§ 30. Ms. Armstrong
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what guidance he has given to the director general-designate of the Office of Electricity Regulation on the best means of defending the interest of consumers.
§ Mr. Michael Spicer
The Electricity Bill sets out the Director General of Electricity Supply's duties in relation to the protection of consumers' interests. It will create many new rights for the consumer, including an improved right to an electricity supply, protection for consumers354W who get their electricity from a landlord, protection for the elderly and disabled, help for those having difficulty paying bills and a new system of guaranteed standards of performance with automatic compensation for failures to meet these standards. The director general will have a statutory duty to protect the interests of the consumer and the new regional consumers committees will provide him with lay advice on consumer issues.
§ Mr. Murphy
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what guidance he has given to the director general-designate of the Office of Electricity Regulation on the regulator's independence from political interference.
§ Mr. Parkinson
The director general's powers and duties are set out clearly in the Electricity Bill. The Government believe that Professor Littlechild will be a strong, effective and independent regulator.