Benchmarking tool makes councils comfortable with CRC
Those local authorities that have chosen to measure their emissions using a tool provided by Defra feel better equipped to deal with the Carbon Reduction Commitment, which took effect this week.
Defra's National Indicator 185 helps councils to measure the progress in reducing CO2 emissions from buildings and transport and aims to encourage them to demonstrate leadership on tackling climate change.
A survey carried out by energy giant EDF suggests that while many officers saw the indicator as another painful piece of paperwork, they grudgingly accept that it has made life easier when it comes to tackling the CRC.
80% of energy managers are using their data to reduce energy consumption already while almost two third (66%) say they now feel better equipped to manage the CRC thanks to greater awareness of carbon emissions.
Around three quarters of respondents had been using the data to engage staff in energy efficiency measures and a similar number plan to use it to flag-up carbon issues to senior management.
Zoe Dixon from Buckinghamshire County Council said: "The NI 185 was a particularly onerous task but it has really helped prepare my team for the CRC and we are now better equipped to highlight carbon output and energy efficiency issues to senior management and have begun implementing a major energy efficiency programme"
Siobhan Hyland, Regulation and Compliance Analyst for EDF Energy, said: "It's encouraging to discover that energy managers in the public sector are using NI 185 data to prepare themselves for the CRC.
"While it is always a burden to comply with extra layers of reporting, the energy consumption data being obtained is a good foundation for reducing carbon emissions.
"We are using the intelligence we've gathered through customer research to make the CRC a little less arduous - a few clicks to order a free CRC Report is an efficient way for our customers to collect much of the carbon emissions data they'll need to comply with the scheme."