Utilities Bill - continued        House of Commons
PART I, GAS AND ELECTRICITY - continued
Miscellaneous - continued

back to previous text
 
Help for disadvantaged groups of electricity customers.     57. After section 43 of the 1989 Act there is inserted-
 
 
"Adjustment of charges to help disadvantaged groups of customers.     43A. - (1) If the Secretary of State considers that members of any group (a "disadvantaged group") of customers of persons who supply electricity are treated less favourably than other customers of theirs as respects charges for electricity, he may make an order containing a scheme for the adjustment of charges for electricity with a view to eliminating or reducing the less favourable treatment.
 
    (2) The scheme may include-
 
 
    (a) provision for the adjustment of charges by persons who distribute or transmit electricity (as well as by persons who supply it); and
 
    (b) (in relation to charges payable to persons who supply electricity) provision for the adjustment of charges payable by customers who are not members of the disadvantaged group (as well as by persons who are).
      (3) The scheme shall-
 
 
    (a) describe the disadvantaged group;
 
    (b) specify the persons whose charges are covered by the scheme; and
 
    (c) set out the basis of the adjustment of the charges.
      (4) If the scheme does not relate to the whole of Great Britain, it shall specify the area or areas to which it relates.
 
      (5) The scheme may-
 
 
    (a) require persons who supply, distribute or transmit electricity to supply information of any specified description, in any specified form, to any other such persons; and
 
    (b) provide for the modification of conditions of licences granted under section 6,
  for the purpose of facilitating the implementation of the scheme.
 
      (6) An order shall not be made under this section unless a draft of the statutory instrument containing it has been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament.
 
Orders: supplementary.     43B. - (1) Before making an order under section 43A, the Secretary of State shall give notice-
 
 
    (a) stating that he proposes to make an order and setting out its effect;
 
    (b) stating the reasons why he proposes to make the order; and
 
    (c) specifying the time (not being less than 28 days from the date of publication of the notice) within which representations or objections with respect to the proposed order may be made,
  and shall consider any representations or objections which are duly made and not withdrawn.
 
      (2) The notice shall be given-
 
 
    (a) by serving a copy of it on the persons whose charges are covered by the proposed order; and
 
    (b) by publishing it in such manner as the Secretary of State considers appropriate for bringing the proposed order to the attention of other persons likely to be affected by it.
      (3) An order under section 43A shall continue in force for such period not exceeding three years as is specified in the order; but that does not prevent the making of another order to come into force at the end of that period.
 
      (4) The Secretary of State may by order require persons who supply, distribute or transmit electricity to supply information of any specified description, in any specified form, to any other such persons for the purpose of enabling the making of an order under section 43A.
 
      (5) The Authority-
 
 
    (a) shall monitor the effect of orders under section 43A and report its findings to the Secretary of State whenever he directs it to do so; and
 
    (b) may require persons who supply, distribute or transmit electricity to supply to the Authority, in any specified form, such information as it requires for carrying out that duty."
Energy efficiency requirements for electricity distributors and suppliers.     58. For section 41 of the 1989 Act (promotion of efficient use of electricity) there is substituted-
 
 
"Promotion of the efficient use by consumers of electricity.     41A. - (1) The Secretary of State may by order require-
 
    (a) electricity distributors or electricity distributors of any description; or
 
    (b) electricity suppliers or electricity suppliers of any description,
  to meet, within a specified period, targets for the promotion of energy efficiency.
 
      (2) In this section-
 
 
    "energy efficiency" means efficient use by consumers of electricity or any other source of energy specified in the order; and
 
    "energy efficiency target" means a target for the promotion of energy efficiency which is specified in or determined under the order for any distributor or supplier to whom the order applies.
      (3) The energy efficiency targets specified in or determined under the order must be such that no electricity distributor is unduly disadvantaged in competing with other electricity distributors and no electricity supplier is unduly disadvantaged in competing with other electricity suppliers.
 
      (4) The order may make provision-
 
 
    (a) for the re-assessment during the period to which they relate of energy efficiency targets;
 
    (b) as to the means of measuring improvements in energy efficiency resulting (or to be treated as resulting) from action taken to promote energy efficiency by consumers;
 
    (c) as to the action which qualifies for the purpose of meeting the whole or any part of an energy efficiency target;
 
    (d) requiring the Authority to determine whether any action proposed to be taken by an electricity distributor or electricity supplier qualifies for the purpose of meeting his energy efficiency target;
 
    (e) where the Authority determines that any action is qualifying action, for the determination to include an assessment by the Authority of-
 
      (i) the improvement in energy efficiency that will be attributed to that action or, if the Authority so determines, to any result of the action taken that is specified in the determination; or
 
      (ii) where the action proposed consists of separate acts of any description, the improvements in energy efficiency that will be attributed to each acts or, if the Authority so determines, to any of such an act that is specified in the determination;
      (5) The order may require electricity distributors and electricity suppliers-
 
