Second reading of the Energy Bill

19 December 2012

Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Edward Davey, introduced the second reading of the Energy Bill in the House of Commons on Wednesday 19 December 2012.

Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Caroline Flint, responded on behalf of the Opposition.

The House of Commons voted for the Bill to be sent to a Public Bill Committee that will scrutinise the Bill line by line.

The Public Bill Committee is now accepting written evidence until the end of the Committee stage on Tuesday 12 February 2012. It is expected to meet for the first time on Tuesday 15 January.

About the Energy Bill

The Energy Bill 2012-13 makes provision for reforming the electricity market for purposes of encouraging low carbon electricity generation or ensuring security of supply, and for the establishment and functions of the Office for Nuclear Regulation.

It also make provision about the government pipe-line and storage system and rights exercisable in relation to it; about the designation of a strategy and policy statement; for the making of orders requiring regulated persons to provide redress to consumers of gas or electricity; about offshore transmission of electricity during a commissioning period; and for imposing further fees in respect of nuclear decommissioning costs.

Following the Bill

The Energy Bill 2012-13 was introduced in the House of Commons on 29 November.

Keep up to date with all the proceedings and documentation on the Energy Bill and find out how a bill becomes an Act of Parliament.

House of Commons Library analysis

The House of Commons Library produces briefing papers to inform MPs and their staff of key issues. The papers contain factual information and a range of opinions on each subject, and aim to be politically impartial. The Library has published a briefing paper for second reading.

Second reading

At second reading MPs 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, moving the motion 'that the bill be now read a second time'. MPs then debate the bill. The official Opposition spokesperson responds with their views on the bill.

Amendments to the details of the bill cannot take place at second reading, but the bill as a whole can be opposed by moving a reasoned amendment to the second reading motion.

In respect to the second reading of the Energy Bill, two reasoned amendments were put forward. At the end of the debate the Speaker determines whether there are any objections to the motion being debated and asks for the Ayes and Noes.

Members voice their opinion, and if no objections are made, the bill passes second reading without a vote. If the Speaker believes Members have voiced disagreement a division is called and a vote taken.

What happens after second reading?

The Energy Bill will now be considered by a Public Bill Committee. Each clause (part) and any amendments (proposals for change) to the Bill may be debated.

MPs table amendments they wish to be considered. These amendments, together with explanatory notes and other papers are listed in the Bill documents for the Energy Bill.
The selection of amendments that will be considered in committee, rests with the Chair.

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