The government’s Energy Security Bill, announced as part of the Queen’s Speech, has been introduced into Parliament.
The Bill includes new measures which aim to help the UK transition to a cleaner, more affordable, homegrown energy system.
The government says the Bill will drive £100 billion of private sector investment by 2030 into new British industries “that are built to last and help diversify our domestic energy supply”, including hydrogen and offshore wind, and support around 480,000 green jobs by the end of the decade.
Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “To ensure we are no longer held hostage by rogue states and volatile markets, we must accelerate plans to build a truly clean, affordable, home-grown energy system in Britain.
“This is the biggest reform of our energy system in a decade. We’re going to slash red tape, get investment into the UK, and grab as much global market share as possible in new technologies to make this plan a reality.
“The measures in the Energy Security Bill will allow us to stand on our own two feet again, reindustrialise our economy and protect the British people from eye-watering fossil fuel prices into the future.”
How can the bill protect customers from rising energy prices?
To protect customers from rising energy prices, the Bill will enable the Competition and Markets Authority to review energy network company mergers through the Energy Network Special Merger Regime. This will help to protect consumers from increasing prices in the event of energy company mergers, and the government estimates this could save energy consumers up to £420 million over 10 years.
This builds on measures announced last month by the energy regulator, which aim to prevent energy supplier collapses and to better protect consumers’ money if they do fail.
Ofgem is also imposing stricter entry requirements for new suppliers, carrying out regular stress tests to ensure energy companies are resilient to volatile market conditions.
Meanwhile, in further efforts to protect consumers, Ofgem will be appointed to oversee the regulation of the heat networks market – some 480,000 consumers across Britain – to ensure consumers are charged a fair price, including by enabling the regulator to investigate disproportionate prices and take enforcement action.
Other new powers will enable the extension of the energy price cap beyond 2023. The price cap limits the amount suppliers can charge for each unit of gas and electricity and for the daily standing charge.
How will the Bill support alternative energy sources?
Measures set to be introduced include those to support the deployment of low carbon technologies at. The government says it is “determined to ensure Britain secures a ‘first mover advantage’ in seizing the global market share in these technologies”.
Measures included in the Bill, such as those encouraging the deployment of heat networks and driving down the cost of ultra-efficient electric heat pumps, will help scale up the installation of key clean technologies for the future – reducing the UK’s dependency on global fossil fuel markets and exposure to volatile gas prices. Research shows that, on average, heat network consumers pay a lower price for their heat than those on an individual gas boiler, while replacing a gas boiler with a heat pump can reduce a building’s energy use by well over 50%.
How can Enexus help businesses combat rising energy prices?
Enexus Energy develops bespoke, innovative strategies to optimise the way your business purchases, generates and consumes energy.
We can help you take proactive measures for your 2022 business energy contracts. We can track the market on your behalf, source the very best prices and suggest alternative contract structures to ensure you buy energy in the most cost-effective way. We can also help you reduce consumption and guide you to lasting savings on your energy costs.
To see how we can help, please get in touch:
Tel: 01253 966 960