Energy producers, of renewable electricity or gas, with 250,000 or less customers are to be exempted from two Government energy reduction policies.

According to energy minister, Charles Hendry, the plans will cut ‘red tape’ and come today (July 13), less than week after the FITs ruling.

That decision meant the small-scale renewable energy production, of the kind favoured by smaller producers, is now only available to apply for lower levels of funding.

Under the plans businesses with 250,000 customers or less will not have to take part in the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) and the Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP).

However, the CERT and CESP scheme were only scheduled to run until the end of 2012, before DECC is due to consider how to design future schemes.

Originally, DECC wanted producers with as few as 50,000 customers to participate in the scheme and follows a consultation which had proposed a threshold of 100,000 customers.

Mr Hendry said: “Currently more than 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.

“Increased competition can help bring down prices and encourage innovation, benefitting energy consumers.

“It’s vital we improve energy efficiency without placing disproportionate costs on small suppliers.”

Luke Walsh

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