Here at BG Energy Solutions, we have digested the main announcements from the Summer Budget 2015 that impact on DECC policy.
- The government will remove the Climate Change Levy exemption for renewably sourced electricity from 1 August 2015. This change will correct an imbalance in the tax system by preventing taxpayers’ money benefitting renewable electricity generated overseas, and by helping ensure support for low carbon generation provides better value for money for UK taxpayers.
- The government will review the business energy efficiency tax landscape and consider approaches to simplify and improve the effectiveness of the regime. A consultation will be launched in autumn 2015.
- To help reduce costs for energy consumers, the government will publish proposals to extend competitive tendering to onshore electricity network transmission assets. This could save consumers around £390 million over the next 10 years.
- The government will continue to promote the low carbon investment and innovation needed to support global action on climate change, focussing on the best value for money policies to keep costs down for consumers.
- The government will continue to push for a global climate deal later this year that keeps the goal of limiting global warming to 2 degrees firmly within reach.
- The government will work to increase switching in energy markets, as part of wider work to promote competition. To help enable this, the government aims to introduce 24 hour switching by the end of 2018 and will also act to improve trust in the switching process.
- Expanding the North Sea investment and cluster area allowances to include additional activities which will maximise economic recovery.
- Bring forward proposals for a sovereign wealth fund for communities that host shale gas development.
In addition, today the Energy Bill was introduced into the House of Lords and it will have its first reading on Friday 10 July, 2015. The Bill will deliver on two of the Government’s key energy commitments:
- Establish the Oil and Gas Authority. Alongside the package of support announced in the March 2015 Budget, this is expected to encourage over £4 billion of additional investment in the UK in the next five years.
- Give local people a greater say on windfarm applications and close the Renewables Obligation scheme to new onshore wind from April 2016. Reforms to the onshore wind planning regime and subsidies put more power in the hands of communities and allow us to tackle climate change in the most cost-effective way for bill payers.
It is hoped that the Energy Bill will receive Royal Assent in the first half of 2016.