Utilities

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The page will automatically redirect to Utilities Research Briefings produced by the Commons Library, Lords Library and POST

Content published before December 2016

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on utilities. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Commons Briefing Papers

DateDescription
21.07.2016Commons Library analysis: Energy Storage in the UK
Energy storage is expected to play an increasing role in managing an increasingly decentralised electricity grid in the next few years.
05.05.2016The Warm Home Discount Scheme
This Commons Library briefing paper looks at the Warm Home Discount scheme (WHD). The scheme started on 1 April 2011 and was originally programmed to end on 31 March 2015. Since then it has been extended twice first until 2015/16 and most recently until 2020/21.
15.04.2016Competition and Markets Authority "Energy market investigation"
This Commons Library Briefing paper summarises the 'Summary of provisional decision on remedies' published by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) as part of its 'Energy market investigation' on 10 March 2016.
09.03.2016Increasing competition in the water industry
This Commons Library Briefing Paper summarises the market reforms set out in the Water Act 2014 relating to increasing competition for the non-household retail market and the upstream market, including progress on implementation and background to the reform. It also summarises recent developments relating to increasing competition in the domestic retail market.
05.01.2016Competition in energy markets in Great Britain
This Commons Library briefing paper looks at the history of political and regulatory intervention designed to increase the competiveness of domestic energy markets in Great Britain. The Paper sets out the timetable for the Energy Market Investigation and summarises the provisional findings that the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published. The paper also summarises the main actions that Ofgem has undertaken in the past to tackle the level and complexity of tariffs.
29.10.2015Water meters: the rights of customers and water companies
This Commons Library Briefing Paper explains the powers that customers and water companies have in opting for charging with water meters. It also provides an overview of the relevant Government policy and legislation.
21.11.2013Water Bill
This briefing is prepared for MPs and their staff to aid in their scrutiny of the Water Bill 2013 at its Second Reading on 25 November 2013. It provides briefing on key issues; additional briefing is available to MPs and their staff upon request.
17.02.2010Energy Bill: Committee Stage Report
This paper summarises the House of Commons Second Reading and Committee Stage proceedings of the Energy Bill. The Bill received its Second Reading on 7 December 2009. It was not amended in Committee. The Bill will introduce an incentive to support up to four carbon capture and storage (CSS) demonstration projects in the UK. CSS is a way of reducing the impact of fossil fuel emissions by capturing carbon dioxide. It will also introduce mandatory support to lower energy bills for the most vulnerable, increase the powers of the industry regulator, Ofgem, and give the Secretary of State the power to ban cross-subsidy between gas and electricity accounts.
03.12.2009Energy Bill. Bill 7 2009-10.
The Bill would introduce: a carbon capture and storage incentive to support the construction of up to four UK demonstration projects, to be chosen in a competition; mandatory social price support to lower energy bills (social tariffs) for the most vulnerable, which would replace the current voluntary agreement which expires in 2011. It would also add ensuring security of supply and protecting consumers to the objectives of the regulator, Ofgem; increase the regulator's powers to deal with exploitation of electricity distribution constraints by generators; and increase Ofgem's power to fine companies. It would give the Secretary of State the power to ban cross-subsidy between gas and electricity accounts.

Lords Library Notes

DateDescription
22.01.2014Water Bill
The Water Bill would introduce greater competition in the water sector by allowing non-household customers to switch their water and sewerage supplier (retail competition) and by allowing new entrants to the water market to provide new sources of water or sewerage treatment services (upstream competition).

POSTnotes

DateDescription
16.11.2015Future of Natural Gas in the UK
UK shale gas exploration and efforts to mitigate climate change have stimulated debate about the future of the natural gas sector. This briefing looks at potential future pathways for the sourcing and use of natural gas in the UK. It also considers the implications for the economy, energy prices, the reliability of energy supplies and efforts to cut emissions.
29.05.2015UK Broadband Infrastructure
The growing use of smart phones and data intensive services (such as video streaming), has increased demand for both fixed and mobile internet. This POSTnote looks at patterns in broadband access and use, and the technical and policy challenges of enhancing UK broadband infrastructure to meet future needs.
01.10.2010Resilience of UK infrastructure
This POSTnote outlines efforts to improve the resilience of infrastructure to the risks of natural hazards and any effects of future climate change.
01.02.2008Smart metering of electricity and gas, February 2008
Smart metering of electricity and gas, February 2008. POSTnote 08/301.

Select Committee Reports

DateDescription
27.04.2011Electricity market reform.
Government response. Energy and Climate Change Select Committee; Department of Energy and Climate Change report [Commons]
15.03.2010The sale of the government's interest in British Energy.
Public Accounts Committee report [Commons]
14.10.2009Ofwat price review 2009.
Government response. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee report [Commons]
15.07.2009Ofwat price review 2009.
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee report [Commons]

Early Day Motions

DateDescription
13.12.2010PRICE OF HEATING OIL
That this House notes that many people rely on oil to heat their homes; further notes that the average price for heating oil tends to be less than 50 pence per litre; is concerned that ...
01.07.2010CAMELOT AND USE OF LOTTERY TERMINALS
That this House is alarmed about the organisation Camelot's proposal to mix gambling opportunities with bill-payment services such as those for heating, electricity, water and mobile ...
25.11.2009COMPETITION COMMISSION INVESTIGATION INTO ENERGY COMPANIES
That this House calls for a Competition Commission investigation into the relationship between wholesale prices and retail prices offered to consumers by the Big Six energy suppliers, ...
23.11.2009OFGEM AND PREPAYMENT METER PRICES
That this House welcomes Ofgem's proposals to ban unjustified price differences for prepayment meter customers; is concerned that prepay meter customers such as single parent families ...
22.04.2009UTILITY COMPANIES' BUSINESS PRACTICES
That this House notes the importance of utility companies exercising socially responsible and sustainable business practices; congratulates the staff and directors of Northumbrian Water ...

Glossary

  • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POSTnotes (POST PN) - proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses