Tempus enforces judgment to remove all unlawful capacity payments and implement its European court victory

Tempus enforces judgment to remove all unlawful capacity payments and implement its European court victory


Tempus enforces judgment to remove all unlawful capacity payments and implement its European court victory

Tempus has today lodged a legal claim, at the High Court in London, challenging a series of decisions taken by the UK government which attempts to keep the Capacity Market in place despite its annulment by the European Court.

Enforcing the judgment should be the responsibility of the UK government, but instead they have unlawfully continued with the scheme. Tempus has no choice but to take action.

On 15th November 2018 the General Court of the Court of Justice of the EU annulled the State aid approval for the UK Capacity Market.

The Court held that the European Commission had been wrong to approve the scheme without a thorough investigation in 2014. The Commission has now been forced to carry out that investigation, which could take up to 18 months. The opening of this investigation was announced[1] on 21 February. However, although the future of the Capacity Market is now in the Commission’s hands, this does not change the fact that the past subsidies have been rendered unlawful by the judgment.

The ruling in November created a ‘standstill period’ on the Capacity Market, and during this standstill the UK government has a legal duty to stop the scheme and recover the subsidies (aid) already paid out.

Sara Bell, CEO and Founder of Tempus said:

“We are astounded at the UK governments’ complete disregard for the law. Energy consumers should not be paying for these subsidies which have already been declared unlawful.”

“The decision to challenge the Capacity Market was not an easy one.  It’s been a long and difficult battle to change this broken system.  We have persevered because we know that we are right, the judgement on the 15th Nov only confirmed this fact and strengthened our resolve. 

We stand on the side of consumers who are paying for an unlawful scheme that directly affects their health – not only is this morally wrong, but has now been found legally wrong, and we will enforce this ruling where our government has failed.” 

The government has not been honest with investors and parliament. The legal basis for existing Capacity Market agreements has been withdrawn and the government has a legal obligation to return the money to customers. The government is desperate to give the impression that Capacity Market investments are safe. But they are not safe.

Anyone who believes the government’s assurances that the European Court’s judgment did not concern the nature of the scheme, I invite you to read that judgment, here is the link[2].

In the face of multiple government misrepresentation, such as Claire Perry MP’s disingenuous statement[3], Tempus has been doing what it can to protect investors by explaining[4] the real implication of the judgment. Payments currently being relied on by the fossil fuel industry are unlawful and will never be made. Investors should take separate legal advice and not rely on statements from the government.

The capacity market design was rigged in favour of old-fashioned dirty generation, leaving cheaper, cleaner alternatives virtually unable to compete.  A reform of the Capacity Market design will allow us to now reshape the market in order to bring forward investments in cheaper, cleaner technologies such as demand-shifting and battery storage in order to meet our climate targets and decarbonise as quickly as possible.

The UK government has been named the worst fossil fuel subsidiser in Europe, spending over €12 billion per annum on fossil fuel subsidies a recent EU report found.  UK consumers and tax payers are forced to fund this pollution, shortening their lives and destroying the planet.

Bell said, “We only have one planet, one home.  We need to work together to rapidly deploy technologies and commercial solutions in the interest of consumers so we can decarbonise as cheaply and quickly as possible. Our legal action will ensure this happens”


Notes to Editors:

About Tempus Energy: 

Tempus is an energy technology company, with a presence in several energy markets globally, including the UK. Tempus has developed software that interacts with existing demand side response (DSR)­ technology and smart appliances to help customers to be “demand-flexible”, by actively reducing their electricity demand at peak times and shifting usage to cheaper, off-peak times, usually when renewable power is plentiful.

Tempus is currently piloting its technology with Australia’s largest energy retailer, Origin Energy. After seeing positive results and savings on average of 25% they have extended the pilot to include all states of Australia. 

Demand management / DSR – explainer

Smart technology on the demand side can bring benefits both to households and to large energy customers such as those who have factory processes that can automatically shift to a time when energy demand (and prices) are low and renewables are abundant e.g. when the sun shines or the wind blows - or use power from a battery.

By tapping into energy when overall demand is low and supply is plentiful, non-time critical customer appliances and equipment that do not need to run at the same level continuously – such as charging a fleet of electric delivery vans or running a dishwasher – can be operated at a much lower cost.

[1] http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-19-1348_en.htm


[3] https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2018-11-20/debates/7FEAFF3E-F7AD-4315-BF3D-CC9146C2F4C9/PointOfOrder#contribution-B659AEAE-A6AA-4323-8F51-E07DE1C37C8C

[4] https://blog.tempusenergy.com/blog/2018/11/20/tempus-energy-response-to-claire-perry-mps-statement

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