In a move that hopes to improve energy efficiency and enable the market to grow, small utility firms will no longer be required to take part in two Government programmes.
By excluding them from taking part in the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) and the Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP), energy minister Charles Hendry claims it will remove the burden on small utility firms that are hampered from entering and growing in the market because of the schemes.
Smaller gas and electricity suppliers with 250,000 customers or fewer will not have to take part in either of the programmes. Previously suppliers with as few as 50,000 customers were obliged to participate.
Increased competition should also help bring down energy prices, which would ultimately benefit energy consumers who face consistently rising fuel bills.
“Currently, over 99% of people get their energy from just six big companies. Reducing red tape for smaller suppliers will help them grow and encourage new players into the market,” said Mr Hendry.
While the Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP) aims to improve energy efficiency in low income households and reduce energy bills, under the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT), energy providers are tasked with helping to reduce CO2 emissions from households by promoting energy efficiency measures, for example encouraging consumers to invest in loft insulation and install cavity wall insulation.