Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

We are building an economy that works for everyone, so that there are great places in every part of the UK for people to work and for businesses to invest, innovate and grow.



Secretary of State

 Portrait

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Shadow Ministers / Spokeperson
Labour
Lord Grantchester (LAB - Excepted Hereditary)
Shadow Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

Liberal Democrat
Sarah Olney (LDEM - Richmond Park)
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

Labour
Andy McDonald (LAB - Middlesbrough)
Shadow Secretary of State for Employment Rights
Edward Miliband (LAB - Doncaster North)
Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Liberal Democrat
Lord Fox (LDEM - Life peer)
Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

Scottish National Party
Stephen Flynn (SNP - Aberdeen South)
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

Plaid Cymru
Liz Saville Roberts (PC - Dwyfor Meirionnydd)
Shadow PC Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
Junior Shadow Ministers / Deputy Spokesperson
Labour
Imran Hussain (LAB - Bradford East)
Shadow Minister (Employment Rights and Protections)
Chi Onwurah (LAB - Newcastle upon Tyne Central)
Shadow Minister (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
Matthew Pennycook (LAB - Greenwich and Woolwich)
Shadow Minister (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
Alan Whitehead (LAB - Southampton, Test)
Shadow Minister (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town (LAB - Life peer)
Shadow Minister (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Labour)
Seema Malhotra (LAB - Feltham and Heston)
Shadow Minister (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
Ministers of State
Anne-Marie Trevelyan (CON - Berwick-upon-Tweed)
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
Lord Grimstone of Boscobel (CON - Life peer)
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
Parliamentary Under-Secretaries of State
Paul Scully (CON - Sutton and Cheam)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
Amanda Solloway (CON - Derby North)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
Lord Callanan (CON - Life peer)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
Nadhim Zahawi (CON - Stratford-on-Avon)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
Scheduled Event
Monday 6th September 2021
15:30
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Orders and regulations - Grand Committee
6 Sep 2021, 3:30 p.m.
Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 (Coronavirus) (Extension of the Relevant Period) (No. 2) Regulations 2021
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Scheduled Event
Wednesday 8th September 2021
09:25
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Third Delegated Legislation Committee - Debate - General Committee
8 Sep 2021, 9:25 a.m.
The draft Ecodesign for Energy-Related Products and Energy Information (Lighting Products) Regulations 2021
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Scheduled Event
Tuesday 21st September 2021
11:30
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Oral questions - Main Chamber
21 Sep 2021, 11:30 a.m.
Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (including Topical Questions)
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Debates
Thursday 22nd July 2021
Covid-19 Update
Commons Chamber
Select Committee Docs
Friday 27th August 2021
00:00
Call for Evidence
Call For Evidence
Select Committee Inquiry
Thursday 24th June 2021
Net Zero Governance

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee has launched an inquiry on net zero governance, which will examine the leadership …

Written Answers
Thursday 29th July 2021
Global Navigation Satellite Systems
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Henley on 7 December 2018 (HL11885), whether the …
Secondary Legislation
Tuesday 20th July 2021
Internal Market Information System Regulation (Amendment etc.) Regulations 2021
These Regulations are made in exercise of the powers conferred by section 8(1) and 8C(1) and paragraph 21 of Schedule …
Bills
Wednesday 30th June 2021
Subsidy Control Bill 2021-22
A Bill to make provision regulating the giving of subsidies out of public resources; and for connected purposes.
Dept. Publications
Thursday 29th July 2021
17:27

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Commons Appearances

Oral Answers to Questions is a regularly scheduled appearance where the Secretary of State and junior minister will answer at the Dispatch Box questions from backbench MPs

Other Commons Chamber appearances can be:
  • Urgent Questions where the Speaker has selected a question to which a Minister must reply that day
  • Adjornment Debates a 30 minute debate attended by a Minister that concludes the day in Parliament.
  • Oral Statements informing the Commons of a significant development, where backbench MP's can then question the Minister making the statement.

Westminster Hall debates are performed in response to backbench MPs or e-petitions asking for a Minister to address a detailed issue

Written Statements are made when a current event is not sufficiently significant to require an Oral Statement, but the House is required to be informed.

Most Recent Commons Appearances by Category
Jul. 06
Oral Questions
May. 25
Urgent Questions
Jul. 14
Westminster Hall
Jul. 08
Adjournment Debate
View All Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Commons Contibutions

Bills currently before Parliament

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy does not have Bills currently before Parliament


Acts of Parliament created in the 2019 Parliament


To make provision for the making of orders in connection with national security risks arising from the acquisition of control over certain types of entities and assets; and for connected purposes.

This Bill received Royal Assent on Thursday 29th April 2021 and was enacted into law.


To make provision in connection with the internal market for goods and services in the United Kingdom (including provision about the recognition of professional and other qualifications); to make provision in connection with provisions of the Northern Ireland Protocol relating to trade and state aid; to authorise the provision of financial assistance by Ministers of the Crown in connection with economic development, infrastructure, culture, sport and educational or training activities and exchanges; to make regulation of the provision of distortive or harmful subsidies a reserved or excepted matter; and for connected purposes.

This Bill received Royal Assent on Thursday 17th December 2020 and was enacted into law.


A Bill to make provision relating to the promotion of economic recovery and growth.

This Bill received Royal Assent on Wednesday 22nd July 2020 and was enacted into law.


A Bill to make provision about companies and other entities in financial difficulty; and to make temporary changes to the law relating to the governance and regulation of companies and other entities.

This Bill received Royal Assent on Thursday 25th June 2020 and was enacted into law.

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy - Secondary Legislation

These Regulations are made in exercise of the powers conferred by section 8(1) and 8C(1) and paragraph 21 of Schedule 7 to the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (c. 16). They address failures of retained EU law to operate effectively arising from the withdrawal of the UK from the European Union (and in particular the deficiencies under paragraphs (a), (b), (c) and (g) of section 8(2) of that Act).
View All Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Secondary Legislation

Petitions

e-Petitions are administered by Parliament and allow members of the public to express support for a particular issue.

