In July 2008 the Business and Enterprise Committee completed a major inquiry into energy prices and fuel poverty. Since then, there have been a number of developments within the energy sector, including the publication of Ofgem's energy supply probe, the Government's launch of a £1 billion package to tackle fuel poverty, and the creation of the new Department of Energy and Climate Change, among others. These events have taken place against the back-drop of a global financial and economic crisis. This short Report considers the implications of these developments for the future of the UK's energy policy. Matters we consider to be of most importance include:
- The need for intervention to ensure rapid investment in gas storage;
- The likelihood of timely investment in new electricity generating capacity and network infrastructure;
- Interventions to improve liquidity in the wholesale gas and electricity markets;
- The development of new initiatives to promote small and large-scale renewables;
- The Government's framework for managing its current nuclear liabilities and those arising from new nuclear build;
- Implementation of Ofgem's supply probe recommendations to ensure domestic and small business customers are treated fairly;
- The Government's future strategy on fuel poverty; and
- The effectiveness of the current energy market regulatory framework.
This is the Committee's last Report on energy-related matters, as from January 2009 responsibility for the scrutiny of energy policy will pass to the new Energy and Climate Change Committee.