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Closed petition Pause the Energy Bill and hold a public referendum before proceeding

We want the Government to pause the Energy Bill, and hold a public referendum to determine whether this legislation should go ahead. To inform the referendum, the Government should send information leaflets to every household explaining the Bill, and the impacts its passage will have.

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In the interests of democracy, fairness, equality and equity it's vitally important people get to decide whether they want this Bill to become law, based on clear information about the Bill and the impacts its passage will have.

This petition is closed All petitions run for 6 months

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Government responded

This response was given on 10 October 2023

The landmark Energy Bill will provide a cleaner, more affordable, and more secure energy system. It has been subject to intense, rigorous legislative scrutiny by both Houses on behalf of the public.

Read the response in full

This Government is committed to meeting Net Zero by 2050 in a proportionate, pragmatic and realistic manner. As demonstrated by the Prime Minister’s decision not to impose future requirements that require homeowners or landlords to upgrade the energy efficiency of their properties, the Government intends to achieve energy security and Net Zero by easing the burden on working people, not adding to it.

It is in this context that the Government is ensuring the country has secure energy supplies into the future, replacing oil and gas imports with homegrown renewables and nuclear power to deliver resilient and reliable energy, powering Britain from Britain.

The landmark Energy Bill is essential to this transformation and will provide a cleaner, more affordable and more secure energy system.

Since the Bill’s introduction on 6 July 2022, the Government has published comprehensive information on the measures contained in the Bill and their impact.

The Impact Assessments and Explanatory Notes relating to the Bill can be found at: https://bills.parliament.uk/bills/3311. We also published factsheets and policy statements at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/energy-security-bill.

These documents have been updated throughout passage to reflect additions and amendments to the Bill during this process.

The Bill has been rigorously and robustly scrutinised. Both Houses of Parliament have closely examined the Bill line-by-line, debating many measures in detail and voting on every single clause.

The Government listened carefully to the concerns raised in Parliament during the Bill’s passage and engaged MPs and Peers to agree amendments to the Bill, where appropriate, to address these concerns.

Certain parts of the legislation will also be further scrutinised as secondary legislation is developed and implemented.

You can read more about its passage at: https://bills.parliament.uk/bills/3311/stages.

It is essential the Energy Bill receives Royal Assent in this parliamentary session so we can continue building a secure future where green and growth go hand-in-hand by:

• Ensuring the continuation of the rollout of smart meters, a national infrastructure upgrade that is making our energy system more efficient and flexible. Removing the powers to deliver smart metering will inhibit the momentum of the rollout, putting consumer and system benefits at risk.

• Supporting the deployment of carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS). Pausing would harm investor confidence and likely delay deployment across the UK, negatively impacting CCUS’s contribution to achieving carbon budgets and the economic growth benefits it provides.

• Underpinning the Hydrogen Production Business Model. Any delays would make Government’s aim to award electrolytic hydrogen contracts in Q4 2023 unachievable. This would damage investor confidence and impact wider hydrogen deployment ambitions, such as delivering up to 1GW of electrolytic hydrogen production capacity in construction or operation by 2025.

• Creating the Future System Operator (FSO), an expert, impartial body with responsibilities across the electricity and gas systems. The FSO will drive progress towards net zero while maintaining energy security, minimising costs for consumers. Pausing would delay benefits we expect this reform to bring for the energy system and consumers.

• Establishing Great British Nuclear in statute to ensure it has the long-term operational mandate needed to carry out its role. Nuclear energy will play a key role in meeting the UK’s energy security and net zero ambitions; any delays would harm progress towards that endeavour.

• Improving heat networks regulation and developing heat network zoning in England. Delaying heat network regulations would mean that more than 500,000 customers on heat networks would continue to not be protected from excessive pricing and poor quality of service. In addition, it would delay our heat network zoning proposals intended to grow the market for this essential net zero technology.

Now is the time to seize the opportunities in clean energy and deliver the crucial transformation of our energy system. The Energy Bill will achieve this by liberating private investment and boosting green growth, protecting consumers, and reforming the UK’s energy system so that it is efficient, safe and resilient.

Department for Energy Security and Net Zero