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Author: Myles Bailey

Adaptation to get a new impetus?

The recent heatwave has pushed climate change adaptation back up the agenda. Particular sectors, like the water industry, have come under pressure as dry weather has led to a hosepipe ban being imposed in some areas.[1] The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has also called for the Government ‘to redouble its efforts to address the risk from climate change.’ [2] This could open the door for investors in climate change adaptation technologies.  The current heatwave affecting the UK is unlikely to be the last of its kind The current summer is the UK’s hottest since 1976, though there are good reasons to believe these temperatures will become...

An end to the Warm Home Discount exemption?

The Government may be forced to revise its policy of exempting smaller suppliers from providing the Warm Home Discount, which provides a £140 rebate on energy bills for fuel poor pensioners.[1] MPs and charities have started a campaign claiming up to 200,000 pensioners are losing out because of this exemption.[2] With limited scope to demonstrate its commitment to helping bill payers after the imposition of a price cap, the Government might be persuaded to act to show it is committed to helping vulnerable consumers. Capping energy prices was designed to help vulnerable consumers While the Government’s cap on default energy tariffs is being introduced to help everyone,...

Action on energy bills – are networks next?

Today is the Second Reading of the Government’s Domestic Gas and Electricity (Tariff Cap) Bill.[1] As its name suggests, the bill will introduce an upper limit on what retail energy companies can charge for standard variable and default tariffs. The fact that the Government is doing this emphasises how political the issue of energy prices has become. Unless the political pressure goes away this may not be the last intervention in the energy market. Other parts of the energy industry, such as energy networks, need to be aware of this and take steps to ensure policymaking towards them is well informed.  There are limited options for...


New plastics for a new era?

On 11 January 2018, the British Government committed itself to a crackdown on plastics. Its policy paper ‘A Green Future: Our 25 year Plan to Improve the Environment’ contained several measures to cut down on plastic use. These included extending the 5p plastic bag charge to small retailers, removing consumer single use plastics from the government estate, supporting the water industry to significantly increase water fountains and working with retailers on introducing plastic-free supermarket aisles.[1] At first glance the Government’s policies would seem to present a significant challenge to the plastic industry. However, the Government’s strategy may also provide an opportunity. Particularly if the plastics...


Energy Price Cap Policy Overview

The Government’s decision to reaffirm its commitment to a price cap, and use a Draft Bill procedure to implement it, suggests it has settled on a course of action. There remains scope to influence the Bill. This is likely to require using more indirect levers than direct engagement with government stakeholders though.  The intent to publish a Draft Bill signals the Government wants to move relatively quickly By announcing its intention to use a Draft Bill to begin implementing its price cap policy, the Government may be signalling its intent to cut down on consultation. At Conservative Party Conference 2017 the Prime Minister, Theresa May, said ‘government...