Tip: To match a phrase, use quotation marks around the search term. eg. "Parliamentary Estate"

Written Question
Electricity: Billing
29 Apr 2021

Questioner: Caroline Lucas (GRN - Brighton, Pavilion)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he has had with Ofgem on the potential effect on electricity bills of voltage optimisation.

Answered by Anne-Marie Trevelyan

Voltage limits are set by law to protect, and help ensure the efficient operation of, the electricity system. Any change to voltage levels requires careful consideration of all the potential impacts including on consumer appliances, the wider electricity system, and consumer electricity bills. The Department commissioned an independent review of electrical engineering standards, which included recommendations concerning voltage limits when it reported in December 2020[1]. We are engaging with Ofgem as we consider the recommendations and will provide a response in due course.

Ofgem has also provided funding to distribution network operators for voltage optimisation innovation trials and the Energy Networks Association is examining the case for extending statutory voltage limits. These activities are providing evidence of the impacts of voltage optimisation.

[1] https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/943700/electricity-engineering-standards-review-technical-analysis-topic-areas.pdf


Written Question
Environment Protection: Job Creation
29 Apr 2021

Questioner: Mick Whitley (LAB - Birkenhead)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the data-set released by the Green New Deal UK group on 19 April 2021 and based on the European Climate Foundation’s 2018 report, Unlocking the Job Potential of Zero Carbon, what steps his Department plans to take to ensure that at least (a) 1580 green jobs are created within two years and (b) 4484 green jobs are created within 10 years in Birkenhead constituency.

Answered by Anne-Marie Trevelyan

As we rebuild, we must build back better, greener, and faster. This means supporting green jobs, levelling up, accelerating our path to net zero, and creating long-term advantage for the UK.

Spanning clean energy, buildings, transport, nature and innovative technologies, the Ten Point Plan will mobilise £12 billion of government investment to unlock three times as much private sector investment by 2030. In doing so we will support a further 90,000 green jobs across the UK by 2024, and up to 250,000 by 2030. Job estimates at a constituency level are not available.


Written Question
Carbon Emissions: Taxation
29 Apr 2021

Questioner: Baroness Worthington (CB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government when they will set a long-term carbon pricing signal to support the removal of carbon emissions from the atmosphere in the UK.

Answered by Lord Callanan

On the 1st of January 2021, the Government implemented the UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS) that will be the world’s first net zero carbon cap and trade market. We will consult in due course on how to align the UK ETS cap with an appropriate net zero trajectory, meaning the system will significantly contribute to ensuring the UK meets our commitment to net zero emissions by 2050. The operation of the cap will provide certainty about the decarbonisation trajectory over the long term.

The initial scope of the UK ETS provides continuity with the EU system we have now left, covering emissions from energy intensive industry, aviation and electricity generation. In the Energy White Paper, we committed to exploring expanding the UK ETS to other sectors and will set out our aspirations to continue to lead the world on carbon pricing in the run-up to COP26. This will also include how the UK ETS could incentivise the deployment of greenhouse gas removal technologies.


Written Question
Aviation and Shipping: Carbon Budgets
29 Apr 2021

Questioner: Caroline Lucas (GRN - Brighton, Pavilion)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Government’s acceptance of the Climate Change Committee’s recommendation on the Sixth Carbon Budget to reduce emissions by 78 per cent by 2035 compared to 1990 levels, whether he plans to bring forward legislative proposals to include international aviation and shipping in that target under the Climate Change Act 2008.

Answered by Anne-Marie Trevelyan

The Government has laid legislation for the UK’s sixth carbon budget and this marks a decisive step towards net zero by 2050. It builds on the series of ambitious plans we have announced since committing to net zero emissions in law, including through my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan and our new UN climate target to reduce emissions in 2030 by at least 68% compared to 1990 levels – the highest reduction target made by a major economy to date. We have committed to include international aviation and shipping emissions in the Sixth Carbon Budget and will bring forward legislative proposals in due course.


Written Question
Aviation and Shipping: Carbon Budgets
29 Apr 2021

Questioner: Baroness Worthington (CB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to include international aviation and shipping emissions in the Sixth Carbon Budget, as recommended by the Climate Change Committee in their report The Sixth Carbon Budget, published in December 2020.

Answered by Lord Callanan

We have laid legislation for the UK’s sixth carbon budget, proposing a world-leading target, which would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 78% by 2035 compared to 1990 levels. This is in line with the latest science as the level recommended by our expert advisers at the Climate Change Committee (CCC).

