Update on Progress of the Energy Bill
The Third Reading of the Energy Bill in the House of Commons was heard on 14 September 2011. The Commons has suggested a number of minor amendments which will be heard by the Lords on 4 October 2011.
PRIVATE MEMBERS BILLS
There were no new private members bills as at 30 September 2011.
There were no new private bills as at 30 September 2011.
UK PRIMARY LEGISLATION
Finance Act 2011 paves the way for the carbon price floor
The Finance Bill 2011 received Royal Assent on 19 July 2011. The Act includes primary legislative powers, set out at sections 78-80 and paragraph 6 of Schedule 20, to make regulations to introduce a carbon price floor, as envisaged in the July 2011 Electricity Market Reform White Paper, through amendments to the climate change levy. The carbon price floor is described in the White Paper as the 'necessary first step in delivering a package of reforms for the electricity market to support low-carbon investment'.
UK SECONDARY LEGISLATION
Adoption of Private Sewers Regulations in force
On 1 July 2011 the Water Industry (Schemes for Adoption of Private Sewers) Regulations 2011 (SI 2011, No. 1566) came into force to implement the mass transfer of private commercial and domestic sewers and lateral drains to statutory water and sewerage undertakers which will take place 'overnight' on 1 October this year. The undertakers must give two months' notice to the owners of sewers and lateral drains affected by the proposed transfer that they will be adopting the sewers or drains, under the Water Industry Act 1991, and must also publish a notice in the London Gazette and in regional newspapers covering the undertakers area. Appeals against proposals, which will be heard by Ofwat, must be brought no later than two months from the date on which the proposals were served. Where a sewerage company had failed to serve a proposal, appellants had until 30 September 2011 to bring an appeal.
Publication of Draft Regulations to implement the EU third internal energy package On 18 July 2011, the draft Electricity and Gas (Internal Markets) Regulations 2011 were laid before Parliament. The Regulations will make changes to the electricity and gas wholesale markets to implement parts of the EU third internal energy package (consisting of Regulation 713/2009 establishing the EU Agency for cooperation of national energy regulators, Directive 2009/72 concerning common rules for the internal market in electricity, Directive 2009/73 concerning common rules for the internal market in natural gas, Regulation 714/2009 on conditions for access to the network for cross-border exchanges in electricity and Regulation 715/2009 on conditions for access to the natural gas transmission networks).
The key feature of the third package is the concept of 'ownership unbundling' which aims to separate the ownership of energy generation from control of distribution through transmission systems to improve access to the market and competition. Many of the third package provisions will be implemented through changes to both the Gas Act 1986 and the Electricity Act 1989, for example, the Gas Act will be amended to restrict the granting of a gas transporter licence to a person who is also a gas producer with a similar restriction on electricity distribution licences. If adopted, the Secretary of State will be required to review the operation of the Regulations and produce a report for Parliament every five years.