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Volume 507: debated on Thursday 11 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (1) whether he plans to bring forward proposals to set minimum standards for energy loss from distribution transformers in respect of (a) the installed base of transformers and (b) new units procured by distribution network operators; (321624)

(2) whether he has made a recent estimate of the potential carbon savings arising from the adoption of the highest energy efficiency standards in distribution of transformers distribution network operators; and if he will make a statement;

(3) what mechanisms are in place to encourage distribution network operators to procure the most energy efficient distribution transformers; and if he will make a statement.

DECC's policy is to ensure that grids, including at distribution level, support the new generation mix we need to meet our targets.

Ofgem did consider setting minimum standards for losses as part of its review of the losses incentive in DPCR5 but opted to retain the output based incentive (which was improved in DPCR5) in order to encourage distribution network operators (DNOs) to manage losses both through low loss technology and also through network operations or network users and to incentivise them to identify ways to tackle the issue of theft.

The downside of setting minimum standards would be the need for Ofgem to specify equipment which could lead to the risk of equipment market distortion and could stifle DNO's innovation on technical loss reduction.