Select Committee on Environmental Audit Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence

Annex B

Ofgem suggestions on the draft guidance on social and environmental objectives

  Paragraph 1.2  See main letter.

  Paragraph 2.4  It is inappropriate for the Government to invite the Authority to make the Social Action Plan permanent, since we are already committed to this. Perhaps the guidance could welcome the Authority's commitment to updating the plan each year.

  Paragraph 2.6  The third bullet point would seem to fit better in paragraph 2.10 which covers disconnection, or paragraph 2.15 which covers security of supply.

  Paragraph 2.13  The meaning of the last sentence is unclear, and would be better omitted. If the intention is that Ofgem should have a detailed role in brokering individual infill schemes then it is doubtful this would be a sensible or appropriate use of resources.

  Paragraphs 3.4-3.5  The guidance should take account of the publication of our Environmental Action Plan on 20 August. It would therefore not be appropriate for the guidance to suggest what should be covered! In fact the areas suggested in the draft have been included, although as regards the quantification of environmental consequences the approach which we have found practical has been to make a commitment to doing this where feasible in future and to draw attention to where we have done it recently—for example in relation to methane leakage as part of the Transco initial price control proposals in June 2001. As with the Social Action Plan, it would be inappropriate for the Government to invite us to make the Environmental Action Plan permanent, as we are committed to annual updating.

  Paragraph 3.11  You may wish to review the statements about the Government's targets for electricity supplied by renewable sources by 2003, in the light of DTI's consultation on the Renewables Obligation launched on 3 August. The final sentence of this paragraph encouraging us to assess the impact of NETA will have been satisfied when we publish our review in the near future.

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