Ministry of Trade and Industry ("MTI”) and the Energy Market Authority ("EMA”)
are seeking public feedback on the draft Gas (Amendment) Bill and the draft Electricity
(Amendment) Bill. The public
consultation period is from 22 June 2018
to 16 July 2018. The proposed amendments are to enable more effective
regulation of the gas and electricity markets, to enhance the security and
reliability of gas and electricity supply, protect critical infrastructure and enhance
competitiveness in Singapore’s energy market.
Gas and Electricity Acts
Gas and Electricity Acts were enacted in 2001 to (i) establish a competitive
market framework for the gas and electricity industries, and (ii) provide for
the safety, technical and economic regulation of the transportation and retail
of gas, as well as the generation, transmission, supply and use of electricity.
The Electricity Act was last amended in 2006 to enhance the regulation and
licensing of electricity transmission while the Gas Act was last amended in
2007 to enhance regulation and introduce competition in the gas import,
shipping and retail sectors.
then, the gas and electricity sectors have evolved and there is a need to
update the Acts to ensure their continued relevance. Today, Singapore is
heavily reliant on imported natural gas, which generates about 95% of our electricity.
New initiatives such as the Open Electricity Market which enables all consumers
to choose their electricity retailer will also affect the energy landscape. The
proposed changes will allow EMA to enhance the security, reliability, and
competitiveness of our gas and electricity supplies.
and EMA are proposing to amend the Gas and Electricity Acts as per the draft Gas
(Amendment) Bill and the draft Electricity (Amendment) Bill as set out in Appendix
1 and Appendix 2 respectively. The key amendments are explained below.
Amendments to the Gas Act
supply security and safety
Powers to deal with emergencies. To enable proactive measures to
avert gas supply emergencies/disruptions, MTI proposes to expand the scope of
the Gas Act to enable EMA, with the approval of the Minister, to issue
directions to licensees and other parties to take measures to safeguard gas
supply, in the event of a potential, imminent or actual severe gas shortage that
threatens energy security or system stability or that is likely to result in
severe loss of electricity supply or industrial output. Such directions will only
be issued in emergencies, and affected parties will receive compensation, which
will be determined by an independent pricing panel.
Expanding EMA’s functions under the
Gas Act to deal with dangers to health arising from the import of gas. EMA’s present regulatory role includes
protecting the public from dangers arising from the production, supply and use
of gas. To cover activities across the entire value-chain, MTI proposes to
expand EMA’s functions to include protecting the public from dangers to health
arising from gas-related activities, including the import of gas.
Expanding the list of "designated
gas licensees”. Under
the Gas Act, EMA’s approval is required for changes in ownership and
board/chief executive officer appointments of "designated gas licensees”.
Presently, the gas transporter licensee (responsible for the management and
operation of the gas transmission system) and its agent licensee are classified
as "designated gas licensees”. As liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply is
critical in ensuring energy security, MTI proposes to amend the Gas Act to add the
LNG terminal operator (currently Singapore LNG Corporation Pte Ltd) as a "designated
gas licensee” and to enable the Minister to specify other "designated gas
licensees” and revise the list of "designated gas licensees” via Gazette,
moving forward, to provide flexibility in designating critical licensees as the
gas industry evolves.
Clarifying EMA’s regulatory
functions. In line
with EMA’s mandate to ensure security and reliability of gas supply, MTI proposes
to amend the Gas Act to (i) clarify that EMA’s regulatory functions include the
supervision, monitoring and arranging for the secure operation of the gas
transmission system, which EMA already performs, and (ii) enable EMA to enter
into contracts in performing these functions, and recover costs for services
regulation-making powers for the conversion of the town gas pipeline network to
convey natural gas
proposes to amend the town gas conversion regulation-making powers under the
Gas Act to enable gas licensees carrying out the conversion to obtain relevant
information from relevant parties to facilitate timely and safe execution of
the conversion of the town gas pipeline network to convey natural gas ("town
gas conversion”) in the future, if necessary.
to the Electricity Act
Enhancing security and reliability of electricity supply
10. The electricity
transmission licensee, viz. SP PowerAssets Ltd ("SPPA”), owns and manages the electricity
transmission system that transmits electricity from generation companies to
consumers. To expand the electricity transmission system capacity to meet increased
electricity demand over time, and to ensure security and reliability of
electricity supply to consumers, SPPA may need to connect its electrical
to the electrical equipment of other electricity licensees, to increase electricity
transmission capacity for purposes of supplying electricity to consumers.
