On 6 July 2022, a day of significant political uncertainty, the Government published its long-awaited Energy Security Bill. Notwithstanding the current political turmoil, this is expected to survive to become the most wide-ranging legislative reform of the UK’s energy market for several years.
The Energy Security Bill (Bill) was published and introduced to Parliament for its first reading alongside this announcement and these factsheets. It draws together a range of measures already variously trailed, most recently in the Government’s British Energy Security Strategy in April 2022 and in the latest Queen’s Speech.
The main theme of the Bill is encouraging the £100 billion private investment that the Government estimates is necessary by 2030 to drive the next phase of the energy transition while maintaining security of supply. Key new measures include:
- support for the deployment of low carbon technologies at scale such as carbon, capture, usage and storage (CCUS) and hydrogen;
- extending competition to onshore electricity networks and introducing a special energy network merger regime analogous to that already in place for the water sector;
- various consumer facing measures including extending the duration of the default tariff (price cap), the Government’s smart metering powers and introducing new powers to drive the rollout of smart appliances (including electric vehicle chargepoints); and
- various measures relating to the oil and gas sector and to the nuclear sector respectively.
In our article here, we have grouped key issues dealt with by the Bill into the following categories:
- Encouraging private investment in green technologies
- Economic regulation reforms
- Changes to strategic oversight
- Oil & Gas sector measures
- Nuclear sector measures
- Consumer facing measures
In the coming weeks we will be publishing more detailed briefings on some of the key areas.