If an e-petition reaches 10,000 signatures the Government will issue a written response.

If an e-petition reaches 100,000 signatures the petition becomes eligible for a Parliamentary debate (usually Monday 4.30pm in Westminster Hall).

Trending Petitions
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(140 in the last 7 days)
Petitions with most signatures
Petition Debates Contributed

In light of the recent outbreak and lock down, those on maternity leave should be given 3 extra months paid leave, at least. This time is for bonding and social engaging with other parents and babies through baby groups which are vital for development and now everything has been cancelled.

The UK hospitality industry. Responsible for around 3m jobs, generating £130bn in activity, resulting in £38bn in taxation. Yet, unlike the Arts or Sports, we do not have a dedicated Minister.

We are asking that a Minister for Hospitality be created for the current, and successive governments.

126,934
Petition Closed
19 Sep 2020
closed 10 months, 2 weeks ago

If the country is locked down during a pandemic, the government should work with mortgage providers, landlords and utility companies to freeze rent, mortgage and utility bill payments.

View All Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Petitions

Departmental Select Committee

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee

Commons Select Committees are a formally established cross-party group of backbench MPs tasked with holding a Government department to account.

At any time there will be number of ongoing investigations into the work of the Department, or issues which fall within the oversight of the Department. Witnesses can be summoned from within the Government and outside to assist in these inquiries.

Select Committee findings are reported to the Commons, printed, and published on the Parliament website. The government then usually has 60 days to reply to the committee's recommendations.


11 Members of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee
Darren Jones Portrait
Darren Jones (Labour - Bristol North West)
Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee Chair since 6th May 2020
Alexander Stafford Portrait
Alexander Stafford (Conservative - Rother Valley)
Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Mark Pawsey Portrait
Mark Pawsey (Conservative - Rugby)
Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Mark Jenkinson Portrait
Mark Jenkinson (Conservative - Workington)
Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Nusrat Ghani Portrait
Nusrat Ghani (Conservative - Wealden)
Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Richard Fuller Portrait
Richard Fuller (Conservative - North East Bedfordshire)
Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Alan Brown Portrait
Alan Brown (Scottish National Party - Kilmarnock and Loudoun)
Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Paul Howell Portrait
Paul Howell (Conservative - Sedgefield)
Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee Member since 9th March 2020
Charlotte Nichols Portrait
Charlotte Nichols (Labour - Warrington North)
Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee Member since 11th May 2020
Judith Cummins Portrait
Judith Cummins (Labour - Bradford South)
Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee Member since 11th May 2020
Sarah Owen Portrait
Sarah Owen (Labour - Luton North)
Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee Member since 22nd February 2021

50 most recent Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department

21st Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Henley on 7 December 2018 (HL11885), whether the UK Space Agency has yet developed options for a UK Navigation Satellite System; if so, (1) what those options are, and (2) whether their costs are within the £92 million set aside for the Engineering and Design studies.

The Space-Based Positioning Navigation and Timing Programme (SBPP) is on track and is continuing to explore innovative ways of delivering space-based Position Navigation and Timing (PNT) services to the UK. The programme will advise on options to Government for a space-based solution to improve our PNT resilience, as part of a mix of technologies, in November this year.

SBPP follows on from the work of the UK Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Programme, which concluded in September 2020. The cost of this programme was contained within the £92m allocated. In conjunction with industry, the GNSS programme developed detailed designs for a Medium-Earth Orbit (MEO) PNT satellite system. SBPP is now looking at a broader set of innovative concepts for securing global space-based PNT services, to meet the resilience needs of our Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) and wider economic and domestic users.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to allow small businesses flexible government loan repayment plans.

We have always been clear that businesses are responsible for repaying any finance they take out. However, we recognise that some borrowers will benefit from additional flexibility with regards to their repayments. That is why we announced the Pay As You Grow measures last year.

Pay As You Grow is designed to provide Bounce Back Loan borrowers more time and flexibility over their repayments by giving them the option to:

  • Extend the length of the loan from six years to ten.
  • Make interest-only payments for six months, with the option to use this up to three times throughout the loan.
  • Take up a six-month repayment holiday. This option is available once during the term of their loan.

Businesses are able to use these options either individually or in combination with each other. These are only available once a business has started making repayments on the loan. In addition, they have the option to fully repay their loan early and will face no early repayment charges for doing so.

While the Government covers the interest due on Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) facilities for the first twelve months, repayments of capital are required during this period unless the lender chooses to grant additional forbearance measures.

CBILS lenders are able to extend the repayment period for CBILS facilities where this is needed, to a maximum of 10 years. CBILS term extensions are offered at the discretion of lenders, and for forbearance purposes only.

The British Business Bank has a range of guidance and resources available to all businesses, including content on managing cashflow and a list of independent advice services. Details can be found online at the British Business Bank website.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what information they hold on the number of UK companies who have set up (1) companies, and (2) distribution hubs, in the EU since 1 January; and the number of jobs that have been created in the EU as a result.

Companies House does not hold any information on how many companies have set up (1) companies and (2) distribution hubs, in the EU since 1 January, and the number of jobs that have been created in the EU as a result.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many UK scientists are working on (1) the James Webb Space Telescope, and (2) the Extremely Large Telescope European project under construction in Chile.

The UK’s role in James Webb Space Telescope, leading the Mid-Infrared Instrument known as MIRI, involved scientists, engineers, researchers and technicians from 46 organisations across the UK – supported by approximately £20M investment from UK Space Agency and the Science and Technology Facilities Council. At its peak, the instrument’s development programme was staffed by 25-30 FTE (Full Time Equivalent) per year. Approximately 360 UK scientists will be working with JWST scientific data following its launch in November 2021, through privilege access programmes for the first mission data, and guest observer programmes. When factoring in post docs and PhD students, who will support this research, this figure can be expected to effectively double.

