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Energy Act 2008

Summary and Background

431.The Electricity Act 1989 and Gas Act 1986 set out the general duties of the Secretary of State and the Authority. These general duties are formed in a hierarchy of a primary duty and a number of secondary duties and other issues which they must keep under consideration in exercising their primary duty. The primary duty is to protect consumers through competition where appropriate.

432.Prior to this Act, the formulation of secondary duties placed the need to ensure security of supply, and that licence holders are able to finance their activities at the top of the list of secondary duties. The duty to promote sustainable development was added near the end of that list. However, since that time, sustainability has been growing in importance in energy policy. The Act makes amendments to the duties to reflect this, to put sustainability and security of supply on an equal footing in the hierarchy of secondary duties.

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