We have set the sixth carbon budget to include international aviation and shipping emissions, as recommended by our independent climate advisors, the Climate Change Committee.

We remain fully committed to global action to tackle IAS emissions through international processes at the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and International Maritime Organisation (IMO).


Written Question
Energy Intensive Industries: Biofuels
29 Apr 2021

Questioner: Mark Pawsey (CON - Rugby)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the Green Gas Levy volumetric charges on the operations of gas intensive industries.

Answered by Anne-Marie Trevelyan

The Government will launch the Green Gas Levy with a per meter point approach later this year, the design of which was set out in the recent Future Support for Low Carbon Heat & Green Gas Levy Government Response. The impact of a per meter point approach on gas intensive industries is expected to be minimal.

However, the Government recognises the clear benefits of a volumetric levy that aligns policy costs more closely with energy consumption. The Government has been clear that any volumetric levy design must be simple to administer and deliver, minimise costs on consumers, and take consideration of the impact on energy intensive industries and other important UK industries. The Government will ensure it consults fully and works closely with stakeholders on any new proposals in this area.

Further details on the impact of transitioning to a volumetric levy will be set out in the impact assessment that will follow the government response mentioned above in due course.


Written Question
Renewable Energy: Finance
29 Apr 2021

Questioner: Alan Brown (SNP - Kilmarnock and Loudoun)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how the Government plans to support the uptake of renewable energy projects while also stabilising their costs on the grid; and if he will make a statement.

Answered by Anne-Marie Trevelyan

Renewable deployment has been a huge success in the UK and renewable generation has more than quadrupled since 2010, totalling 37% of electricity generation in 2019 (source: Digest of UK Energy Statistics 2020). Our continued support has seen the cost of renewable technologies fall – the cost of offshore wind, for example, has fallen by more than two thirds since 2015.

The Government has committed up to £557 million for future Contracts for Difference auctions, with the next allocation round due to take place later this year. We continue to evolve the Contracts for Difference scheme and have recently engaged with industry through a call for evidence, looking at how to balance enabling deployment with minimising system costs and, therefore, costs to consumers. This will be used to inform the design of future allocation rounds.

The costs incurred by renewable energy projects when connecting to the grid are a matter for Ofgem, as the independent regulator. As part of its Access and Forward-Looking Charges Review, Ofgem is considering some relevant aspects of grid charges, and it plans to consult on reform proposals in 2021.


Written Question
OECD Countries
29 Apr 2021

Questioner: Baroness Randerson (LDEM - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what value is attributed to a tonne of carbon in the Treasury’s Green Book; and whether they intend to publish the equivalent figures for each of the OECD countries.

Answered by Lord Callanan

Valuing changes in greenhouse gases, including carbon, is vital to ensure climate change impacts are taken into account when appraising and evaluating public policies and projects. Carbon values used during policy appraisal are published as part of the Green Book supplementary guidance: valuation of energy use and greenhouse gas emissions for appraisal. A summary of the current carbon values for 2030, 2040, 2050 is given in the table below (the full annual series can be found in table 3 of the attached). The Government is not intending to publish equivalent figures for each of the OECD countries.

Table 1: HMG’s Carbon Values for policy appraisal

£ per tonne of CO2-equivalent (real 2018 prices)

Low

Central

High

2030

40

81

121

2040

78

156

234

2050

115

231

346


Written Question
Post Offices: ICT
29 Apr 2021

Questioner: Baroness Randerson (LDEM - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many sub-postmasters were (1) prosecuted, and (2) convicted, on charges associated with the use of the Horizon computer system; and how long they estimate it will take to (a) review, and (b) resolve, compensation claims in connection with these cases.

Answered by Lord Wolfson of Tredegar

It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before Dissolution. Ministers will correspond directly with the Member.


Written Question
UK Emissions Trading Scheme
29 Apr 2021

Questioner: Baroness Worthington (CB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to develop rules that would enable CO2 removals to be integrated into carbon markets, such as a UK emissions trading system.

Answered by Lord Callanan

The Government committed in the recent Energy White Paper to exploring expanding the existing UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS), which replaced the UK’s participation in the EU ETS on 1 January 2021, to the two thirds of uncovered emissions, and indicated that we will set out our aspirations to continue to lead the world on carbon pricing in the run up to COP26. This will also include how the UK ETS could incentivise the deployment of greenhouse gas removal technologies.


Written Question
International Centre for Genomic Medicine in Neuromuscular Diseases: Finance
29 Apr 2021

Questioner: Lord Walney (Non-affiliated - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have held with the Medical Research Council about the impact of its decision to reduce grant funding which had been allocated in 2021–22 to support the establishment of the International Centre for Genomic Medicine in Neuromuscular Diseases.

