The House of Lords is scheduled to debate the government’s Energy Bill at second reading on 19 July 2022. The bill was introduced on 6 July 2022.

The government has said the bill is based on three key pillars: 

  • Leveraging investment in clean technologies (parts 1, 2 and 3).
  • Reforming the UK’s energy system and protecting consumers (parts 4 to 9).
  • Maintaining the safety, security and resilience of the energy systems across the UK (parts 10, 11 and 12).

It has also said the bill’s 243 clauses and 19 schedules, taken together, would deliver 26 separate measures. In a press release published to accompany the bill, it listed these under the pillars above. In respect of leveraging investment in clean technologies, the measures range from those aimed at accelerating the growth of low carbon technologies, including carbon capture usage and storage (CCUS) and hydrogen, to providing clarity on the regulatory regime for fusion energy facilities. On reforming the UK’s energy system and protecting consumers, they range from enabling the extension of the energy price cap beyond 2023, to enabling the Competition and Markets Authority to review any relevant energy network company mergers and appointing Ofgem as the new regulator for heat networks in Great Britain. Finally, on maintaining safety, security and resilience, measures provided for in the bill range from those aimed at preventing fuel supply disruption at oil terminals and filling stations, to providing for a geological nuclear disposal facility be located beneath the seabed and enabling the Civil Nuclear Constabulary to support the security of other critical infrastructure sites. 

The bill follows the ‘British energy security strategy’ published in April 2022. It also follows several energy-related government strategies, policy documents, consultations and calls for evidence published over recent years. A selection of these is highlighted in a further reading list. 

The government has published a series of factsheets on measures within the bill. It has also published a delegated powers memorandum, a human rights memorandum, impact assessments and a summary impact assessment to accompany the proposed legislation. 

During the debate on the May 2022 Queen’s Speech, the Labour Party termed the trailed bill as “hopelessly inadequate”, while the Liberal Democrats questioned how the measures in the bill would help deal with near-term energy pressures alongside longer-term issues.

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