This update contains brief details of Government and EU publications, legislation, cases and other policy developments in England and Wales relevant to those interested in energy, renewables, energy efficiency and the alternative energy sector, which have been published in the past month.
Items are set out by subject, with a link to where the full document can be found on the internet. All links are correct at the date of publication.
If you have been forwarded this update by a colleague and would like to receive it direct please email Claire Booth.
The following topics are covered in this update:
|Carbon Reduction||Green Deal|
|Electricity Market Reform||Regulation|
|Energy Companies Obligation||Renewable Heat|
|Energy Efficiency||Shale Gas|
|Energy Policy||Smart Meters|
Ofgem: Further consultation on implementing the Discretionary Funding Mechanism under the Low Carbon Networks Fund: the Low Carbon Networks Fund includes a Discretionary Funding Mechanism, which allows for up to £100m to be awarded to Distribution Network Operators. This funding is available to provide discretionary rewards to certain projects that bring particular value to the challenge of preparing networks for the low carbon economy. Ofgem is now seeking views on its proposed approach to administering this mechanism. The consultation closes on 3 October 2014. (21 August 2014)
DECC: Evaluation of the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target and Community Energy Saving Programme: this report sets out the findings from an independent evaluation of the CERT and the CESP, which ran from 2008-2012. The research was undertaken by a consortium of Ipsos MORI, CAG Consultants, University College London and Energy Saving Trust. The aim of the evaluation was to determine whether CERT and CESP met their objectives and to provide evidence to inform future energy efficiency policy design and implementation. This report sets out the key findings and conclusions of the evaluation which broadly fell into three research streams: process research, householder experience and energy company cost analysis. (5 September 2014)
DECC: Speech to Powering up!: transcript of the Energy Secretary's speech to the Powering up! conference for local authorities and community energy groups. He talks about progress with the Government's Community Energy Strategy and action planned for the near future. (4 September 2014)
DECC: Consultation and amendments to Capacity Market Rules 2014: seeks views on proposed amendments to the Capacity Market Rules 2014 so as to clarify eligibility for 15 year capacity agreements. DECC will shortly publish a draft of the proposed amendments in a separate document alongside this consultation. Government will shortly bring into force an amended set of Rules, the Capacity Market (Amendment No.1) Rules 2014, that contain a number of technical amendments which correct drafting errors in the Rules. These amendments are summarised in Chapter 3 of this consultation document. The consultation closes on 9 September 2014. (19 August 2014)
DECC: Contracts for Difference – Standard terms and conditions: DECC has published the Standard Terms & Conditions (T&Cs) to be used in the first CFD Allocation Round. Each CFD Contract issued in this Allocation Round will comprise two components: the specific CFD Agreement; and a copy of the Standard T&Cs. This web page links to templates for:
- the Standard T&Cs;
- the generic CFD Agreement that forms the front section of the CFD Contract;
- the Phasing Agreement (Single Metering) and Phasing Agreement (Single Apportioned Metering) – these are specific to large-scale offshore wind projects seeking to build their project in modular sections over several years; and
- the Private Network CFD Agreement – this is a variant of the CFD Agreement applying to those projects that are licence-exempt and trading on a private electricity network.
