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Energy Act 2010

Adjustment of energy charges

Commentary on Sections
Section 26: Adjustment of charges to help disadvantaged groups of customers

131.Subsection (1) gives the Secretary of State the power to make a scheme that will adjust charges for gas and/or electricity if the Secretary of State considers one set of customers of a particular energy supplier are treated less favourably than another set of customers. Subsections (3) to (5) provide that these sets of customers can consist of any combination of the following: the electricity customers of that supplier, the gas customers of that supplier, customers that are supplied with both gas and electricity, or any sub-division of these groups. For example, electricity customers could be sub-divided into those who have access to the gas network and those who do not.

132.Subsection (6) specifies which energy charges (gas and/or electricity) the Secretary of State may consider. Subsection (7) allows the Secretary of State to make any appropriate calculations or assumptions to establish whether a particular set of customers is being treated less favourably when comparing different charges for the same type of energy, or charges for different types of energy.

Section 27: Schemes: supplementary

133.This section makes provision about energy charge adjustment schemes made under the powers in section 26. Subsection (1)(b) allows for the scheme to adjust the charges of the customers that the Secretary of State considers have been treated more favourably as well as those that have been treated less favourably. Subsections (2) and (3) require the scheme to describe the less favourably treated customers, specify the energy companies whose charges will be adjusted by the scheme and the geographical area to which the scheme applies (unless it covers Great Britain). Subsection (2) also requires the scheme to set out the basis for the adjustment of charges.

134.Subsection (4) enables the scheme to require energy companies to provide information to each other and provides for any necessary modification of licence conditions. This section closely follows subsections (2) to (5) of section 41A of the Gas Act 1986 and section 43A of the Electricity Act 1989.

Section 28: Regulations adjusting energy charges: supplementary

135.Subsection (2) requires the Secretary of State to give notice that it is proposed to make regulations to establish a scheme. Any such notice must be given before the regulations are made, and must set out the effect of the scheme and the reasons for making the scheme. The Secretary of State must give not less than 28 days for representations to be made in relation to the scheme. Subsection (3) provides that a copy of this notice must be given to the company whose energy charges will be covered by the proposed order and provides that the notice must be publicised sufficiently widely so that it will be seen by all those likely to be affected by it.

136.Subsection (4) provides that regulations will remain in force for the period specified in the regulations, and that the maximum period is three years, although further regulations may be made at the end of that period. Subsection (5) allows the Secretary of State to make regulations to require energy companies to provide information to each other for the purpose of enabling the making of regulations to establish a scheme.

137.Subsection (6) provides for Ofgem to monitor the effect of all regulations made under section 26 and report its findings to the Secretary of State. It also enables Ofgem to require energy suppliers to provide any information necessary for this purpose. Subsections (2) to (6) of this section closely follow subsections (1) to (5) of section 41B of the Gas Act 1986 and section 43B of the Electricity Act 1989.

Section 29: Adjustment of energy charges: interpretation

138.Subsection (2) allows regulations made by the Secretary of State to exclude certain sets of customers from being considered in relation to an energy charge adjustment scheme. Subsection (5) provides that the definition of ‘energy supplier’ includes electricity suppliers, gas suppliers, and suppliers of both gas and electricity.

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