We expect that when operational 200-400 UK researchers will seek time on the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) to support their science programmes. During the current construction phase a large proportion of UK scientists are working under commercial contract and we do not have access to staffing within those. When it starts operating in late-2020s, UK scientists will be able to use ELT to study the earliest evolution of stars and galaxies and to characterise and image other planets, possibly like our own.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
21st Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the report by Christians Against Poverty Shipshape or sinking ship?, published on 21 July, what plans they have to remove insolvency fees for individuals with insufficient surplus income.

There are no immediate plans to review the bankruptcy application or Debt Relief Order (DRO) fees. Where the fee is an issue, assistance is already available to allow a debtor to pay in instalments prior to the making of the bankruptcy order or DRO. In addition, some charities offer help with paying the fee.

The Government has announced that it will be conducting a review of the personal insolvency framework in due course to ensure that it continues to be fit for purpose.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
21st Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 20 October 2020 (HL8804), whether the Space-Based Positioning Navigation and Timing Programme has completed its exploration of new and alternative ways to deliver satellite navigation services to the UK; if so, what the result of that exploration is; and whether OneWeb has a role in any of the options being considered.

From October to November 2020, the UK Space Agency engaged industry and academia specialising in Position, Navigation and Timing (PNT) via a Request for Information (RFI), designed to ensure a wide range of space-based concepts can be explored by the Space Based PNT Programme (SBPP).

SBPP’s analysis is ongoing and will assess how well different options meet the UK’s requirements for PNT information from space.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
21st Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans OneWeb has to manufacture satellites in the UK; when they expect any such manufacture to begin; what specific applications of OneWeb satellites they expect to benefit the UK; when they expect the development of second generation OneWeb satellites to be completed; and whether they expect the second generation OneWeb satellites to be suitable for Positioning Navigation and Timing programmes.

Details of satellite production and manufacturing are a commercial matter for the company. However, the Government would of course welcome R&D and manufacturing activity in the UK as part of efforts to grow the UK space sector.

The Space Based PNT programme is continuing to evaluate options for future PNT resilience in the UK.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
21st Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to their acquisition of a share of OneWeb on 3 July 2020, how many satellites OneWeb have launched since that date; where were those satellites manufactured; what launch vehicles were used; and from where they were launched.

Since the Government’s investment, OneWeb has launched 180 satellites, bringing the total number of satellites launched to 254.

OneWeb satellites are currently manufactured in Florida, USA. The payload (the active component), for the satellites is manufactured in the UK.

OneWeb currently utilises heavy launch via their ArianeSpace contract executed through the Soyuz launcher at Vostochny in Russia.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of the workplace treatment of (a) app-based courier drivers and (b) other gig economy workers.

The UK has one of the best employment rights records in the world. We have made good progress in bringing forward measures that add flexibility for workers while ensuring the protection of employment rights, such as banning the use of exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts.

An individual’s entitlement to rights at work is determined by their employment status, employee, worker or self-employed. App-based courier service workers can be classed under any of these depending on their employment relationship. Employees are entitled to all rights including unfair dismissal (subject to qualifying periods) and have responsibilities towards their employer. So-called “limb (b) workers” are only entitled to some rights such as the National Minimum Wage but have increased flexibility and fewer obligations to their employer. The self-employed generally have no employment rights but have complete flexibility in their work.

We understand the importance of clarity around employment status and to ensure that individuals and businesses in the gig economy are aware of their rights and responsibilities. The Government is currently considering options to improve clarity around employment status, and we are working with stakeholders and cross-Government on how best to address it in a post-Covid scenario.

The Health and Safety Executive recently updated its guidance to cover gig economy, agency and temporary workers, which can be found here: https://www.hse.gov.uk/vulnerable-workers/gig-agency-temporary-workers/index.htm.

For health and safety purposes, gig economy workers should be treated no differently to other workers.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the prevalence of app-based courier services dismissing their couriers as a result of (a) technical issues, (b) traffic delays and (c) app malfunctions.

The UK has one of the best employment rights records in the world. We have made good progress in bringing forward measures that add flexibility for workers while ensuring the protection of employment rights, such as banning the use of exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts.

An individual’s entitlement to rights at work is determined by their employment status, employee, worker or self-employed. App-based courier service workers can be classed under any of these depending on their employment relationship. Employees are entitled to all rights including being protected against unfair dismissal (subject to qualifying periods) and have responsibilities towards their employer.

An employer needs to have a valid reason and take appropriate steps if they are to dismiss an employee. Employees who consider that their dismissal was unfair can complain to an employment tribunal, generally subject to a qualifying period of continuous service. While this does not go into details, the Government publishes quarterly tribunal statistics, including on unfair dismissal claims.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if his Department will take steps to improve the workplace treatment of app-based courier drivers.

The UK has one of the best employment rights records in the world. We have made good progress in bringing forward measures that add flexibility for workers while ensuring the protection of employment rights, such as banning the use of exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts.

An individual’s entitlement to rights at work is determined by their employment status, employee, worker or self-employed. App-based courier service workers can be classed under any of these depending on their employment relationship. Employees are entitled to all rights including unfair dismissal (subject to qualifying periods) and have responsibilities towards their employer. So-called “limb (b) workers” are only entitled to some rights such as the National Minimum Wage but have increased flexibility and fewer obligations to their employer. The self-employed generally have no employment rights but have complete flexibility in their work.

We understand the importance of clarity around employment status and to ensure that individuals and businesses in the gig economy are aware of their rights and responsibilities. The Government is currently considering options to improve clarity around employment status, and we are working with stakeholders and cross-Government on how best to address it in a post-Covid scenario.

