The latest thing that the UK needs right now is to be fined millions of pounds over its energy practices. However, that may just be what the UK is facing now. According to reports, the UK may face up to a quarter million pounds in fines every single day. Apparently, this would be due to the UK’s failure to apply European Union internal energy sector regulations in Northern Ireland.
The rule in question is the one that separates energy production, as well as supply, and simplifies third party access to private networks. Of course, this news may not come as a shock to many people in the UK since most people know that they UK’s energy industry is already iffy at best.
Currently, the European Commission is referring the UK to the European Union Court for Justice. The government is being sent there for failing to comply with a March 2011 closing date to order the directives into countrywide law. Although this law has been brought into force around the rest of the UK, Northern Ireland has yet to see this new rule be implemented.
Gunther Oettinger, who is the Energy Commissioner for all of the European Union, said that the delays implementing this ruling in Northern Ireland have not gone unnoticed. Failing to put these rules into effect is a negative outcome for all “players” in the energy market. Thus, this is a problem that cannot simply be overlooked.
Now, with this new fine being placed on the UK, it should not take long for the government to get its act in gear. In fact, the Department of Energy and Climate Change says they would have these new rules implemented by April of this year in Northern Ireland.
Although it is good to see the government acting quickly, it is likely to lose a lot of taxpayers’ money before the problem is fixed. In fact, the UK will be subjected to a daily consequence of at least £127,000 every day after the court’s decision, until the rules are finally transposed. Do keep in mind, however, that this penalty has not been issued by the courts yet. The gravity and the duration of this penalty will not be made official until the courts have ordered it.