11. MTI therefore
proposes to amend the Electricity Act so that where EMA considers that such a connection
is necessary for the expansion of the transmission network, EMA will be able to
issue directions to the transmission licensee and the electricity licensee to effect
the connection, subject to reasonable terms of connections to be agreed. If the
transmission licensee and the electricity licensee are unable to agree on the
terms of connection, EMA will be empowered to direct the transmission licensee
and electricity licensee to effect the connection on terms that EMA considers
12. Clarifying EMA’s regulatory functions. EMA
currently performs the role of power system operator as part of its regulatory
function in arranging for the secure operation of the electricity transmission
system under the Electricity Act, and recovers its administrative costs from
the electricity market through the Electricity Market Rules and regulatory contracts
entered into with electricity licensees. MTI proposes to amend the Electricity
Act to make clear that EMA may enter into regulatory contracts in relation to
its functions and recover costs for services provided.
Protecting consumers’ interests
13. Expanding regulatory regime relating to
unlicensed persons carrying out electrical works. To enhance protection of consumers’ interests when
they engage electrical workers to carry out electrical works at their premises,
MTI proposes to amend the Electricity Act to expand the regulatory regime
relating to persons carrying electrical works without valid electrical worker licences,
to also make it an offence for firms to provide services involving electrical
work to consumers using unlicensed electrical workers. The penalty for such
offences carries a maximum fine of $10,000 and/or 1-year imprisonment term and
in the case of a continuing offence, to a further fine not exceeding $250 for
every day or part thereof during which the offence continues after conviction.
14. Clarifying the rights of small contestable
consumers. MTI proposes to amend the Electricity Act to clarify, for the
avoidance of doubt, that small contestable consumers
may apply to cease their status as contestable consumers and purchase
electricity at regulated tariffs, if (a) they cannot or do not want to purchase
electricity from electricity retailers or directly from the wholesale
electricity market, or (b) the electricity retailer supplying electricity to
them is unable or refuses to retail electricity to them for any reason. This
will make clear the present arrangement, in line with the Electricity
(Contestable Consumers) Regulations.
apply to both the Gas and Electricity Acts
submarine electricity cables and gas pipelines
electricity cables within Singapore’s territorial waters transmit electricity
between Jurong Island and Singapore island as well as other islands where
electricity supply is needed. Submarine gas pipelines convey imported natural
gas from Malaysia and Indonesia to our gas pipeline network. Damage to these
cables/pipelines can disrupt Singapore’s electricity and gas supply and cause
severe economic repercussions. Therefore, there is a need to protect such critical
infrastructure. MTI proposes to make it an offence for any person to damage any
submarine electricity cable or gas pipeline and empower the court to impose a
fine of up to $2m and/or imprisonment of up to 5 years.
protection of land-based electricity and gas infrastructure
it is an offence, under the Gas and Electricity Acts, to damage a high voltage
cable in the electricity transmission network or a gas plant or gas pipe in a
gas pipeline network during earthworks. To enhance the protection of these critical
electricity and gas infrastructure, MTI proposes to amend the Gas and
Electricity Acts to provide that it will be an offence to damage or cause or
permit such electricity or gas infrastructure to be damaged. The penalty for these
offences is a maximum fine of up to $1m and/or imprisonment of up to 5 years.
in relation to dishonest/fraudulent consumption of gas and meter tampering
under the Gas and Electricity Acts, dishonest/fraudulent consumption of
gas/electricity carries a maximum fine of $50,000 and/or 5-year imprisonment
term. This is insufficient to deter large scale dishonest/fraudulent
consumption. MTI therefore proposes to introduce an additional penalty of 3
times the value of gas or electricity dishonestly/fraudulently consumed on
offenders convicted in court, and require the offender to make compensation for
the value of gas/electricity consumed.
18. MTI also
proposes to enhance the existing meter tampering offences in the Gas Act and Electricity
Act by making it an offence for any person to do anything which affects the
ability of a meter to meter gas or electricity supplied to premises or the
proper operation of the meter. This will enable EMA to prosecute offenders who
use novel or unconventional methods to carry out meter tampering. The penalty
for such offences will be similar to the penalty for dishonest/fraudulent
consumption of gas or electricity highlighted in Para 17 above (i.e. $50,000
and/or 5-year imprisonment term and an additional penalty of 3 times the value
of gas or electricity dishonestly/fraudulently consumed).
