Business fears over impending CRC scheme

Businesses say mapping energy use is their biggest concern when it comes to a new government scheme to tackle carbon emissions.

Public and private sector organisations see data management as their main challenge under the New Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRCEES) – a government initiative to boost energy efficiency.

David Mole, managing director of environmental data specialists, Landmark Environment, which surveyed organisations about the scheme, said: “Clearly many organisations are still looking for an effective way to manage data in this new area.”

The legally-binding carbon trading scheme came into force on April 1.

It requires all organisations that used more than 6,000 megawatt-hours per year of half hourly metered electricity in the 2008 qualifying year – equal to an annual bill of about £500,000 – to register with scheme administrators, the Environment Agency, by September.

Organisations must measure and report carbon emissions and buy enough allowances to cover what they use. Those that do not could face fines or prosecution.

The first emissions allowance sale is due to take place next year. No limit will be placed on the number of allowances sold until March 2013 after which the number will be capped with allocations bought at auction.

All revenue from selling allowances will be fed back to participants. Companies will be rewarded or penalised according to their position in a carbon reduction performance league table.

Those that cut energy use will see bills fall and less need for allowances resulting in a better league table positions and scheme bonuses.

Those that do not improve energy efficiency will be paying for allowances and face penalties for their poor league table position.

Organisations see how the scheme can help them, according to Landmark, which is offering a “Carbon Counter” service to help map energy use.

“It is encouraging to see that many organisations see the potential benefits as well as the barriers, and with almost a third of those surveyed naming potential cost savings as a benefit it is clear that establishing an effective and accurate CRC process could help to boost cost savings in the longer term,” Mr Mole added.

Other concerns about the scheme included time, information and cost, according to the survey.

To register for Carbon Counter organisations can click here.

David Gibbs

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