To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps she is taking to encourage net metering arrangements, with particular reference to the removal of market distortions. 
[holding answer 36 June 2003]: The Government use the term "net metering" to describe commercial arrangements where a generator receives the same price for exported energy as he pays for imported energy. Offering net metering on this basis will result in a supplier incurring costs and, although at least one supplier has offered customers a limited net metering tariff, it is difficult to see how the economics of net metering could be sustained on a widespread basis.The Government are, however, anxious to ensure that small, locally connected, generators receive full and fair value for the energy they produce. To this end, changes to electricity market arrangements will be implemented this September which will allow energy exported by small distributed generation to be traded via the electricity settlement system for the first time. In addition, the Distributed Generation Co-ordinating Group, jointly established by the DTI and Ofgem to address barriers associated with the connection and operation of small-distributed generation, has initiated work to identify metering and settlement arrangements which will ensure that small generators are fairly recompensed for exported energy.