The objectives of this Act are to:
(1) promote adequate and secure energy service provision, while maintaining fairness for both energy consumers and licensees;
(2) protect energy consumers’ benefits in terms of both tariffs and service quality;
(3) promote competition in the energy industry and prevent abusive use of dominance in the energy industry operation;
(4) promote fairness and transparency of the service provision of the energy network systems, without unjust discrimination;
(5) promote the efficient energy industry operation and ensure fairness for both licensees and energy consumers;
(6) protect the rights and liberty of the energy consumers, local communities, general public and licensees in terms of participation, accessibility, utilization and management of energy under the criteria that are fair for stakeholders;
(7) promote economical and efficient use of energy and resources in the energy industry operation, with due consideration of the environmental impact and the balance of natural resources; and
(8) promote the use renewable energy that has less adverse impact on the environment in the electricity industry operation.
The government should establish the fundamental policy guidelines on energy industry as follows:
(1) Procure energy to adequately meet the demand, with good quality, security as well as reasonable and fair prices, emphasizing full exploitation and
(2) Promote economical, efficient and worthwhile use of energy, including promoting the application of efficient technologies as well as the distributed generation system in power generation, in order to reduce the investment in energy utilization, to reduce fuel costs in the manufacturing processes and to reduce health impact and other associated impacts resulting from energy production and utilization, while increasing the economic competitive edge of the country.
(3) Promote the participation of the local communities and the general public in the management and monitoring of energy-related operations to ensure that the management and tariff determination are carried out with transparency, with the establishment of a regulatory body for the energy industry operation to protect energy consumers and to ensure fairness for all stakeholders.
(4) Promote correct knowledge, awareness and behavior with relation to the economical, efficient and worthwhile use of energy among the general public.
(5) Support the electricity industry as the fundamental public utility, the maintenance of the power system security and reliability; in this regard, the government will be responsible for the operation of the power network system business, the power system operator and hydropower plants – with the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand being the operator of the power transmission system, and the Metropolitan Electricity Authority and the Provincial Electricity Authority being the operators of the power distribution systems -- including the retention of an appropriate share of the power generation capacity of the state-owned electricity industry.
For the purpose of regulating the energy industry operation under this Act, the Minister shall have the following authority and duties:
(1) recommend to the cabinet the policy on the energy industry structure;
(2) recommend to the National Energy Policy Council (NEPC) the policy on the energy procurement and the policy on diversification of fuel sources and types for power generation to ensure efficiency and security of the electricity industry;
(3) consider the power development plan, the investment plans of the electricity industry, the natural gas procurement plan and the energy network system expansion plans, commented by the ERC pursuant to Section 11 (5), for submission to the cabinet for approval;
(4) propose to the NEPC the policy on the protection against and solution to energy shortages;
(5) propose to the NEPC the policy, targets and general strategies of the energy industry operation;
(6) set the policy on customer service standards and energy industry operation standards;
(7) set the policy on extensive provision of energy services as well as energy services for the underprivileged, including the policy dealing with the energy consumers’ petitions;
(8) recommend to the NEPC the policy on the sending of contributions to the Fund and on the Fund utilization;
(9) consider the operational plan of the ERC and the expenditure budget of the Office for submission to the cabinet for approval;
(10) approve the rules and Codes of Conduct of the ERC Commissioners and the competent officials, as proposed by the ERC pursuant to Section 11 (8); and
(11) perform any other duty as stipulated in this Act.
All the regulations, rules, announcements or codes to be generally enforced shall come into effect upon their publication in the Government Gazette.
THE REGULATORY BODY FOR THE ENERGY INDUSTRY OPERATION
The Energy Regulatory Commission
There shall be established the Energy Regulatory Commission, comprising one Chairman and six other commissioners graciously appointed by His Majesty the King.
The Secretary General shall be the Secretary to the ERC.
The ERC shall have the following authority and duties:
(1) regulate the energy industry operation to ensure the compliance with the objectives of this Act under the policy framework of the government;
(2) issue an announcement determining the types of licenses for energy industry operation, and recommend the issuance of a Royal Decree to determine the categories, capacities and characteristics of energy industry that are exempt from the license requirement;
(3) establish measures to ensure security and reliability of the power system;
(4) establish the regulations and criteria of the electricity procurement and the issuance of Requests for Proposals for the purchase of power as well as monitor the selection procedures to ensure fairness for all stakeholders;
(5) provide comments on the power development plan, the investment plans of the electricity industry, the natural gas procurement plan and the energy network system expansion plans for submission to the Minister under Section 9 (3);
(6) inspect the energy industry operation of the licensees to ensure efficiency and transparency;
(7) issue regulations or announcements establishing the customer service standards and quality, including measures to protect energy consumers against adverse impacts resulting from the energy industry operation;
(8) propose the rules and Codes of Conduct of the ERC Commissioners and the competent officials to the Minister under Section 9 (10);
(9) issue regulations or announcements on the determination of the policy and guidelines with regard to the stake holding or the conflict of interests of the ERC Commissioners and the competent officials;
(10) issue regulations or announcements on the determination of criteria, method and conditions of the contribution sending to the Fund and the Fund utilization to be in line with the NEPC policy under Section 9 (8);