The Health and Safety Executive recently updated its guidance to cover gig economy, agency and temporary workers, which can be found here: https://www.hse.gov.uk/vulnerable-workers/gig-agency-temporary-workers/index.htm.

For health and safety purposes, gig economy workers should be treated no differently to other workers.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether periods when schools are closed to all but vulnerable pupils and children of key workers during the covid-19 outbreak are counted as pauses under the Agency Workers Regulation.

An agency worker can qualify for equal treatment after working for 12 weeks in the same role with the same hirer.

The working patterns of agency workers can be irregular. The regulations set out the effect of different types of absence or breaks on the 12-week qualifying period and provide for several circumstances in which breaks do not prevent agency workers from completing the qualifying period or cause the qualifying clock to pause.

The qualifying clock will pause if there is a break in service for any reason, where the break is no longer than six calendar weeks and the agency worker returns to the same role with the same hirer.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what rights furloughed workers have to the accrual of holiday pay.

Employment rights remain unchanged under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). Therefore, all workers’ right to holiday accrues to the extent and in the same way it did prior to being placed on to furlough under the CJRS, as provided by the individual’s statutory and contractual rights.

If a furloughed worker takes holiday, the employer should pay them their full holiday pay, calculated in accordance with BEIS guidance. Employers will be obliged to fund any additional amounts over the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) grant.

Further guidance to help employers manage holiday pay during Coronavirus is available on GOV.UK.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had, if any, with (1) Amazon, and (2) other suppliers, about the fall in volume of goods being delivered from Great Britain to Northern Ireland since the agreement of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland in December 2020.

The Government has been speaking with businesses regularly regarding shipment of goods to Northern Ireland (NI), including parcel operators and online marketplaces. We have working groups with business where they are updated on the latest guidance and have the opportunity to seek further clarity on operational related issues. Assistance is also available from the Trader Support Service, which guides businesses trading with NI through all import processes at no additional cost.

Furthermore, the Brexit Business Taskforce has held regular meetings between my noble Friend the Minister of State at the Cabinet Office (the Rt. Hon. Lord Frost), other Ministers, and key business sectors.

HMRC held constructive engagement with the postal and parcel industry in the run up to the 31 December 2020 announcement of temporary arrangements for express operators to continue moving the majority of goods with minimal requirements. This engagement will continue for the duration of the temporary arrangements.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he plans to take into account the conduct of Professor David Miller in the future letting of contracts to Bristol University.

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) assesses the quality of research from the submissions of UK higher education institutions, not individuals. The primary outcome of the REF is an overall quality profile for each submission, which will show the proportions of research activity judged to meet each of four starred quality levels. Alongside the quality profile, the funding bodies will publish the output, impact and environment sub-profiles that were combined to produce the overall quality profile for each submission. The HE funding bodies do not publish the scores for individual outputs or impact case studies. REF results inform future Quality-related (QR) research funding allocations from HE funding bodies, which are, also awarded at institutional level by the HE funding bodies, and not to individual researchers.

HE providers are independent and autonomous organisations, responsible for the management of their own affairs and for meeting their duties under the law, including those relating to freedom of expression and equalities. All HE providers should discharge their responsibilities fully and have robust policies and procedures in place to comply with the law, to investigate and swiftly address hate crime, including any antisemitic incidents that are reported.

Grant funding provided by HE Funding bodies, UK Research & Innovation and Office for Students is all subject to terms and conditions of funding set by the funder with which providers must comply. If a provider does not meet these, funding can be withdrawn or reclaimed by the relevant funder. For research grant funding this includes expectations concerning academic rigour, research integrity, open research, etc.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make an assessment of the potential impact of Professor David Miller's research at Bristol University on that university's ratings under the Research Excellence Framework.

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) assesses the quality of research from the submissions of UK higher education institutions, not individuals. The primary outcome of the REF is an overall quality profile for each submission, which will show the proportions of research activity judged to meet each of four starred quality levels. Alongside the quality profile, the funding bodies will publish the output, impact and environment sub-profiles that were combined to produce the overall quality profile for each submission. The HE funding bodies do not publish the scores for individual outputs or impact case studies. REF results inform future Quality-related (QR) research funding allocations from HE funding bodies, which are, also awarded at institutional level by the HE funding bodies, and not to individual researchers.

HE providers are independent and autonomous organisations, responsible for the management of their own affairs and for meeting their duties under the law, including those relating to freedom of expression and equalities. All HE providers should discharge their responsibilities fully and have robust policies and procedures in place to comply with the law, to investigate and swiftly address hate crime, including any antisemitic incidents that are reported.

Grant funding provided by HE Funding bodies, UK Research & Innovation and Office for Students is all subject to terms and conditions of funding set by the funder with which providers must comply. If a provider does not meet these, funding can be withdrawn or reclaimed by the relevant funder. For research grant funding this includes expectations concerning academic rigour, research integrity, open research, etc.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the feasibility that UK reaches net zero emissions sooner than 2050.

The UK was the first major economy to legislate for a net zero target. This target was set in line with advice from our independent expert advisers, the Climate Change Committee (CCC), that 2050 was the earliest feasible date for achieving this. The CCC made clear in their advice on the 6th Carbon Budget, published in December 2020, that net zero in 2050 remains the right target for the UK.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps are being taken to improve the availability of electric vehicle charge points in Wolverhampton.

The Government’s On-street Residential Chargepoint Scheme (ORCS) is available to all UK local authorities to provide public chargepoints for their residents without access to private parking. In 2021/22, £20 million is available under the scheme to ensure more local authorities and residents can benefit. Amendments have been made to the ORCS to encourage ambitious local authority projects, and improve access to the funding for local authorities in areas of limited electrical capacity.

