23 - Wednesday 23rd May
This archive of news stories on energy related topics came from RSS feeds from the most relevant government institution. These press releases date from 24th May 2012 and no guarantee can be provided on the accuracy of these stories from the Green Deal Group. Click on the relevant links for more information and the corresponding article.
- Charles Hendry speech at All Energy Aberdeen
23 May 2012
Wed 23rd May 2012 5:24pm
- Davey: Next steps on collective purchasing for a better energy deal
Energy Secretary Edward Davey today (Wednesday 23 May) published practical advice for energy consumers looking to get a better deal on their gas and electricity deals through ‘collective switching’, and guidance for organisations wanting to launch their own collective energy purchasing schemes.
Businesses, consumer groups, local government groups, housing organisations, charities and energy regulator Ofgem also attended a round table meeting chaired by the Energy Secretary in Westminster to discuss how to help consumers club together to cut their gas and electricity bills.
Edward Davey said:
“I want to help make collective purchasing become a permanent feature of the UK energy market. This can be a really useful tool for consumers by making it easier to move to a better deal and to get real savings on gas and electricity bills, as well as helping boost competition.
“Now I want to see more providers coming up with schemes with the scale and reach to help the most vulnerable consumers. Local authorities and housing associations could have real role to play here, helping their tenants cope with living costs.”
Richard Bates, Director of Empowered Consumers at Consumer Focus, said:
“Many consumers are put off by the prospect of having to switch energy by themselves. Collective switching – where an intermediary can do the hard work on their behalf - offers an alternative, straightforward way of switching. And because the intermediary can aggregate together consumer demand, it can give customers much more muscle in markets than they have when switching alone.
“Other countries have already shown that collective switching can deliver significant consumer benefits, chiefly greater convenience and better value. There is real scope for similar schemes to be developed in the UK and we hope many organisations will be interested in finding out how this innovative model can work in their area.”
The meeting, which was chaired by the Secretary of State, saw officials, industry and consumer representatives put their heads together on building momentum behind ‘collective purchasing’, whereby consumers sign up en masse with third party organisations to get better deals from energy suppliers.
The roundtable heard presentations from Which? on their Big Switch scheme, which has almost 290,000 people signed up; Cornwall Together on their scheme involving the Eden Project, Cornwall Council and Cornwall and Isles of Scilly NHS among others to buy gas, electricity, and heating oil collectively and target fuel poverty; and iChoosr, which has pioneered collective switching for utility services in Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany.
Organisations listed to attend included Age UK, BIS, British Gas, Charities Buying Group, Community Buying Unlimited, Cummunity Energy Extra, Consumer Focus, Co-op Energy, Cornwall Council, Cornwall NHS, Eden Project, Energylinx, Energy Extra, Energy UK, E.ON, First Utility, Green Energy UK, Hyde Housing, Incahoot, iChoosr, Local Government Association, MoneySavingExpert.com, MoneySupermarket.com, National Energy Action, National Housing Federation, New Local Government Network, Northern Housing Consortium, Ofgem, Peabody, Switchgasandelectrcity.com, TheEnergyShop.com, ThePeoplesPower, Unison, Unravelit.com, Uswitch, Which?.
NOTES TO EDITORS
- The new collective purchasing factsheets produced by the Department of Energy and Climate Change in cooperation with Consumer Focus and Ofgem are available on the Collective purchasing and switching working group page.
- The Government has been working to build momentum behind collective purchasing for over a year, with the launch of the Consumer Engagement Strategy in April 2011 by (then Consumer Minister) Edward Davey; the creation of a working group in November 2011 on collective purchasing in the energy market; and ongoing work with Ofgem to reduce barriers to getting more collective switching schemes up and running.
- On 23 March 2012 Energy Secretary Edward Davey wrote to energy suppliers making clear that he wants to see them engaging positively on collective purchasing schemes:
- On 27 March 2012 Mr Davey hosted a first round table on collective purchasing, attended by Age UK, Consumer Focus, the Independent Suppliers Forum, the Energy Retail Association, ichoosr, the Local Government Association, Moneysavingexpert.com, moneysupermarket.com, uswitch, the National Housing Federation, Ofgem, the Eden Project, thepeoplespower, and Which?.
- On 30 April 2012 DECC published an update on the work of the collective purchasing working group
- On 30 April 2012 Ofgem published information to help suppliers and other parties that wish to participate in collective purchasing and switching schemes, including a summary of some of the relevant licence conditions.
Wed 23rd May 2012 12:24pm
- Written Ministerial Statement: Triennial Review of the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CORWM)
Charles Hendry MP
23 May 2012
In March I announced the commencement of the Triennial Review of the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM). Today I am announcing the findings of that review, which I am pleased to say support the continuation of CoRWM as the most appropriate body to undertake the hugely important work of independently advising and scrutinising the Government’s Managing Radioactive Waste Safely (MRWS) programme.
The Review has also looked at the governance arrangements for CoRWM in line with guidance on good corporate governance set out by the Cabinet Office and makes some recommendations to improve the appraisal of the Committee Chair and the training and development of Committee members.
The final report of the Triennial Review of CoRWM can be found on the MRWS website and I have made available copies in the Libraries of the House.
Wed 23rd May 2012 10:28am
- Record breaking North Sea licensing round
The latest North Sea licensing round for oil and gas drilling has broken all previous records for the number of applications received by the Government.
A total of 224 applications have been submitted for the 27th Licensing Round covering 418 blocks of the UK Continental Shelf. It is the largest number since offshore licensing began in 1964 and is 37 more than the previous high total received in the last licensing round.
Charles Hendry, Minister of State for Energy, said:
“There remains an extraordinary level of interest in North Sea oil and gas and it is tremendous news for industry and for the UK economy.
“We have been working extremely hard with the oil and gas industry to ensure the UK remains an attractive place to invest. The recent Budget was an important step to create a fiscal environment for North Sea development to flourish - providing energy security and jobs.
“Now our task is to ensure this considerable level of interest continues and that we make the most of this valuable, British resource.”
The UK’s oil and gas sector still provides almost half of the country’s energy and is by far the largest single industrial UK investor. Directly and indirectly it supports around 450,000 jobs in the UK.
Notes for editors:
- Energy Minister Charles Hendry will be available for interview in Aberdeen on Wednesday 23 May. Call Cameron Ramos in DECC press office to arrange - 0300 068 5217.
- The 27th Round was launched in February 2012 and closed for applications on the 1st May.
- Before any licences are awarded, DECC will carry out a screening exercise on the areas applied for, to assess whether the activities likely to result from the issue of oil and gas licences will have significant effects on any protected nature conservation sites (called “Natura 2000 sites”). Where such significant effects are likely, an “Appropriate Assessment” will be necessary and, unless the relevant derogation applies, these licences can only be awarded where we can be certain that there will be no adverse effects on the integrity of any Natura 2000 sites. This is required under the provisions of the Offshore Petroleum Activities (Conservation of Habitats) Regulations, 2001 which implement the “Habitats Directive”.
- Any licences that are awarded in the round will contain conditions to protect environmental interests, and the interests of other sea users. In addition, activities carried out under the licences will be subject to a range of legislation which is designed to protect the marine environment, including regulations which apply the Environmental Impact Assessment and Habitats Directives to offshore oil and gas activities.
- For further information on the 27th Oil and Gas Offshore Licensing round, visit the Oil & Gas website
Wed 23rd May 2012 1:01am