintenance, repairs and renewals.
- Energy (Resilience Measures and Miscellaneous Amendments) Act 2021
- Energy (Resilience Measures and Miscellaneous Amendments) Act 2021 (Commencement) Notification 2022
- Speech by Second Minister for Trade and Industry, Tan See Leng, at the Second Reading of the Energy (Resilience Measures and Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill
- Round Up Speech by Second Minister for Trade and Industry, Tan See Leng at the Second Reading of the Energy (Resilience Measures and Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill