A dispute is defined in the Gas (Interim) (Regulation) Act, 2002 as a network connection dispute. Parties who have a statutory right to be connected to the transmission or the distribution system under the terms of this Act also have a right to refer a dispute which they may have with Bord Gáis Networks (BGN) to be determined by the CER. Section 10 (A) (8) of the 1976 Gas Act, as inserted by Section 14 (1) of the Gas (Interim) (Regulation) Act, 2002 provides as follows:
Upon receiving a dispute, the CER will follow the following steps:
- The party raising the dispute will be invited to make written submissions to the CER setting out their arguments on the matters in dispute;
- The party against whom the dispute is being raised (“the Respondent”) will be provided with the disputing party’s submission and will be afforded an opportunity to comment and make counter arguments;
- All parties to the dispute will be provided with the submissions of the other party throughout the dispute and will have an opportunity to add further comments;
- The CER will take advice from its own independent consultants where appropriate, for example on technical matters;
- If the CER considers it necessary and/or if any of the parties request it, the CER will meet with either or both of the parties to the dispute;
- The CER will respect the right to commercial confidentiality of both parties or of third parties who maybe indirectly involved in a dispute, providing such rights are invoked reasonably and subject to the CER’s statutory duties;
- The CER will circulate a draft determination of the dispute to the parties for comment before making a final determination and the parties will be afforded the opportunity to makes submissions on the draft determination;
- The CER will consider any submissions made before issuing the final determination.
The CER aims to resolve disputes within a two month period in line with Statutory Instrument no 452 of 2004. In order to meet this deadline, the CER will ask for the co-operation of all parties to the dispute in proving timely and comprehensive information and in responding promptly to requests for information.
The CER also has a role in relation to dealing with complaints. SI 452 of 2004 gives the CER responsibility to deal with unresolved complaints with respect to suppliers and network operators in gas. For details on the complaint handling process, please see the Consumer Complaints section of our website.