At Josh and Mak International, we are dedicated to providing comprehensive legal guidance on various contractual agreements within the energy sector. This article offers a detailed analysis of the contract for the supply of gas for domestic use by Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL). It covers the essential terms and conditions, consumer obligations, and the legal implications involved.

Overview of the Contract

Parties to the Contract: The contract is made between SNGPL, a company incorporated under the Companies Ordinance 1984, with its registered office at 21, Kashmir Road, Lahore, and the domestic consumer (referred to as “the Consumer”), whose full details are specified in the contract.

Purpose: The contract governs the supply of natural gas by SNGPL to the Consumer for domestic use at the specified premises.

Key Components of the Contract:

  1. Security Deposit:
    • The Consumer must pay a security deposit, which is refundable, depending on the plot size and usage of gas. For instance:
      • Houses on plots up to 10 marlas (300 sq. yards): Rs. 500 for kitchen only, Rs. 1,000 for kitchen and water heating, and Rs. 1,500 for kitchen, water heating, and space heating.
      • Houses on plots more than 10 marlas (300 sq. yards): Rs. 2,000.
    • Additionally, there are non-refundable service line charges: Rs. 1,500 for plots up to 10 marlas and Rs. 3,000 for larger plots. These charges are subject to revision with the approval of OGRA.
  2. Price:
    • The Consumer pays for natural gas at rates notified by OGRA. Prices are subject to change, and the Consumer must pay minimum charges if consumption falls below the prescribed level.
  3. Meter Rent:
    • The Consumer pays rent for the gas meter at rates prescribed by SNGPL and approved by OGRA. The rent is subject to revision.
  4. Other Charges:
    • The Consumer also pays taxes and charges levied by the government or OGRA on the supply of gas. Additionally, the Consumer is responsible for the repair and maintenance of internal piping and installations after the meter.
  5. Title and Ownership of Gas Meter and Appurtenances:
    • SNGPL retains ownership of the gas meter and associated fittings. The Consumer is responsible for ensuring the safety of these installations.
  6. Houseline Installation, Modification, and Alteration:
    • The internal piping (houseline) is the Consumer’s responsibility. It must be installed and tested by a licensed contractor or by SNGPL’s representative. The Consumer must ensure compliance with SNGPL’s standards.
  7. Meter Installation:
    • The gas meter is installed at the property boundary or another approved location. If the installation site is contested, the Consumer must provide an alternative location at their expense. SNGPL may also install the meter at a neighbour’s boundary with a “No Objection Certificate” from the property owner.
  8. Further Connections:
    • SNGPL reserves the right to provide further connections from the main supply to other premises.
  9. Meter Inspection:
    • SNGPL periodically inspects the gas meter. The Consumer must allow access for such inspections.
  10. Measurements and Meter Register:
    • Gas consumption is measured in cubic feet or cubic meters and converted to British Thermal Units (BTUs). If a meter is found to be inaccurate, adjustments are made based on past consumption.
  11. Billing:
    • Bills are issued monthly and must be paid within 15 days of issuance. Late payments incur a surcharge. If the Consumer disputes a bill, they must raise the issue promptly. Provisional bills may be issued if the meter cannot be read, based on past consumption patterns.
  12. Payment:
    • The Consumer is responsible for timely payment of bills. Failure to pay can result in disconnection of the gas supply.
  13. Unauthorized Connection:
    • The Consumer is prohibited from obtaining or extending gas connections without authorization from SNGPL.
  14. Company’s Right to Reduce/Interrupt/Curtail Supplies:
    • SNGPL may reduce or interrupt gas supply due to accidents, maintenance, or other unavoidable circumstances. The Company is not liable for losses due to such interruptions.
  15. Indemnification:
    • The Consumer is responsible for any loss, damage, or injury resulting from the use of natural gas and must indemnify SNGPL against all claims.
  16. Signing of Contract:
    • The contract must be signed by an authorized officer of SNGPL to be binding.
  17. Contract Cancellation:
    • SNGPL can cancel the contract for various reasons, including non-payment of bills, unauthorized use of gas, or violations of contract terms.
  18. Tampering of Gas Installations:
    • Tampering with the gas meter or installations can result in severe penalties, including disconnection of gas supply and charges for unauthorized consumption.
  19. Reconnection:
    • Reconnection after disconnection requires payment of reconnection charges and clearance of outstanding dues.
  20. Dispute Resolution:
    • Disputes that cannot be amicably resolved are referred to OGRA for resolution.
  21. Missing Gas Supply Contract Form:
    • If the original contract form is missing, standard terms and conditions approved by OGRA at the time of gas supply commissioning will apply.
  22. Required Enclosures:
    • Corporate consumers must provide a board resolution authorizing the signatory. Partnership firms must provide an attested copy of the partnership deed.
  23. Contract Termination by Either Party:
    • Either party can terminate the contract with one month’s notice. All outstanding claims for gas supplied must be settled upon termination.
  24. Undertaking:
    • The Consumer affirms that no previous gas connection at the premises was disconnected for non-payment of bills.

Legal and Operational Implications

Consumer Obligations: The Consumer is obligated to maintain the security deposit, ensure timely payment of bills, and comply with all safety and operational standards. Unauthorized connections or tampering with gas installations can lead to severe penalties, including disconnection and legal action.

SNGPL Rights and Responsibilities: SNGPL retains ownership of gas meters and related installations, ensuring their maintenance and safety. The Company has the right to adjust prices, inspect installations, and interrupt supply for maintenance or other reasons. SNGPL also holds the authority to cancel the contract for non-compliance or other violations by the Consumer.

Dispute Resolution: The contract provides a clear mechanism for resolving disputes through OGRA, ensuring that both parties have a formal recourse for addressing grievances.

Financial Implications: The financial terms, including security deposits, meter rent, and other charges, are clearly defined, ensuring transparency and predictability for the Consumer.

Conclusion

The SNGPL contract for the supply of gas for domestic use outlines comprehensive terms and conditions that govern the relationship between the Company and domestic consumers. At Josh and Mak International, we are committed to helping our clients understand and comply with these contractual obligations, ensuring smooth and efficient operations. For detailed advice and support, please contact our expert team.

By The Josh and Mak Team

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