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COP21: Ministers in Paris as Climate Talks Enter Final Days
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The Paris climate talks have entered the second phase amid a sense of optimism that a global deal could be agreed by Friday, despite slow progress and continued rows over financial issues. The high-level negotiations at Le Bourget are being attended by ministers who will thrash out some of the more contentious aspects. Their negotiations will focus on a 48-page draft document that was agreed by officials on Saturday. The text is widely-regarded too lengthy but more manageable than...

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COP21 Paris Climate Change Summit: Is 2°C Achievable?
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Since 30th November 2015, whilst still recovering from the horrific terrorist attacks, Paris has been hosting the COP21 Climate Summit with at least 80 government leaders from all major nations across the world in attendance. Together, they will set the scene for the final Paris Agreement, to be concluded on 11th December. The fact that this year’s COP (Conference of the Parties) has started with the government leaders meeting instead of at the conclusion of negotiations is promising. As long...

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Chancellor Publishes Spending Review and Autumn Statement
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The Chancellor has published the results of the spending review, including details of the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) budget over the course of this Parliament. The Government aims to release funds to be able to invest £4 trillion on its priorities over the next four years including half a trillion pound for the NHS. To contribute to the release of funds, DECC will suffer cuts in resources of 22% by 2020. This will equate to £220 million...

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Demand Response – Reducing Electricity Use during a Few Peak Periods Will Save Businesses Money
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Companies can make real savings by cutting energy use during a few periods of peak demand. As winter approaches, temperatures fall and demand for energy rises. For many corporate energy users, this means prices rise too adding to operating costs. As with other commodities, gas and power prices are influenced by the balance of supply and demand; high demand brings high prices. Whilst prices vary seasonally over the longer term, over the short term fluctuations also occur which can...

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Consultation on the Final Proposals for Reforming the Supplier’s Meter Inspection Obligations
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Gas and electricity suppliers currently have a licence obligation to inspect their customers’ meters at least every two years unless Ofgem consents to other arrangements. Ofgem is currently proposing to repeal the two-yearly meter inspection licence condition and is undertaking a final consultation of the decision before implementation. It considers that repealing the two-yearly meter inspection licence condition in its entirety from the gas and electricity supply licences remains the most proportionate and effective option for meeting the policy...

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Low Carbon Contracts and Electricity Settlements Company operational costs 2016/17
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This consultation is seeking views on the proposed 2016/17 operational cost budgets and resulting levies for the Low Carbon Contracts Company (LCCC) and the Electricity Settlements Company (ESC). The operational cost levies of LCCC and ESC are set out in legislation and, in line with the requirements of the Energy Act 2013, DECC are consulting before making any regulations to amend the levies for 2016/17. The levies proposed for 2016/17 are based on estimated operating costs of £14.216m for...

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Electricity Market Reform: Amendments to Contracts for Difference (Definition of Eligible Generator) Regulations
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The UK electricity market faces a number of challenges, with the rapid closure of existing capacity as older, more polluting plant goes offline, alongside the growth of our economy and increasing electrification of our heat and transport systems. Around £100 billion of private sector investment is needed by 2020 to replace and upgrade the UK’s electricity infrastructure. Contracts for Difference (CfD) is a mechanism for bringing forward investment in low carbon generation. It provides long-term price stabilisation to low...

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Landlords – Failing To Act Now May Damage Your Asset Value
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The deadline for achieving an EPC rated at an ‘E’ or above for privately rented property is April 2018. By this time the EPC must be secured and lodged for landlords to be able to issue a new lease for a property, even to existing tenants. As EPCs measure the fabric of the building, where improvements are required, it is likely that fit out work will need to be undertaken to achieve this. Work must start now to identify,...

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Reforming the Business Energy Efficiency Tax Landscape – Consultation Feedback
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Following the announcement of a review of the business energy efficiency tax landscape at the Summer Budget, the Government launched a consultation to seek the views of stakeholders on the proposal to simplify and improve the effectiveness of the landscape in supporting its objectives around simplicity, productivity, security of supply and de-carbonisation. The review is considering the interactions between business energy policies and regulations, including the Climate Change Levy (CCL), the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC), taxes on...

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Can We Really Keep The Lights On This Winter?
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Last week the National Grid used one of its “last resort” emergency powers for the first time to tell companies to reduce their electricity usage in an effort to avoid the risk of blackouts. It asked firms to reduce their power demand immediately, issuing a so-called demand-side balancing reserve (DSBR) notice to companies that have signed a contract to say they will take part in the demand reduction scheme. When these measures were announced, the National Grid had been adamant...

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