Businesses urged to capture £6bn energy savings as SECR requirements loom
Businesses have been urged by the UK Government to accelerate efforts to improve energy efficiency in order to cut corporate energy use by 20%, saving £6bn in the process, ahead of the new Streamlined Energy & Carbon Reporting requirements (SECR) that are set to enter into force.
Energy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng has claimed that meeting a Clean Growth Strategy target to reduce corporate energy use by 20% by 2030 could prevent 22 million tonnes of CO2 emissions, which is equivalent to the annual emissions of 4.6 million road vehicles. He claimed that achieving the target could also generate £6bn in corporate energy savings.
"Evidence shows that reporting energy use saves businesses on their bills, can boost productivity and attract increasingly green-minded customers by showing they're committed to fighting climate change," Kwarteng said.
"These latest requirements are coming into force in this year of climate action and will help take businesses' energy savings to the next level, cutting emissions and boosting bottom lines as we work towards net-zero by 2050."
Last week, Kwarteng claimed the Government is "absolutely committed" to exploring new support mechanisms for low-carbon heat in the UK once the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) expires in March 2021.
Kwarteng made the calls ahead of new regulations entering into force from next month, which require around 12,000 large and UK-listed businesses to report to Streamlined Energy & Carbon Reporting (SECR) requirements.
What is SECR?
Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) is a set of sustainability regulations for large businesses, focussed on publicly reporting energy use, carbon emissions, and energy efficiency measures. This effectively replaced the reporting element of the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme. The first SECR reports are due following the conclusion of the 2019/20 financial reporting year in March 2020.
SECR was introduced under the legislative changes designed to meet the Fourth Carbon Budget (the UK must reduce emissions by 51% by 2027), by mandating that businesses measure - and publish in the public domain - energy usage, emissions data and energy-saving initiatives, demonstrating transparency around how UK businesses are working to reduce their emissions among their overall energy use.
Under the new legislation businesses will also be required to confirm if they have carried out Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) audits, at least every four years.
edie has launched a business guide into the important issue of Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) as the first full financial year since the scheme was introduced in April 2019 draws to an end.
The new guide, in association with Inspired Energy, provides an in-depth summary of the legislation, and how businesses can ensure they comply with it. What is SECR and does your business need to comply? What are the new reporting issues? And what considerations should be examined when bringing together data for reporting? This free edie Explains guide gives you everything you need to know.