RED TAPE CHALLENGE ENERGY ANNOUNCEMENT
The Energy theme was live between 25 November 2011 and 06 January 2012, and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) received over 100 responses containing over 260 comments and suggestions. Minister for Energy, Charles Hendry, announced on 7 August 2012 that DECC will ‘scrap’ or ‘improve’ 38% of energy regulations and will respond positively to 73% of stakeholder suggestions, excluding those on regulations which are currently under consultation. This reform will help ensure that the energy regulatory framework provides all the environmental and industry protections without incurring unnecessary costs on businesses or wider society.
Together with DECC’s simplifications to the European Emissions Trading Scheme and the Carbon Reduction Commitment regimes, this will help businesses save around £400m over twenty years. Examples of regulations that DECC are scrapping or improving are:
- The Offshore Chemicals Regulations 2002 (amended 2011) – which establish a regime for controlling the use and discharge of chemicals from offshore installations, will have requirements streamlined to improve functionality and reduce costs for installation operators whilst maintaining all environmental protections;
- Modernisation of the Electricity (Compulsory Wayleaves) (Hearings Procedure) Rules 1967 (SI 1967/450). These rules are used to resolve disputes between licence holders and landowners for the presence of overhead electric lines on private land. They will be updated to ensure the rights and interests of both sides are appropriately balanced whilst reducing the costs and other burdens on parties; and
- Improvements to the Public Gas (Transporter Pipe-line Works (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 1999, SI 1999/1672 will scrap duplicate requirements for companies in England to seek determination from the Secretary of State as to whether a proposed pipeline would require an environmental statement.
Ofgem have also set out how they will reduce regulatory burdens in their Simplification plan, published at the end of June. The plan has taken Red Tape Challenge suggestions into account and includes actions to review information requests to businesses to avoid duplication, publish a schedule of future consultations and convene a roundtable group with industry and consumer representatives to review and improve consumer information on bills.
DECC’s official announcement can be found by clicking here.
A spreadsheet of the full list of regulations, showing which ones the Government is proposing to change, is available here.
This announcement compliments broader reforms to the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) and the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). Further information on the CRC simplification consultation can be found here and on the ETS can be found here.
The Ofgem Simplification Plan is available to see here.