(29 August 2014)
Ofgem: Electricity Market Reform dispute resolution guidance: Ofgem has a statutory role in determining certain disputes in the capacity market and contracts for difference mechanisms where participants disagree with a decision made by National Grid. This guidance provides an overview of the dispute resolution process and the procedures it will follow in making its decision. (28 August 2014)
Ofgem: Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) – Consultation on revisions to the guidance for suppliers: the Electricity and Gas (Energy Companies Obligation) (Amendment) (No.2) Order 2014 makes a number of changes to ECO. The first set of changes relate to the current obligation period ending March 2015. This paper seeks views on revised Ofgem ECO guidance for suppliers in light of these changes. It outlines the legislative changes being made and highlights where Ofgem will be exercising some degree of discretion in its administration of those changes. The consultation closes on 22 September 2014. (11 August 2014)
DfT: Greener fire engines, ambulances, buses and taxis on the way: announces that 17 successful bidders have been awarded funding from the Clean Vehicle Technology Fund to fit pollution-reducing technologies to their vehicles, including buses, fire engines and ambulances. (8 September 2014)
Green Alliance: Greener Britain – Practical proposals for party manifestos from the environment and conservation sector: in this report, Green Alliance and nine other leading environment organisations set out seven goals for the 2015-2020 Parliament for a better environment and the way people live in Britain. The proposals include: making an ambitious 2015 global climate change deal a key foreign policy priority; a new Sustainable Neighbourhoods deal giving more power to communities; a major new approach to household energy savings; and improvements to resource management for a more resilient economy. The seven goals and proposals are listed in the press release. (1 September 2014)
Consumer Credit (Information Requirements and Duration of Licences and Charges) (Amendment) Regulations 2014 (SI 2014/2369): these regulations, which come into force on 26 September 2014, amend SI 2007/1167 that prescribes information and forms of wording which must be included in statements which creditors must give to debtors under the Consumer Credit Act 1974. These regulations amend the requirements of the 2007 Regulations for statements given in relation to Green Deal plans. DECC is considering an update to the Green Deal Code of Practice to reflect these changes. (5 September 2014)
DCLG: Guidance on the pre-application process for major infrastructure projects: the Planning Act 2008 created a new development consent regime for nationally significant infrastructure projects in the fields of energy, transport, water, waste water, and waste. This revised guidance sets out the requirements and procedures for the pre-application process and consultation for major infrastructure projects. It covers all the main processes prior to the submission of an application, including the pre-application consultation, EIA, Habitats Regulations Assessments, and advice on drafting a Development Consent Order. It has been updated to include a new final section relating to the publication of applications. (29 August 2014)
DECC: Strategy and policy statement: the Ofgem Review in 2011 recommended that the Government should introduce a Strategy and Policy Statement (SPS) to provide more clarity about the roles of Ofgem and Government, the strategic context for Ofgem’s independent regulatory role, and greater confidence that policy and regulation will be consistent and coherent. The Energy Act 2013 gives the Secretary of State power to designate a SPS and imposes new duties on Ofgem to have regard to the strategic priorities when carrying out its regulatory functions and to carry out those functions in the way it considers is best calculated to further the delivery of the specified policy outcomes. This paper seeks views on the draft SPS. The consultation closes on 17 October 2014. (14 August 2014)
DECC: Renewable heat systems case studies: DECC has published two sets of case studies showing the different type of renewable heating systems and the savings that householders and businesses, public sector and non-profit organisations have made:
(27 August 2014)
Friends of the Earth: Planning & unconventional oil and gas: summaries the regulatory framework for hydrocarbon minerals developments using unconventional techniques, covering both the land use planning system and the pollution permit system. (26 August 2014)
Friends of the Earth Cymru: How many jobs will fracking bring to Wales?: this briefing argues that that, at its peak, a shale gas industry is likely to create just 240 jobs for the people of Wales, mostly in low-skilled, low-paying employment. It cliams that even this peak period of maximum employment will only last four years, after which employment will rapidly decline. (1 September 2014)
Ofgem: Extending the smart meter framework for data access and privacy to Remote Access Meters: seeks views on final proposals to extend the supply licence smart meter rules to ensure that domestic and micro business consumers with Remote Access Meters have the same control of their energy consumption data as consumers with smart meters. The proposals have been revised in light of responses to the initial consultation in December 2013. The consultation closes on 26 September 2014. (29 August 2014)
HC Public Accounts Committee: Update on preparations for smart metering: this report scrutinises progress with DECC's Smart Metering Implementation Programme, which requires energy suppliers to replace 53m meters in homes and small businesses with smart electricity and gas meters by 2020. The costs of installing smart meters, some £10.9bn, will be borne by consumers through their energy bills. The Committee is concerned that DECC is primarily relying on assumed competition in the industry to control costs and deliver benefits, and that this may well prove insufficient on its own to protect consumers. There is also a danger that the Government gets locked into an existing technology when technologies are changing fast – leading to consumers paying for investment in a system which is already out of date. It concludes that DECC must monitor progress, costs and benefits during roll-out to identify whether changes are needed to secure the delivery of smart meters at minimum cost to consumers and ensure that vulnerable and low income households benefit. (10 September 2014)
Friends of the Earth: 20 things you need to know about solar power: guide for those thinking of switching to solar power, whether at home, at work or at school. (14 August 2014)