Second reading of Energy Bill [HL]

11 May 2011

Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Chris Huhne, introduced the second reading of the Energy Bill [HL] in the House of Commons on Tuesday 10 May.

The Bill passed without a vote and will now be considered by a Public Bill Committee.

Watch and read the views of MPs who took part in the debate in Commons Hansard and on Parliament TV.

Summary of the Bill

The flagship policy in the Bill is the 'Green Deal', a scheme whereby householders, private landlords and businesses would be given finance upfront to make energy efficiency improvements, which would then be paid for by energy bill savings. It also introduces a range of other provisions.

Key areas

  • establishes a new obligation on energy companies to help certain groups of consumers, who need extra support, with saving energy
  • facilitates the roll-out of smart meters
  • widens access to energy performance certificates
  • makes information on energy bills clearer
  • introduces measures designed to help improve energy security and to encourage low carbon generation
  • grants additional powers to the Coal Authority to charge for certain services.

Keep up to date with all the proceedings on the Energy [HL] Bill. Also find out how a Bill becomes an Act of Parliament.

NB: [HL] refers to the fact that the Bill was first introduced in the House of Lords.

Second reading

Second reading is the first opportunity for MPs to debate the main principles of the Bill. It usually takes place no sooner than two weekends after first reading.

What happens at second reading?

The Government minister, spokesperson or MP responsible for the Bill opens the second reading debate. The official Opposition spokesperson responds with their views on the Bill.

The debate continues with other Opposition parties and backbench MPs giving their opinions. At the end of the debate, the Commons decides whether the Bill should be given its second reading by voting, meaning it can proceed to the next stage.

What happens after second reading?

The Bill proceeds to committee stage and will be considered in a Public Bill Committee. Each clause (part) and any amendments (proposals for change) to the Bill may be debated.

Image: iStockphoto 

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