Clause 8 - Microgeneration and access to green energy certificates

Part of Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 4:30 pm ar 25 Ionawr 2006.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Andrew Stunell Andrew Stunell Shadow Chief Whip (Commons), Liberal Democrat Chief Whip 4:30, 25 Ionawr 2006

I was very disappointed by the new clause, because it removes some of the specifics from clause 8. In clause 8(2)(a), for example, Ofgem must have particular regard to electricity metering, which I have spent some time investigating over the years. I have tried numerous times to have that matter taken seriously, because it is the foundation on which to make embedded generation work for the generator.

I had a long-running discussion with Ofgem when the environmental side of its business was being brought to the fore through legislation in this House. Ofgem was repeatedly challenged to have regard to environmental affairs, but it said that we would have to wait until its legislative guidelines were changed. That went on for months and months.

The Energy Act 2004 was eventually passed, and the environmental requirement was imposed on Ofgem. When I approached it again about electricity metering, it said that the new duty would make no difference, because it had taken full regard of what Parliament intended to do any way. Indeed, the duty did make no difference—because Ofgem would not have regard to it before it was imposed, and after it was given the duty it claimed that it had already adjusted its policies to have regard to it.

I thought that it would be a real step forward to put slap bang in the middle of the Bill a requirement to deal with electricity metering. Now I see that the requirement is simply to have regard to microgeneration. I suspect that we will be told that Ofgem cannot do that until the Bill has achieved Royal   Assent, and I very much suspect that when it has Royal Assent, Ofgem will say that it knew that Parliament was going to pass that provision and that it has always had regard for microgeneration, so the Bill will not make any difference.

I want to hear the promoter of the Bill and the Minister say that before the Bill gets through the House of Commons, there is a real intention to ensure that Ofgem does something about the duties that are imposed here—and that those will include dealing with metering, which is a fundamental part of making embedded generation work in this country.