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Amendment Paper as at
Friday 9th June 2000

CONSIDERATION OF BILL


WARM HOMES AND ENERGY CONSERVATION BILL, AS AMENDED

NEW CLAUSES

Warm Homes Agency for England budgetary arrangements

   

Mr Eric Forth

NC1

To move the following Clause:—

    '. The Secretary of State shall, after consulting the Warm Homes Agency for England, the Gas and Electricity Markets Authority, the Gas and Electricity Consumer Council, suppliers of domestic energy and providers of public sector housing, determine a budget for the Agency.'.


Warm Homes Agency for Wales budgetary arrangements

   

Mr Eric Forth

NC2

To move the following Clause:—

    '. The National Assembly for Wales shall, after consulting the Warm Homes Agency for Wales, the Gas and Electricity Markets Authority, the Gas and Electricity Consumer Council, suppliers of domestic energy and providers of public sector housing, determine a budget for the Agency.'.


Donated funds

   

Mr Eric Forth

NC3

To move the following Clause:—

    '. The appropriate authority shall be permitted to accept funds donated to assist in pursuance of its objectives in addition to appropriations proposed by the Secretary of State and voted by Parliament.'.


Disadvantaged groups

   

Mr David Maclean

NC4

To move the following Clause:—

    '.—(1) If the Secretary of State considers that members of some households on lower incomes belong to a "disadvantaged group" of lower income households, then he may make an order containing a scheme for the provision of measures with a view to ameliorating the disadvantage.

    (2) The scheme may include—

      (a) provision for the adjustment of charges by authorised distributors or authorised transmitters of energy;

      (b) additional provision of home energy efficiency schemes under the Home Energy Conservation Act of 1995.

    (3) The scheme shall—

      (a) describe the disadvantaged group;

      (b) specify the persons who may be affected by any adjustment of charges under subsection (2)(a) and the provision of additional home energy efficiency schemes under subsection 2(b); and

      (c) set out the time-scale over which the scheme will operate.

    (4) If the scheme does not relate to the whole of England and Wales, it shall specify the area or areas to which it relates.

    (5) The scheme may—

      (a) require authorised suppliers or distributors of energy to supply information of any specified description, in any specified form, to any other such persons; and

      (b) provide for the modification of licences,

    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.

    (7) A "disadvantaged group" may include some or all of the following—

      (a) people in rural communities;

      (b) members of ethnic minorities;

      (c) people with disabilities; and

      (d) people from areas which regularly qualify for cold weather payments.'.


Orders: supplementary

   

Mr David Maclean

NC5

To move the following Clause:—

    '.—(1) Before making an order under section (Disadvantaged groups), 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 (Disadvantaged groups) 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 authorised suppliers, authorised distributors or authorised transmitters of energy 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 (Disadvantaged groups).

    (5) The Gas and Electricity Markets Authority—

      (a) shall monitor the effect of orders under section (Disadvantaged groups) and report its findings to the Secretary of State whenever he directs it to do so; and

      (b) may require authorised suppliers, authorised distributors or authorised transmitters to supply to the Authority, in any specified form, such information as it requires for carrying out that duty.

    (6) In section (Disadvantaged groups) references to customers do not include customers of a description excluded by an order made by the Secretary of State.

    (7) In this section and section (Disadvantaged groups) "authorised transmitter" means a person authorised by a licence or exemption to transmit electricty.'.


Targets Authority: purpose

   

Mr David Maclean

NC6

To move the following Clause:—

    '.—(1) The purpose of the Targets Authority will be to—

      (a) identify the extent of those in fuel poverty;

      (b) identify what is achievable to aid those in fuel poverty;

      (c) identify methods for aiding those in fuel poverty; and

      (d) set—

          (i) interim objective targets for aiding half of those identified as being in fuel poverty within seven years of this Act coming into force; and

          (ii) a final target date for aiding all of those identified as being in fuel poverty within 14 years of this Act coming into force.

    (2) The Authority will be wound up after 14 years.


Targets Authority

   

Mr David Maclean

NC7

To move the following Clause:—

    '.The Targets Authority shall consist of a Board appointed by the Secretary of State after consultation with the Electricity Market Authority, the Gas and Electricity Consumer Council and suppliers of domestic energy.'.


Restrictions and exemptions

   

Mr David Maclean

NC8

To move the following Clause:—

    '.—For the avoidance of doubt it is hereby stated that nothing in this Act shall be taken as conferring—

      (a) any power of entry;

      (b) any power to require any person to carry out works;

      (c) any requirement on any person eligible to receive anything recommended under this Act; or

      (d) any exemption from or relaxation of Building Regulations affecting any works carried out pursuant to this Act.'.


Regulations

   

Mr David Maclean

NC9

To move the following Clause:—

    '. The appropriate authority may, for the purposes of implementing the strategy in section 1(4), make regulations by statutory instrument which if made by the Secretary of State shall be subject to approval by both Houses of Parliament.'.


Fuel poverty task force

   

Mr David Maclean

NC10

To move the following Clause:—

    '.—(1) The Secretary of State shall establish a Fuel Poverty Task Force within one month of the relevant commencement.

    (2) The terms of reference of the Task Force shall be—

      (a) to improve identification of the fuel poor;

      (b) to research the effect of changes in income, energy prices and energy efficiency on the number of fuel poor;

      (c) to identify the projected impact of existing and planned policies on fuel poor;

      (d) to develop an understanding of the gap between existing and planned policies and fuel poverty objectives, and the policies and resources required to meet objectives;

      (e) to develop a comprehensive strategy, setting out Government fuel poverty objectives, policies to deliver them, and targets and timescales for those objectives;

      (f) to identify areas where further work is needed to ensure coordination of Government policy activity among the various different players, and setting up mechanisms to take this work forward; and

      (g) to establish methods of developing indicators, monitoring progress, and evaluating outcomes.

    (3) The Task Force shall deliver a comprehensive report on the matters in subsection (2) above no later than 12 months after the relevant commencement.

    (4) The Secretary of State may appoint to the Task Force any person whom he considers appropriate.'.


Duties of Secretary of State

   

Mr David Maclean

NC11

To move the following Clause:—

    '.—(1) For the purpose of ensuring as far as possible that the homes of persons suffering from fuel poverty are able to be kept warm at reasonable cost it shall be the duty of the relevant authority to draw up and facilitate the carrying out of, over a period of fifteen years, a programme of action to provide at least 500,000 households per year with a comprehensive package of home insulation and other energy efficiency improvements.

    (2) The Secretary of State—

      (a) shall consider any reports drawn up by an energy conservation authority pursuant to the Home Energy Conservation Act 1995; and

      (b) may consult any persons whom he sees fit,

    when drawing up his programme of action pursuant to subsection (1) above.

    (3) The Secretary of State shall, as soon as is practicable after the programme of action has been drawn up—

      (a) present it to both Houses of Parliament;

      (b) cause debates to be held therein;

      (c) after considering any points made during those debates amend the programme of action as he sees fit; and

      (d) thereafter take such steps as in his opinion are necessary to carry out or ensure the carrying out of the programme of action.

    (4) Without prejudice to the generality, a programme of action pursuant to subsection (1) above may include—

      (a) any action taken or proposed to be taken by an energy conservation authority pursuant to the Act of 1995;

      (b) any steps taken or proposed to be taken by the Secretary of State pursuant to section 3(2)(b) of the Act of 1995;

      (c) any steps taken by him to ensure that houses are given energy ratings when sold or let; and

      (d) initiatives aimed at promoting the uptake of energy efficiency measures in the private rented sector.'.

 
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Prepared 9 Jun 2000