Speech

Queen's Speech: Energy Security and Green Economy Bill

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

Notes on: "Legislation will be introduced to improve energy efficiency in homes and businesses, to promote low carbon energy production and to secure energy supplies."

This Bill would deliver a national programme of energy efficiency measures to homes and businesses. 

It may also introduce powers to regulate the emissions from coal-fired power stations, reform energy markets to deliver security of supply and ensure fair competition, and put in place a framework to guide the development of a smart grid that will revolutionise the management of supply and demand for electricity.
The Government may also legislate to set up a Green Investment Bank.

The purpose of the Bill

  • Provide a step change in the provision of energy efficiency measures to homes and businesses.
  • Put in place a framework to deliver a future with secure, low carbon energy supplies and fair competition in the energy markets.

The main benefits of the Bill

  • Access for everyone to energy efficiency measures that would enable them to reduce their energy bills and their carbon emissions.
  • Delivery of greater levels of low carbon energy generation.
  • More secure energy supplies.

The main elements of the Bill

  • Implementation of a “Green deal” to deliver energy efficiency to homes and business - delivering a framework including potential incentives to energy suppliers and households that will transform the provision of energy efficiency in the UK by enabling a ‘pay as you save’ approach.

The Bill may also contain measures to:

  • regulate the carbon emissions from coal-fired power stations;
  • reform energy markets to deliver security of supply and ensure fair competition;
  • put in place a framework to guide the development of a smart grid that would revolutionise the management of supply and demand for electricity;
  • require energy companies to provide more information on energy bills in order to empower consumers and to ensure fair access to energy supplies;
  • ensure that North Sea infrastructure would be available to all companies to ease the exploitation of smaller and more difficult oil and gas fields; and
  • create a Green Investment Bank to support investment in low carbon projects to transform the economy.

Existing legislation in this area

  • Gas Act 1986
  • Electricity Act 1989
  • Utilities Act 2000
  • Energy Act 2004
  • Energy Act 2008
  • Energy Act 2010
  • Climate Change Act 2008

Devolution

The majority of measures likely to be included in this Bill would extend to England, Wales and Scotland.  Some of the measures may have devolved aspects, depending on the final detail.