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What is the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)?

The management of the deregulated energy market in the UK presents a difficult situation, as numerous government departments and regulatory bodies participate in shaping policies. To address this complexity, we have created this guide to evaluate the role of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and its impact on your business and strategy.

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Who are the BEIS?

The Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is one of the 23 ministerial departments in the UK established in 2016. Its primary mission is to consolidate and integrate the industrial, business, and energy sectors, fostering innovation within the energy industry and infrastructure, and steering it towards addressing the challenges of climate change.

What are the responsibilities of the BEIS?

BEIS holds the responsibility of formulating policies that impact various sectors, encompassing business, industry, research, innovation, technology, energy, and climate change. To carry out its duties, it manages a substantial budget of approximately £25 billion and employs a workforce of around 5,000 individuals. In 2022,

BEIS allocated its financial and human resources to four primary objectives: providing relief during the COVID pandemic, addressing climate change, fostering innovation and technology, and supporting long-term economic growth. In essence, BEIS serves as the architect behind the development of fresh legislation and government programs. The department conducts thorough research, inquiries, and analysis to substantiate and support these initiatives. These instances include the formulation of the regulatory framework for the water market’s deregulation and the initiation of the government scheme for heat pumps.

Business Energy comparison

None, even though they’re both government departments handling energy, they have distinct functions. BEIS creates energy sector laws drafts regulations and strategies, while Ofgem focuses on enforcing rules, ensuring that businesses and consumers follow them. Unlike BEIS, Ofgem is not a ministerial department, meaning it doesn’t directly engage in government decision-making and doesn’t have a minister who meets with the Prime Minister and the cabinet.

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Is the BEIS policy applicable in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland?

Due to the devolution of powers in the UK, numerous responsibilities and policies are now specific to each home nation, granting them autonomy over their own business, trade, energy, and industrial strategies. This encompasses areas such as climate change policy, business regulations, corporate governance and intellectual property. However, there is variation among the home nations, as some opt to delegate authority back to BEIS. This divergence in responsibilities contributes to significant disparities among the home nations, particularly in sectors like energy and water markets, including the distribution of electricity. To delve deeper into these topics, you can refer to our energy and water guides, which cover specific areas such as utility billing and renewables, outlining the unique approaches adopted by each home nation.

What is the DECC and BIS?

Before the merger in July 2016, the duties of BEIS were divided between two distinct departments: DECC (Department of Energy and Climate Change) and BIS (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills). This was motivated by several factors, with the most frequently cited one being imperative for the UK to fulfil its 2050 climate targets.

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Why is the BEIS important?

You can save on your energy bills today without knowing about them. If that’s your goal, just compare small business energy prices or read our helpful energy guides. Yet, knowing who the government decision-makers are is important for being an informed business owner and citizen. It helps you interpret government announcements and news articles, and possibly stay ahead of energy trends in the market, which could make you more competitive.

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