On 24 September 2013, at the Labour party annual conference, opposition party leader Ed Miliband announced details of the Labour party’s energy policy for the next general election in 2015. Earlier at the conference, shadow energy secretary Caroline Flint had provided further details on Labour’s energy policy.

Some of the policy measures put forward by the Labour party, should it win the election in 2015, include:

  • a freeze in electricity and gas prices from the election (in 2015) through to 2017;
  • a requirement that all electricity is to be pooled and traded on the open market;
  • an intention to legislate for a “break up of the Big Six" energy companies so that power generation and retail supply of energy are provided by different companies (this policy was compared to the separation of UK bank's investment and trading businesses from their high-street branches by the shadow energy secretary);
  • the creation of a new regulator to replace Ofgem;
  • the creation of a new Energy Securities Board; and
  • an intention to grant additional powers to the Green Investment Bank to meet a 2030 decarbonisation target.

No details were provided as to how the proposed energy policy would interact with the current Electricity Market Reform (EMR) process. Primary legislation to enact EMR, in the form of the Energy Bill, is currently in the House of Lords with the Government expecting that the Energy Bill will receive Royal Assent in December this year.

The announcements contained only high level outlines of the proposed measures and they have provoked a discussion within industry on the practicalities of implementing the policies. Further LawNow bulletins will follow as more details are provided in due course.

Further reading:

Text of Ed Miliband and Caroline Flint’s speeches to the Labour party conference

Further information on EMR