 
    (a) to furnish the Authority with information about-
 
      (i) their proposals for meeting their energy efficiency targets; and
 
      (ii) the action taken to implement those proposals;
 
    (b) to demonstrate to the Authority that the action taken or to be taken in implementation of those proposals will be sufficient to secure that those targets are met;
 
    (c) to demonstrate to the Authority that they have met those targets.
      (6) The order may make provision as to circumstances in which-
 
 
    (a) the Authority may treat action promoting energy efficiency taken-
 
      (i) by a person acting otherwise than on behalf of an electricity distributor or supplier to whom the order applies; but
 
      (ii) in pursuance of arrangements made between that person and the distributor or supplier,
 
    as action taken by or on behalf of the distributor or supplier for the purpose of all or any part of that person's energy efficiency target;
 
    (b) the Authority may agree to the transfer by an electricity distributor or supplier to whom the order applies of the whole or part of his energy efficiency target to another such distributor or supplier; or
 
    (c) the Authority may agree to part of an energy efficiency target for any period being carried forward to a subsequent period (and the target for the current period reduced accordingly).
      (7) The order may-
 
 
    (a) provide for exceptions from any requirement of the order;
 
    (b) make supplementary, incidental and transitional provision;
 
    (c) subject to subsection (3), make different provision for different cases.
      (8) The order may include provision for treating the promotion of the supply to premises of-
 
 
    (a) electricity generated by combined heat and power stations;
 
    (b) heat produced in association with electricity or steam produced from (or air or water heated by) such heat,
  as promotion of energy efficiency.
 
      (9) Before making an order under this section the Secretary of State shall consult the Authority, the Council, electricity distributors and electricity suppliers.
 
      (10) A statutory instrument containing an order under this section shall not be made unless a draft of the instrument has been laid before and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament."
 
General duties of transmission licence holders in Scotland.     59. Section 9(3) and (4) of the 1989 Act (special duty in Scotland for transmission licence holders who also hold licences to supply or generate electricity) shall cease to have effect.
 
Uniform prices etc. in certain areas of Scotland.     60. After section 7A of the 1989 Act (which is inserted by section 33 above) there is inserted-
 
 
"Uniform prices etc: Scotland.     7AB. - (1) The Secretary of State may, by an order made under this section, require the holder of-
 
    (a) a transmission licence; and
 
    (b) a distribution licence,
  to apply in respect of the use of the transmission or, as the case may be, distribution system, or any part of the system, in a specified area charges which do not distinguish (whether directly or indirectly) between users in different parts of the area.
 
      (2) The Secretary of State may, by such an order, require the holder of a supply licence-
 
 
    (a) to charge prices; or
 
    (b) to offer conditions of contract,
  in respect of a comparable supply of electricity to or in a specified area which do not distinguish (whether directly or indirectly) between consumers in different parts of the area.
 
      (3) The Secretary of State shall not specify in such an order any particular or maximum charge or price.
 
      (4) Such an order may make different provision for different cases or descriptions of case.
 
      (5) For the purposes of this section-
 
 
    (a) a specified area is an area of Scotland specified in such an order; and
 
    (b) supplies of electricity are comparable if they are-
 
      (i) at the same or similar voltages; and
 
      (ii) are in accordance with the same or similar demand characteristics."
Maximum prices for reselling electricity.     61. - (1) For section 44 of the 1989 Act (maximum charges for reselling electricity) there is substituted-
 
 
"Maximum prices for reselling electricity.     44. - (1) The Authority may from time to time direct that the maximum prices at which electricity supplied by authorised suppliers may be resold-
 
    (a) shall be such as may be specified in the direction; or
 
    (b) shall be calculated by such method and by reference to such matters as may be so specified;
  and shall publish directions under this section in such manner as in its opinion will secure adequate publicity for them.
 
      (2) A direction under this section may-
 
 
    (a) require any person who resells electricity supplied by an authorised supplier to furnish the purchaser with such information as may be specified or described in the direction; and
 
    (b) provide that, in the event of his failing to do so, the maximum price applicable to the resale shall be such as may be specified in the direction, or shall be reduced by such amount or such percentage as may be so specified.
      (3) Different directions may be given under this section as respects different classes of cases, which may be defined by reference to areas or any other relevant circumstances.
 
      (4) If any person resells electricity supplied by an authorised supplier at a price exceeding the maximum price determined by or under a direction under this section and applicable to the resale
 
 
    (a) the amount of the excess; and
 
    (b) if the direction so provides, interest on that amount at a rate specified or described in the direction,
  shall be recoverable by the person to whom the electricity was resold.
 
      (5) In this section "authorised supplier" means a person who is authorised by a licence or exemption to supply electricity."
 
      (2) Any maximum price fixed under section 44 of the 1989 Act which is in force immediately before the date on which this section comes into force shall be treated on and after that date as if it had been specified in a direction under section 44 as substituted by this section.
 
 
previous section contents continue
 
House of Commons home page Houses of Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries

© Parliamentary copyright 2000
Prepared 21 January 2000