Answered by Lord Callanan

In correspondence with Universities regarding the Official Development Assistance (ODA) budget cuts, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has provided each with the opportunity to highlight awards that may require special consideration.


Written Question
Clean Technology Fund
29 Apr 2021

Questioner: Anna McMorrin (LAB - Cardiff North)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much Overseas Development Assistance funding his Department allocated to the Clean Technology Fund in 2020-21; and when he plans to release the Overseas Development Assistance funding allocation for the Clean Technology Fund in 2021-22.

Answered by Anne-Marie Trevelyan

UK support for the Clean Technology Fund (CTF), as part of the umbrella Climate Investment Funds (CIFs), is an important element of UK global leadership to tackle climate change and mobilise climate finance at scale.

BEIS allocated £12,583,808 to the CTF in 2020-21, to enable developing countries accelerate adoption of appropriate renewable energy technologies.

Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) funding allocations decisions for CTF in 2021-22 are being reviewed as part of wider ODA budgeting processes for 2021-22 and will be released as part of standard Government commitments on ODA transparency.


Written Question
Housing Improvement: Energy
29 Apr 2021

Questioner: Lord Foster of Bath (LDEM - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what funds (1) have been, and (2) will be, allocated to local authorities to enable them to retrofit domestic premises to increase their energy efficiency.

Answered by Lord Callanan

The Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery (LAD) scheme, which supports energy efficiency and low carbon heat projects for low-income households, is being delivered in three phases:

  • Phase 1A; around £74 million was allocated to 55 projects in over 100 Local Authorities in October 2020, to be delivered by June 2021.
  • Phase 1B:  around £126 million has been allocated to 81 projects in over 200 Local Authorities, for delivery by September 2021.
  • Phase 2:  funding of £300 million has been allocated to the five Local Energy Hubs, who will work with Local Authorities in their region to deliver projects by December 2021.

The 2019 Conservative Manifesto committed to a £3.8bn Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) over a 10-year period, to improve the energy performance of social rented homes.

The Summer Economic Update announced the SHDF Demonstrator project, launched in 2020, which has awarded £62m 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 Autumn 2020 Spending Review committed £60m of funding for the first wave of the £3.8bn manifesto commitment in financial year 21/22.

The Government has since committed an additional £300 million on green home upgrades through Local Authorities. This extension will be through an increase in funding to Local Authorities via LAD and the SHDF wave one, and whilst the schemes are currently being designed, the focus remains on upgrading the worst-performing homes with energy efficiency installations and low-carbon heating.


Written Question
Energy Companies Obligation
29 Apr 2021

Questioner: Lord Foster of Bath (LDEM - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to extend the Energy Company Obligation to other measures in addition to space heating.

Answered by Lord Callanan

The targets for the current iteration of ECO are based on the Home Heating and Cost Reduction Obligation (HHCRO) powers set out in the Electricity Act 1989, Section 41B, and Gas Act 1986, Section 33BD. This allows Government to set a target for the promotion of measures for reducing the cost to individuals of heating their homes. Therefore, measures which do not result in space heating savings are not eligible.

Under the current scheme, ECO3, 44% of measures delivered were a form of insulation with the remainder being heating measures, such as replacement boilers, as of January 2021. ECO3 will end in March 2022, however, it was announced in February’s Sustainable Warmth Strategy that ECO4 will run from April 2022 through to 2026. The value of the scheme will also increase to £1bn per annum for ECO4. Further details about ECO4, including the scope of eligible measures, will be consulted on later this year.


Written Question
Nigel Boardman
29 Apr 2021

Questioner: Lord Myners (CB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether Nigel Boardman is the chair of the Audit, Risk and Assurance Committee at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy; and whether that Committee is responsible for overseeing the risk audit and credit functionality at the British Business Bank.

Answered by Lord Callanan

Nigel Boardman is a non-executive board member of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Chair of the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee (ARAC).

The British Business Bank (BBB) is an operationally independent arm’s length body of Government. As such, and in accordance with the UK Corporate Governance Code, BBB has separate independent Audit and Risk Committees comprising of independent non-executive directors. BBB’s Board is responsible for internal controls and risk management systems in BBB. Through the governance statement in BBB’s Annual Report and Accounts there is a requirement for BBB to provide assurances to the Government and other stakeholders on performance and insight on BBB’s risk profile, the responses to the identified and emerging risks and how risks have been successfully tackled.