Work by financial powerhouse PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) claims additional costs of between 5 and 11% of companies energy bills if they don’t submit their first CRC report right first time.

The research, released this week, looked forward to the end of July when more than 3,000 organisations, mostly with energy bills of more than £500,000 affected by the scheme, must submit their first reports.

Under the CRC, which under the coalition Government has become a pure carbon tax, the Environment Agency as the schemes regulators can fine business £5,000 fine for each late report and £500 a day every day the report is outstanding.

Inaccuracies in reporting can land business with fines of £40 a tonne for under or over reporting and an organisation spending £20 million on energy making a 20% mistake would result in fines of £1m.

PwC carbon reporting specialist, Henry Le Fleming, says the CRC relies on companies’ ability to gather the raw numbers for their energy bills.

He said: “Many companies won’t have stress tested their processes, systems and controls for gathering the data. If they have large numbers of sites with shared responsibility for energy bills it could be more difficult than expected.

“The regulatory powers are wide, and while it’s not certain how strictly they will be enforced, with late reporting or incorrect data both attracting fines, the clock is ticking for companies to get this right over the coming weeks before the deadline.”

The reports due in July also offer companies the chance to control the costs of the CRC. The CRC Footprint report will define the sources reported annually for the next three years. Using this effectively will enable some companies to reduce exposure by 10%, as the sources cannot be changed for the next three years.

Luke Walsh

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