Energy and waste regulations under review

20th July 2015

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  • Business & Industry ,
  • Energy ,
  • Resource extraction ,
  • Waste



Regulation and enforcement of energy, waste and mineral extraction are to be reviewed as part of the government's plans to reduce business "red tape".

The government claims that its latest wave of regulatory review could save British businesses £10 billion over the next five years. The latest reviews, which also include the agriculture and care home sectors, will look not only at the rules themselves but the way they are enforced.

Business secretary Sajid Javid said: "I am determined to take the brakes of British businesses and set them free from heavy-handed regulators. We want firms to tell us where red tape is holding them back and help us make Britain the best place in Europe to start and grow a business."

The review of energy regulation will include its enforcement by government departments and Ofgem, according to the business department (BIS). Complex licencing requirements and burdens placed on new market entrants are potential areas for cutting red tape, BIS said. A separate review on business energy efficiency, announced in the budget, is being undertaken by the Treasury.

The waste review will consider the whole sector, from waste production and collection to processing, disposal and treatment. BIS said it wants to remove barriers to advance the sector "while ensuring human health and the environment remain protected."

The department claims that waste businesses it has spoken to have say regulators could do more to innovate. This would help the sector maximise opportunities to recycle or reuse material that could otherwise end up in landfill, BIS said.

Defra has already consulted on enhancing the Environment Agency's enforcement powers to tackle waste crime and says it will publish the results soon.

Meanwhile, regulations covering planning and permitting of the mining and quarrying sector will be examined. BIS said that firms had complained about the interaction between the two regimes, whereby a project has to go through the planning system twice if the permitting system asks for a different approach.

Enforcement and implementation practices, application process and inspection regimes could also be simplified, while coordination across the different regulatory bodies should be improved , BIS said.

Businesses have until 14 September to submit their responses to the government's Cutting Red Tape website.


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