Local authorities in England can also take advantage of Energy Saving Trust’s Local Government Support Programme, fully funded by the Department for Transport, which offers support to help authorities develop and deliver EV strategies, and programmes to increase adoption of ultra-low emission vehicles. This includes support with the roll out of charging infrastructure through applying for ORCS funding.

In addition, Government is investing almost £40 million in projects to support innovation in wireless and on-street charging technology to encourage the uptake of electric vehicles.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the number of solar farms in the UK.

The Government publishes figures on all solar photovoltaic capacity in the United Kingdom, available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/solar-photovoltaics-deployment. The figures show that there are currently 1,340 operational ground mount and stand-alone solar projects.[1]

[1] This comprises ground mount and stand- alone solar PV projects supported under the Renewables Obligation, Feed in Tariff and Contract for Difference schemes.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Green Alliance's report entitled Getting the building blocks right Infrastructure priorities for a green recovery, published on 11 November 2020, whether the Government has made an assessment of whether there is an investment gap as cited in that report in helping the Government to reach its net-zero target; and if he will make a statement.

Delivering net zero requires the deep decarbonisation of all sectors – with the CCC estimating that low carbon investment should reach £50 billion a year by 2050. Financial services will be a critical enabler of green investment at the pace and scale required – and that is why green finance is a key priority for this Government. Our approach has seen the UK power sector attract over £93 billion of green investment since 2010.

Spanning clean energy, buildings, transport, nature and innovative technologies, the 10 Point Plan has committed £12 billion of government investment and will unlock three times as much from the private sector by 2030. The Government has also recently launched a new infrastructure bank for the UK which will co-invest alongside private sector investors and accelerate our ambitions for tackling climate change and levelling up. The UK Infrastructure Bank will have an initial £12 billion of capital to deploy and will be able to issue £10 billion of government guarantees, helping to unlock more than £40 billion of overall investment. This year the Government will also issue its first Sovereign Green Bond - subject to market conditions – helping to finance projects that will tackle climate change.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of the Good Business Foundation's proposed Good Business Charter.

The Government recognises the importance of many of the issues covered by the Good Business Charter. This includes employee well-being, environmental responsibility, diversity and inclusion. We encourage business to use voluntary approaches where helpful to meet the specifics of their business model and supply chains, rather than simply taking a ‘tick box’ approach to comply with legislation.

Large companies and groups already report on environmental, social, and employee matters as well as respect for human rights. Many UK companies already provide high quality reporting in this area. We intend to build on this in areas such as sustainability disclosures, audit and diversity.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of (a) the average time taken by HM Land Registry to decide on an application and (b) trends in that time so taken in the last three years.

HM Land Registry (HMLR) processed over 70,000 requests to search or change the Land Register every day in 2020/21.

Searches constitute approximately 80% of requests. Over 90% of these are delivered instantly via digital services, with almost all of the remainder delivered within three days.

Applications to change the Register make up the other 20% of requests and vary widely in type and complexity. Over the last quarter, on average, across all applications, changes took less than 5 weeks to be processed. Over a third are completed within a week. However, the most complex applications (around 1.5% of cases) took around 26 weeks on average.

Precise comparisons with three years ago are not straightforward due to differences in processes for customers and categorisation of case type. Overall, average processing times are trending higher than the last three years, partly due to COVID-19 restrictions, and partly because HMLR has chosen to rebalance its resources to prevent waiting times for complex applications increasing further. Whilst this has increased the overall average waiting time for all applications to change the Register, HMLR believes that this is the right balance to ensure it is serving all its customer needs.

Because applications to change the Register occur after the transaction is completed, the time taken to process them should not impact a property sale. However, if this is not the case, customers can ask for their application to be fast tracked and processed within 10 working days for no extra charge. HMLR reported in its 2020/21 Annual Report and Accounts that it is processing nearly four times as many requests to fast track applications for its customers as it did prior to the pandemic, reflecting the unique circumstances facing the organisation and the property market overall.

HM Land Registry is making significant investment in long-term transformation to significantly improve customer waiting times in the future through greater digitisation and automation, and building more expert land registration capacity.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the purpose of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund is to replace the European Structural and Investment Funds programme.

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund will help to level up and create opportunity across the UK in places most in need, such as ex-industrial areas, deprived towns, and rural and coastal communities, and for people who face labour market barriers.

Spending Review 2020 set out the main strategic elements of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund in the Heads of Terms.  The Government will publish a UK-wide investment framework later this year and confirm its funding profile at the next Spending Review.

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is the domestic successor to the EU Structural Fund programme. It will maximise the benefits of leaving the EU through quicker delivery of funding, better targeting, better alignment with domestic priorities and by cutting burdensome EU bureaucracy.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of attempts to reform the Energy Charter Treaty to remove any barriers to phasing out carbon fuels.

The UK supports the process to modernise the Energy Charter Treaty in a way that helps the global clean energy transition, such as the right for States to regulate to reach emissions reduction targets and a stronger focus on climate security issues. We are currently in discussions with Treaty partners over proposals to phase out investment protection for fossil fuels.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had, if any, with the EU about leaving the Energy Charter Treaty.

The Government has had no discussions with the EU on leaving the Energy Charter Treaty.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they plan to publish the Heat and Buildings Strategy 2021.

The Government is planning to publish a Heat and Buildings Strategy in due course. The strategy will set out the immediate actions we will take for reducing emissions from buildings, as well as our approach to the key strategic decisions needed to achieve a mass transition to low-carbon heat.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what role he plans for local authorities to have in delivering greener homes.

The Government is funding several schemes as part of its commitment to retrofit homes to cut energy bills for households and to make them greener on the path to Net Zero.

The Local Authority Delivery Scheme (LAD), which supports projects to install energy efficiency measures such as various types of insulation, and low-carbon heating systems for low-income households, has already provided £500million to Local Authorities for upgrades to low-income households across England, and is being delivered up to December 2021.

