On the 18th December 2013, The Energy Act received Royal Assent (in layman’s terms, this means the Queen has given it the go-ahead). This Act aims to clearly define a framework for secure, affordable, and environmentally-friendly energy. Which is hopefully good news for everyone in the UK.
Lowering Carbon Levels
The Secretary of State is aiming to set a 2030 target for decarbonisation for energy companies. This should all go ahead when the Committee on Climate Change has advised on the carbon budget. Everything should be finalised by 2016.
Electricity Market Reform (EMR)
The government is hoping to attract £110 billion in investment for the energy sector. With the rising demand for electricity, the grid needs serious upgrades. They’re hoping to offer incentives for companies to invest in eco-friendly energy generation, keep electricity supply secure, and limit carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel power stations.
With EMR, the government is hoping that low-carbon generation will be able to compete comfortably with fossil fuel generation. It’s also hoped that increased investment, green jobs, and affordable energy for consumers will stimulate the UK’s economy. Without investment, the security of our energy supplies could be in danger. The UK needs to replace the dwindling supplies of fossil fuels, so it can meet demand, otherwise there will be a country-wide shortage.
Energy prices have been coming down hard on the UK population recently. By investing in low-carbon energy, this will also help us avoid those nasty fossil fuel price spikes and hikes. This is good for both the domestic and corporate sector. According to gov.uk, the government estimates that these changes will reduce the average consumer bill between £38 and £53.
The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has been put in charge of ensuring the safety and security of nuclear power plants across the country. This will ensure that new nuclear power stations apply to government policies and restrictions, while legal representation is activity available throughout a number of law firms including hibberts.com
A limit will be places on the number of energy tariffs available and if customers are on an expensive, closed tariff, they will be automatically moved to cheaper deals. Suppliers will have to provide information to consumers about better deals. Ofgem will be given powers to force energy business, which don’t comply with the gas and electricity licence conditions, to compensate consumers who suffer inconvenience because of the energy company’s bad behaviour.
The Secretary of State will force private landlords to provide and carbon monoxide alarms. Through the FIT scheme, communities will now be able to commission energy projects with a ceiling of 10MW. The government is warning that EMR will slightly increase energy prices in the short term, but this is a necessary evil to reach useful cost savings in the future. The aim is to provide a fair market in the energy sector, where low-carbon energy companies can compete easily.