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2017 General Election: Potential Impact on Energy Policy Decisions

This week the Prime Minister announced that a General Election has been called for 8th June 2017. Following that announcement the Government will enter a pre-election Purdah period, which restricts the activity of civil servants in the run-up to elections and referendums. The 2017 election Purdah is expected to start on 3rd May, which means from this time there won’t be any major Government (including from Ofgem and other public bodies) announcements until after the election. Furthermore Parliamentary summer recess will then commence on 20th July and run until 5th September.

Whilst the timing of policy decisions and announcements are never certain, overall our expectation is that for most major energy policies timings will not likely be impacted by the Purdah period.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have issued confirmation that the General Election will not have an impact on the timetable for the second CfD allocation round which is currently open for applications. Timings for implementing changes to the Capacity Market rules and regulations, as well as timing of the next auction itself (which is yet to be confirmed), are also likely to be unaffected.

The industry is still awaiting an outstanding decision on implementing an exemption for Energy Intensive Industries from the costs of RO and FITs. However, whilst it may mean announcement of a decision cannot be made during the Purdah period, given a decision and EU State Aid notification has been outstanding for some time and the current compensation arrangement is set to remain in place in the meantime, the Purdah period itself is unlikely to cause any further delay to the implementation of any exemption.

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