The public will recall the efforts of the Department of Energy that led to the Government’s adoption of Bermuda’s National Fuels Policy in 2018. Since then, further findings have provided valuable insight into the island’s fuel sector. With this information, the Ministry of Home Affairs, through the Department of Energy, is pleased to introduce the Draft Consultation Fuels Bill (Draft Fuels Bill).
“This draft legislation is vital to Bermuda’s energy sector in these leaner economic times,” said the Minister of Home Affairs, Walter Roban. “As we look forward to a future of renewable energy, fuels- particularly fossil fuels- will have a role, and we aim to ensure that it is well-regulated with clarity and fairness for all.”
“As such, the proposed legislation will set clear rules and responsibilities for the public, Government, and the fuels sector stakeholders, protecting the consumer and ensuring that fuel pricing is fair and transparent. It also provides that the Regulatory Authority is the central point of contact for any new participants wishing to enter the local market.”
The Draft Fuels Bill seeks to set out the framework for the regulation of the fuels sector by:
- Defining to whom the legislation will apply and key terms of the industry;
- Giving authority to the Regulatory Authority to regulate the fuels sector as another market segment under the Regulatory Authority Act 2011;
- Setting out purposes, among which are to ensure pricing is fair, transparent, and protects the consumer;
- Setting out the broad functions of the Regulatory Authority and the Minister;
- Making provision for licences and their administration;
- Setting out the powers of the Regulator and the Minister;
- Making provisions for compliance powers for the Regulator; and
- Defining offences and providing actions for enforcement.
It is important to note that the Draft Fuels Bill does not include the Regulations. The Regulations will be developed following the Bill being tabled in the House of Assembly and a further public consultation period. However, the Regulations will seek to achieve the following objectives:
- Provide for applications for fuel licences and the types or classes of those licences;
- Provide for all actions to the licences and conditions of those licenses;
- Prescribe measures that require the licensees to provide and/or publish various information;
- Define critical infrastructure assets and prescribe rules governing those;
- Prescribe thresholds or restrictions for the licences;
- Provide safety measures, service standards, and consumer protection;
- Define offences and prescribe penalties for those offences;
- Provide for objections and appeals;
- Provide for savings and transitional matters;
- Provide for the Regulatory Authority to exercise its functions under the new Act or the Regulatory Authority Act 2011; and
- Prescribe any other matters or measures the Minister deems necessary for the Regulatory Authority to exercise its functions and duties concerning the Fuels Sector.
The Ministry of Home Affairs invites and encourages all members of the public to review the Draft Fuels Bill and objectives of the Regulations and provide your thoughts, suggestions, and feedback by emailing the Department of Energy at firstname.lastname@example.org, no later than 5 PM, September 7th, 2022.
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