What Does The Energy Bill Mean

After weeks of writing, speculating and – in some quarters – dreading, the UK government finally unveiled it’s long-awaited Energy Bill last week.

The Energy Bill is to act as both a road map and rulebook for both private and commercial energy in the UK for the foreseeable future, tackling such weighted topics as decarbonisation, outsourcing, renewables and nuclear power, The Energy Bill was finally unveiled on Thursday.

The overall reaction would seem to be a positive one, as Ed Davey – energy and climate change minister – seems to have manage an admirable balancing act between renewable and fossil fuels, short and long-term goals and keeping business in the UK, whilst ensuring fair charges are employed where possible.

Many feared the worst as segments of the Energy Bill were made public ahead of it’s full reveal. One of the more controversial caveats would essentially give license to business electricity providers (and other utility companies) to overcharge households in the UK on the proviso their tariffs were simplified.

The Energy Bill Meaning

However, the payoff for the energy economy in the UK is that investment in green energy will be pushed up to £7.6bn a year by 2020. Whilst at the cost of an estimated additional £100 to annual bills, Minister Davey said it would see the British energy industry “embarking on a period of exceptional renewal and expansion”.

Whilst the average British household will see an increase in it’s monthly outgoings, businesses could well avoid a price-hike – particularly energy-intensive industries, such as chemical plants and steel refineries.

In a bid to prevent manufacturers from taking their production processes overseas,  The Department for Energy and Climate Change will be working with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills on a consultation early next year to discuss a possible exemption for some industries.

“De-carbonisation should not mean de-industrialisation,” said Mr Davey. “The transition to the low-carbon economy will depend on products made by energy-intensive industries – a wind turbine, for example, needing steel, cement and high-tech textiles. This exemption will ensure the UK retains the industrial capacity to support a low-carbon economy.”

Originally penned to be revealed at the start of November, the Coalition government delayed it’s reveal following disagreements amongst key members of the party involved in it’s conception.

However, speaking at it’s reveal, the government said they believed that The Energy Bill’s design would ensure lower energy prices in the future, and would all-but eliminate Britain’s reliance on imported fossil fuels.

Environmentalist groups may view the bill as taking a step-backwards to move forwards, though, as no target has been set for decarbonisation – something that was hinted at being achievable by 2030. The Coalition has side-stepped that issue, as true decarbonisation would have restricted the creation of new gas-powered power-stations, which will replace the ageing coal-burning generators in coming years.