On 16th June 2021, the Government launched the Sustainable Warmth Competition enabling Local Authorities to apply for further funding under the £200million Local Authority Delivery Phase 3 scheme and from an initial allocation of £150million for the Home Upgrade Grant Phase 1 scheme, for delivery up to March 2023.

In addition, the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund Demonstrator has awarded £62million of funding to social landlords across England and Scotland to test innovative approaches to retrofitting at scale, seeing over 2300 social homes improved to at least EPC band C.   The Government has announced around a further £160million for the first wave of the £3.8bn manifesto commitment in financial year 21/22, delivering up to March 2023.

The Government announced in the Sustainable Warmth Strategy a four-year, £4 billion successor scheme to ECO, to accelerate our efforts to improve homes to meet fuel poverty targets.   In our recently published consultation, we propose that up to 50% of the scheme can be delivered through referrals by Local Authorities and energy suppliers, to help accelerate our efforts to improve homes to meet fuel poverty targets.   ECO will continue to be an obligation on suppliers.

As part of the Local Energy Programme, five Local Energy Hubs across England have so far received £13 million of funding. Each Hub is hosted by a lead local authority and works with LEPs and local authorities to increase their capacity to identify and deliver local energy projects and undertake the initial stages of project development up to the point where they can attract investment. Hubs have already supported over £60m of commissioned energy projects and are working on a pipeline of over £3bn of projects.

The Local Authority Delivery Scheme (LAD), which supports projects to install energy efficiency measures such as various types of insulation, and low-carbon heating systems for low-income households, has already provided £500million to Local Authorities for upgrades to low-income households across England, and is being delivered by the Local Energy Hubs up to December 2021.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what policies his Department (a) has proposed and (b) plans to propose to help the Government meet the 2050 net zero target. ​

My Rt. Hon. Friemd the Prime Minister has set out his Ten Point Plan for the UK to lead the world into a Green Industrial Revolution. This innovative programme sets out ambitious policies and £12 billion government investment to support up to 250,000 green jobs, accelerate our path to reaching net zero by 2050 and lay the foundations for our green recovery by building back greener from COVID-19.

The Energy White Paper sets out our plans for the transformation of our energy system, including actions to fully decarbonise electricity generation by 2050. This drives forward the Ten Point Plan commitments, reaffirming how clean energy means jobs and economic growth for the whole country, moving on from COVID-19 to build back better, support green jobs, and accelerate our path to net zero.

In March this year we published the Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy, the first by a major economy which sets out how industry can decarbonise in line with net zero while remaining competitive and without pushing emissions abroad. The strategy includes ambitions and expectations such as emissions in industry needing to fall by around two thirds by 2035, as well as policy priorities for the next ten years and seeks to provide industry with the long-term certainty it needs to invest in decarbonisation. We also recently published the Transport Decarbonisation Plan – the first such Plan in the world – setting transport on the path to net zero by 2050.

Through the above plans, we have set out the concrete steps that we will take to build back greener from the pandemic and reach net zero emissions by 2050. Ahead of COP26, we will bring forward further bold proposals, including a Net Zero Strategy, to cut emissions and create new jobs and industries across the whole country.

We are also publishing a number of sector strategies this year, as well as the Net Zero Strategy, including the Heat and Buildings Strategy and a Hydrogen Strategy.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the G7 Climate and Environment: Ministers’ Communiqué, published on 21 May 2021, when the long-term strategy for the UK’s pathway to zero greenhouse emissions by 2050 will be published.

The Net Zero Strategy will be published before COP26, and will build on my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution. This will be our Long-Term Low Emission Development Strategy to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in our information to facilitate clarity, transparency and understanding that accompanied the UK’s new nationally determined contribution back in December.

A number of sector strategies are also being published this year, as well as the Net Zero Strategy, including the Heat and Buildings Strategy and the Hydrogen Strategy.

We have also recently published the Transport Decarbonisation Plan – the first such Plan in the world – setting transport on the path to net zero by 2050.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the extent of the risks to consumers of energy suppliers failing in the context of recent increases in wholesale energy costs.

When an energy supplier becomes insolvent, for whatever reason, Ofgem revokes the supplier’s licence, and appoints another supplier to quickly take over serving the customers, via the Supplier of Last Resort (SoLR) process. Customer credit balances are protected under this process, nearly always without recourse to the Last Resort Supply levy, which allows for the mutualisation of certain costs of onboarding the new customers.

In the unlikely event where the use of SoLR powers would not be practicable, the Government has put in place a Special Administration Regime, whereby my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State may seek the appointment of an administrator, whose primary objective is to ensure continuity of energy supply at the lowest practical cost.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of energy suppliers using customer credit balances to fund low-cost acquisition tariffs.

Deliberately collecting more credit than is required to service customers, in order to fund acquisition tariffs, would be unreasonable and unsustainable.

In January this year, Ofgem introduced a suite of new rules to ensure that suppliers act in a financially responsible manner and do not take actions that may result in their competitors and consumers facing increased costs should they fail.

We await the outcome of Ofgem’s recent consultation on further measures that would require suppliers to automatically refund customers’ credit balances every year, and protect any amounts they hold above a certain threshold.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many energy suppliers have been investigated by Ofgem for the purpose of Ofgem undertaking its financial responsibility to protect customers against mutualisation of costs in the event of energy supplier failure.

Ofgem closely monitors suppliers’ ability to meet their customer service and financial obligations. Ofgem are actively implementing the new rules in relation to financial responsibility, and will take action where there is a risk of consumer detriment. A range of tools is available to tackle poor behaviour, including enforcement action.

