Financial implications of the Bill
48 Clause 4 of the Bill applies sections 165 to 167 of the Energy Act 2004 and, through the application of those sections, gives the Government the ability to provide grants and loans to, and guarantees in relation to, the company in smart meter communication licensee administration, and to indemnify persons in respect of liabilities incurred and loss or damage sustained in connection with the exercise of the smart meter communication administrator's powers and duties. This expenditure would fall on the Consolidated Fund.
49 Any expenditure would be expected to be a short term cash flow injection and the Bill gives the Government the power in clause 6 to introduce a mechanism for recovering sums paid out through the application of those sections of the Energy Act 2004.
50 While the Government would be able to provide financial support should it be required to prevent insolvency, any support would be at the Department’s discretion and with the approval of HM Treasury. This does not create a contingent liability as there is no requirement to provide the support.