Current Government Consultations - August 2021


A brief summary of current government consultations of potential interest to RSN members. This is not intended as an exhaustive list of all relevant consultations.

- Download a printable version of the Government Consultationst here

Design of the Energy Company Obligation ECO4: 2022-2026 – Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

Government are seeking views on the future design of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme. This includes:

  • continuing to target low income and vulnerable, and fuel poor households
  • greater support and deeper retrofit for the least energy efficient homes, requiring homes to meet new minimum energy efficiency requirements
  • the proportion of the scheme that can be delivered through local authority referrals, and by suppliers, under a reformed local authority and Supplier Flexible Eligibility route
  • supporting innovation under ECO
  • how ECO interacts with other grant funding
  • views on a future supplier buy-out mechanism to enable small suppliers to participate in ECO, subject to primary legislation

This consultation closes on 31 August 2021.

Design of the Energy Company Obligation ECO4: 2022-2026 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


Proposals for a Future System Operator role – Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy & Ofgem

BEIS and Ofgem are jointly consulting on proposals for an expert, impartial Future System Operator (FSO) with responsibilities across both the electricity and gas systems, to drive progress towards net zero while maintaining energy security and minimising costs for consumers.

Their proposal is for all the current National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) roles and functions to be carried out by the FSO, and that the FSO should undertake strategic network planning, long-term forecasting, and market strategy functions in gas.

This consultation closes on 28 September 2021.

Proposals for a Future System Operator role - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


Role of vehicle-to-X energy technologies in a net zero energy system: call for evidence – Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

Vehicle-to-x (V2X) technologies allow an electric vehicle to export the energy within its battery for another use, for example to a home or to the electricity grid. This offers additional flexibility to the energy system and a potential revenue source for businesses and consumers.

Though V2X technologies have been technically feasible for over a decade, the technology remains expensive and is not yet commercially viable for all use cases.

In this call for evidence the government invites views and evidence on:

  • the role of V2X technologies in the energy system
  • the barriers that might be preventing this
  • the role of government

This consultation closes on 12 October 2021.

Role of vehicle-to-X energy technologies in a net zero energy system: call for evidence - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


Facilitating the deployment of large-scale and long-duration electricity storage: call for evidence – Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

Large-scale and long-duration electricity storage could provide an important role in decarbonising our energy system, for example by storing renewable power and discharging it over periods of low wind. However, there is evidence that it faces market challenges that mean it may struggle to deploy at scale.

This call for evidence seeks information to help us understand in more detail:

  • the barriers within the current market
  • how these might be addressed
  • the risks that may be associated with potential interventions to support the deployment of large-scale and long-duration electricity storage

This consultation closes on 28 September 2021.

Facilitating the deployment of large-scale and long-duration electricity storage: call for evidence - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


Key Route Networks: devolving more powers and responsibilities for locally important roads to metro mayors and their combined authorities – Department for Transport

This consultation seeks views on proposals to give metro mayors and their combined authorities greater decision-making powers and accountability with regards to the Key Route Network (KRN).

The proposals include:

  • providing mayors with additional highway management powers
  • providing mayors with sole or concurrent highway powers over the KRN
  • giving mayoral combined authorities the ability to delegate highway powers to local authorities
  • providing mayors with the power to direct a local authority to deliver schemes agreed in their local transport plan
  • giving mayors or constituent local authorities the ability to request responsibility for a route by order of the Transport Secretary

This consultation closes on 24 September 2021.

Key Route Networks: devolving more powers and responsibilities for locally important roads to metro mayors and their combined authorities - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


Access to Cash Consultation – HM Treasury

This consultation is the next step in legislating to protect access to cash and ensuring that the UK’s cash infrastructure is sustainable for the long term. Despite the decline in cash use over recent years, cash remains an important payment method for millions across the UK, which is why the Chancellor committed and March Budget 2020 to legislate to protect access to cash.

In line with this commitment, the Treasury undertook a Call for Evidence in 2020, which sought views on the key considerations associated with cash access. The Government also legislated in the Financial Services Act 2021 to facilitate the wide-spread adoption of cashback without a purchase. This consultation sets out proposals for further legislation. It seeks views on: establishing geographic requirements for the provision of cash withdrawal and deposit facilities, the designation of firms for meeting these requirements, and establishing further regulatory oversight of cash service provision.

This consultation closes on 23 September 2021.

Access to Cash Consultation - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


Warm Home Discount: better targeted support from 2022 – Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

The Warm Home Discount scheme obliges participating energy suppliers to provide rebates to their customers, to reduce energy bills for low-income and vulnerable households and tackle fuel poverty.

This consultation proposes to expand and reform the scheme in England and Wales until 2026, in line with the commitments announced in the Energy White Paper in 2020. The objective of the reforms is to improve the fuel poverty targeting rate of the scheme and ensure more fuel poor households can receive rebates on their energy bills automatically, through the use of data matching. An Impact Assessment setting out the impact of the proposals accompanies this consultation.

Government would particularly welcome responses from energy suppliers and charities and other organisations focusing on fuel poverty and vulnerable people.

This consultation closes on 22 August 2021

Warm Home Discount: better targeted support from 2022 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


Direct Payments to farmers: lump sum exit scheme and delinked payments – Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

Government want to know what you think about the proposed lump sum exit scheme for farmers and their proposed approach to delinked payments.

They are seeking views on a set of questions including:

  • the eligibility criteria and aspects of how we should calculate the value of the lump sum
  • the reference period to be used to determine eligibility for, and calculate the value of, delinked payments

This consultation closes on 11 August 2021.

Direct Payments to farmers: lump sum exit scheme and delinked payments - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Prepared by Andy Dean, Assistant Director at the Rural Services Network
Email: andy.dean@sparse.gov.uk

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