Mutualisation mechanisms play an important role in supporting the effective functioning of the energy market. Ofgem aims to ensure that suppliers do not behave in a manner that increases the likelihood or scale of costs to be mutualised across their competitors, and ultimately consumers, if and when they fail.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment (a) his Department and (b) Ofgem has made of the potential disproportionate effect on (i) vulnerable and (ii) less-able-to-pay consumers of the mutualisation of costs from energy supplier failures.

Keeping down bills and protecting vulnerable consumers remains a key focus for Government and Ofgem. For example, the Government’s Warm Home Discount and Energy Company Obligation schemes are focussed on reducing bills for vulnerable households.

When a supplier fails and Ofgem appoints A Supplier of Last Resort (SoLR), they carefully consider the ability of the incoming supplier to effectively serve the new customers, including those in vulnerable circumstances. Very rarely does the appointment of a SoLR involve mutualisation of the costs of onboarding the customers.

Mutualisation of unpaid supplier bills under the Renewables Obligations support scheme, is now less likely to occur. The Government recently restored the link between the threshold at which mutualisation occurs and the annual cost of the scheme, making the threshold much higher. We will also be consulting soon on the wider matter of supplier payment default under the Renewables Obligation, which will consider both regulatory and legislative approaches.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent steps (a) his Department and (b) Ofgem has taken to avoid the risk of mutualisation of the cost of customer credit balances in the event of energy supplier failure.

Ofgem have strengthened checks at market entry to ensure that suppliers understand their obligations and have the appropriate arrangements in place to operate in the retail energy market (introduced from July 2019).

In January this year Ofgem introduced a suite of new rules to ensure that suppliers act in a financially responsible manner and do not take actions that may result in their competitors and consumers facing increased costs should they fail. Ofgem are currently consulting on further measures that would require suppliers to automatically refund customers’ credit balances every year, and protect any amounts they hold above a certain threshold.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that people can easily access advice on home insulation measures and services.

The Simple Energy Advice Service (SEA) provides impartial and tailored advice to help people improve their household’s energy efficiency and make their homes greener. SEA consists of an easy-to-use website supported by a call centre and the website has been accessed by over 1.5 million users. The Government is currently undertaking user research into improving the service.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) also published an EPC Action Plan detailing a series of commitments to engage consumers to support policy and drive action. The Government is also working with Local Authorities through the Local Energy Programme to develop support for retrofit programmes by addressing local barriers to clean growth activity.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will introduce a framework to support local authorities to deliver on net zero in the upcoming Net Zero Strategy.

We will set out our future plans in the Net Zero Strategy which is currently under development.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
16th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Grimstone of Boscobel on 15 July (HL1644), which regulators covered by the Professional Qualifications Bill do not already have the powers to enter into recognition agreements with counterparts from other countries.

The Professional Qualifications Bill will allow the relevant national authority to enable regulators to enter into regulator recognition agreements with their overseas counterparts. Such arrangements are led by regulators.

The existing powers available to regulators differ depending upon the relevant underpinning legislation. Some regulators may need additional powers to enter into recognition agreements, if regulators choose to do so. This will complement existing legislation. Some examples of regulators in this position include:

  • The Architects Registration Board;
  • The Intellectual Property Regulation Board;
  • The General Dental Council; and,
  • The General Osteopathic Council

This list is not exhaustive, as not all government departments and regulators have assessed whether or not they deem that they have the powers to enter into regulator recognition agreements. We would expect engagement to be carried out with the relevant regulator before any regulations were laid to provide these additional powers.

The Government will continue to engage with regulators on the Professional Qualifications Bill, including on whether they may benefit from additional powers to enter into regulator recognition agreements.

Lord Grimstone of Boscobel
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department holds information on how many Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) awards have been made for biomass boilers installed by the company VIRO.

Ofgem, as the scheme administrator hold data on how many applications to the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive have been awarded, terminated and rejected for biomass boilers installed by VIRO. This data is not held for applications to the Non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department hold information on how many Renewable Heat Incentive contracts have been terminated for biomass boilers installed by the company VIRO.

Ofgem, as the scheme administrator hold data on how many applications to the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive have been awarded, terminated and rejected for biomass boilers installed by VIRO. This data is not held for applications to the Non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department holds information on how many Renewable Heat Incentive applications have been rejected for biomass boilers installed by the company VIRO.

Ofgem, as the scheme administrator hold data on how many applications to the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive have been awarded, terminated and rejected for biomass boilers installed by VIRO. This data is not held for applications to the Non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the oral contribution of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Climate Change and Corporate Responsibility of 11 March 2021, Official Report, column HL 1803, what assessment his Department has made of the potential role that the GeoEngine technology being developed by Titan Electricity could play in decarbonising the process of sour and acid natural gas extraction.

BEIS engineering experts met with Titan Electricity at a meeting on the 5th July to discuss their geo-engine concept and its use in removing hydrogen sulphide and carbon dioxide from sour and acid natural gas.

Technologies similar to the geo-engine could help achieve the ambitious decarbonisation targets set in the North Sea Transition Deal for offshore gas published by BEIS in March. This commits the UK offshore oil and gas sector to a carbon dioxide production emission reduction of 10% in 2025, 25% in 2027, and 50% in 2030 compared to a 2018 baseline.

The Department does not specify the equipment used on gas rigs however, this being a matter solely for the individual scheme developers.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to reduce the cost to people of disconnecting from gas supplies as part of decarbonising their homes.

The Government is planning to publish a Heat and Buildings Strategy in due course, which will set out the immediate actions we will take for reducing emissions from buildings. In the meantime, BEIS believes in a strong independent economic regulatory environment and support Ofgem in the core priority (amongst others) to help achieve Net Zero emissions by 2050 while maximising value for money for consumers.

As part of our commitment to the Future Homes Standard, which will ensure new build homes are future-proofed with low carbon heating and world leading levels of energy efficiency, we will consult on the feasibility of ending connections to the gas grid in new build homes.

