Energy bill progress

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The Energy Bill has completed the committee stage in the House of Commons now and will soon enter the report stage. No date is yet set. The House of Commons library produced a research report in May that stated:

The flagship policy in the Bill is the “Green Deal”, a scheme whereby homes would be given finance upfront to make energy efficiency improvements, which would then be paid for by energy bill savings. The Bill would also set up a new obligation on energy companies to help certain groups of consumers with saving energy, particularly those who may not qualify for the Green Deal due to high energy costs, or who live in properties where energy efficiency improvements would be particularly expensive.

The Bill also introduces a range of other measures designed to improve energy efficiency; such as facilitating the roll-out of smart meters, widening access to energy performance certificates and making information on energy bills clearer. The Bill also provides measures designed to help improve energy security, to encourage low carbon generation and to grant additional powers to the Coal Authority to charge for certain services.

The Bill has completed all of its stages in the House of Lords where its passage was largely uncontroversial and consensual; there were no divisions on amendments at any stage. One of the particular concerns raised, however, was the large number of provisions in the Bill dependent upon further delegated legislation.

Following this report, there have been amendments in the commons largely to do with big infrastructure such carbon capture and storage. One significant change for councils is the cancellation of the repeal of the Home Energy Conservation Act. Instead this is now to be amended, a recognition by the government that local government and social housing are essential to the delivery of the green deal.