Provision for issuing of guidelines on anti-competitive practices and
augment existing provisions in the Gas and Electricity Acts that empower EMA to
regulate anti-competitive practices and conduct in the gas and electricity
markets, MTI proposes to amend both Acts to enable EMA to issue guidelines to
inform market participants on practices and conduct that are deemed anti-competitive.
This is in line with similar provisions in the Competition Act relating to anti-competitive
practices and conduct in other markets in Singapore.
Clarifying appeals to the Minister in relation to
EMA’s regulatory decisions
20. To ensure
that appeals to the Minister in relation to EMA’s regulatory decisions are
clearly articulated and well-substantiated, MTI proposes to amend the Gas and
Electricity Acts to include criteria to require appellants to set out concisely
the circumstances, issues and grounds of appeal and submit all relevant facts,
evidence and arguments when submitting appeals to the Minister, and to enable
Minister to reject appeals if these criteria are not met. This will preclude appeals
that lack basis. MTI also proposes to amend the Gas and Electricity Acts to
provide for the safeguarding of confidential and sensitive information
submitted in appeals. This is in line with other Acts such as the
Telecommunications Act, Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore Act etc.
provisions in both the Gas and Electricity Acts
Aligning and updating similar regulatory provisions in the two Acts
21. Emergency powers. The Electricity Act
empowers the Minister to make a "Special Administration Order” ("SAO”) in
relation to the management of the affairs, business and property of any
electricity licensee in the event of a public emergency and in certain
The Gas Act limits the SAO only to the gas transporter and LNG terminal
operator licensees. MTI proposes to align these provisions of the Gas Act with
those of the Electricity Act, to empower the Minister to be able to make a SAO
in relation to any gas licensee. This will enable a SAO to be issued in
relation to the management of a gas licensee’s business in the event of a
public emergency or similar situations to ensure the security and reliability
of gas supply.
22. Licensable electricity-related activities. The
regulatory and licensing framework in the Gas Act currently enables the
Minister to specify, by order published in the Gazette, new gas-related
activities that need to be regulated and licensed to ensure gas supply
security, reliability and safety. MTI proposes to align the provisions of the Electricity
Act with these provisions of the Gas Act to enable Minister, by order published
in the Gazette, to specify new electricity-related activities that need to be
licensed and regulated.
23. Acquisition and divestment controls. To
ensure consistency in the ownership, acquisition and divestment controls over gas/electricity
licensees in both the Gas and Electricity Acts respectively, MTI proposes to
amend these provisions in the Electricity Act to be in line with those in the
Gas Act, as the latter are more detailed and comprehensive.
24. Duties of persons carrying out earthworks. To
ensure that the duties of persons carrying out earthworks are consistent in
both the Gas and Electricity Acts, MTI proposes to amend these provisions in the
Electricity Act to be in line with those in the Gas Act, as the latter is
broader in scope.
for Comments and Feedback
25. MTI and EMA
invite parties to provide their views and comments on the draft Gas (Amendment)
Bill and the draft Electricity (Amendment) Bill as set out in Appendix 1 and
Appendix 2 respectively by 16 July 2018. Electronic submission is encouraged.
Please use the template in Appendix 3 for your submission and send it to email@example.com.
26. Please note that all submissions
received will be published and attributed to the respective respondents unless
they expressly request MTI not to do so. As such, if respondents would like (i)
their whole submission or part of it, or (ii) their identity, or both, to be
kept confidential, please expressly state so in the submission to MTI. In
addition, MTI reserves the right not to publish any submission received where
MTI considers it not in the public interest to do so, such as where the
submission appears to be libellous or offensive.
27. Please note that the draft
amendments to the Gas and Electricity Acts are released only for the purpose of
consultation and does not represent the final legislation. All comments
received during the consultation exercise will be reviewed thoroughly and, if
accepted, will be incorporated into the Bills for introduction in Parliament.
~ End ~
Appendix 1 Draft Gas Amendment Bill.pdf
Appendix 2 Draft Electricity Amendment Bill.pdf
Appendix 3 Format for Submission of Comments and Feedback.pdf
 Electrical equipment
could be in the form of any line, plant, apparatus or appliance used for the
supply of electricity.
 "Small contestable
consumers” refers to contestable consumers whose average monthly electricity
consumption for the preceding continuous 12-month period is less than 4MWh.
section 34(2) of the Gas Act, the Minister may make a SAO on the occurrence of a public emergency, or if the
licensee is unable to pay its debts, or in the interest of the security and
reliability of the services provided by the licensee, or in the public