We need to ensure the right legislation is in place to support the heating market through the transition to net zero. We will, therefore, review the overarching regulatory framework set out in the Gas Act 1995 to ensure the appropriate powers and responsibilities are in place to facilitate a decarbonised gas future that does not risk our energy security or lead to disproportionate impacts on consumers across the UK.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the total amount received from the (a) Bounce Back Loan Scheme and (b) Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme has been in Newcastle upon Tyne Central, broken down by (i) loan type and (ii) constituency average.

The analysis of final Coronavirus loan scheme data was published on July 6, 2021 on the British Business Bank website.[1]

Under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, 136 loans were delivered in the Newcastle upon Tyne Central constituency, to the sum of £47,292,585. The average value of loan was £347,739.59.

Under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, 2,635 loans were delivered in the Newcastle upon Tyne Central constituency to the sum of £81,819,93. The average value of loan was £3,105.12.

[1] https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/analysis-of-final-coronavirus-loan-scheme-data-shows-79-3bn-of-loans-to-1-67m-businesses-evenly-distributed-across-whole-of-the-uk/

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
12th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of increased remote working on employee wellbeing; and what steps they are taking to ensure employers prevent employee burnout.

The Government is aware that the increase in remote working during the pandemic has raised issues relating to employee wellbeing. It is in the interest of both employers and employees to support wellbeing at work and prevent burnout.

The Government is working with the Flexible Working Taskforce – a partnership across business groups, trade unions, charities, and government departments – to provide advice and guidance to support employers who are considering adopting more remote or semi-remote (hybrid) working practices going forwards.

In the short-term, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) – in consultation with the Flexible Working Taskforce – has produced advice on hybrid working to help employers consider whether this could be an option for their workplace and how to fairly introduce it. The advice covers the existing legal and practical issues associated with hybrid working – and includes a section on supporting and managing staff.

In the slightly longer-term, the Flexible Working Taskforce is working on developing best practice guidance for employers, which will include supporting the work-life balance of remote workers.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 21 May 2021 to Question 1169, whether he has (a) considered that evidence from Acas' fact finding exercise and (b) drawn any conclusions from that evidence.

Last year, we asked the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) to collect evidence into how fire and rehire is being used by employers. This report was published on 8 June and is available from https://www.acas.org.uk/fire-and-rehire-report.

The Government has considered the findings of the report. We remain clear that we expect all employers to treat their employees fairly and in the spirit of partnership. Using threats about firing and rehiring as a negotiation tactic is unacceptable. We expect employers and employees to negotiate new terms and conditions and there are laws around how this must be done, and protections in place when firms are considering redundancies.

This is clearly a complex area for both businesses and workers. That is why we have asked Acas to produce better, more comprehensive, clearer guidance to help employers explore all the options before considering “fire and rehire” and encourage good employment relations practice.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of staff being told to self-isolate after the easing of covid-19 restrictions on 19 July 2021 on businesses in Newcastle upon Tyne Central constituency where infection rates are higher than national average.

On Monday 5 July, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister set out the details of the final stage of the roadmap and our approach for managing Covid as we learn to live with the virus. The ‘Working Safely’ guidance was updated on 14 July in advance of moving to step 4. Isolation remains the most important action people can take to stop the spread of the virus. It is crucial people isolate immediately when they are told to do so. Businesses should be supporting employees to self-isolate.

From 16 August, those who are fully vaccinated will no longer be required to self-isolate if they are a close contact of a positive case. Instead, they will be advised to take a PCR test. Until these changes come into effect, it is essential that everyone continues to observe the rules to protect those who are not yet fully vaccinated or are clinically vulnerable. Anyone who tests positive will still need to self-isolate regardless of their vaccination status.

In order to protect the delivery of public services, a very limited number of named critical workers will be informed that they are considered to have reasonable excuse to leave self-isolation if they are contacts. This will only apply to workers who are fully vaccinated (someone who is 14 days post-second dose) and is solely for the purpose of going to work.

This is a small and targeted intervention, enabling individuals to attend work where not doing so would lead to major detrimental impact on the availability, integrity or delivery of essential services – including services whose integrity, if compromised, could result in significant loss of life or casualties, and/or attend work where not doing so would result in significant impact on national security, defence, or the functioning of the state.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department holds any information on companies where the Directors have made major decisions while not having quoracy.

Companies House does not hold any information on companies where the directors have made major decisions while not having quoracy.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what incentives are being put in place to encourage the transition to electric vehicles.

The Government had already committed £1.5 billion to support the early market and remove barriers to ZEV ownership. Alongside the new phase out dates for new petrol and diesel cars and vans, we pledged a further £2.8 billion package of measures to support industry and consumers to make the switch to cleaner vehicles. This includes up to £1 billion to support the electrification of UK vehicles and their supply chains.

The Government will provide £1.3 billion to support the continued roll-out of chargepoint infrastructure at homes, workplaces, residential streets and across the wider roads network, to provide motorists with confidence to purchase an EV. Government and industry have already supported the installation of nearly 25,000 public charging devices. This includes more than 4,500 rapid devices – one of the largest networks in Europe.

Government grants for plug in vehicles continue to be available to help reduce the up-front purchase price of electric vehicles, with total money committed at £582 million for cars, vans, motorcycles and taxis to 2022/23.

The March 2020 Budget included the extension of favourable benefit in kind tax rates for zero emission vehicles out to 2025: company car tax is 1% in 2021/22 and 2% in 2022/23 through to 2024/25; and all zero emission cars are exempt from vehicle excise duty (VED).

Local Authorities may also provide additional incentives such as free parking and exemption from the congestion charge.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of services delivered by the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service.

BEIS officials review Acas’ performance on a regular basis as set out in the ‘Acas Framework Document’. This document sets out the broad framework within which Acas operates including the performance expectations for the services they deliver.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)