Keywords: legislation, cases, consultations, reports, decisions
PRIVATE MEMBERS' BILLS
Energy Generation (Planning and Right to Invest) Bill 2012 (Bill No. 135)
This Private Members' Bill aims to increase public participation in the ownership of electricity distribution grids. It will require energy generation companies to offer residents in local communities the right to purchase a certain proportion of the companies' shares, and will establish Community Power Direct, an agency to advise the local community on energy generation. Planning authorities will be asked to consult Community Power Direct when considering planning applications for energy generating infrastructure.
UK PRIMARY LEGISLATION
Public Bodies Act 2011
This Act, which is an enabling Act, came into force on 14 February 2012. It allows ministers to abolish certain public bodies and offices and modify the functions of a public body including by merging or transfer. Part of the Act is dedicated to environmental provisions which introduce changes in the functions and operation of public bodies concerned with environmental management. Public functions will particularly be altered in Wales where Welsh Ministers are given the power to transfer the functions of the Environment Agency (EA),
Forestry Commissioners (FC) and Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) to a new body, the EA is given the power to transfer its non-devolved functions to its replacement body in Wales, and the EA and FC are given the power to decide that environ mental management in Wales is to be exercised by one of them. In addition, environmental regulators in the UK are given the power to transfer some of their public functions (such as administrative, professional or technical services) to another body.
Localism Act 2011
Certain provisions of the Localism Act, by virtue of section 240(1), came into force on 15 January 2012, being two months after the date the Act was passed. The most noteworthy provisions include the abolition of home information packs, the commencement of new provisions on pre-determination by decision makers and provisions requiring decision makers to take any local finance considerations into account, in so far as they are material, in determining planning applications.
UK SECONDARY LEGISLATION
Electricity and Gas (Carbon Emissions and Community Energy Saving) (Amendment) Order 2011
On 1 April 2012, the Electricity and Gas (Carbon Emissions and Community Energy Saving) (Amendment) Order 2011 (SI 2011, No. 3062) came into force. Energy suppliers with fewer than 250,000 domestic consumers are exempt from the obligations of the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) and the Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP) by this Order. The CERT requires that suppliers participating in the programme support energy efficiency measures for households (such as installation of insulation), and the CESP requires that suppliers and generators propose energy saving measures to low-income households.