Update: For period 1 April–30 June 2012

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GOVERNMENT BILLS

Energy Bill 2012

On 22 May 2012 the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) published the' draft Energy Bill which will implement the government's ambitious Electricity Market Reform proposals. The proposals in the Bill were first raised in 2010 and are seen as heralding the most radical changes to the UK electricity industry since privatisation of the sector in 1989.

The Energy Bill has three main objectives: encourage greater investment in low carbon energy production, address the concern of achieving security of supply for the medium and long term and achieve an ultimate reduction in the cost of electricity for consumers. Following on from the proposals in the Electricity Market Reform White Paper published last year. Part 1 of the Bill will introduce an Emissions Performance Standard (EPS) (chapter 7), a capacity mechanism in the form of a capacity market (chapter 3) and a system of low-carbon generation revenue support by way of a feed-in tariff operated by Contracts for Difference (FIT CfD) (chapter 1). Part 2 of the Bill will create the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), an independent, industry-financed statutory industry regulator; and Part 3 deals with provisions for the potential sale of the Government Pipeline and Storage System (GPSS), currently managed by the Oil and Pipelines Agency The draft Bill will now be considered by the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee, which will report prior to the introduction of the Bill into Parliament in autumn 2012.

Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill 2012

On 23 May 2012, the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) published the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill. Part I of the Bill sets out key operating principles for the Green Investment Bank, which will promote private sector investment in a green economy. The Bill provides that the bank will operate at arm's length from the government and will only invest in activities that contribute to achieving one or more of the statutory 'green purposes' set out at section 1: (a) the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions; (b) the advancement of efficiency in the use of natural resources; (c) the protection or enhancement of the natural environment; (d) the protection or enhancement of biodiversity; and (e) the promotion of environmental sus-tainability. Following publication and a second| reading in the Commons on 11 June 2012, the Bill will be reviewed by the Public Bill Committee. The Committee was expected to report to Parliament by 17 July 2012.

Green Deal Framework (Disclosure, Acknowledgment, Redress etc.) Regulations 2012, Green Deal (Energy Efficiency Improvements) Order 2012, and Green Deal (Qualifying Energy Improvements) Order 2012 In June 2012, the government published three draft statutory instruments to implement pails of the Green Deal. The three draft instruments together make up two of the seven draft instruments on which the government consulted, at the end of 2011. The Framework Regulations create an authorisation regime to regulate the conduct of key players in the assessment, provision and installation of energy efficiency improvements under Green Deal plans. The Regulations also include (i) conditions that must be met when a Green Deal plan is established; (ii) requirements to ensure that people moving into or acquiring an interest in a property are made aware of a Green Deal plan in advance; and (iii) provision for enforcement. The Energy Efficiency Order sets out sources of energy and types of micro-generation measure for the purpose of defining 'energy efficiency improvements' in the Act. The Qualifying Improvements Order sets out the kinds of energy efficiency improvements that can be installed under a Green Deal plan.

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