Clause 44 - Further provision about tenants’ energy efficiency improvements regulations: England and Wales

Part of Energy Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 5:30 pm on 14th June 2011.

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Photo of Gregory Barker Gregory Barker The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change 5:30 pm, 14th June 2011

I am happy to clarify those points as far as I can. On the line of inquiry taken by my hon. Friend the Member for Wells, I made it clear that agents or representatives will be able to act or speak on a tenant’s behalf. As for how a person makes a request on behalf of a tenant, we will come to that. The Secretary of State, when making PRS regulations, can stipulate the form and content of a request from a tenant under clause 44(1); that is our intention. He can put in place provisions that make it clear that someone can make a request on behalf of a tenant. That is already stipulated in the Bill, and I hope that that reassures my hon. Friend.

The hon. Member for Hyndburn raised the issue of planning permission and other exemptions, and we will consult on that range of issues, which obviously cross over to other areas of statute and the responsibility of other Departments. We must ensure that they mesh together effectively for the sensible reasons that he mentioned. We believe that there would be an exemption if one could not get planning permission, as indicated. We have more work to do to thrash out this complex  area, which interweaves and overlaps with housing and planning regulations. Nothing is insoluble, and we should be able to come forward with sensible proposals by the autumn. If the hon. Gentleman has particular suggestions on how the issues could be most effectively meshed, I am in no doubt that we would be delighted to receive them.