The Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Act 2006
is an Act of Parliament
which aims to boost the number of heat
and electricity microgeneration
installations in the United Kingdom
, so helping to cut carbon emissions
and reduce fuel poverty
The Act, which received Royal assent on June 21, 2006, was piloted through the House of Commons as a Private Member's Bill by Mark Lazarowicz, Member of Parliament.
The Rt Hon Eric Forth MP, a well known opponent of Private Members' Bills who often fillibustered them in Parliament, died during the passage of this bill through Parliament, after having prolonged the debate during Third Reading and Report for a number of days.
Microgeneration in the United Kingdom
technologies are seen as having considerable potential by the Government. Microgeneration involves the local production of electricity by homes and businesses from low-energy sources including small scale wind turbines
, ground source heat pumps
and solar electricity
The Government's own micorgeneration strategy was launched in March 2006 was seen as a disappointment by many commentators In contrast, the Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Act has been viewed as a positive step
The principle measures in the act are to:
- require the Secretary of State (DEFRA) to report annually on greenhouse gas emissions during the year plus steps taken to cut them;
- require local authorities to take into account the content of a new 'energy measures report' that the Secretary of State will be required to publish within one year from the signing of the Act;
- require the Secretary of State to set national microgeneration targets no later than 31 March 2009;
- require the Secretary of State to expand the annual reports on progress towards sustainable energy aims (under the Sustainable Energy Act 2003), to include:
- progress in meeting the microgeneration targets;
- progress in meeting the target (under the Housing Act 2004) for the energy efficiency of residential accommodation in England;
- progress in meeting the target (under the Housing Act 2004) for the emissions of carbon dioxide in England;
- progress in meeting the target (under the Housing Act 2004) for the number of households in which one or more persons are living in fuel poverty;
- things done to promote community energy projects;
- things done to promote the use of heat from renewable sources.
- give the Secretary of State the power to impose a duty on energy companies to buy energy from microgeneration schemes, if the industry fails to create a voluntary scheme within one year.
- introduce a statutory review that, it is hoped, may change permitted development orders to allow certain domestic microgeneration without the need for planning permission. A consultation period on the proposed changes ends on June 27, 2007.
- make changes to the Building Regulations to:
- include microgeneration within their scope;
- increasing to two years the time limit for prosecuting contraventions of the Building Regulations relating to energy use, energy conservation or carbon emissions;
- require the Secretary of State to report on compliance with these aspects of the Building Regulations and steps proposed to increase compliance.
- change the energy efficiency provisions of the Gas Act 1986 and the Electricity Act 1989 to carbon emission based targets;
- require the Secretary of State to report on the contribution that can be made by dynamic demand technology to cutting greenhouse gas emissions;
- require the Secretary of State to promote community energy projects;
- permit parish councils and community councils to incur expenditure (under the Local Government Act 1972) to encourage or promote microgeneration, biomass production, biomass fuels, and energy efficiency measures;
- give a duty to the Secretary of State to promote the use of heat from renewable sources;
- modify the Electricity Act 1989 to enable Renewables Obligation Certificates to be issued to a wider range of people and organisations;
- modify the Energy Act 2004 with the aim of capping charges for the transmission of renewable electricity produced in the Scottish islands, so reducing production costs and encouraging wind power and wave power.
For the purposes of the Act, microgeneration technologies include: