27 September 2018
Bills seeking to amend the Electricity Act and the Gas Act were introduced in Parliament on 10 September 2018. The Electricity (Amendment) Bill and the Gas (Amendment) Bill (collectively, “Bills”) include amendments to the respective Acts to enable more effective regulation of the gas and electricity markets, enhance the security and reliability of gas and electricity supply, protect critical infrastructure and enhance competition in Singapore’s energy market.
The Bills were presented for public consultation by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (“MTI”) and the Energy Market Authority (“EMA”) from 22 June 2018 to 16 July 2018. The MTI and EMA announced on 13 September 2018 that the feedback was incorporated into the Bills submitted to Parliament.
The Bills include amendments in relation to the protection of submarine electricity cables and gas pipelines, enhanced protection of land-based electricity and gas infrastructure, enhanced deterrence in relation to dishonest/fraudulent consumption of gas and meter tampering offences, and provision for issuing of guidelines on anti-competitive practices and conduct and clarification of appeals to the Minister for Trade and Industry in relation to EMA’s regulatory decisions.
Electricity (Amendment) Bill
The Electricity (Amendment) Bill seeks to enhance the security and reliability of electricity supply and protect consumers’ interests. The key amendments in the Electricity (Amendment) Bill include:
- Allowing EMA to direct connection of electrical equipment between an electricity transmission licensee and an electricity licensee.
- Making the use of unlicensed electrical workers an offence.
- Clarifying the status of small contestable consumers.
Gas (Amendment) Bill
In a similar vein to the amendments set out in the Electricity (Amendment) Bill, the Gas (Amendment) Bill seeks to amend the Gas Act to safeguard gas supply security and safety. However, it also seeks to enhance the regulation-making powers of the EMA for the conversion of the town gas pipeline network to convey natural gas. The key amendments in the Gas (Amendment) Bill include:
- Expanding EMA’s powers to deal with emergencies.
- Expanding EMA’s functions to deal with dangers to health arising from the import of gas.
- Expanding the list of “designated gas licensees”.
- Electricity (Amendment) Bill
- Gas (Amendment) Bill
- MTI response to feedback received for the proposed amendments to the Gas Act and Electricity Act