Report (2nd Day)

Part of Energy Bill [HL] – in the House of Lords at 7:00 pm on 8th March 2011.

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Photo of Lord Teverson Lord Teverson Chair, EU Sub-Committee C - Foreign Affairs, Defence and Development Policy 7:00 pm, 8th March 2011

My Lords, I, too, sympathise with a number of the themes that the noble Lord, Lord Lea, has brought forward, but I remind the House that this is Report stage and, to be honest, I find this amendment quite muddled. I find it very difficult to understand its detail or even what it is trying to achieve in terms of its words. I understand from the noble Lord, Lord Lea, what he is trying to achieve, but I am not even sure that if we put this into the Bill it would achieve that. Subsection (1) of the proposed new clause refers to a range of things including quasi-fiscal instruments. I do not know whether that is a technical Treasury term that the noble Lord, Lord Lea, has got from his friends in the Treasury, but I do not understand it.

I seriously do not understand what proposed new subsection (2) means. It seems to connect carbon budget periods, which as we know are five years, with annual assessments, and I am not sure what it is trying to do. The list in proposed new subsections (2)(a) to (c) exclude the industry that paid for my mortgage in the first 20 years-the road freight industry-inland waterways and shipping, and I am not sure that its purpose is comprehensive.

Proposed new subsections (3) and (4), again, come back to statistics that I think are generally available. It has not been difficult for me to find most energy statistics that I have tried to find.

I agree that we have an issue with the amount of money that ROCs and feed-in tariffs actually cost consumers, as my noble friend Lord Jenkin of Roding reminded us, and with the way in which these charges affect groups in fuel poverty differently. However, I honestly do not feel that this amendment achieves what we want to achieve within a reasonable understanding of what this amendment actually says. For that reason, I find it impossible to support it at this stage of the Bill.