Energy regulators must now explicitly consider now their rulings help the government reach Britain’s Net Zero goals, according to new guidance from ministers.

A government amendment inserted yesterday in the Energy Security Bill has for the first time imposed a defined requirement on the energy regulator in relation to its NZ duties.

Ofgem’s focus has largely been centred on consumer protection through price regulation. The 2008 Climate Act added specific references to a reduction in greenhouse gases, through consideration of five-year carbon budgets, and their implications to in the nation’s energy mix.

The legislative update to the body’s duties mean that Ofgem officials should in future consider how its everyday decisions can assist energy ministers in meeting the UK’s net zero targets and carbon budgets.

Environmental groups and low carbon generators welcomed the change.

Greenpeace UK’s policy director Doug Parr said: “We’re glad that the government has seen sense on this. Ensuring the UK’s energy regulator has a legal requirement to help meet our emissions targets is critical to getting more renewables into our energy mix.

“The challenge now is to make sure this infrastructure is built quickly and cleverly so that community disturbance is minimal, while fully connecting our world-leading offshore wind sector so we can drive down the cost of energy and our emissions.”

Morag Watson, director of policy at Scottish Renewables, said: “For too long Ofgem’s remit has been past its sell-by date. This decision remedies that and ensures that the energy industry’s regulator is able to recommend more than just short-sighted changes to the system.

“The energy networks we have today were designed more than half a century ago when most of our energy came from fossil fuels burned near cities.

“Today we need clean, affordable power which delivers economic and environmental benefits to the whole country – and a regulator which is allowed to deliver an energy system to support that goal.

“This announcement is a huge step forward for energy’s place in Net Zero”, Watson concluded.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here