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Putting Energy Red Tape Under the Spotlight

Energy Minister Charles Hendry today urged business, green groups and members of the public to help identify ineffective, burdensome or unnecessary…

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Energy Minister Charles Hendry today urged business, green groups and members of the public to help identify ineffective, burdensome or unnecessary regulation as part of the Government’s Red Tape Challenge.

DECC has challenging aims to deliver - to power the country and protect the planet. To achieve this it is essential that DECC’s regulatory system is as efficient as possible and we listen to the evidence and ideas of business on what works, what doesn’t and how it might be improved.

DECC has already been hard at work identifying regulations that could be improved:

**Helping smaller suppliers join the energy market **- Energy efficiency obligations on suppliers are important tools for driving cost effective energy efficiency improvements, but they can also put smaller suppliers at a competitive disadvantage. DECC is raising the threshold for participation in these schemes to companies with more than 250,000 customers, increasing competition, fostering innovation and ultimately benefitting consumers.

Removing redundant regulation - We have proposed removing the Coal and other Mines (Horses) Order 1956 which regulated health and welfare of horses and ponies in mines. Pit ponies have not been used in mines for over a decade and even if they were, their health and welfare would already be covered by the Animal Welfare Act.

**Simplifying regulation **- DECC has simplified the regime for very low level radioactive materials, the sort of materials with comparable radioactivity of a smoke alarm. These reforms will save UK businesses more than £1m a year and allowed Government to remove 18 pieces of regulation from the statute book.

Energy Minister Charles Hendry said:

“Whether it is complex regulations deterring new entrants to the energy market, overbearing regulation on microgeneration or outdated regulation of pit ponies, we need to sharpen up. We need smart, practical, efficient regulation which protects our environment but also supports business in generating the necessary investment, innovation and skills rather than creating unnecessary barriers to growth and job creation.

“I urge everyone to get involved in the Red Tape Challenge and DECC will not hesitate to take action where unnecessary regulation is identified.”

Notes to Editors

  1. The Red Tape Challenge is a cross-Whitehall initiative to reduce excessive regulation. DECC wants to hear your thoughts on how our existing regulations are working in practice - what works well, as well as what does not - and whether there are alternative, better means of achieving our policy goals.
  2. Comments can be made from 25 November to 30 December - * On the Red Tape Challenge website * Or alternatively send a submission to the Red Tape Challenge Team at * Or directly to DECC,
  3. The Red Tape Challenge was launched by the Prime Minister on 7 April. It gives the public the chance to have their say on some of the more than 21,000 regulations that affect their everyday lives.
  4. The campaign has six cross cutting themes that affect all businesses and are open throughout the whole of the campaign. The six cross cutting themes are: a. Employment law;
    b. Pensions;
    c. Company law;
    d. Equalities;
    e. Health and Safety; and
    f. Environment legislation.

  5. The formal scope of the Red Tape Challenge, as defined by Cabinet Office, excludes tax and spend measures and the activities of the independent Economic Regulators. DECC recognises, however, that our stakeholders will want to comment on the red tape associated with these important areas too. DECC will be welcoming comments on the full range of energy regulations, whether or not they are listed on the Red Tape Challenge website directly to DECC at DECC will pass on any comments relating to Ofgem or the regulations of other Government Departments to them for consideration where appropriate.
  6. For each sector theme, there is an experienced ‘sector champion’ who will provide expert knowledge on the issues faced by those on the shop floor. The champion acts as an intermediary between the sector and Government and help to direct the web-based debates and discussions. DECC’s Champion is Carbon Trust Chair James Smith.
  7. The Government’s plan for growth is available at on the Treasury website.
  8. The Challenge process does not include legislation or regulations falling within the responsibilities of the devolved administrations.
Published 25 November 2011