The agency, which will be responsible for enforcing the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) Energy Efficiency Scheme, will target hotels, restaurants, shops and public sector offices.

The CRC, which comes into force at the start of next month (April) is a huge part of the Government’s pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% from 1990 levels by 2050.

The scheme will see around 5000 organisations buy allowances for each tonne of CO2 they emit and be placed in a league table according to their energy performance.

All the money raised is then given back, with the best performers getting more than they paid for their carbon emissions, and the worst performers receiving less.

Head of climate change and sustainable development at the agency, Tony Grayling, praised Sainsbury’s, Hilton Hotels, Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals examples of organisations.

He said: “Our research shows around a quarter of the emissions from these sectors could be cut at no overall cost.

“In most cases the savings on energy bills will outweigh the costs of the energy saving measures.

“In companies where most of the energy used goes towards running inefficient buildings – shops and offices for example – there are some very simple things that can be done that will reduce energy use almost overnight and give big cost savings.

“In most cases, better management of heating, air conditioning and lighting will deliver immediate benefits.”

Luke Walsh

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